Finding North from unclear sky around September.

Finding North from unclear sky around September.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. 168).

#find North, #finding North, #direction, #by stars, #Altair, #Fomalhaut, #September, #unclear sky,

Finding North from unclear sky around September.

Around September there are some bright stars shining the whole night. They include Deneb close to the Celestial North pole and Fomalhaut in the Southern sky. These stars can be used to locate the Celestial poles in the sky and subsequently the terrestrial principal directions.

1. Celestial poles and terrestrial directions.

Sun on Celestial Sphere

Figure: The Sun, the Moon and the stars are attached to a Celestial sphere which encloses the Earth like a giant rotating cage.

To an Earth bound observer, the Earth appears to be enclosed by a large rotating spherical shell called the Celestial Sphere with all stars attached to it. This shell rotates around the Earth nearly one revolution every 24 hous. This rotation leaves unmoved only 2 points on the shell. They are called the Northern and Southern Celestial poles of the Celestial Sphere.

If an observer can locate one Celestial pole then the projection to the ground of the line from him to the pole will be along his terrestrial North South direction.

2. Locating the Northern Celestial Pole in Northern hemisphere.

Figure: Polar Inversion map for the Northern Celestial hemisphere. The map should be read with its September marking on its rim pointing towards the ground as illustrated here.
An observer has to align the polar map with marking for September on the rim (at 6 o’clock position) pointing downward. An observer in Northern latitude above 30 degrees will see the rotation of bright stars Vega, Deneb [1], Cassiopeia constellation, bright star Capella then Big Dipper constellations in that order.

Cassiopeia goes highest around 01am.

The bisector of the M shaped Cassiopeia goes through the Northern Celestial pole. The Northern Celestial pole is almost 30 degree below Cassiopeia.

Sky map Northern 3/4 sphere

Figure 2: Polar Inversion map of Northern Celestial 3/4 sphere.

3. Locating the Southern Celestial pole in Southern hemisphere.

Figure: Polar Inversion map for the Southern Celestial hemisphere. The map should be read with its September marking on its rim pointing towards the ground as illustrated here.

Sky map Southern 3/4 sphere

Figure: Polar Inversion map of Southern Celestial 3/4 sphere.

An observer has to align the polar map with marking for September on the rim pointing downward as illustrated here. An observer in Southern hemisphere or on the tropical zone would see Achernar [1] rising highest around 2am. Southern Celestial pole is the midpoint of Achernar and the two Pointers and is about 30 degree from Achernar.

 

4. Locating the Celestial poles from tropical stars.

A observer in the tropic should already know the two brightest stars Scorpius Antares (at the heart) and Scorpius Shaula (at the stinger end) of the Scorpius [1]. The straight line from Antares to Shaula goes through the bright star Fomalhaut which is of 60 degree distances from both Scorpius Shaula and Altair [1] which is a star of July and is close to the Celestial equator.

Figure 2: The Mercator map of the sky for inhabitants of Tropical Zone. North direction is on its top. 24hr of R.A. is near the center and R.A. increases towards the left (East) of the map. The map is to be read South side up in the Southern hemisphere.

Figure: Fomalhaut and its nearby stars.

The bisector of the angle Shaula, Altair, Fomalhaut points to the Southern Celestial pole.

Southern Celestial pole is is of 90 degree distance from Altair and of equal 60 degree from both Scorpius Shaula and Fomalhaut.

5. Visibility of the stars.

Scorpius Altairs and Scorpius Shaula are stars of June that set close to midnight when viewed from tropical zone. Altair is a star of July that sets close to 02 am. Fomalhaut is visible for nearly the whole night in September.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky in April, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around July, posted on 2018, May 13.

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky in April, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around April, posted on 2018, April 12.

[3]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, posted on 2018, April 05.

[4]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015

[5]. , posted on

[6]. The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

[7].The Scorpius constellation., posted January 8, 2017

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Finding true North and time from the Sun with your fingers.

Finding true North and time from the Sun with your fingers.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No. 149)

#find North, #finding North, #find true North, #North, #true North, #navigation, #find time, #time, #Sun, #fingers,

Finding true North and time from the Sun with your fingers.

There are times when you neither have your watch nor can use any magnetic compass in the location but you want to find out the North-South directions and the time. This method is useful for those such difficult situations. Those situations may arise if you get lost without having your watch while traveling or if you find yourself without your watch while traveling inside a bus or a train. The method from this article gives both the true North direction and the local time from the position of the Sun using only your fingers.

Required preparatory practices

1. Practice holding each of your hands in the three principal postures as illustrated in the following three figures.

Summer Solstice

Equinox

Winter Solstice

Figures: Hand postures for Summer Solstice, Equinox and Winter Solstice. Click on individual figure to enlarge.

If this practice cannot be carried out due to body deformity or illness (such as rheumatism) then some other method of finding North should be used instead.

