I'm writing a novel which has as a protagonist a super-powered being, like in the comics (only he is the sole such critter in the universe). Like Superman he has the ability for flight through space, but he cannot take any matter, baryons, with him. I'm hoping some astronomy experts could help me out in my narrative. He has recently acquired those powers, and discovers he can go FTL... at just about any multiple of c that he requires. OK, he starts by launching himself out into interplanetary space and finds out that it's relatively easy to find your way about, all the planets being so bright and in one plane, the ecliptic. Going interstellar and intergalactic is not so easy, he surmises, since he can't take any maps, or holographic projections, or whatever with him. So he consults with some professional astronomers about nearby space and our galaxy. Me being an amateur astronomer for--let's call it decades--I decided on a star-hopping scheme for the MC to follow to get back to Earth. Ie, go to a star, look for another, hopefully red and 1st or second magnitude, and hop back to Sol. A while back I discovered this neato web page, Distant Worlds Star Mapper, where you can choose any star in the database and it will pull up a map of the sky from the pov of that star (or even a point in space). OK, so this guy, being, entity, whatever, wants to journey far enough out to gaze on the whole Milky Way. He doesn't have super-vision, just above-average vision in our visible range. Since at that distance he cannot see Earth, much less the Sun, he wants to plan his way back with help from the scientists. With help from the Star Mapper, here's what I have: He works on his plan, memorizes, and engages FTL; travels to a point 100,000 light years out, above the galactic plane, gazing down. He's floating there, sees what he came for, the magnificent spiral in view. Now he wants to get back, timely if possible. That's where my plan comes in. Red supergiants--very luminous, can be located at great distances, with the added plus that they stand out because of their color. 6 Geminorum is an M1Ia red supergiant with a galactic latitude of 188 deg., which means it's anti-center of earth. AIUI, it's on the edge of the MW disc with the added advantage that it's in an open cluster other red supergiants. Is it the only cluster of reds on the edge of the disc? Dunno, but clusters of red sg's are rare I think. So I'll say it's the only one. ;) The thing is, from 100k ly out, he's looking that amount of years into the past, and supergiants can change drastically in that time. So he cruises closer. 6 Gem located, he draws a mental line to the galactic core; two/thirds of the way out is the Orion Spur, on the core-ward edge of the Perseus Arm. I would think it would stand out, and he zips above it. The Gould Belt with its bright stars should be obvious, with red cM Betelgeuse in a cluster with white sg's like Rigel. From Betelgeuse, no bright red stars that would help, but white Bellatrix is mag 1.1 and the Orion Nebula is nearby so it's next. Bellatrix... Alhena, gamma Gem, is kinda dim at 2.7, but Antares appears close-by and is 1st mag. It forms a near perfect triangle with Spica and Alhena, so the target Alhena would be the next jump. Alhena... Arcturus, red but at 2.5, is between bright red Antares and white Castor. Could be memorized and located. From the skies of Arcturus... first magnitude Sirius forms a triangle with bright Rigel and Capella, with a orangish Aldebaran inside the triangle shining as bright as Arcturus. Sirius... Sol is a bright 1st mag between Vega and Altair, a leg of the Summer Triangle, which appears the same from Sirius. The protag would memorize each step before he leaves, which should be easy since he's a wannabe actor. Seem like a good method of finding his way back? Apologize for the length. Thanks for any help.