CELESTIAL NAVIGATION

 

Explain Altitude Azimuth.


altitude azimuth; An azimuth determined by solution of the navigational triangle with altitude, declination, and latitude given. A time azimuth is computed with meridian angle, declination, and latitude given. A time and altitude azimuth is computed with meridian angle, declination, and altitude given.




Explain Amplitude.


amplitude; 1. Angular distance of a celestial body north or south of the prime vertical circle; the arc of the horizon or the angle at the zenith between the prime vertical circle and a vertical circle through the celestial body measured north or south from the prime vertical to the vertical circle. The term is customarily used only with reference to bodies whose centers are on the celestial horizon, and is prefixed E orW, as the body is rising or setting, respectively; and suffixed N or S to agree with the declination. The prefix indicates the origin and the suffix the direction of measurement. Amplitude is designated as true, magnetic, compass, or grid as the reference direction is true, magnetic, compass, or grid east or west, respectively. 2. The maximum value of the displacement of a wave, or other periodic phenomenon, from the zero position. 3. One-half the range of a constituent tide. By analogy, it may be applied also to the maximum speed of a constituent current.




Explain Altitude Intercept.


altitude intercept; The difference in minutes of arc between the computed and the observed altitude (corrected sextant altitude), or between precomputed and sextant altitudes. It is labeled T (toward) or A (away) as the observed (or sextant) altitude is greater or smaller than the computed (or precomputed) altitude.




Explain Angle.


angle; The inclination to each other of two intersecting lines, measured by the arc of a circle intercepted between the two lines forming the angle, the center of the circle being the point of intersection. An acute angle is less than 90°; a right angle, 90° an obtuse angle, more than 90° but less than 180°- a straight angle 180°; a reflex angle, more than 180° but less than 360°; a perigon, 360°. Any angle not a multiple of 90 is an oblique angle. If the sum of two angles is 90°, they are complementary angles; if 180°, supplementary angles; if 360°, explementary angles. Two adjacent angles have a common vertex and lie on opposite sides of a common side. A dihedral angle is the angle between two intersecting planes. A spherical angle is the angle between two intersecting great circles.




Explain Angle of Deviation.


angle of deviation; The angle through which a ray is bent by refraction.




Explain apparent Solar Day.


apparent solar day.; The duration of one rotation of the earth on its axis, with respect to the apparent sun. It is measured by successive transits of the apparent sun over the lower branch of a meridian. The length of the apparent solar day is 24 hours of apparent time and averages the length of the mean solar day, but varies somewhat from day to day.




Explain Assumed Latitude.


assumed latitude; The latitude at which an observer is assumed to be located for an observation or computation, as the latitude of an assumed position or the latitude used for determining the longitude of time sight. Also called CHOSEN LATITUDE.




Explain Assumed Longitude.


assumed longitude; The longitude at which an observer is assumed to be located for an observation or computation, as the longitude of an assumed position or the longitude used for determining the latitude by meridian altitude. Also called CHOSEN LONGITUDE.




Explain Assumed Position.


assumed position; A point at which a craft is assumed to be located, particularly one used as a preliminary to establishing certain navigational data, as that point on the surface of the earth for which the computed altitude is determined in the solution of a celestial observation, also called CHOSEN POSITION.




Explain Azimuth.


azimuth; The horizontal direction or bearing of a celestial point from a terrestrial point, expressed as the angular distance from a reference direction. It is usually measured from 000° at the reference direction clockwise through 360°. An azimuth is often designated as true, magnetic, compass grid, or relative as the reference direction is true, magnetic, compass, or grid north, or heading, respectively. Unless otherwise specified, the term is generally understood to apply to true azimuth, which may be further defined as the arc of the horizon, or the angle at the zenith, between the north part of the celestial meridian or principal vertical circle and a vertical circle, measured from 000° at the north part of the principal vertical circle clockwise through 360°. Azimuth taken directly from a table, before interpolation, is called tabulated azimuth. After interpolation, or, if determined by calculation, mechanical device, or graphics, it is called computed azimuth. When the angle is measured in either direction from north or south, and labeled accordingly, it is properly called azimuth angle; when measured either direction from east or west, and labeled accordingly, it is called amplitude. An azimuth determined by solution of the navigational triangle with altitude, declination, and latitude then is called an altitude azimuth; if meridian angle, declination, and latitude are given, it is called a time azimuth; if meridian angle, declination and altitude are given, it is called a time and altitude azimuth.




What is a Back Sight?


back sight; A marine sextant observation of a celestial body made by facing away from the body, measuring an angle of more than 90°.




Explain Azimuth Angle.


azimuth angle; Azimuth measured from 0° at the north or south reference direction clockwise or counterclockwise through 90° or 180". It is labeled with the reference direction as a prefix and the direction of measurement from the reference direction as a suffix. When azimuth angle is measured through 180°, it is labeled N or S to agree with the latitude and E orW to agree with the meridian angle.




