Identifying moderately bright navigational stars.

Identifying moderately bright navigational stars

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

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(blog No. 27).

#find north, #navigation, #survival, #moderate stars, #bright star, #Antares, #Fomalhaut, #direction, #distance, #great circle, #navigation, #stars, #neighbour stars, #sky map


Some navigational stars are only moderately bright although they are in the top 20 brightest stars. Antares and Fomalhaut are two such stars. They are used for navigation from September to November but are not easy to identify among their nearly as bright neighbours. The method for identifying them is to relate them to brighter neighbours which have been identified in previous periods of the year.
(GPS navigation cannot be relied on during periods of uncertainty. Traditional methods of navigation is still a necessary skill.)

Using an identifying map.
Knowing the date or even only the month of a star help locating parts of the sky where it may be found. The map giving distances and angles to its more distinctive neighbours then help its identification.

The maps are to be held such that its shown Celestial pole is pointing close to that actual Celestial pole whether it is in the sky or below the ground. The map is thus to be held in the star direction but oriented either upright or up-side-down.


Figure 1: Antares in Scorpii with its neighbours. The centering mark is the Southern Celestial pole.

Figure 2: Fomalhaut with Alpha, Beta Grus and their neighbours. The centering mark is the Southern Celestial pole.


Figure 3: Hamal in Aries and its brighter neighbours. The tail of the inverted Little Dipper in the North is the North pole.

The first two maps make easy the confusing identification process of these two Southern navigational stars for October.

The third map makes easy the identification process of the dim Northern star Hamal in Aries for November.


[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars in the tropics,,, posted on May 25, 2016

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

RELEVANT SURVIVAL blogs (Added after February, 2017)

, posted on May 06, 2015 .


find North by the Sun

Finding accurate directions using a watch, posted on May 19, 2015

Finding North direction and time using the hidden Sun via the Moon . Posted on July 6, 2015

Finding North direction and time accurately from the horn line of the Moon. Posted on August 12, 2015. This is my novel technique.


Finding North direction and time using the Moon surface features. Posted on July 1, 2015.


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

Finding North and time with unclear sky. Posted on October 17, 2015.


, posted July 22, 2016



Navigating with an AM MW radio receiver, posted January 17, 2017, The Scorpius constellation, posted January 8, 2017, The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016, Rice as emergency food., Using GPS in off-grid situations, Slide Sky-Disks with grid masks showing azimuths and altitudes, Slide Sky-Map for displaying tropical stars.

Click here for my other blogs on divider43.jpgSURVIVAL

Click here for my other blogs on divider43.jpgSURVIVAL

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