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April 23, 2008


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Thank you for that explanation, Tonio!

Tonio Loewald

In "The Killing Machine" (a 60s SF novel) the hero performs interstellar navigation by dead reckoning. If you're in the rough vicinity of a star system and you know the night sky of the world you're trying to get to, look for a familiar constellation -- only constellations on the FAR side of the star system you're aiming for will be correctly shaped, so if they can see Orion, that's the way to Earth, and you don't need to be on Earth or even in the Solar System, just within tens of light years (Betelgeuse and Rigel are the two brightest stars in the constellation and are roughly 400 and 800 LY from Sol respectively)

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