What is an azimuth Bar?


azimuth bar; An instrument for measuring azimuths, particularly a device consisting of a slender bar with a vane at each end, and designed to fit over a central pivot in the glass cover of a magnetic compass.




What is an Azimuth Circle?


azimuth circle; A ring designed to fit snugly over a compass or compass repeater, and provided with means for observing compass bearings and azimuths. A similar ring without the means for observing azimuths of the sun is called a BEARING CIRCLE.




What is an Azimuth Instrument?


azimuth instrument; An instrument for measuring azimuths, particularly a device which fits over a central pivot in the glass cover of a magnetic compass.




What are Azimuth Tables?


azimuth tables; Publications providing tabulated azimuths or azimuth angles of celestial bodies for various combinations of declination, latitude and hour angle. Great circle course angles can also be obtained by substitution of values.




What is a Back Azimuth


back azimuth; An azimuth 180° from a given azimuth.




What is a Bearing Angle?


bearing angle; Bearing measured from 0° at the reference direction clockwise or counterclockwise through 90° or 180°. It is labeled with the reference direction as a prefix and the direction of measurement from the reference direction as a suffix. Thus, bearing angle N37°W is 37° west of north, or true bearing 323°.




Explain Bearing.


bearing; The horizontal direction of one terrestrial point from another, expressed as the angular distance from a reference direction. It is usually measured from 000° at the reference direction clockwise through 360°. The terms BEARING and AZIMUTH are sometimes used interchangeably, but in navigation the former customarily applies to terrestrial objects and the latter to the direction of a point on the celestial sphere from a point on the earth. A bearing is often designated as true, magnetic, compass, grid, or relative as the reference direction is true, magnetic, compass, or grid north, or heading, respectively. The angular distance between a reference direction and the initial direction of a great circle through two terrestrial points is called great-circle bearing. The angular distance between a reference direction and the rhumb line through two terrestrial points is called rhumb or Mercator bearing. A bearing differing by 180°, or one measured in the opposite direction, from a given bearing is called a reciprocal bearing. The maximum or minimum bearing of a point for safe passage of an off-lying danger is called a danger bearing. A relative bearing of 045° or 315° is sometimes called a four-point bearing. Successive relative bearings (right or left) of 45° and 90° taken on a fixed object to obtain a running fix are often called bow and beam bearings. Two or more bearings used as intersecting lines of position for fixing the position of a craft are called cross bearings. The bearing of a radio transmitter from a receiver, as determined by a radio direction finder, is called a radio bearing. A bearing obtained by radar is called a radar bearing. A bearing obtained by visual observation is called a visual bearing. A constant bearing maintained while the distance between two craft is decreasing is called a collision bearing.




Explain Bearing Angle.


bearing angle; Bearing measured from 0° at the reference direction
clockwise or counterclockwise through 90° or 180°. It is labeled
with the reference direction as a prefix and the direction of measurement
from the reference direction as a suffix. Thus, bearing angle
N37°W is 37° west of north, or true bearing 323°.




What is a bearing Circle?


bearing circle; A ring designed to fit snugly over a compass or compass
repeater, and provided with vanes for observing compass bearings.
A similar ring provided with means for observing azimuths of the
sun is called an AZIMUTH CIRCLE.




What is a Binnacle?


binnacle; The stand in which a compass is mounted. For a magnetic compass it is usually provided with means of mounting various correctors for adjustment and compensation of the compass.




Explain Calibrate.


calibrate; To determine or rectify the scale graduations of an instrument.




Explain Calibration Correction and Calibration Error.


calibration correction; The value to be added to or subtracted from the reading of an instrument to obtain the correct reading.

calibration error; The error in an instrument due to imperfection of calibration or maladjustment of its parts.




Explain Celestial Coordinates.


celestial coordinates; Any set of coordinates used to define a point on the celestial sphere. The horizon, celestial equator, and the ecliptic systems of celestial coordinates are based on the celestial horizon, celestial equator, and the ecliptic, respectively, as the primary great circle.




Explain Celestial Equator.


celestial equator; The primary great circle of the celestial sphere, everywhere 90° from the celestial poles; the intersection of the extended plane of the equator and the celestial sphere. Also called EQUINOCTIAL.




What is a Celestial Fix?


celestial fix; A fix established by means of two or more celestial bodies.




Explain Celestial Horizon.


celestial horizon; That circle of the celestial sphere formed by the intersection of the celestial sphere and a plane through the center of the earth and perpendicular to the zenith-nadir line. Also called RATIONAL HORIZON. See also HORIZON.




Explain Celestial Latitude.


celestial latitude; Angular distance north or south of the ecliptic; the arc of a circle of latitude between the ecliptic and a point on the celestial sphere, measured northward or southward from the ecliptic through 90°, and labeled N or S indicate the direction of measurement.




Explain Celestial Line of Position.


celestial line of position; A line of position determined by means of a celestial body.




