# How far would we have to get from the Solar system to be unable to recognize constellations?

So the question is simple. How many light years would we have to go from Earth until we would be unable to determine known constellations?

• This question seems to have a false premise - you can't determine your position purely based on constellations (aka a 2D image of the sky) even within the close vicinity of Earth. Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 18:27
• @asdfex point taken, edited. The point is, how far out from Earth would we get "Lost in space" Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 20:58
• Welcome to Space Stack Exchange. I think this is an interesting question but needs some clearer language. Is your whole point actually that @asdfex 's comment only applies close to Earth and therefore one would know one was "not near Earth" if there were only 50% recognisable constellations. Also "not near Earth" is a bit step from knowing one's location. Its going to come down to you setting an arbitrary threshold of the fraction of constellations with stars close to Earth, say 10%, for one to notice that something "isn't right". Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 21:29
• After that you have to set another arbitrary threshold for the visible magnitude, i.e. if you just looked at the faintest stars then @asdfex 's comment would apply all the time. Hence this threshold would have to be defined as, say, that you'll only bother with those visible with the naked eye. After all this, whilst the question sounds like its about exploration you are much more likely to find people handy with star catalogues who could answer all this on Astronomy SE. Anyway, lets see what happens. Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 21:30
• I think a good approach to answering this would be incremental: you are allowed to estimate your position relative to Earth with such precision, that performing a hyperspace jump to calculated location will improve your next estimate by an order of magnitude. E.g. if you're in the Andromeda galaxy, locating Milky Way would be good enough; with Milky Way in good view you can reach the right area of the right arm of it, and so on. ...and in this case you can't, at least within our observable universe and with a good navigation computer and telescope capable of spotting the filaments.
– SF.
Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 22:18