Questions tagged [navigation]

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4 votes
2 answers

How was longitude determined in the 1700s?

I'm going through the journals of Alexander Mackenzie (ca 1790) and I came across this passage: I gather that he's determining his latitude and longitude but I'm not clear on what units he's using, ...
Lukas Bystricky's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers

Could 17th century astronomers in the Netherlands predict solar eclipses a few months in advance?

In the 17th century Netherlands, could the astronomers, or sailors trained in stellar navigation, predict either total or partial (at least 40% obscured) solar eclipses over the the town of Aardenburg ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
0 answers

Why couldn't Robert Peary use his theodolite at the North pole

Robert Peary writes in his book The North Pole: The instruments used in taking observations for latitude may be either a sextant and an artificial horizon, or a small theodolite. Both these ...
Frigo's user avatar
  • 191
1 vote
1 answer

When and how was it discovered that the sun was in different positions depending upon longitude?

It seems to me that the ancient Greeks knew that geographic location affected the apparent position of the sun in sky but given the lack of rapid travel or communications or reliable clocks, how was ...
releseabe's user avatar
  • 1,061
6 votes
1 answer

How did cartographers of past centuries determine latitude and longitude?

When were the concepts of latitude and longitude first introduced? How did cartographers determine them?
Leandro Caniglia's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

Was Captain Cook’s voyage to observe the transit of Venus going to enable better ship navigation at the time?

On a recent visit to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich I was struck by its proximity to the Naval Academy next door. The theme of the history of clocks and development of astronomy was driven by the ...
hawkeye's user avatar
  • 283