Sextants were traditionally made of brass, with scales graduated on silver. Modern sextants are often made of plastic. Most have telescopic sights. In 1675 King Charles founded the Royal Observatory so astronomers could take precise measurements of the orbit of the moon in relation to fixed stars.

## Is astrolabe the same as sextant?

A sextant can measure an angle on any plane, and works by a principle of double reflection. An astrolabe can only measure angles in a vertical plane and was principally used for latitude-finding, although you can also use it for purposes such as finding the height of something.

How do you use a fist as a sextant?

You can also use your clenched fist as a sextant to measure the height of the moon, star, or planet above the horizon. Your clenched fist, correctly held, will roughly measure off 10-degrees. So you can use your fist to make a reasonable guesstimate of degrees either horizontally or vertically.

How do you make a homemade sextant?

Instructions

1. Tape a drinking straw to the bottom edge of a protractor.
2. Tie one end of a string to the center of the protractor. One the other end of the string, tie a steel washer or other mass.
3. Locate the North Star through the straw.
4. Look up the latitude on a map or online and see where you may be.

### Why is it called sextant?

The modern navigational sextant is designed to precisely and accurately measure the angle between two points. The sextant is so named because its arc encompasses one sixth of a circle (60°), however, due to the optical properties of the reflecting system it measures up to a third of a circle (120°).

### How does a marine sextant work?

All it is is a device that measures the angle between two objects. The sextant makes use of two mirrors. With this sextant, one of the mirrors ( mirror A in the diagram) is half-silvered, which allows some light to pass through. The angle between the two objects is then read off the scale.

How was astrolabe created?

Astrolabes were primarily invented by the ancient Greeks in 225 BCE by Apollonius based on the theories and the findings of Hipparchus. The main uses of astrolabes were to tell time during day or night, to identify the time of sunrise and sunset, and the length of the day, and to locate celestial objects in the sky.

Is the astrolabe still used today?

Even though astrolabes are extremely ancient technology, they’re still in use today and people still learn to make them as part of learning astronomy. Because astrolabes measure things that move in the sky, they have both fixed and moving parts.

#### How do you use a bubble sextant?

To bring down an object on the sextant set the sextant to zero, look through the sextant straight at the object, press in the knob 8 and rotate this very slowly, in a counter-clockwise direction while gradually bringing the sextant down to keep the object in the field of view.

Is a sextant still used today?

It’s a real historic instrument that is still in use today. Even today big ships are all required to carry working sextants and the navigating officers have regular routines to keep themselves familiar with making it work.