Category Archives: navigation

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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The Importance of Azimuth and Altitude in Astro Navigation

 In the diagram above, the celestial sphere is drawn in the plane of the observer’s meridian with the observer’s zenith (Z) at the top.  Point O represents both the observer and the Earth. Z represents the observer’s zenith. X is … Continue reading

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Bearing, Azimuth and Azimuth Angle.

For students of astro navigation, the various definitions of azimuth, azimuth angle and bearing can cause much confusion. It is hoped that the following will help to clarify this topic. Bearing is the direction of something in relation to a … Continue reading

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A Plan Of Mathematical Perfection. (Learning from the Polynesians)

In the two previous posts of this series, we focussed on astro navigation aspects of the ancient voyaging techniques of the Polynesians and the Micronesians.  Because of that narrow focus, we did not do justice to the abounding knowledge and … 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 3

Part 3 – Calculating Altitude and Azimuth at the Assumed Position by Spherical Trigonometry. Links:  Astro Navigation In A Nutshell Part One Astro Navigation In A Nutshell Part Two There are several ways of calculating the azimuth and altitude at the … Continue reading

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Applying the Equation of Time when calculating longitude at the Sun’s Meridian Passage.

Author’s Note:  The original issue of this post was found to contain errors which have now been corrected.  Many thanks to Jeremy Parker for bringing the errors to my attention. Although the imaginary Mean Time gives us an accurate measurement … 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

Posted in astro navigation, Astro Navigation Demystified, Astro Navigation Topics, celestial navigation, geometry, Marine Navigation, mathematics, navigation, Schools, spherical trigonometry, Topics For Schools, trigonometry | Tagged , , , , ,

Meridian Passage Long Method

Links:  Understanding Meridian Passage, Equation of Time,   Meridian Passage Short Method,  Short Distance Sailing Formulae,  What is the point of meridian passage?         Zone Time,    Local Hour Angle and Greenwich Hour Angle,   Converting GMT to GHA … Continue reading

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Understanding Meridian Passage (Mer Pas)

Meridian Passage occurs when a celestial body crosses the observer’s meridian of longitude and at that instant, it will reach its greatest altitude above the observer’s horizon. The following diagrams will help to explain how the latitude can be calculated from the … Continue reading

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