Explain Celestial Longitude.


celestial longitude; Angular distance east of the vernal equinox, along the ecliptic; the arc of the ecliptic or the angle at the ecliptic pole between the circle of latitude of the vernal equinox at the circle of latitude of a point on the celestial sphere, measured eastward from
the circle of latitude of the vernal equinox, through 360°.




Explain Celestial Meridian.


celestial meridian; A great circle of the celestial sphere, through the celestial poles and the zenith. The expression usually refers to the upper branch, that half from pole to pole which passes through the zenith; the other half being called the lower branch. The celestial meridian coincides with the hour circle through the zenith and the vertical circle through the elevated pole.




Explain Celestital Observation.


celestial observation; Observation of celestial phenomena. The expression is applied in navigation principally to the measurement of the altitude of a celestial body, and sometimes to measurement of azimuth, or to both altitude azimuth. The expression may also be
applied to the data obtained by such measurement. Also called SIGHT in navigation usage.




Explain Celestial Pole.


celestial pole; Either of the two points of intersection section of the celestial sphere and the extended axis of the earth, labeled N or S to indicate whether the north celestial pole or the south celestial pole




Explain Celestial Sphere.


celestial sphere; An imaginary sphere of infinite radius concentric with the earth, on which all celestial bodies except the earth are imagined to be projected.




Explain Celestial Traingle.


celestial triangle; A spherical triangle on the celestial sphere, especially the navigational triangle.




What is a Chronometer?


chronometer; A timepiece with a nearly constant rate. It is customarily used for comparison of watches and clocks to determine their errors. A chronometer is usually set approximately to Greenwich mean time and not reset as the craft changes time zones. A hack chronometer is one which has failed to meet the exacting requirements of a standard chronometer, and is used for timing observations of celestial bodies. Hack chronometers are seldom used in modern practice, any chronometer failing to meet the requirements being rejected.




Explain Chronometer Correction.


chronometer correction; The amount that must be added algebraically to the chronometer time to obtain the correct time. Chronometer correction is numerically equal to the chronometer error, but of opposite sign.




Explain Chronometer Error.


chronometer error; The amount by which chronometer time differs from the correct time to which it was set, usually Greenwich mean time. It is usually expressed to an accuracy of 1s and labeled fast (F) or slow (S) as the chronometer time is later or earlier, respectively, than the correct time. CHRONOMETER ERROR and CHRONOMETER CORRECTION are numerically the same, but of opposite sign.




Explain Chronometer Rate.


chronometer rate; The amount gained or lost by a chronometer in a unit of time. It is usually expressed in seconds per 24 hours, to an accuracy of 0.1s, and labeled gaining or losing, as appropriate, when it is sometimes called DAILY RATE.




Explain Chronometer Time.


chronometer time; The hour of the day as indicated by a chronometer. Shipboard chronometers are generally set to Greenwich mean time. Unless the chronometer has a 24-hour dial, chronometer time is usually expressed on a 12-hour cycle and labeled AM or PM.




Explain Circle with regards to positioning.


circle; A plane closed curve all points of which are equidistant from a point within, called the center. A great circle is the intersection of a sphere and a plane through its center; it is the largest circle that can be drawn on a sphere. A small circle is the intersection of a sphere and a plane which does not pass through its center.




Explain Circle of Equal Altitude.


circle of equal altitude; A circle on the surface of the earth, on every point of which the altitude of a given celestial body is the same at a given instant. The center of this circle is the geographical position of the body, and the great circle distance from this pole to the circle is the zenith distance of the body.




Explain Circumference.


circumference; 1. The boundary line of a circle or other closed plane curve or the outer limits of a sphere or other round body. 2. The length of the boundary line of a circle or closed plane curve or of the outer limits of a sphere or other rounded body. The circumference
of a sphere is the circumference of any great circle on thesphere.




Explain Circle of Latitude.


circle of latitude; A great circle of the celestial sphere through the ecliptic poles and along which celestial latitude is measured.




Explain Circle of Position.


circle of position; A circular line of position. The expression is most frequently used with reference to the circle of equal altitude surrounding the geographical position of a celestial body. Also called POSITION CIRCLE.




Explain Compass Adjustment.


compass adjustment; The process of neutralizing undesired magnetic effects on a magnetic compass. Permanent magnets and soft iron correctors are arranged about the binnacle so that their effects are about equal and opposite to the magnetic material in the craft, thus
reducing the deviations and eliminating the sectors of sluggishness and unsteadiness.




Explain Compass Heading.


compass heading; Heading relative to compass north.




Explain Compass North.


compass north; The direction north as indicated by a magnetic compass; the reference direction for measurement of compass directions.




Explain Compass Points.


compass points; The 32 divisions of a compass, at intervals of 11 1/4°. Each division is further divided into quarter points. Stating in order the names of the points (and sometimes the half and quarter points) is called BOXING THE COMPASS.




Explain Compass Rose.


compass rose; A circle graduated in degrees, clockwise from 0° at the reference direction to 360°, and sometimes also in compass points. Compass roses are placed at convenient locations on the Mercator chart or plotting sheet to facilitate measurement of direction. See
also PROTRACTOR.




