Simple Celestial Navigation with the sextant

We can find out where we are by observing the location of the sun when it is directly overhead!

 

1. Firstly, we imagine that the sun is directly overhead at a particular time and we look up its actual position in the Nautical Almanac.

2. Then, we cross check the accuracy of the Sun's position with a sextant. The angle should be 90 degrees.

3. However, if the Sun is 1 degree away from the observer's zenith, then we will be on a circle 60 miles away from the actual position (1 degree = 60 miles). This is a circular line of position (LOP).

4. When we look at the Sun's position later in the day, we will get another circle, and our approximate position will be the intersection of the two circles.

5. To improve accuracy, we draw a third circle.

 - TATA! , and we have FOUND our position! -

 

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