A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2017 Feb 11, 08:11 -0800
Frank. The more I look at this, the less convinced I am that the Orion North Arrow is of much practical use for emergency navigation in mid latitudes. For example, if you’re caught out in the dark without a compass. With Polaris it’s easy. You just find Polaris and drop a line down perpendicular to your horizon, and that’s your north reference, because Polaris is unique in being almost over the North Pole.
With the Orion North Arrow it’s harder. The continuation of the arrow certainly travels close to the North Celestial Pole, but there you must stop and drop your line down perpendicular to your horizon to find a north reference. If you continued the line until it came to your horizon, it would swing around between NE and NW depending upon the time of day or the time of year. Perhaps it works better at lower latitudes; Polaris would be very low in the sky, so the NE-NW swing would be smaller. Perhaps the thumb has something to do with it. Perhaps I haven’t followed properly, I’m still puzzling. Is the Orion North Arrow very much more useful than Merak to Dubhe Arrow for example? DaveP