Explain Composite Sailing.


composite sailing; A modification of great-circle sailing used when it is desired to limit the highest latitude. The composite track consists of a great circle from the point of departure and tangent to the limiting parallel, a course line along the parallel, and a great circle tangent to the limiting parallel to the destination. Composite sailing applies only when the vertex lies between the point of departure and destination.




Explain Composite Track.


composite track; A modified great-circle track consisting of an initial great circle track from the point of departure with its vertex on a limiting parallel of latitude, a parallel-sailing track from this vertex along the limiting parallel to the vertex of a final great-circle track to the destination.




Explain Coordinate.


coordinate; One of a set of magnitudes defining a point in space. If the point is known to be on a given line, only one coordinate is needed; if on a surface, two are required; if in space, three. Cartesian coordinates define a point relative to two intersecting lines, called AXES. If the axes are perpendicular, the coordinates are rectangular; if not perpendicular, they are oblique coordinates. A three dimensional system of Cartesian coordinates is called space coordinates. Polar coordinates define a point by its distance and direction from a fixed point called the POLE. Direction is given as the angle between a reference radius vector and a radius vector to the point. If three dimensions are involved, two angles are used to locate the radius vector. Space-polar coordinates define a point on the surface of a sphere by (1) its distance from a fixed point at the center, called the POLE (2) the COLATITUDE or angle between the POLAR AXIS (a reference line through the pole) and the RADIUS VECTOR (a straight line connecting the pole and the point)- and (3) the LONGITUDE or angle between a reference plane through the polar axis and a plane through the radius vector and the polar axis. Spherical coordinates define a point on a sphere or spheroid by its angular distances from a primary great circle and from a reference secondary great circle. Geographical or terrestrial coordinates define a point on the surface of the earth. Celestial coordinates define a point on the celestial sphere. The horizon, celestial equator and the ecliptic systems of celestial coordinates are based on the celestial horizon, celestial equator, and the ecliptic, respectively, as the primary great circle.




Explain Coriolis Correction.


Coriolis correction;1. A correction applied to an assumed position, celestial line of position, celestial fix, or to a computed or observed altitude to allow for Coriolis acceleration. 2. In inertial navigation equipment, an acceleration correction which must be applied to
measurements of acceleration with respect to a coordinate system in translation to compensate for the effect of any angular motion of the coordinate system with respect to inertial space.




Explain Day's Run.


day’s run; The distance traveled by a vessel in 1 day, usually reckoned from noon to noon.




Explain Declinatioin Difference.


declination difference; The difference between two declinations, particularly between the declination of a celestial body and the value used as an argument for entering a table.




Explailn Departure.


departure; 1. The distance between two meridians at any given parallel of latitude, expressed in linear units, usually nautical miles; the distance to the east or west made good by a craft in proceeding from one point to another. 2. The point at which reckoning of a voyage begins. It is usually established by bearings of prominent landmarks as the vessel clears a harbor and proceeds to sea. When a navigator establishes this point, he is said to take departure. Also called POINT OF DEPARTURE. 3. Act of departing or leaving. 4. The amount by which the value of a meteorological element differs from the normal value.




What is a Deviascope?


deviascope; A device for demonstration of various forms of deviation and compass adjustment, or compass compensation.




Explain Deviation.


deviation; 1. The angle between the magnetic meridian and the axis of a compass card, expressed in degrees east or west to indicate the direction in which the northern end of the compass card is offset from magnetic north. Deviation is caused by disturbing magnetic influences in the immediate vicinity of the compass. Semicircular deviation changes sign (E or W) approximately each 180° change of heading; quadrantal deviation changes sign approximately each 90° change of heading; constant deviation is the same on any heading. Deviation of a magnetic compass after adjustment or compensation is RESIDUAL DEVIATION. Called MAGNETIC DEVIATION when a distinction is needed to prevent possible ambiguity. 2. Given a series of observations or measurements of a given quantity, the deviation of a single observation is the algebraic difference between the single observation and the mean or average value of the series of observations.




Explain Dip.


dip; 1. The vertical angle, at the eye of an observer, between the horizontal and the line of sight to the visible horizon. Altitudes of celestial bodies measured from the visible sea horizon as a reference are too great by the amount of dip. Since dip arises from and varies with the elevation of the eye of the observer above the surface of the earth, the correction for dip is sometimes called HEIGHT OF EYE CORRECTION. Dip is smaller than GEOMETRICAL DIP by the amount of terrestrial refraction. Also called DIP OF THE HORIZON. 2. The angle between the horizontal and the lines of force of the earth’s magnetic field at any point. Also called MAGNETIC DIP, MAGNETIC LATITUDE, MAGNETIC INCLINATION. 3. The first detectable decrease in the altitude of a celestial body after reaching its maximum altitude on or near meridian transit.




