Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

I Caught a Glimpse of Orion Last Night…

…and he was high in the sky, which reminded me of one of the simplest and most beautiful of natural navigational celestial techniques. Orion is a great help in finding East or West, but there is a method for finding direction that works even if you have no idea what object you are looking at in the sky. It takes time to apply accurately, but it can be used anywhere in the world and applies to all the stars, the moon, the sun and all the planets – even if you have no idea which one you are looking at.

The moment a celestial object reaches its highest point in the sky it will be due north or south. Simples! As those meerkats like to say. Well, the principle is beautifully simple, but the practice is a bit more involved. Hence the use of shadow sticks, and sextants for that matter.