The equinox posture is to be used around Mar 21st and Sep 23rd equinoxes while Summer and Winter Solstice postures are to be used around your local Summer and Winter solstices respectively.

The index finger in these postures is always aligned with the forearm and is to be kept in line with the line from the elbow to the tip of the index finger.

The angle between the index and the middle fingers should have value of:
90 degrees for Equinox posture
90-23= 67degrees for Winter Solstice posture and
90+23= 113 degrees for Summer Solstice posture. The above angles for Summer Solstice, Equinox and Winter Solstice postures are equal to the angles between a clock hand pointing at 0 minutes and
19 minutes,
15 minutes,
11 minutes respectively. These angles are represented by angles between positions of watch hands on a watch face shown in two following figures.

EcoDriveDuo

Summer Solstice

EcodriveDuo2

Winter Solstice

Figures: Angles between fingers for hand postures at Summer Solstice, Equinox and Winter Solstice are represented by angles between positions of watch hands on this watch face. The long white hand pointing at 0 minute of the watch-face represents the direction of the left index finger of the user of this method while the long red hand represents the direction of his left middle finger (see text).

The long white hand pointing at 0 minute of the watch-face represents the direction of the left index finger of the user of this method while the long red hand represents the direction of his left middle finger.

The angle between the hands on each watch-face has been chosen to match the angle between the line to the Sun on the respective date and the line to the Celestial pole below the horizon. The angle between the red hand and the thick white hand pointing at 15 minutes represent the declination angle of the Sun (or its negative, depending on the observer being in the Southern or Northern terrestrial hemisphere). The variation of that angle through various dates of the year can be found in previous blogs [1,2].

solar-declination-by-a-watch-face

Figure: Determining solar declination using a watch face. (The lines “SOLAR DECLINATION Its rough estimate is required for Fine Alignment of the watch” are to be ignored.)

2. Determine the slope to your Celestial pole.

Sun on Celestial Sphere

Figure: The Sun, the Moon and the stars are attached to a Celestial sphere which encloses the Earth like a giant rotating cage. The cage rotates around the Celestial axis (in cyan-blue color) joining the its two points called the Celestial poles. The horizontal ground of an observer at the center of the celestial sphere is represented by the horizontal great circle of the Celestial sphere while his line of sight to the Celestial pole is represented by the cyan-blue arrow.

The slope from level ground surface to the line of sight to the visible Celestial pole is called the latitude of your place. Practice recognizing it.

Find a level ground. On a clear night set up a stick pointing from the ground to the Celestial pole. In the Northern hemisphere the Celestial pole has a star (Polaris) while in the Southern hemisphere it is only a point on the geometrical figure formed by circum-polar stars. Such a stick is constructed as a shadow rod in any “builder clock”.

Figure: A “builder clock”. The shadow rod of this clock is set to point towards the Celestial pole in the sky.

The inclined shaddow rod on a “Builder Clock” points toward the Celestial pole in the sky when the clock is properly setup with its base in the true North-South direction.

The angle between the stick pointing to the Celestial pole and the ground is called the latitude of the location. The angle between the stick and a vertical plumb line is (90° – latitude). You need to practice recognizing this angle. (Knowing this angle also help you quickly find the Celestial pole from the stars).

Figure: The Northern Celestial pole is the center of this map of the Northern sky.

Figure: The Southern Celestial pole is the center of this map of the Southern sky.

3. Practice reading in degrees the angles between positions of hands on a clock face.

The angle between a hand pointing at 0 minute and another one pointing at
5 minutes is 30 degrees,
10 minutes is 60 degrees,
15 minutes is 90 degrees,
20 minutes is 120 degrees,
25 minutes is 150 degrees,
30 minutes is 180 degrees.

8 Steps for finding true North and time.

1. Determine the current season in the year to select the appropriate hand posture.

The equinox posture is to be used around Mar 21st and Sep 23rd equinoxes while Summer and Winter Solstice postures are to be used around your local Summer and Winter soltices respectively (Each posture can be used for its whole month and a solstice posture can also be used for two adjacent months.).

If the season in the year cannot be determined (as in the case of inhabitants living in artificial environment for years), use the hand posture for equinox days.

2. Determine whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere.

3. Determine if you are in the morning (the Sun is rising before noon) or in the afternoon (the Sun is setting after noon)

This step is needed to select the appropriate hand for the task.

4. Select and use only the appropriate hand for the task:

4a. Northern hemisphere: LEFT hand in the morning THEN RIGHT hand in the afternoon.
4b.Southern hemisphere:RIGHT hand in the morning THEN LEFT hand in the afternoon.

5. Point the index finger to the Sun with your middle finger in its comfortable, nearly horizontal position.

6. Twist the forearm and hand until the middle finger makes with the level ground an angle equal to the latitude angle.

This is illustrated in the two figures.

