How do I find the North Star using the Plough (Big Dipper)

Learning to Sail – Celestial Navigation

We are often asked, how do I find the North Star using the plough, possibly the easiest way to discover it. Finding Polaris in the night sky is not that hard. There are a few ways, like taking time-lapse photography of the night sky, and seeing which one doesn’t move! There are of course much more practical ways used by navigators throughout history. This article from space.com on the North Star goes into much greater depth than we will

How do I find the North Star using the Plough How do I find the north star time lapse

Practically How do I find the North Star. Photography is, of course, not at all practical and a bit extreme unless you’re a photographer specialising in such images. We are going to suggest a much easier and simpler way to find the North Star. First, ensure you are in the northern hemisphere, if your not, never going to find the Star in the North. Even close to the equator, it will be hard, simply find Ursa Major/The Plough/The Big Dipper and head for that – it will be pretty small and North. So if you can see either of the constellations of the Big or Little Dipper, then you will be able to work out Polaris from there, by following the two right-hand stars 5-times the distance between them; a picture paints a thousand words:

How do I find the North Star using the Plough Big and Little Dippers SailChecker answer1

Can You Find the North Star? Follow the Big Dipper!

Please make a comment now if you found that useful, know another way, or have a question for us! If you would like to receive more fun sailing tips, information and offers, you can sign up here: [subscribe2]

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