How do you navigate in space?

02.18.2022 - By CrowdScience

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How good are you at finding your way from A to B? Humans throughout history have used all sorts of tools to get us to our destination – from a trusty map and compass to the instant directions on a smartphone. But CrowdScience listener Pam from Florida wants to know what happens when we leave the surface of the Earth and try to navigate our way around space. Is there a North and South we can use to orientate ourselves? Which way is left if your nearest landmark is a million light years away? And if you can’t tell which way is up, how do spacecraft know where they’re going?

Presenter Anand Jagatia speaks to experts in an attempt to find his way through the tricky problem of intergalactic space navigation.

Contributors:
Ethan Siegal, journalist and astrophysicist
Michelle Baker, ESA
Coryn Bailer-Jones, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
Presented by Anand Jagatia
Produced by Caroline Steel for the BBC World Service

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