Find North by Left Hand

Figure: Finding the meridian (true North-South) line with the left hand.

Find North by Right Hand

Figure: Finding the meridian (true North-South) line with the right hand.

7. The projection of the middle finger onto the ground now points exactly away from the terrestrial pole of your hemisphere.

The middle finger now points to the Celestial pole below the horizon, in other terms it points directly away from the visible Celestial pole in the sky.

8. Looking along that direction pointed by the middle finger and imagining a 24-hour clock dial attached to that axis give a natural clock giving time in the day.

Find time by divider

Figure: The line CB to the Sun form the hour hand of a 24 hour clock. This clock face is for Northern hemisphere. In Northern hemisphere the hand sweeps clockwise while in Southern hemisphere it sweeps anticlockwise.

The time given by the natural clock is the local time which has noon when the Sun is highest in the sky. Local time differs from the zonal time selected by the government.

9. Around noon time, either left or right hand can be used. The terrestrial North South line is determined with least accuracy around noon time.

10. On the terrestrial equator, either selection of 4a or 4b can be applied. The middle finger of the selection 4a points at true terrestrial South while that of 4b points at true terrestrial North.

Figure: Summary of the method of finding true North and time from the Sun.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding directions and time using the Sun and a divider., posted on May 6, 2015.

wpid-dividermwp3e2c2.jpg

find North by the Sun

[2]. https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/good-approximation-to-solar-declination-by-a-watch-face/

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NAVIGATION (Celestial).

The Sun, the Moon and identifiable stars are used to work out North direction and time in this section.

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Finding accurate directions by a watch .. Posted on May 12, 2015.. This is my novel technique.

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Finding North and time by stars. Posted on August 28, 2015

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. Posted on May 25, 2016

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. Posted on April 05, 2018

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Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars, posted on October 7, 2016

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Finding time to Sunset with bare hands. Posted on November 11, 2015 .This is my novel improvement for improved accuracy.

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Finding time to Sunrise with star maps, Posted on January 9, 2016 . This is a novel application for star-maps.

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Finding direction, distance and navigating to a distant base by stars (Part 1). Posted on January 27, 2016 . This is a novel application for direction of stars in the sky.

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Sky map Southern 3/4 sphere

Finding direction, distance and navigating to a distant base by stars, fine reading of latitude (Part 2).. Posted on February 6, 2016. This is a novel way of accurately arriving at any chosen destination latitude using no instrument.

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NAVIGATION using only constellations.

The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

The Scorpius constellation, posted on January 8, 2017

The Southern Cross Pointer stars, posted February 26, 2018

NAVIGATION (Terrestrial).

Measuring angles and distances for outdoor survival, posted on June 29, 2016

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NAVIGATION (Instrumental).

Finding North with a lensatic compass, posted on August 21, 2017

Compass-Magnetic

Determining local magnetic declination by a magnetic compass, posted on March 31, 2016

Compass-Magnetic

, posted on June 14, 2016

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Selecting and using magnetic compasses, posted on July 9, 2016

Compass Lensatic Jap

Shadow stick navigation and graph of solar paths, posted August 19, 2016

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Using GPS in off-grid situations, posted December 06, 2016

Adding longitude and latitude lines to a map, posted August 23, 2017

Map w Coordinates

Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted January 17, 2017

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Finding North direction and time using geological features, plants and animals, posted August 04, 2017

FIRE MAKING.

Making fire and lighting cigarettes with sunlight. Posted on February 27, 2016

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Quick fire making using sunlight, posted on January 4, 2017

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Mirror for making fire using sunlight., posted on April 13, 2016

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Predicting-the-temperature-of-a-habitat, posted on August 31, 2017

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, posted October 23, 2018

Pushing away

FOOD

Rice as emergency food., posted December 24, 2016

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Dried-sweet-fruits-as-energy-food, posted December 24, 2017

Air-grown-mung-bean-sprouts-for-food, posted March 07, 2016

MISCELLANEOUS

Old maps:

Interesting maps of old Saigon , posted on March 20, 2016 .

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Detecting Counterfeit Currency

Detecting Counterfeit Currency, US dollars, posted on July 15, 2016

Hologram

, posted on November 15, 2016

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Cashless bartering

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Other languages:

Survival-topics-available-in-other-languages , posted on june 18, 2017 .

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Finding North from unclear sky around July.

Finding North from unclear sky around July.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.130).

#find North, #finding North, #direction, #by stars, #Vega, #Deneb, #Altair, #July, #unclear sky

Around July there are some bright stars shining the whole night. They include Vega, Altair and Deneb. These three stars can be used to locate the Celestial poles in the sky and subsequently the terrestrial principal directions.

