- $150 for a portable, inflatable planetarium presentation ($300 value)
Celestial Navigation: Finding the North Star and Using It
Aside from building a fire by snapping your fingers, nothing will impress your fellow explorers like reading the stars. Check out Groupon’s study of celestial navigation.
Explorers need only two things to determine their direction while boating or backpacking without a map or a compass: a basic knowledge of how the Big Dipper looks, and a flexible neck. The key in the Northern Hemisphere is finding Polaris, also known as the North Star. To start, look directly up and locate the collection of stars that resemble a rectangular basin with a handle sticking out of its upper-left corner. This is the Big Dipper. Next, crane your neck until your shoulders feel really good, and notice the bright star hovering above the Big Dipper’s upper right-hand corner. This is Polaris. From any position in the Northern Hemisphere, Polaris leads north. Alternatively, those in the Southern Hemisphere can use the Southern Cross constellation to determine which direction leads toward the South Pole.
When looking at the sky, an explorer should keep in mind that these constellations don’t always appear right-side up, depending on the position of the Earth and the amount he or she drank at margarita night. As such, it might require some twisting and turning to properly orient to the correct view.