A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2015 May 6, 09:28 -0700
Sigma Octantis has been a traditional substitute for a "South Star" in some resources. You're right: it's an inconspicuous star. In reality, there is no star that genuinely qualifies as a "South Star". There is no first or second magnitude star anywhere near the south celestial pole. Sigma Octantis is the closest "naked eye" star to the south celestial pole. It's a consolation prize. Including it in a catalog of navigational stars is pretty silly, and I would say that it's evidence of some individual's personal taste.