Category Archives: Astro Navigation Demystified

Stars For All Seasons Part 4

Circumpolar Stars In The Southern Hemisphere. In the previous article of this series, we discussed circumpolar stars of the Northern Hemisphere and  in this article we will look at some of the circumpolar constellations in the Southern Hemisphere. Centaurus is the … Continue reading

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Stars For All Seasons – Part 3

Circumpolar Stars “Know The Stars And You Will Always Have A Compass”.    (Michael Punk. 2002. The Revenant). In article one of this series this article, we briefly touched on the topic of circumpolar stars and here we continue with that … Continue reading

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Stars For All Seasons – Part 2

Summer Stars in the Northern Hemisphere  Winter Stars in the Southern Hemisphere “Know The Stars And You Will Always Have A Compass”.    (Michael Punk. 2002. The Revenant) In the last article, we discussed Rotation (the reason the stars seem to rise … Continue reading

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Stars For All Seasons Part 1

Often asked questions: Why do the stars seem to rise earlier each night?  Why do the stars that we see in the night sky change from season to season?  There are two separate reasons for these phenomena, Rotation and Revolution. … Continue reading

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Calculating Changes in Longitude and Time Along a Parallel of Latitude.

If two ships are both positioned exactly on the Equator but are separated by 900 nautical miles in an east/west direction, then in terms of longitude, they will be 15o apart and in terms of Greenwich Mean Time, they will be … Continue reading

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Pillars of the Sky (Learning from the Polynesians).

The last post in this series discussed the Polynesian’s Star Compass and their use of ‘steering stars’ for direction finding.  Although the Polynesians made extensive use of a form of dead reckoning to estimate position, as far as we know, … Continue reading

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The Polynesian Star Compass (Learning from the Polynesians)

Updated version. “Know the stars and you will always have a compass”  (The Revenant) * Nainoa Thompson tells us how that, for centuries before European sailors reached the Pacific Ocean, the South Sea Islanders accurately found their way from island … Continue reading

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Astro Navigation In A Nutshell Part Four

Part 4 – Full procedure for establishing an astronomical position line. This post brings together all of the information from parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series to demonstrate the full procedure for establishing an astronomical position line. .Links:  Astro … Continue reading

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Astro Navigation In A Nutshell Part 2.

Part 2 – The Intercept Method Link:  Astro Navigation In A Nutshell Part One Astro Navigation in a Nutshell Part 3 Astro Navigation in a Nutshell Part 4 Suppose we are in a yacht and we measure the altitude of … Continue reading

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Short Distance Sailing And Rhumb Line Sailing

In my previous post about the meridian passage long method, I demonstrated how the ‘Short Distance Sailing Formulas’ are used to calculate a vessel’s position at meridian passage.  I have since received several questions asking how these formulas allow for … Continue reading

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