A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2017 Feb 12, 13:17 -0800
Peter, you wrote:
"use the outstretched hand to star-hop from Mintaka to the Pole."
I don't recommend this. Keep it simple. :) This is not a two-dimensional star-hopping game, where we draw lines across the sky. Your hand becomes the gnomon of a sundial when you "shoot" the Orion North Arrow. If you have trouble seeing in detail where it is pointing, then get yourself an index card and a paper clip as described in my earlier post today.
"it might still be better than sighting along a short and bent thumb that's not at 90 degrees to the index finger anyway."
Your thumb doesn't do the perpendicularity thing, eh? Then you may need to carry around an index card! :)
And you wrote:
"Stellarium says use the direction from the sword to a point 1/3 of the way from Alnilam (center star of belt) to Mintaka."
Yes. Just so we're clear, this is exactly the 8° rotation counter-clockwise that I mentioned in my original post. It's in the fifth image included in that post. Here's a copy:
You get an instant orientation from the Orion North Arrow, and then you can refine that if you wish to by rotating counter-clockwise to the "truer" arrow. It's also possible, if you want to get really detailed, to point your "index card," or whatever more accurate pointer you're using, at a spot a quarter of a degree above Mintaka. That eliminates the very slight offset due to the fact that Mintaka is 17 minutes of arc below the celestial equator. But obviously that's only for perfectionists!