Explain Dip Correction


dip correction; The correction to sextant altitude due to dip of the horizon. Also called HEIGHT OF EYE CORRECTION.




Explain Elements of a Fix.


elements of a fix; The specific values of the coordinates used to define a position.




Explain Equator.


equator; The primary great circle of a sphere or spheroid, such as the earth, perpendicular to the polar axis, or a line resembling or approximating such a circle. The terrestrial equator is 90° from the earth’s geographical poles, the celestial equator or equinoctial is 90° from the celestial poles. The astronomical equator is a line connecting points having 0° astronomical latitude, the geodetic equator connects points having 0° geodetic latitude. The expression terrestrial equator is sometimes applied to the astronomical equator. The equator shown on charts is the geodetic equator. A fictitious equator is a reference line serving as the origin for measurement of fictitious latitude. A transverse or inverse equator is a meridian the plane of which is perpendicular to the axis of a transverse projection. An oblique equator is a great circle the plane of which is perpendicular to the axis of an oblique projection. A grid equator is a line perpendicular to a prime grid meridian at the origin. The magnetic equator or aclinic line is the line on the surface of the earth connecting all points at which the magnetic dip is zero. The geomagnetic equator is the great circle 90° from the geomagnetic poles of the earth.




Explain the Equinox.


equinox; 1. One of the two points of intersection of the ecliptic and celestial equator, occupied by the sun when its declination is 0°. The point occupied on or about March 21, when the sun’s declination changes from south to north, is called vernal equinox, March equinox, or first point of Aries; the point occupied on or about September 23, when the declination changes from north to south, is called autumnal equinox, September equinox, or first point of Libra. Also called EQUINOCTIAL POINT. 2. The instant the sun occupies one of the equinoctial points.




Explain Great Circle.


great circle; The intersection of a sphere and a plane through its center. The intersection of a sphere and a plane which does not pass through its center is called a small circle. Also called ORTHODROME, ORTHODROMIC CURVE.




Explain Great Circle Bearing.


great circle bearing; The initial direction of a great circle through two terrestrial points, expressed as angular distance from a reference direction. It is usually measured from 000° at the reference direction clockwise through 360°. Bearings obtained by any form of radiant energy are great circle bearings.




Explain Great Circle Course.


great circle course; The direction of the great circle through the point of departure and the destination, expressed as the angular distance from a reference direction, usually north, to the direction of the great circle. The angle varies from point to point along the great circle. At the point of departure it is called initial great circle course;
at the destination it is called final great circle course.




Explain Greenwich Mean Time.


Greenwich mean time; Local mean time at the Greenwich meridian; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the lower branch of the Greenwich celestial meridian and the hour circle of the mean sun, measured westward from the lower
branch of the Greenwich celestial meridian through 24 hours; Greenwich hour angle of the mean sun expressed in time units, plus 12 hours. Also called UNIVERSAL TIME, ZULU TIME.




Explain Horizon.


horizon; The great circle of the celestial sphere midway between the zenith and nadir, or a line resembling or approximating such a circle. The line where earth and sky appear to meet, and the projection of this line upon the celestial sphere, is called the visible or apparent horizon. A line resembling the visible horizon but above or below it is called a false horizon. The circle of the celestial sphere-formed by the intersection of the celestial sphere and a plane perpendicular to the zenith-nadir line is called sensible horizon if the plane is through any point, such as the eye of an observer; geoidal horizon if through any sea-level point; and celestial or rational horizon if through the center of the earth. The geometrical horizon was originally considered identical with the celestial horizon, but the expression is now more commonly used to refer to the intersection of the celestial sphere and an infinite number of straight lines tangent to the earth’s surface, and radiating from the eye of the observer. If there were no terrestrial refraction, GEOMETRICAL AND VISIBLE HORIZONS would coincide. An artificial horizon is a device for indicating the horizontal. A radio horizon is the line at which direct rays from a transmitting antenna become tangent to the earth’s surface. A radar horizon is the radio horizon of a radar antenna.




Explain Horizon Glass.


horizon glass;The glass of a marine sextant, attached to the frame,
through which the horizon is observed. The half of this glass nearer
the frame is silvered to form the HORIZON MIRROR for reflecting
the image of a celestial body; the other half is clear.




Explain Hour Angle.


hour angle; Angular distance west of a celestial meridian or hour circle; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the upper branch of a celestial meridian or hour circle and the hour circle of a celestial body or the vernal equinox, measured westward through 360°. It is usually further designated as local, Greenwich, or sidereal as the origin of measurement is the local or Greenwich celestial meridian or the hour circle of the vernal equinox.




Explain Inclination.


inclination; 1. The angle which a line or surface makes with the vertical, horizontal, or with another line or surface. 2. One of the orbital elements (parameters) that specifies the orientation of an orbit. It is the angle between the orbital plane and a reference plane, the plane of the celestial equator for geocentric orbits and the ecliptic for heliocentric orbits.




