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Hypothetical Galactic Navigation System Question

  1. Jan 29, 2015 #1
    Hypothetical question here. If someone were to develop a system for navigating the galaxy what would be the best way to determine a position and direction assuming no prior information about location (but access to things like star locations from our solar system's perspective). I'm assuming a star tracking type of system would work best but are there some extremely easy to spot landmarks around other than the center of the galaxy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I suggest a three-step approach: use the CMB, distant galaxies or quasars to find your orientation in space, then use objects closer to us (like the galactic center, Andromeda and various other objects - you know their approximate direction now) to find your rough position in the galaxy. Finally, look up the properties of stars nearby in some large catalogue and determine your precise position.
  4. Jan 29, 2015 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
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    You can also use various star clusters, nebulas (nebulae?), and pulsars.
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