This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Stars And Navigation Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

Which Stars Can You Use for Navigation in Different Parts of the World?
Related Links
Science Fair Project Guide
Astronomy Project Ideas
Project Summary
Difficulty 2
Time required Very short (a day or less)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards

In this experiment you can determine which stars to use to navigate in each hemisphere of the globe.
Does your new family car have a global positioning system, or GPS unit? This amazing device can tell you where you are going while traveling by car, airplane, boat or train. Most modern navigation is done using GPS, which uses information from ...view middle of the document...

Occasionaly they would navigate long distances across the Atlantic Ocean in the summer. During these voyages they could not have used stars to navigate because at such northern latitudes the sun never sets during the summer months. Instead they used a sun compass, which could tell them direction by casting a curved shadow onto a disk with notches carved on it.
Ancient Greeks: The ancient Greeks learned to voyage around Europe and the Mediteranean Sea. Two major advances in navigation were made by Ptolemy, a famous Greek astronomer. Ptolemy was the first to make maps using stories from travellors and sailors. He also was the first to use latitude and longitude to tell position on a map.
Europeans: Eventually, Europeans learned to navigate using a magnetic compass and an accurate clock. How did they navigate before the discovery of the compass? They had the advantage of using Ptolemy's maps to show them where to go and primarily used coastal navigation. To orient themselves they used basic celestial navigation, which means that they used information from the stars and from the sun to orient themselves. The rising and setting of the sun could orient them East or West. The positions of navigational stars could orient them North and South.
Which stars are important for navigation? There are several, but the most famous navigational stars are the North Star, called Polaris, and the Southern Cross. The North Star (Polaris) is a part of the constellation Ursa Minor, commonly known as the Little Dipper. The Southern Cross is a constellation of four stars called Crixa, two of which point towards the celestial south pole.
Depending on where you are in the world and where you want to go, one navigational star will be more important than the other. In this experiment you can use the internet to find a star chart from anywhere in the world. You can look for the North Star and the Southern Cross from different locations around the world to see which star to use for navigation.
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research
To do this type of experiment you should know what the following terms mean. Have an adult help you search the Internet, or take you to your local library to find out more!
North Star (Polaris)
Little Dipper (Ursa Minor)
Southern Cross (Crixa)

Other Essays Like Stars and Navigation

Greek Contributions To Thought And Science

1488 words - 6 pages stars and divided the stars that he could see into classes of apparent brightness. Hipparchus estimated the size and distance of the moon, found a way to predict eclipses, as well as calculated the length of the year to within 6 and 1/2 minutes.Greek view of nature was dramatic. They believed there was an end to each thing. The center of the universe was the end of motion for those things that were heavy and the celestial spheres were the end of

Amelia Earhart - Essay

962 words - 4 pages near Japanese region was allowed to be searched. Briand’s suggestions are probable and realistic, but still have little support. (Briand) According to Fred Goerner’s The Search for Amelia Earhart, Goerner thinks that Fred Noonan made too many mistakes on the trip and was to blame for their disappearance. He explains that there were cloudy skies so it was hard for Noonan to navigate through the stars. Also, Noonan’s compass could have been

Haitian Cholera Experience

795 words - 4 pages for a young patient in our care. In the morning I met the family, and though it was a bit unsettling, received a blessing from the same woman. When I had the chance to look to the heavens, I was struck by the beauty of the evening sky. One of my fondest memories was pointing out Orion’s Belt in the night sky to our Haitian security guard and his sharing the Haitian names for the stars in Orion’s Belt and how they were used for navigation

The Immediate Benefits Realized by Humanity in the Pursuit of Space Exploration

1868 words - 8 pages Launchpad are now used in cars, on fishing tackle, and for simple jobs around the house. One would be remiss if they did not make mention of the spinoffs of computer technology, as associated with the developments made by NASA in their quest to reach the stars (, 2009). The gaming industry has benefited in no small way from NASA’s innovations. “The first miniature, wearable tracker for virtual reality applications was developed