Explain Index Arm.


index arm; A slender bar carrying an index; particularly the bar which pivots at the center of curvature of the arc of a marine sextant and carries the index and the vernier or micrometer.




Explain Index Error.


index error; The error in the reading of an instrument equal to the difference between the zero of the scale and the zero of the index. In a marine sextant it is due primarily to lack of parallelism of the index mirror and the horizon glass at zero reading.




Explain Index Correction.


index correction; The correction due to index error.




Explain Index Mirror.


index mirror; The mirror attached to the index arm of a marine sextant. The bubble or pendulum sextant counterpart is called INDEX PRISM. Also called INDEX GLASS.




Explain Intersect.


intersect; To cut or cross. For example, two non parallel lines in a plane intersect in a point, and a plane intersects a sphere in a circle.




Explain Latitude.


latitude; Angular distance from a primary great circle or plane. Terrestrial latitude is angular distance from the equator, measured northward or southward through 90° and labeled N or S to indicate thedirection of measurement; astronomical latitude at a station is angular distance between the plumb line and the plane of the celestial equator; geodetic or topographical latitude at a station is angular distance between the plane of the geodetic equator and a normal to the ellipsoid; geocentric latitude is the angle at the center of the reference ellipsoid between the celestial equator and a radius vector to a point on the ellipsoid. Geodetic and sometimes astronomical latitude are also called geographic latitude. Geodetic latitude is used for charts. Assumed (or chosen) latitude is the latitude at which anobserver is assumed to be located for an observation or computation. Observed latitude is determined by one or more lines of position extending in a generally east-west direction. Fictitious latitude is angular distance from a fictitious equator. Grid latitude is angular distance from a grid equator. Transverse or inverse latitude is angular distance from a transverse equator. Oblique latitude is angular distance from an oblique equator. Middle or mid latitude is the latitude at which the arc length of the parallel separating the meridians passing through two specific points is exactly equal to the departure in proceeding from one point to the other by middle latitude sailing. Mean latitude is half the arithmetical sum of the latitude of two places on the same side of the equator. The mean latitude is usually used in middle-latitude sailing for want of a practical means of determining middle latitude. Difference of latitude is the shorter arc of any meridian between the parallels of two places, expressed in angular measure. Magnetic latitude, magnetic inclination, or magnetic dip is angular distance between the horizontal and the direction of a line of force of the earth’s magnetic field at any point. Geomagnetic latitude is angular distance from the geomagnetic equator. A parallel of latitude is a circle (or approximation of GLOSSARY OF MARINE NAVIGATION 785 a circle) of the earth, parallel to the equator, and connecting points of equal latitude- or a circle of the celestial sphere, parallel to the ecliptic. Celestial latitude is angular distance north or south of the ecliptic.




Explain Line of Position.


line of position; A plotted line on which a vessel is located, determined
by observation or measurement. Also called POSITION LINE.




Explain Local Mean Time


local mean time; The arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial
pole, between the lower branch of the local celestial meridian
and the hour circle of the mean sun, measured westward from the
lower branch of the local celestial meridian through 24 hours; local
hour angle of the mean sun, expressed in time units, plus 12 hours.
Local mean time at the Greenwich meridian is called Greenwich
mean time, or Universal Time.




Explain Local Meridian.


local meridian; The meridian through any particular place of observer,
serving as the reference for local time, in contrast with GREENWICH
MERIDIAN.




Explain Longitude.


longitude; Angular distance, along a primary great circle, from the
adopted reference point. Terrestrial longitude is the arc of a parallel,
or the angle at the pole, between the prime meridian and the
meridian of a point on the earth measured eastward or westward
from the prime meridian through 180°, and labeled E or W to
indicate the direction of measurement. Astronomical longitude is
the angle between the plane of the prime meridian and the plane of
the celestial meridian; geodetic longitude is the angle between the
plane of the geodetic meridian and a station and the plane of the
geodetic meridian at Greenwich. Geodetic and sometimes astronomical
longitude are also called geographic longitude. Geodetic
longitude is used in charting. Assumed longitude is the longitude at
which an observer is assumed to be located for an observation or
computation. Observed longitude is determined by one or more
lines of position extending in a generally north-south direction. Difference
of longitude is the smaller angle at the pole or the shorter
arc of a parallel between the meridians of two places, expressed in
angular measure. Fictitious longitude is the arc of the fictitious
equator between the prime fictitious meridian and any given fictitious
meridian. Grid longitude is angular distance between a prime
grid meridian and any given grid meridian. Oblique longitude is
angular distance between a prime oblique meridian and any given
oblique meridian. Transverse or inverse longitude is angular
distance between a prime transverse meridian and any given meridian.
Celestial longitude is angular distance east of the vernal
equinox, along the ecliptic.




Explain Longitude Method.


longitude method; The establishing of a line of position from the observation
of the latitude of a celestial body by assuming a latitude (or
longitude), and calculating the longitude (or latitude) through
which the line of position passes, and the azimuth. The line of
position is drawn through the point thus found, perpendicular to the
azimuth.