1. Celestial poles and terrestrial directions.

Sun on Celestial Sphere

Figure: The Sun, the Moon and the stars are attached to a Celestial sphere which encloses the Earth like a giant rotating cage.
To an Earth bound observer, the Earth appears to be enclosed by a large rotating spherical shell called the Celestial Sphere with all stars attached to it. This shell rotates around the Earth nearly one revolution every 24 hous. This rotation leaves unmoved only 2 points on the shell. They are called the Northern and Southern Celestial poles of the Celestial Sphere.

If an observer can locate one Celestial pole then the projection to the ground of the line from him to the pole will be along his terrestrial North South direction.

2. Locating the Northern Celestial Pole in Northern hemisphere.

Figure: Polar Inversion map for the Northern Celestial hemisphere. The map should be read with its July marking (at 4 o’clock position) on its rim pointing towards the ground.
An observer has to align the polar map with marking for July on the rim (at 4 o’clock position) pointing downward. An observer in Northern latitude above 30 degrees will see the rotation of three bright stars Vega, Deneb, Capella then Big Dipper constellations in that order.

Vega and Deneb go highest around 24 hr.

The bisector of the line Vega Deneb goes through the Northern Celestial pole. The pole is almost of equal distances of 45 degrees from each of them.

3. Locating the Southern Celestial pole in Southern hemisphere.

Figure: Polar Inversion map for the Northern Celestial hemisphere. The map should be read with its July marking (at 8 o’clock position) on its rim pointing towards the ground.
An observer has to align the polar map with marking for July on the rim (at 8 o’clock position) pointing downward. An observer in Southern hemisphere or on the tropical zone would see the Southern Cross Pointers highest around 18 hr, then Antares around 20 hr. Achernar is seen rising before Sunrise. The midpoint between the Pointers and Achernar is almost the Southern Celestial pole.

4. Locating the Celestial poles from tropical stars.

A observer in the tropic should already know the very bright star Bootes and the bright star Antares in the Scorpius constellation used in April.

Figure 1: Photograph of Spica (near the bottom edge), Bootes Arcturus (near the right edge) and Antares (1/8 of the width from the left edge) forming a triangle. Celestial North is at 01 o’clock position (30 degree clockwise from vertical) in this photo. There is a very bright planet (1/2 from left edge, 1/3 from bottom) traveling on the Ecliptic in this photo.

Figure 2: The Mercator map of the sky for inhabitants of Tropical Zone. North direction is on its top. 24hr of R.A. is near the center and R.A. increases towards the left (East) of the map. The map is to be read South side up in the Southern hemisphere.

On the trailing side of Bootes Arcturus and Antares, (click the above Mercator map for details) there is a bright star of equal distances of 60 degrees to both of them. This star is Altair, which is as bright as Antares.

Following the line Antares to Bootes Arcturus, turning anti-clockwise by 90 degrees at Bootes Arcturus and traveling for 60 degrees takes us to Vega, which is as bright as Bootes Arcturus. The line (Antares, Arcturus) is nearly at right angle to the almost straight line (Spica, Arcturus, Vega).

The line (Bootes Arcturus, Antares) is nearly parallel to the line (Vega, Altair) which lie slightly nearer to Bootes Arcturus.

Vega is as bright as Bootes Arcturus while Altair is as bright as Antares.

Sky map Northern 3/4 sphere

Figure 3: Polar Inversion map of Northern Celestial 3/4 sphere. The line (Vega, Altair) is 30 degrees long and is nearly parallel to the line (Bootes Arcturus, Antares) which is 60 degrees long.

Rotate the line (Altair, Vega) about Altair by 10 degrees counter-clockwise give the great circle through the two Celestial poles. Northern Celestial pole is nearer to Vega and is 80 degrees from Altair. Southern Celestial pole is nearer to Altair and is 100 degrees from Altair.

Trailing 2 hour behind Vega is the bright star Deneb (see the Mercator star-map). (Vega, Altair, Deneb) is known as the Summer Triangle. The bisector of the angle Vega, Altair, Deneb points to the Northern Celestial pole.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 4: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.

5. Visibility of the stars.

Altair is visible for nearly the whole night in July. The Summer Triangle is visible for nearly the whole night in July. Click on the Mercator map for details.

6. CAUTION with planets
The Moon and planets travel on the Ecliptic. Observers should take care not to mistake any planet for Antares in the Scorpius constellation.
A planet is always brighter than any star, including Sirius, moves from night to night, and does not twinkle in clear sky.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky in April, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around April, posted on 2018, April 12.

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, posted on 2018, April 05.

[3]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015

[4]. , posted on

[5]. The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

[6].The Scorpius constellation., posted January 8, 2017

RELATED SURVIVAL BLOGS

Caution in finding North by bisector line of a horizontal watch. Posted on October 28, 2015

Finding directions and time using the Sun and a divider., posted on May 6, 2015. <<<—This is my MOST USEFUL novel technique.

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Finding North from unclear sky around April.

Finding North from unclear sky around April.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.124).