A Day Without Geomagnetism

1792 words - 8 pages would have turned off and eventually the solar wind could have blown the atmosphere away. A day without earth’s magnetic field would be a day of extinction, perhaps mass extinction for many species. Magnetic Navigation By Birds, Animals and Sea Creatures: One of the first concrete signs that animals can tap into the magnetic field was observed, as in many great discoveries in science, by chance. It was the fall of 1957, and Hans Fromme, a

Bird Migration

2103 words - 9 pages them to know when to depart and that orient them toward a specific location over long distances. However, they also find their way to their destination in vary different ways such as they can navigate by the sun or the stars. An internal clock mechanism enables birds to use the sun as a point of orientation, determining the angle of the sun above the horizon. Nocturnal migrants may also use the stars to get their bearings. They have very good

What Is Computer

3447 words - 14 pages day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes. Diurnal motion From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search | This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2009) | Diurnal motion is an astronomical term referring to the apparent daily motion of stars around the Earth, or more

The Origins Of Modern Science

3252 words - 14 pages Human Nature, whether in the form of ceaseless questioning, or sexual desire, seeps through the walls of any dam that is meant to restrain it. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), a Polish astronomer, theorized that Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun. Through observations made by the naked eye, Copernicus concluded that the plants, moon and stars did not circle the earth at the same speeds. These ideas are what set him apart from

The Separation Of Capital Ownership And Control

1577 words - 7 pages The argument of whether the separation of capital ownership and control is an efficient form of organization has constantly been a controversial issue. The criticism whether the controllers’ act is in the best interest of the owners’ wills never end as long as hired managers operate management. As the number of public companies has been increasing over the course of this century, meanwhile the American style of contact based corporation has

The Versatility And Flexibility Of OLED's

1014 words - 5 pages In April 1, 2002, organic light emitting diodes gain rise in the scientific community with their published, more practical form at Ames Laboratory. “Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have developed and demonstrated a novel, fluorescence-based chemical sensor that is more compact, versatile and less expensive than existing technology of its

Comparing The Moral Virtues Of Antony And Julian The Apostate

1103 words - 5 pages Roman emperor Julian the Apostate and Christian leader Antony both exhibited many qualities of character during their existence. Both of them led very distinctive lives although shared several ethical values. Book 25 of “The Later Roman Empire” and the book “Early Christian Lives” show concrete evidence of this. In the following essay, I will argue how both leaders’ lives were devoted to their religious beliefs and their mutual cardinal virtues

Related Papers

Rnp Radio Navigation Performance Essay

2546 words - 11 pages REQUIRED NAVIGATION PERFORMANCE/AREA NAVIGATION GUIDE ANNEXURE – 4 ARINC 424 Path terminators ARINC. Formally known as the Air Radio Corporation of America. ARINC424, the industry standard for the transmission of aeronautical information databases for aircraft flight management system (FMS) use. Path and Terminator (“Path Terminator”). A two-letter code, which defines a specific type of flight path along a segment of a procedure

Trigonometry Essay

652 words - 3 pages REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS OF TRIGNOMETRY: 1) NAVIGATION & ASTRONOMY: Triangulation is an application of trigonometry is used by astronomers to calculate the distance to the nearby stars. In geography, it is used to measure distance between landmarks. It is also used in satellites for navigation. For example: A pilot taking off from Dubai has to know the angle to takeoff and angle to learn from which he has to turn the

Pacific Explorers Essay

1804 words - 8 pages Andrew Sharp claims in his Ancient Voyagers in the Pacific published in 1956 that the Pacific Islanders did not possess the necessary navigational and sailing technology to deliberately navigate the distances between islands of the Pacific when colonizing these islands. He claims colonization was random and accidental. However, more recent studies from 1972 on of Pacific navigation suggest deliberate navigation and colonization was possible and

Week 1 Sci 151 Essay

1285 words - 6 pages position in it? a. The Milky Way galaxy is where our solar system is located in the universe. b. The Milky Way galaxy is home to over 100 billion stars and the Sun is one of those stars. 3) What is the Big Bang and what does it say about the age of the universe? a. The Big Bang is when the universe began. b. The Big Bang is thought to have happened about 14 billion years ago. 4) What is meant by the phase “looking out in the universe is