Principles of Celestial Navigation

Supplemental Material » Determining Hc and Zn Using the Publications

The core purposes of this module are to give viewers a concept of how celestial navigation works, to give an idea of the Intercept Method, and to show how celestial navigation is used in a typical day at sea. We assumed we had access to the internet, and specifically to the U.S. Naval Observatory's celestial navigation online calculator. We used this web site to determine objects' Computed altitude, Hc, and azimuth, Zn. This is appropriate for this module, but in order for celestial navigation to be a true backup system, we should know how to obtain these values without the use of electronics. The steps are simple and strip forms will lead us along. However, explaining and demonstrating the steps are beyond this module's time limit. In order to give the viewers an idea of the steps, we will broadly outline them here.