How to find the direction of the tension force
How can you determine the direction of the compass?
As is well known, there are four cardinal points: north, south, east and west. But how can you determine it without a map or a compass? Every smartass knows: the sun rises in the east. From there it migrates south to west in the course of the day - there it goes under. Only in the north you never see the sun ... So far, so good!
And what do you do at night?
The night sky has a lot of orientation aids to offer. With the help of constellations you can determine the cardinal points pretty precisely: there is the constellation, for example big Bear or big car called, which strictly speaking is only part of the great bear. You can see the big car in the starry sky all year round - of course only when it's not cloudy. The big car looks like a square box with a handle. If you connect the two stars that form the back of the box with an imaginary line and extend this line upwards five times in the same direction, you get a star that shines very brightly. That's the Pole Star, and that shows you pretty much where north is. He is also the outermost star of the constellation little car or little Bear.
If you need to orientate yourself on a cloudy day with no sun or stars, look for a really old church like this Cologne cathedral for example. Its foundation stone was laid almost 800 years ago: namely in 1248. This and most of the other very old churches have one thing in common: the altar faces east. That is, the church tower is in the west. If there is no old church near you, look for it Satellite dishes. Most parabolic antennas in Germany point to the south, if you take it very carefully to the south-south-east.
And what do you do when you can't see the sun or the stars?
If you are outside in nature during the day and there is no church and no satellite dish far and wide, you have to go Compass- or Barbed lettuce Keeping an eye out. It usually grows by the wayside and - if it has grown in a sunny spot - has a remarkable property. Its leaves turn towards the sun. The leaf tips usually point in a north-south direction. At the same time, the leaf surfaces stand upright. They point to the east and west. But why does the plant do this? Quite simply: the leaf position is optimal so as not to lose too much water through evaporation. The sun only hits the leaf surfaces fully in the morning and in the evening. At noon, when it is hottest, the sun only hits the edges of the leaves. And for us this has another advantage: we can see from the leaves where we have to go!
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