#find North, #finding North, #direction, #by stars, #Spica, #Bootes Arcturus, #Antares, #April, #unclear sky
Around April there are some bright stars shining the whole night. They include Spica, Bootes Arcturus and Antares. These three stars can be used to locate the Celestial poles in the sky and subsequently the terrestrial principal directions.

1. Celestial poles and terrestrial directions.

Sun on Celestial Sphere

Figure: The Sun, the Moon and the stars are attached to a Celestial sphere which encloses the Earth like a giant rotating cage.
To an Earth bound observer, the Earth appears to be enclosed by a large rotating spherical shell called the Celestial Sphere with all stars attached to it. This shell rotates around the Earth nearly one revolution every 24 hous. This rotation leaves unmoved only 2 points on the shell. They are called the Northern and Southern Celestial poles of the Celestial Sphere.

If an observer can locate one Celestial pole then the projection to the ground of the line from him to the pole will be along his terrestrial North South direction.

2. Locating the Northern Celestial Pole in Northern hemisphere.

Figure 1: Stars in the Northern hemisphere rotates anticlockwise around the North pole.

An observer in Northern latitude above 30 degrees will see the rotation of three bright stars Vega, Deneb, Capella then Big Dipper constellations in that order.

Big Dipper constellation goes highest around 22 hr.

3. Locating the Southern Celestial pole in Southern hemisphere.

Figure 1: Stars in the sothern hemisphere rotates anticlockwise around the North pole.

An observer in Southern hemisphere or on the tropical zone would see the Southern Cross Pointers for the whole night.

4. Locating the Celestial poles from tropical stars.

Figure 1: The Mercator map of the sky for inhabitants of Tropical Zone. North direction is on its top. 24hr of R.A. is near the center and R.A. increases towards the left (East) of the map. The map is to be read South side up in the Southern hemisphere.

An Earth bound observer in Southern hemisphere or on the tropical zone can identify the forward swept broom (or a duck foot (?), a bird foot (?) or a tree with 3 upper branches (?)). formed by the brightest star Sirius and four surrounding bright stars Canopus, Orion-Rigel, Betelgeuse and Procyon. The line Canopus to Sirius make the 35 degrees long broomstick handle and three lines from Sirius to each of the other three stars form three branches of the forward swept broom head (see the star maps). Sirius to Procyon is the trailing branch of the (three branched) broom head.
Doubling the travel from Sirius to Procyon takes us to another bright star named Pollux.

Two thirds of the line from Procyon to Pollux is a point on the Ecliptic (the great circle containing the.Sun and all planets). Turning anticlockwise 100 degrees at this point and traveling by a distance of 40 degrees takes us to a less bright star Leo Regulus. Keeping the direction from that two thirds point to Leo Regulus and travel for another 50 degrees takes us to a brighter star Spica. Spica is 90 degree in distance from the that two thirds point. (Observers from the Southern Hemisphere may also see that the great circle arc going through the long axis of the Southern Cross goes by 50 degrees to get very close to Spica. Draw the line from Southern Cross to Spica and then turns 30 degrees anticlockwise and continue for another 30 degrees to reach Bootes Arcturus.)

Turning clockwise by 90 degrees at Spica to leave the Ecliptic and traveling by 30 degrees takes us to a much brighter unmistakable star Bootes Arcturus.

Instead of turning right toward Bootes Arcturus, traveling along the Ecliptic for another 50 degrees take us to a bright star Antares in the Scorpius (Observers from the Southern Hemisphere may also see that Antares is 45 degrees clockwise and 45 degrees distance from the direction of dim Pointer to bright Pointer.).

Figure: Antares is the bright star in the Scorpius constellation which has the shape of a declawed scorpion. Two bright objects on the third top of the photo are planets traveling on the Ecliptic. Northern Celestial pole is from the top left (11 o’clock) direction of the photo.

The stars Spica, Bootes Arcturus, Antares form an arrow-head pointing North.

The midpoint of the great circle arc from Spica to Bootes Arcturus is almost on the Celestial equator. Rotating this arc clockwise by 30 degrees makes its extension goes through both Celestial poles. Northern Celestial pole is 90 degrees from the midpoint and on the side of Bootes Arcturus. Southern Celestial pole is 90 degrees from the midpoint and on the side of Spica.

The internal bisector of the angle formed by (Spica, Bootes Arcturus, Antares) points to the Southern Celestial pole while its rearward extension points to the Northern Celestial pole.

Figure: Photograph of Spica (near the bottom edge), Bootes Arcturus (near the right edge) and Antares (1/8 of the width from the left edge) forming a triangle. Celestial North is at 01 o’clock position (30 degree clockwise from vertical) in this photo. There is a very bright planet (1/2 from left edge, 1/3 from bottom) traveling on the Ecliptic in this photo.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 2: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.

5. Visibility of the stars.
Orion constellation, Sirius and its surrounding stars are visible after Sunset. Spica, Bootes Arcturus and Antares are all visible for nearly the whole night in April.

