William H. Holman III

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: Observation errors in the use of the ordinary marine sextant can be attributed largely to the oscillating horizon that occurs when sights are taken from ships in a rough sea, the uncertainties of angular measurements to a hazy horizon, and the observer’s personal error. It is impossible to measure the altitude of a celestial body accurately in seconds if the horizon itself is oscillating in seconds. The oscillating period of a ship is not constant, and thus an accurate average cannot be obtained. My sextant, which uses the natural horizon as a basis for the reference line. is designed to eliminate these observation errors, thereby increasing accuracy, reducing the time required for observations, and saving paper work.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 1, Number 4
Pages: 73 - 77
Cite this article: Holman, William H., III, "A NEW SEXTANT", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1946-1947, pp. 73-77.
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