How to Determine Selected Stars using The Rude Starfinder
The Rude Starfinder is made up of a plastic star base showing stars of the
northern hemisphere on one side, and stars of the southern hemisphere on
the other side, and 10 transparent templates. Nine templates printed in
blue, with each template covering 10° of latitude, labeled 5°, 15°, 25°,
and so on, plus a tenth template printed in red showing meridian angle
and declination for use in the plotting of planets. Each latitude template
has a family of altitude curves at 5° intervals from the horizon to 80°.
From these curves, you can determine the height of a star or planet. A
second family of curves, also at 5° intervals, indicate the azimuth (true
bearing) of a star or planet. The north-south azimuth line represents the
celestial meridian. The star base, templates, and a set of instructions are
housed in a leatherette case.
The starfinder has four purposes: to identify an unknown star, to select
several stars for observation, to plot planets for observation, and identify
a stars magnitude. For example, when taking sights for evening stars,
you shoot a star or planet that is not part of your selected stars list
obtained from Pub 249. You can identify the celestial body using the
starfinder. This proves to be extremely useful when overcast weather
Follow the steps in the table to create a list of selected stars for
observation. Refer to the instructions that are included with the star
finder to identify an unknown body.
Find the LHA of Aries for star time, follow steps 1 through 7
on pages 6-12.
Place the template for the latitude closest to the DR latitude on
the star base.
Move the pointer to the correct LHA.
Select eight stars that provide 360° of coverage at intervals of
Record the height and azimuth of each star. It will be helpful
to list stars in the order of increasing azimuth.
Example: Vega 019° T, Arcturus 043° T, and so on.