Can you navigate by the sun?

Can you navigate by the sun?

The sun is used to identify direction. On any given day, you may compute the precise location of the sun in the sky at a specified moment and use this to not only navigate but also to confirm your compass is operating properly or to identify your bearings if you lose your compass. (The bearings are accurate to true north.) The sun can also be used as a visual guide during night flights. Pilots often use the phrase "follow the sun" to indicate that they should fly toward the horizon.

The sun's apparent movement across the sky each day is called its diurnal motion. Because the earth goes around the sun, we experience all parts of the sky to be of equal distance from the sun at any given time of year. Thus, there are 24 hours per day, and the sun is always visible for part of that time.

During certain times of the year, such as in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer, the sun is seen rising more to the east and setting more to the west than expected, because the earth is rotating about its axis. At other times of the year, such as in the Southern Hemisphere during the winter, the opposite is true: The sun appears to rise more to the west and set more to the east than expected.

These two effects together cause the daily path of the sun over a fixed point on the earth to vary from west to east across the globe.

How do we use the sun to navigate?

1. Face the direction (bearing) you intend to go and stretch out with your arm as if grabbing hold of the sun, holding this position for a few seconds; this helps imprint your orientation to the sun. 2. Lower your arm and proceed ahead, keeping the position of the sun in relation to you in mind. 3. Once you have traveled some distance, raise your arm again. 4. Continue doing this until you reach your destination.

The bearing of the sun is always due north or south, but it does not move across the sky. So by watching which way the sun is moving against the backdrop of the stars, you can find yourself headed in the right direction at night.

This method works best when there are clear skies with no clouds in the horizon. If there are clouds in the distance, they will block out the sun's rays completely, preventing these from reaching the ground and so this method would not work.

During the day, the sun's light passes through your arm and onto your face. At night, its place is taken by starlight which reaches the earth directly without any intervening air. So by looking at your shadow on the ground, you can tell which direction is north.

Of course, you can also use a compass to navigate at night. The bearing of the nearest star pattern on the horizon can help you find your way.

How can we use the sun to find direction?

You must first wait for the sun to set in order to acquire an accurate reading on your direction utilizing shadows. Mark the location where your sun rod casts its first shadow when the sun rises in the morning. This shadow will always point west, no matter where you are on the planet. Make an east-west line. From this point measure north and south. The coordinates of your sunrod casting site are these two numbers plus degrees, minutes, and seconds.

Alternatively, you can use a compass. If you know the direction to a large town or city, then use that information instead. There are many online maps you can use to find directions between locations.

Finally, you can use GPS. These days almost all modern smartphones have accurate enough GPS technology to be used for finding directions. However, if you don't have access to internet coverage or the accuracy isn't good enough at your location, then using shadows or sun rods is still the best option.

In conclusion, shadows are useful for finding direction on Earth, as well as other planets in the solar system. You need to know where to look when trying to find them though!

About Article Author

Delores Smith

Delores Smith is a meditation enthusiast, astrology devotee, and dream interpreter. She also loves to read horoscopes and is fascinated by the relationship between people's personalities and their zodiac signs. Delores is the ultimate self-help guru, because she knows that you can't be happy until you find yourself!

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