A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Pike
Date: 2017 Feb 13, 06:19 -0800
Brad. Thank you for your comments about my second drawing. I think I preferred my first one. It was incorrect but prettier. You wrote:
I never see those imaginary patterns in the sky
You are not the only one who has difficulty recognising the supposed shapes of the constellations. My Navigator course in 1967 was probably the last when even the vaguest attempt was made to teach star recognition, because by then the remainder of the RAF was using periscopic sextants. The first question we asked was “Why don’t the constellations look like their names”. The answer we were given was:
1. The sky was much clearer years ago, so the smaller stars were more visible.
2. There was no TV etc to entertain people, so the ancients had little better to do than sit and gaze at the stars and develop their imaginations.
3. Over hundreds, maybe thousands of years stellar motion has meant the major stars have moved their positions slightly relative to one another.
Like many answers to young Servicemen, this was probably neat, plausible, and wrong, but it satisfied us at the time. DaveP