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. In navigating, you look at the horizon through this mirror.
How a Sextant Works?
A sextant is a navigational instrument that sailors and navigators have used for centuries to measure the angle between two objects, such as the sun and the horizon.
It is used to determine a ship‘s position, as well as the distance to other vessels and land masses. In order to determine a ship‘s location, the navigator must know the exact time, the latitude and longitude of the port of departure, and the latitude and longitude of the destination.
The sextant works by measuring the angle between these two points. The sextant consists of a frame made up of two arms, joined at a pivot point.
One arm is marked with a scale and the other arm is used for sighting. The scale is divided into degrees, minutes and seconds, and the navigator can adjust the angle of the sextant to measure the angle between two objects.
To measure the angle, the navigator must look through the eyepiece at the object on the horizon while adjusting the sextant.
When the navigator has found the angle between the two points, he or she can use the scale to calculate the latitude and longitude of the two points. This is done by using the scale to measure the angle, and then using