Principles of Celestial Navigation

Basics » Using the Sextant » Exercises

Directions: Drag-and-Drop the labels to the boxes in red corresponding to the elements they represent on the graphic, then click Done.

zenith distance

Your answers should match those shown in the figure.

schematic of sextant being used for a sighting on a celestial object

What is the altitude of Star A? Enter your answer in degrees.

The altitude of Star A is 60 degrees. Now that we’ve learned how a sextant provides information about altitude and therefore zenith distance, let’s examine how these measurements relate to our position, or fix.

The graphical technique used worldwide to plot our "fix" is called The Intercept Method. The Intercept Method, and the steps involved in obtaining a fix, are described in the next section of this module.