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Stellar Cardinal Directions

Imprecise, yet useful terms used to refer to objects positions within a solar system.

While not used for actual navigation, the terms Stellar North, Stellar East, Stellar West, and Stellar South, are commonly used in conversation to refer to the general location of an object within a star system. North and South are based on the north and south poles of the stellar primary (most massive star in the system, or the star closest to the barycenter of the system).

Because the stars rotate, and constantly updating which region of the star is facing which section of the stellar system would be impractical, most systems select fixed directions for East and West. Most commonly, West is the direction of the galactic core, though this is not always possible depending on the orientation of the star. System beacons provide the cardinal coordinates, as well as local features used for triangulation to all ships in the system.

For example, based on its current location within Alpha Centuari, we would say that Proxima Centuari is Stellar West of its primary. Sometimes incrementally more precise directions are given, such as Stellar West East West.