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Polaris, or the North Star, is in a very interesting position in space where it appears to be directly over the North Pole. Contrary to every other star in the night sky, it's location in the sky is not time dependent or season dependent. Other stars slowly move across the sky as the Earth tilts toward or away from the Sun.

The traveler would use the star as a compass and would place the North Star as true north. Once north was verified, the traveler would determine which way east, west and south were. With all of those coordinates they had a general idea of where they were going. With the development of the astrolabe and the sextant, the North Star could also be used to calculate latitude (or distance from the equator). Similarly, a clock set to local solar noon and a second set to solar noon in a known place could provide longitude with each hour of difference accounting for 15 degrees. (This did not involve the North Star, though.)

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Q: How did early travelers use the North Star so that they would not lose their way on a journey?
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