Sailing by Starlight: the lost art of celestial navigation

This post is a slightly modified transcript of a talk I gave on celestial navigation. As some of you know, I like to build things, and I recently decided to build some classic navigational tools. Of course, in the process of building these instruments, I had to learn how they work. The history of celestial navigation is fascinating and deeply connected to the history of astronomy and mathematics. The original slide show can be found at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

I’m going to begin with a seemingly simple question, then hopefully give you some basic tools to answer that question. Where are you?

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