Find North with the Stars - Polaris & Ursa Major - Celestial Navigation

sup bros I figured it would be a good

idea to get back into the swing of some

casual celestial navigation as I have a

few more cheeky techniques coming soon I

have covered this navigational aid way

back so for those of you that are

familiar with this technique then just

consider it a bit of cheeky revision but

also be covering a few things that I

didn't mention in the old video - so

let's crack on we find north with the

North Star Polaris how to recognize the

constellations how to locate them in the

sky and how to use them to find your

directions let's just observe the night

sky for a moment I imagine some of you

right off the dizzle have already found

the required constellations and as a

result the North Star good job give

yourself a pat on the back for that one

for those of you that have not then

hopefully by the end of the video you'll

be able to pinpoint it within a matter

of seconds so let's begin first up we

need to locate one specific arrangement

of stars in the night sky let's activate

the constellation Lions and annotations

the constellation we will primarily

concern ourselves with is this one right

here Ursa Major and Ursa Minor right

next door now let's view our entire

nighttime sky Ursa Major goes by many

other names the Big Dipper

The Plough Big Bear the cup the pot if

any of those ring a bell then that's


Ursa Major is a massive constellation it

is strikingly noticeable in the night

sky if you invest a short amount of time

to locate it it's one of the most easily

identifiable arrangement of stars but

let's whack up a more clear real image

of it it looks like a saw spoon with the

handle on the pot bright easy

constellation to locate and recognize

composed of some of the brightest stars

in our night sky and arguably the most

useful constellation in the night sky

when it comes down to celestial

navigation why because this single

constellation allows us to locate our

North Star which goes by the name of

Polaris how why who what where give me

the deets well alright then okay look at

Ursa Major and its sauce panty

aesthetics focus on the two stars

furthest away from the handle

the far end the tip of the cup we shall

refer to them as the pointers now just

create an imaginary line that extends

outward sign from the bottom star

through the top keep going with this

imaginary line and you'll bump into

something very significant in our sky

this star that you bump into will be

significantly brighter than any other

closely surrounding stars it's one of

the brightest stars in our night sky

Polaris the North Star which belongs to

the constellation of Ursa Minor it is

this star that every other star revolves

around relative to our perspective it

remains motionless and fixated in the

sky I'll talk about why there is a bit

later but once you have located Ursa

Major created this imaginary line that

leads you to Polaris you have found the

North Star faced directly towards

Polaris and you will be facing north

turn 180 degrees you'll be facing south

easy right it is easy one constellation

one line leads you to one bright star

done GG easy directions but hold the

phone Jeff nothing is ever that easy

order the time now this is all well and

good when we have visibility of this

region of the sky but you got to take

into account the variable of mother

nature being on her period she might

decide to throw clouds and [ __ ] all up

in your business

Ursa Major may be visible but following

the imaginary line leads you to the

constellation of godddamn clouds well

great thanks no worries though we can

get over this hurdle take the distance

of the two stars furthest away from the

handle the pointers and extend it by six

times the distance in the direction of

the alignment of those two stars don't

do it downwards that's wrong upwards the

same way we did last time with the cup

this extension will lead you to the

general vicinity of Polaris face and

walk towards this point in the clouds

and you will be heading north six times

the distance of the two stars furthest

away from the handle I'm just repeating

that for emphasis easily done now let's

talk about some other times where

obstruction may be an issue as the stars

naturally revolve around Polaris

speaking relatively

it's natural for there to be periods

where it's very low on our horizon and

pretty high in our horizon it depends

which way you're facing really if you're

facing south then you know you could

have to break your neck backwards to

look at it unless you turn around but

let's say for example you're in the

middle of a forest and you've located a

small clearing in the canopy you're

optimistic you've got a decent view of

that portion of the sky if you can find

Ursa Major in this small clearing then

shits on the gods must be smiling down

upon you go buy a lottery ticket when

you get back but for the rest of the

unlucky bastards that's a long shot

because the trees will probably be

obscuring your view of it like wires

bases of hills or cliffs possible

obstruction so you know don't stand in

front of a bunch of trees if you have

the option not to because it can get

pretty low and I'm talking about to the

window to the wall so we've covered the

constellations we need to locate how to

use them to locate Polaris and some

considerations regarding low visibility

or obstruction one more thing though

take note that the constellation will

rotate you will observe or you may have

to look out for Ursa Major being upside

down or tipped upon its site it's a very

important thing to remember and to look

out for won't always be your typical

upright sort book but Ursa Major in and

of itself can be used as a guide as it

rotates within close proximity to the

North celestial pole the center of this

grid with Polaris a few degrees off of


anytime you're facing directly towards

Ursa Major you will either be facing

north east north or northwest so there

okay general directions but being

specific and utilizing the constellation

to its full potential is the best

practice but let's step back a bit why

does everything seemingly revolve around

Polaris what's so special about Polaris

why is it the North Star why is this

start in particular the star we used to

find north what is an off celestial Pole

well if we turn on the equatorial grid

this web of lines with its center within

degrees of Polaris that is our North

celestial Pole an explanation right

imagine this little person represents

our planet

sitting on a revolving vinyl player

needle which would hurt a bit let's

assume he's impervious to pain and this

little person is looking directly

upwards compare this to an imaginary

line extending outwards of the Earth's

north Geographic pole around this is a

bubble full of dots which represents

stars but hang a bat this final player

is rested on a gradient of 23 degrees

the little person's head is facing

directly towards this dot now so as the

little person keeps spinning around and

rotating on that needle this dot in

particular remains motionless everything

else seemingly revolves around this dot

from his point of reference that's him

is his North celestial pole in line with

the planets North Geographic pole as the

celestial pole is directly above and in

light of our planets North Pole whenever

we turn and face the North celestial

pole or a starlets in very close

proximity to it and walk towards it it

will take us upwards towards our North

Geographic pole which if we compare it

to the earth and space just take a

moment to get used to this perspective

and wait for the Sun to set how nice is

that whack of some annotations if you

visualize an imaginary line extending

outwards of our North Pole it will point

directly to Polaris the North Star or at

least a point in space that shares very

close proximity to the North Star so

when we face north and look up that's

the star we see that's to start from

which everything else revolves

relatively Polaris remains motionless

directly in line of a North Geographic

pole regardless of how much our planet

revolves or travels around the Sun walk

towards it you'll head to the north

geographic pole North celestial pole

Polaris you dig it good so there you go

finding Polaris simple locate Ursa Major

which is one of the largest most visible

and most recognizable constellations in

the sky follow the imaginary line from

the tip of the cup he will lead you to

Polaris or if visibility is obscured

then multiply the distance of the two

stars on the far end of the cup by six

and you'll be looking in the general

vicinity of Polaris face directly

towards it you'll be facing north

so Laster I'll leave you with this

two-minute simulation if you'd like to

observe how everything moves across the