Figure 1: Azimuth and elevation angles of stars for equatorial observers.

Figure 2: Azimuth and elevation angles of stars for observers on 30 degrees North latitude.

Figure 3: Azimuth and elevation angles of stars for observers on 30 degrees South latitude.

6. CAUTION with planets
The Moon and planets travel on the Ecliptic. Observers should take care not to mistake any planet for a navigational bright star.
A planet is always brighter than any star, including Sirius, moves from night to night, and does not twinkle in clear sky.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North from unclear sky around New Year, posted on 2018, April 05.

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015

[3]. , posted on

[4]. The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

[5].The Scorpius constellation., posted January 8, 2017

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Finding North from unclear sky around New Year.

 

Finding North from unclear sky around New Year.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.121).

#find North, #finding North, #direction, #by stars, #Sirius, #Canopus, #Orion-Rigel, #Capella, #New Year, #unclear sky
Around New Year there are some bright stars shining the whole night. They include Sirius, Canopus, Orion-Rigel and Capella. These four stars can be used to locate the Celestial poles in the sky and subsequently the terrestrial principal directions.

1. Celestial poles and terrestrial directions.

Sun on Celestial Sphere

Figure: The Sun, the Moon and the stars are attached to a Celestial sphere which encloses the Earth like a giant rotating cage.

To an Earth bound observer, the Earth appears to be enclosed by a large rotating spherical shell called the Celestial Sphere with all stars attached to it. This shell rotates around the Earth nearly one revolution every 24 hours. This rotation leaves unmoved only 2 points on the shell. They are called the Northern and Southern Celestial poles of the Celestial Sphere.

If an observer can locate one Celestial pole then the projection to the ground of the line from him to the pole will be along his terrestrial North South direction.

2. Locating the Northern Celestial Pole.

Orion by Samsung GN2

Figure: Photo of the Orion constellation (Photo added 2018 May 09). Northern Celestial pole is from the top direction of this photo.

An Earth bound observer in Northern hemisphere or on the tropical zone can identify the Orion constellation around New Year. The front foot of the hunter represented by this constellation is the bright star Orion-Rigel. The trailing shoulder of the hunter is the bright star Betelgeuse.

The brightest star in the sky is Sirius. The great circle arc Sirius to Capella is 70 degrees long with Betelgeuse being close to its midpoint.
Extending the great circle arc Orion-Rigel to Capella to 100 degrees long bring us practically to the Celestial North pole.

star map mercatorx1p6

Figures 1a, 1b: The Mercator maps of the sky for inhabitants of Tropical Zone. North direction is on its top. 24hr of R.A. is near the center and R.A. increases towards the left (East) of the map. The map is to be read South side up in the Southern hemisphere.

3. Locating the Southern Celestial pole.

An Earth bound observer in Southern hemisphere or on the tropical zone can identify the Orion constellation around New Year. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and it is behind the trailing foot of the hunter.
Canopus is the next brightest star within 45 degrees of Sirius. The great circle arc Sirius to Canopus is nearly 35 degrees long. Doubling this arc bring us practically to the Southern Celestial pole.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 2: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.
4. Visibility of these four stars.
The four stars appear on the meridional line (the North South line through the zenith of the observer) near midnight of New Year.
They appear two hours earlier for each additional calendar month after that date.
Example:
In April, they appear on the meridional line at about 24 hr – (2 hr)×(4th-1st) = 18 hr. After 18 hr they slowly move to the setting (Western) side.

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The Southern Cross Pointer stars

 

The Southern Cross Pointer stars.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.111).

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#find North, #finding North, #navigation, #alpha Centauri, #Agena, #Southern Cross, #pointers, #constellation, #Scorpius,

The Southern Cross Pointer Stars.

Celestial navigators who do not use declination and right ascension begin their navigation by learning the various bright, easily unmistakable constellations in the sky (There are no more than 10 to learn beginning with Orion constellation. and Scorpius constellation.). In the Southern Hemisphere, the Pointers to Southern Cross constellation are next to be learnt as they are very bright and most easy to identify.

The two Pointer stars are two very bright stars (alpha Centauri and Agena) in the Southern Celestial hemisphere. They are very useful as they help identifying nearby navigational stars and consequently finding Southern Celestial pole for navigation.

These two bright stars are circumpolar and are both 30 degrees from to the Southern Celestial pole. They are seen late night in February, all night in May, early night in September.

Inhabitants of Southern hemisphere need only to identify Alpha Centauri (brighter star of the pair), Agena (dimmer star of the pair), and Achernar in the clockwise direction (all at 60° South declination) to find the Southern Celestial pole which is at the center of the circle of 30 degrees in radius through these three stars. Achernar is almost 60 degree from the Pointers (alpha Centauri, Agena) and is opposite them across the Southern Celestial Pole.

