the sky and navigation

Credits: Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff

The best way to start leaning about how to identify the stars is to select a few constellations which cannot be missed and then use them as guides to the rest. How fast you want to learn is up to you, like everything else, the more time you put into something the greater the rewards.
All the views in the following web pages are shown as you would see them from Long Itchington in Warwickshire at the time and date stated beneath.

Facts about circumpolar constellations by Keith Turnecliff

Circumpolar constellations are those constellation sthat are visible all year round due to their close proximity to Polaris or the Pole Star.
Polaris signifies the North point of the sky and it seems to remain stationary whilst the whole sky revolves around it every 24 hours.

The apparent rotation of the sky from east to west is a result of the Earth rotating from west to east. Constellations that are circumpolar are the Great Bear or Plough (Ursa Major), The Little Bear (Ursa Minor), Capella in Auriga (the Charioteer) and parts of Cygnus (the Swan). On the other hand, constellations such as Orion and Hercules rise and set , so that they are not always visible. They may be there but only in daylight hours and therefore not visible as sky is not dark enough in the daytime.

From Long Itchington the Pole Star has an altitude above the horizon of fractionally just over 51 degrees.

You can print out your own planisphere by clicking on this link.

This star chart represents a view from Long Itchington for late August at 10pm.
Credits: Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff.