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Navigation: the Octant

An octant was used to calculate a ship’s position on the earth using the mid-day sun.  By drawing a triangle between the sun, the ship, and the horizon line sailors could estimate their ‘dead-reckoning’. 

 

CURRICULUM:

Additional Links:

The Smithsonian provides an overview on using the octant for navigation at sea.

https://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/type.cfm?typeid=4

 

A tutorial for using the Octant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0A_ue9DBmw

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