Explain Magnetic Pole.


magnetic pole; 1. Either of the two places on the surface of the earth where the magnetic dip is 90°, that in the Northern Hemisphere being designated north magnetic pole, and that in the Southern Hemisphere being designated south magnetic pole.




Explain Mean Latitude.


mean latitude; Half the arithmetical sum of the latitudes of two places on the same side of the equator. Mean latitude is labeled N or S to indicate whether it is north or south of the equator. The expression is occasionally used with reference to two places on opposite sides of the equator, but this usage is misleading as it lacks the significance usually associated with the expression. When the places are on opposite sides of the equator, two mean latitudes are generally used, the mean of each latitude north and south of the equator. The mean latitude is usually used in middle-latitude sailing for want of a practicable means of determining the middle latitude.




Explain Meridian Angle Difference.


meridian angle difference; The difference between two meridian angles, particularly between the meridian angle of a celestial body and the value used as an argument for entering a table.




Explain Meridian Altitude.


meridian altitude; The altitude of a celestial body when it is on the celestial meridian of the observer, bearing 000° or 180° true.




Explain Meridian Angle.


meridian angle; Angular distance east or west of the local celestial meridian; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the upper branch of the local celestial meridian and the hour circle of a celestial body measured eastward or westward from the local celestial meridian through 180°, and labeled E or W to indicate the direction of measurement.




Explain Middle Latitude.


middle latitude; The latitude at which the arc length of the parallel separating the meridians passing through two specific points is exactly equal to the departure in proceeding from one point to the other by middle-latitude sailing.




Explain Middle-Lattitude Sailing.


middle-latitude sailing; A method that combines plane sailing and parallel sailing. Plane sailing is used to find difference of latitude and departure when course and distance are known, or vice versa. Parallel sailing is used to inter-convert departure and difference of longitude. The mean latitude is normally used for want of a practicable means of determining the middle latitude, the latitude at which the arc length of the parallel separating the meridians passing through two specific points is exactly equal to the departure in proceeding from one point to the other.




Explain Nautical Mile.


nautical mile; A unit of distance used principally in navigation. For practical consideration it is usually considered the length of 1 minute of any great circle of the earth, the meridian being the great circle most commonly used. Because of various lengths of the nautical mile in use throughout the world, due to differences in definition and the assumed size and shape of the earth, the International Hydrographic Bureau in 1929 proposed a standard length of 1,852 meters, which is known as the International Nautical Mile. This has been adopted by nearly all maritime nations. The U.S. Departments of Defense and Commerce adopted this value on July 1, 1954. With the yardmeter relationship then in use, the International Nautical Mile was equivalent to 6076.10333 feet, approximately. Using the yardmeter conversion factor effective July 1, 1959, (1 yard = 0.9144 meter, exactly) the International Nautical Mile is equivalent to 6076.11549 feet, approximately.




Explain Navigational Plot.


navigational plot; A graphic plot of the movements of a craft. A dead reckoning plot is the graphic plot of the dead reckoning, suitably labeled with respect to time, direction, and speed; a geographical plot is one relative to the surface of the earth.




Explain Noon Sight.


noon sight; Measurement of the altitude of the sun at local apparent noon, or the altitude so measured.




Explain Parallax.


parallax; The difference in apparent direction or position of an object when viewed from different points. For bodies of the solar system, parallax is the difference in the direction of the body due to the displacement of the observer from the center of the earth, and is called geocentric parallax, varying with the body’s altitude and distance from the earth. The geocentric parallel when a body is in the horizon is called horizontal parallax, as contrasted with the parallax at any altitude, called parallax in altitude. Parallax of the moon is called lunar parallax. In marine navigation it is customary to apply a parallax correction to sextant altitudes of the sun, moon, Venus, and Mars. For stars, parallax is the angle at the star subtended by the semimajor axis of the earth’s orbit and is called heliocentric or stellar parallax, which is too small to be significant as a sextant error.




Explain Parallax Correction.


parallax correction; A correction due to parallax, particularly that sextant altitude correction due to the difference between the apparent direction from a point on the surface of the earth to celestial body and the apparent direction from the center of the earth to the same body.




What are Parallel Rulers?


parallel rulers; An instrument for transferring a line parallel to itself. In its most common form it consists of two parallel bars or rulers connected in such manner that when one is held in place, the other may be moved, remaining parallel to its original position.




Explain Parallel Sailing.


parallel sailing; A method of converting departure into difference of longitude, or vice versa, when the true course is 090° or 270°.




What is a Pelorus?


pelorus; A dumb compass, or a compass card (called a PELORUS CARD) without a directive element, suitably mounted and provided with vanes to permit observation of relative bearings unless used in conjunction with a compass to give true or magnetic bearings.




Explain Plotting Chart.


plotting chart;An outline chart on a specific scale and projection, usually showing a graticule and compass rose, designed to be used ancillary to a standard nautical chart, and produced either as an independent chart or part of a coordinated series.