Figure: Pointer stars pointing to the Southern Cross on a Polar Skymap for Southern hemisphere.

Extending the line alpha Centauri-Agena (from brighter to dimmer Pointer) by 8 degrees takes us to the Southern Cross Constellation. Then turning clockwise by 50 degrees and extending by an additional 50 degrees takes us to the very bright Canopus star which is nearly 40 degrees from the Southern Celestial pole.

In the opposite direction, extending the line Agena-alpha Centauri (from dimmer Pointer to brighter Pointer) by about 30 degrees takes us to the stinger tail of the large, distinctive Scorpius constellation (this line goes on for another 40 degrees to reach the bright tropical star Altair). From the direction of the line Agena-alpha Centauri (from dimmer to brighter Pointer) turn clockwise by 50 degrees and travel by about 45 degrees from alpha Centauri takes us to the moderately bright star Antares at the heart of the Scorpion.

Figure: Locating an individual star in a crowded area is easily carried out using a folded piece of cardboard: The folding line is aimed at the first known star, one cardboard flap is aligned to contain the second known star. The other flap is then opened to the required angle (marked 1) and the angle to the target star (marked 2) can be read.

2. The Southern Cross.

The Southern Cross is a useful navigational constellation. Its long axis goes through the Southern Celestial pole (which is also nearly on the bisector of the Pointer Stars and is also nearly on the line through Sirius and Canopus) in one direction and goes through the Northern Celestial pole in the opposite direction.

Turning slightly by 20 degrees anticlockwise toward the trailing’ side (Eastern side) from this direction to the Northern Celestial pole and travel by a distance of about 50 degrees from the Southern Cross takes us to the bright star Spica. Turning more anticlockwise towards the Eastern side by an additional 15 degrees from that direction and traveling an additional distance of about 30 degrees takes us next to the very bright star Bootes Arcturus (The direction from Spica to Bootes Arcturus is pointing about 25 degrees to the trailing side, Eastward, from the direction of a great circle arc toward the Northern Celestial pole.).

3. The dates of Pointers to Southern Cross.

Figure 1: The dates of Agena and alpha Centauri from the table of star dates.

The Pointer stars are seen in late night in February, all night in May, and in early night in September.

4. Taking photos of the Pointers.

Figure 1: The Pointers and Southern Cross Constellation are in the lower right quarter of this phpto taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The original photo has been digitally enhanced.

The Pointers and Southern Cross constellation are adequately bright and their photos can be taken using a smart phone such as a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with no extra attachment.

The Pointers and 3 corner stars of the vertical Southern Cross are seen on the bottom right of the above two pictures. The dimmer fourth stars of the Southern Cross can be seen in the second photo. Antares is the bright star near the middle of the left border of the second picture. Antares and the front part of the Scorpius constellation are located near the center of the left border of the second picture (The very bright dot near the upper left corner of the picture is a planet.).

Figure 2: Photos of the Pointers and Southern Cross Constellation taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The original photos have been digitally enhanced.

The two bright Pointers are seen on the bottom right of this picture 2. The two brightest spots on the left half of this picture are two planets traveling on the Ecliptic. Antares is the bright star near the middle of the half left of this picture. Vertically above Antares is the front part of the Scorpius constellation. Vertically below Antares is the bright stinging tail of the Scorpius.

Figures 3: Photo of the Scorpius Constellation taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 at the same time. The original photos have been digitally enhanced.

The Scorpius constellation just mentioned is captured in the center of the third photo. There are four brightest dots on the top of the picture. The far right and far left dots are very bright and are two planets traveling on the ecliptic. The planets on the ecliptic sometimes make confusing the identification of the stars at the front of this constellation.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015

[2]. The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

[3].The Scorpius constellation., posted January 8, 2017

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When is Lunar New Year? (Khi nào là Tết Âm Lịch?)

 

When is Lunar New Year? (Khi nào là Tết Âm Lịch?)

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(Blog No.103).

#find North, #finding North, #Lunar calendar, #New Year, #Tết, #Âm Lịch, #Tết Nguyên Đán , #Tết Nguyên Tiêu,

When is Lunar New Year? (Khi nào là Tết Âm Lịch?)

To many Western and Vietnamese people, it is hard to tell when East Asian Lunar New Year (Tết Âm Lịch in Vietnamese) will come.

This blog gives an easy answer to that question.

1. The time for East Asian Lunar New Year.

The New Year begins with a New Moon. Each Lunar month span from one New Moon to the next one.

The month enclosing the December Solstice time (in December 21st) is defined to be the second last Lunar month of the year.

After that is one last month of the year and then comes the New Year Festival.

The rule gives people adequate time (more than one Lunar month) to prepare for the festival.

2. Example for 2018.

On the Solar New Year for 2018, the Moon was full. It was the 15th day of some Lunar month. Ten nights prior to that was the December Soltice (on December 21st). That night was the 5th night of that some Lunar month. That Lunar month is defined to be the second last (11th) month of the Lunar year. So the Solar New Year night was the 15th night of the 11th Lunar month.

