Sextants are used to measure angular heights of celestial bodies above the horizon to find the latitude and longitude of the observer. They may be able to also be used on land with artificial horizons. Sextants will also be used to find the right kind Universal Time by measuring the angular distance between the moon and every other body along its path across the zodiac.
In coastal waters or on land, sextants can be utilized for very accurate piloting by measuring the horizontal angles between charted landmarks. The vertical angle of a peak above its baseline determines the distance to it, which, combined with a compass bearing, yields a position fix from just one landmark. The angular dip of an object (island or vessel) below the visible horizon will also be used to resolve the distance to it.
This booklet explains methods to get the most efficient results from plastic sextants, and presents numerical comparisons with similar data from metal sextants. Sextant piloting techniques are also reviewed as they’re a perfect use of a plastic sextant.
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This item: How to Use Plastic Sextants: With Applications to Metal Sextants and a Review of Sextant Piloting$19.95