Exploring Celestial Systems: Star Nav

Select origin and destination system to calculate the appropriate interstellar navigation headings. The drop-down menu below is sorted by increasing distance from the Solar system (all known systems within 13 light-years are included).


To use Star Nav to determine how bright one star in a multiple star system looks from another star in the system, simply use the "expert" form and enter the distance and apparent V magnitude of the destination star relative to the Earth, then internet search for the semimajor axis of the two stars and convert this to light-years, augment the destination distance (either plus or minus, it doesn't matter which) by this amount and enter that in for the origin distance and press submit, the coordinates default to zero and are unimportant except that they need to match (like all zeros). You will then have the apparent magnitude of the destination star as seen from the origin star in the results.

In the results, the locations of the systems are given in Galactic Coordinates: galactic longitude, galactic latitude, distance in light-years. Galactic Coordinates are very important in developing a sense of where these systems are relative to Sol (the Sun) and each other. With the galactic north pole directly overhead, zero degrees longitude and latitude is taken to be the galactic center with longitude increasing as one turns to the left along the galactic plane for 360 degrees. Positive 90 degrees latitude is the galactic north pole (positive latitude is above the galactic plane) and negative 90 degrees is the galactic south pole (negative latitude is below the galactic plane), with 0 degrees latitude being the galactic plane itself.

For Experts: If the following values are known, enter and submit.
Origin Name:
Origin RA Hours
(decimal value accepted):
Origin RA Minutes:
Origin RA Seconds:
Origin Dec degrees
(decimal value accepted):
Origin Dec Minutes:
Origin Dec Seconds:
Origin Distance
from Earth (light-years):
Destination Name:
Destination RA Hours
(decimal value accepted):
Destination RA Minutes:
Destination RA Seconds:
Destination Dec degrees
(decimal value accepted):
Destination Dec Minutes:
Destination Dec Seconds:
Destination Distance
from Earth (light-years):
Destination apparent V magnitude
with respect to Earth:

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