Therefore the beginning of last Lunar month of the year is around Jan. 14th, while Lunar New Year is 29.5 days after that and is around Feb. 12th of 2018.

3. Tết Nguyên Đán and Tết Nguyên Tiêu.

The first New Moon in each Lunar year is called “Tết Nguyên Đán” in Vietnamese and the Full Moon following it is called “Tết Nguyên Tiêu”  (many Vienamese don’t know the words “Tết Nguyên Tiêu”), or more commonly “Lễ Hội Rằm Tháng Giêng”.

Ancient Chinese historical texts made many references to (yearly) First Full Moon Festivals but it is very hard to find any mention of (yearly) First New Moon Festivals.

So Chinese people have been celebrating the yearly Festivals of First Full Moon (with Moon lit nights). When and why the Festivals of First New Moon (with dark, stars lit nights) became more celebrated than the Festivals of First Full Moon is an interesting question.

It is seen in the following two figures that at Lunar New Year, the bright star Leo Regulus crosses the meridional plane near to midnight. At First Full Moon Festival, Leo Regulus crosses the meridional plane about 1 hour before midnight while the Full Moon crosses the meridional plane at midnight.

equatorial stars

Figure: Stars in tropical zone for beginners (Tropical zone). Click to enlarge figure.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 2: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.

4. Neighbouring countries may have their Lunar New Years differing by one month.

a. Soltice time can be accurately determined by watching the direction of the setting (or rising) Sun. When the azimuth angle of the setting Sun is plotted for consecutive days near solstice time it shows an increase then decrease (or the other way around). The time for the turn-around is the accurately determined solstice time. Solstice time is a global event and is the same for all locations on Earth.

b. New Lunar month begins on the day preceeding the night with the first view of a thin crescent on the trailing side of the  Moon (an initial New Moon.). New Lunar Month is a local event. The beginnings of new Lunar months differ for different locations on different longitude of the Earth.

c. It is rare occasions but we can sometimes observe that one country A begins its New Moon just before solstice while its neighbour B on the next time zone begins its New Moon just after solstice.

Therefore for the next Lunar month, country A is still in Lunar month 11 while its neighbour B is on is already in Lunar month 12.

Consequently country B has its Lunar New Year one Lunar month ahead of country A.

d. The months in these two countries will get synchronized again when the astronomical event marking Lunar month 2 falls into the Lunar months of both countries.

Example: Vietnamese (time zone +7) Lunar New Year in 1984 was earlier than Chinese (time zone +8) New Year by one Lunar month.

5. Neighbouring countries may also have their Lunar New Years differing by one day.

New Lunar month begins on the day preceeding the night with the first view of a thin crescent on the trailing side of the  Moon (an initial New Moon.). New Lunar Month is a local event. The beginnings of new Lunar months differ for different locations on different longitude of the Earth.
It is rare occasions but we can sometimes observe that one country A see no Moon for the night while its neighbour B on the next time zone sees a New Moon just before Sunrise.
Therefore for the next whole Lunar month, country A is behind its neighbour B by one Lunar calendar day.

If this happens at the end of a Lunar year, the Lunar New Year day of country A will be behind the Lunar New Year day of country B by one day.

Example: Vietnamese (time zone +7) Lunar New Year in 2007 was earlier than Chinese (time zone +8) New Year by one day.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Simple-determination-of-east-asia-lunisolar-new-year , posted on 2017 January 19th.

[2]. http://www.bbc.com/vietnamese/vietnam/story/2006/07/printable/060704_lichvietnam.shtml

[3]. https://m.thanhnien.vn/van-hoa/vi-sao-nam-nay-viet-nam-an-tet-truoc-trung-quoc-mot-ngay-317188.html

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Was New Year night chosen to have Sirius highest at midnight?

Was New Year night chosen to have Sirius highest at midnight?

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.102).

 

#find North, #finding North, #bright  star, #navigation, #Sirius, #New Year,

Was New Year night chosen to have Sirius highest at midnight?

When looking at the dates of the brightest stars, we cannot overlook the fact that the brightest star Sirius is highest on the Midnight of January 1st.

The question is was that the reason why January 1st was chosen on that date?

This question invites our thinking on ancient astronomy and time keeping.

The brightest stars and their dates are given in the following two figures.

Equatorial Stars2

Figure: Stars in tropical zone for beginners (Tropical zone). Click to enlarge figure.

Bright Stars 20 Plus 2

Figure 2: Table of 20 brightest +2 stars in order of appearance.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North direction and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/finding-north-and-time-by-stars/ , posted on August 28, 2015.

[2]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars in the tropics, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, https://survivaltricks.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/finding-north-and-time-by-stars-in-the-tropics/, posted on May 25, 2016

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