Terminology from the Age of Sail

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Search result for definition: sextant
Sextant: A navigational instrument used to measure the angle of elevation of a celestial object above the horizon. The angle, and the time when it was measured, are used to calculate a position line on a nautical chart. A common use of the sextant is to sight the sun at noon to find the vessel's latitude. The scale of a sextant has a length of 1/6 of a full circle or 60°, hence the sextant's name.
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