Hi Reader Friends! David here. Thanks for joining me today for a page from my Sea Scribe writing research on Celestial Navigation!
I discussed in an earlier post how the lights of cities cause the visible stars in the sky to diminish. (See my previous post here, “Light Pollution Can Block Navigation.”) This resembles world-based “light pollution” in our lives that distracts us from heavenly matters. But there is another lesson about celestial lights that must be mentioned before I let this topic in Sea Scribe rest.
Locate the Little Dipper in the northern sky, the constellation called Ursa Minor to you astronomy experts. This constellation’s brightest star is called Polaris, located at the end of the “handle.” Four stars make up the dipper, and three make up the handle. Polaris is often referred to as the North Star, since it is directly north of us in the Northern Hemisphere.
Next, make a fist and hold your fist vertically, your arm extended to the horizon. Your fist equals approximately ten degrees altitude. Using your fist as a ruler, you can determine in this way your own latitude on the globe, because it will always match Polaris’ altitude. (The farther south you go, the lower Polaris will appear on the horizon, matching the lower latitude numbers as you draw closer to the equator.)
So, for instance, if you need to move up four fist-heights from the horizon to reach Polaris, then Polaris’ altitude is forty degrees, and your latitude is forty degrees—about equal to Trenton, NJ; Columbus, OH; Boulder, CO, or Reno, NV.
Long ago, this elementary fact was known by all beginning navigators and frontiersmen. But with the development of modern devices, “celestial navigation” has been virtually forgotten. Many today cannot locate the North Star or even the Little Dipper.
Similarly, without establishing godly habits in Jesus Christ, our relationship with Him can have the same tragic result. When we stop navigating by the Creator, we forget where to look for direction in time of need. But if we keep our eyes on Him who navigates for us, even when there are no storms, then that relationship can keep us from getting lost, no matter what comes upon us.
Keep your eyes toward the heavens. See you in the field!
You can find other Recent Research posts at this link.
COMING UP: Next WEDNESDAY, Dee Peeks from behind the computer screen to say hi and pass on recent news!