Explain Prime Meridian.


prime meridian; The 0° meridian of longitude, used as the origin for measurement of longitude The meridian of Greenwich, England, is almost universally used for this purpose.




What is a Protractor?


protractor; An instrument for measuring angles on a surface; an angular scale. In its most usual form it consists of a circle or part of one (usually a semicircle) graduated in degrees.




Explain Rhumb Bearing.


rhumb bearing; The direction of a rhumb line through two terrestrial points, expressed angular distance from a reference direction. It is usually measured from 000° at the reference direction clockwise through 360°. Also called MERCATOR BEARING.




Explain Rhumb Line.


rhumb line; A line on the surface of the earth making the same oblique angle with all meridians; a loxodrome or loxodromic curve spirals toward the poles in a constant true direction. Parallels and meridians, which also maintain constant true directions, may be considered special cases of the rhumb line. A rhumb line is a straight line on a Mercator projection. Sometimes shortened to RHUMB.




Explain Rhumb Line Course.


rhumb-line course; The direction of the rhumb line from the point of departure to the destination, expressed as the angular distance from a reference direction, usually north. Also called MERCATOR COURSE.




Explain Rhumb-Line Sailing.


rhumb-line sailing; Any method of solving the various problems involving course, distance, difference of latitude, difference of longitude, and departure as they are related to a rhumb line.




What is a Sextant?


sextant; A double-reflecting instrument for measuring angles, primarily altitudes of celestial bodies. As originally used, the term applied only to instruments having an arc of 60°, a sixth of a circle, from which the instrument derived its name. Such an instrument had a range of 120°. In modern practice the term applies to a similar instrument, regardless of its range, very few modern instruments being sextants in the original sense. Thus, an octant, having a range of 90°; a quintant, having a range of 144°; and a quadrant, having a range of 180°, may be called sextants. A marine sextant is designed primarily for marine navigation.




Explain Sextant Adjustment.


sextant adjustment; The process of checking the accuracy of a sextant and removing or reducing its error.




Explain Sextant Altitude.


sextant altitude; Altitude as indicated by a sextant or similar instrument, before corrections are applied.




Explain Standard Parallel.


standard parallel; 1. A parallel of latitude which is used as a control line in the computation of a map projection. 2. A parallel of latitude on a map or chart along which the scale is as stated for that map or chart.




What is a Star Chart?


star chart; A representation, on a flat surface, of the celestial sphere or a part of it, showing the positions of the stars and sometimes other features of the celestial sphere.




What are Sight Reduction Tables?


Star Sight Reduction Tables for 42 Stars; A sight reduction table which provides for the reduction of 42 selected stars by the assumed altitude method. Of the 42 stars included in the table, 21 are above the observer’s horizon at any time and are so tabulated in each column for integral values of latitude and altitude. This large number of star tabulations is particularly useful when clouds make identification difficult or obscure stars. Since the tabulations are for a given epoch, provision is made for precession and nutation corrections.




Explain Universal Time.


Universal Time; Conceptually, time as determined from the apparent diurnal motion of a fictitious mean sun which moves uniformly along the celestial equator at the average rate of the apparent sun. Actually, Universal Time (UT) is related to the rotation of the earth through its definition in terms of sidereal time. Universal Time at any instant is derived from observations of the diurnal motions of the stars. The time scale determined directly from such observations is slightly dependent on the place of observation; this scale is designated UT0. By removing from UT0 the effect of the variation of the observer’s meridian due to the observed motion of the geographic pole, the scale UT1 is established. A scale designated UT2 results from applying to UT1 an adopted formula for the seasonal variation in the rate of the earth’s rotation. UT1 and UT2 are independent of the location of the observer. UT1 is the same as Greenwich mean time used in navigation.




Explain Variation.


variation; 1. The angle between the magnetic and geographic meridians at any place, expressed in degrees and minutes east or west to indicate the direction of magnetic north from true north. The angle between magnetic and grid meridians is called GRID MAGNETIC ANGLE, GRID VARIATION, or GRIVATION. Called MAGNETIC VARIATION when a distinction is needed to prevent possible ambiguity. Also called MAGNETIC DECLINATION. 2. Change or difference from a given value.




Explain Visible Horizon


visible horizon; The line where earth and sky appear to meet, and the projection of this line upon the celestial sphere. If there were no terrestrial refraction, VISIBLE and GEOMETRICAL HORIZONS would coincide. Also called APPARENT HORIZON.




Explain Zenith.


zenith; The point on the celestial sphere vertically overhead. The point 180° from the zenith is called the NADIR.




Explain Zone Time.


zone time; The local mean time of a reference or zone meridian whose time is kept throughout a designated zone. The zone meridian is usually the nearest meridian whose longitude is exactly divisible by 15°. Standard time is a variation of zone time with irregular but well-defined zone limits. Daylight saving or summer time is usually 1 hour later than zone or standard time.