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Usually the polar star is identified based on Pointing stars in Big dipper(saucepan) shape..

Compared to big dipper, it is easier to identify Orion's belt. Would that help me to identify Polar star?

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2 Answers 2

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Would that help me to identify Polar star?

Probably yes

enter image description here

In the above picture, you will see that in the Orion belt, if you construct an imaginary line that passes through Saiph, Meissa (to be specific, the star that lies between Betelgeuse and Bellatrix) it will certainly pass through Capella, and it lead slightly below the pole star Polaris.

Note: the above image is taken with respect to Northern Hemisphere, if you can point Saiph and Meissa , It also works in Southern Hemisphere (Only if you observe Half a Degree south of equator)

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    $\begingroup$ Huh? We can't see Polaris in the southern hemisphere! $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Mar 3 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ Ok. Actually, it's around 1° S, when you include atmospheric refraction. But even that's only ~60 nautical miles south of the equator. And you need a clear view of the horizon. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Mar 3 at 18:06
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    $\begingroup$ This will most certainly not work as drawn. The image is a projection of the celestial sphere and will have very significant distortions on such a wide field of view. e.g. look at how curved the horizon is. $\endgroup$ Mar 3 at 18:33
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    $\begingroup$ Orion's belt is a good way to find the celestial equator, but it's 90 degrees away from Polaris, and not useable in the summer. $\endgroup$
    – stretch
    Mar 3 at 19:26
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    $\begingroup$ @GregMiller I have said to construct a imaginary line, as if we are not going to take a ruler to construct that line, while we take our finger to do that, we will curve w.r.t horizon. I have also tried it in my place before answering :) $\endgroup$ Mar 4 at 1:15
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This is mostly to show that the image in Kavin's answer is just an artifact of the projection used. I have turned on the equitorial grid lines and placed Orion horizontally equal with Polaris, so that a straight line from Orion to Polaris remains a straight line in the projection.

As you can see, no bright stars in Orion form a line towards Polaris. However, Rigel and Capella do make a descent pointer to Polaris.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Actually I think this shows the opposite of what you say! It suggests that, in spite of the distortion from the projection, tracing from Orion, through Capella does lead to Polaris in a quite nice way. The main problem with this is the large amount of sky covered. If you don't know roughly where to look for Polaris, this would be hard to use. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Mar 5 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if you replied to the wrong post, not only did I not say you can't trace from Orion to Capella to find Polaris, I included a diagram showing how to do it. $\endgroup$ Mar 7 at 0:16

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