This page lists all the resources that are discussed on the other pages of the Celestial Navigation Net website.


The School of Ocean Sailing onboard in Maine, with a celestial navigation course.
Starpath School of Navigation – correspondence and onsite in Seattle.
Reed Navigation holds classes in conjunction with Mystic Seaport  and its Planetarium Courses.
Sail Due South – South Africa. Under their Advanced Courses is the Yachtmaster Ocean course which includes celestial navigation.




Landfall Navigation
Land and Sea Collection – including antiques



John Harrison and the Longitude Problem
Medieval Scientific Instruments (kamal, cross-staff, and quadrant)
Hands-On Astrolabe Page
Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe    (SITE NOW APPEARS DEFUNCT)
Seaman’s Secrets – 1595
History of the Sextant
Scientific Instruments of Medieval and Renaissance Europe
Longitude at Sea, from the Galileo Project
How A Sextant Works
Navigation by Sextant


Traditional Navigation in the Western Pacific – Polynesian Voyaging Society, and the Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions Page (older page but still has some good links – scroll down)
Wayfinding, or Noninstrument Navigation from the PVS
Navigation in the Information Age: History and Context from Hawaii Nation.
Aboriginal (Native American) Astronomy
Curriculum Activities from the Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions site
Hawaiki Rising: Hokule’a, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance.
Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii. See their wayfinding page here.

The Wayfinders: A Pacific Odyssey
The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific
Papa Mau, the Wayfinder


Math and Science

Navigational Trigonometry
Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground – From the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory – Children’s Astronomy Activities. See their Chapter on Coordinate Systems and Celestial Mapping (SCROLL DOWN!)
Heavenly Mathematics: Highlights of Cultural Astronomy
Astronomy without a Telescope
Navigating Around the World by Observing the Sun
Nova’s Shockwave Game on Finding Your Longitude

How to Make a Quadrant
Measuring North Latitude at Night
How to Use a Cross-Staff
Make your own planisphere
Build Your Own Sextant
Cardboard Sextant Kit
Finding Latitude by Polaris (historical)

History (See also Navigational Instruments and History, above)

Pre-1400 navigation

Age of Exploration

Christopher Columbus Navigation Page
Discovers’ Web
The Age of Exploration from the Mariner’s Museum
Determination of Latitude by Sir Francis Drake – a page by Bob Graham.
Teacher’s Guide to Teaching Longitude and see the classroom activity here.
Secrets of Ancient Navigation
Latitude: The Art and Science of 15th and 16th Century Navigation

American History

Short Biography of Nathaniel Bowditch
The Underground Railroad:Connections to Freedom and Science  NASA DVD web page here.  Video here. Slaves used celestial navigation to find their way north.
Lewis and Clark article originally from the Institute of Navigation’s Spring 2000 Newsletter
Lewis and Clark:   Formal Navigation and also other various articles on Celestial Navigation
David Thompson and Land Navigation

The Vikings

Viking Navigation (scroll down for navigation information)
The Legend of the Viking Sunstone
Viking Sun Compass
David Burch on Using Polarized Sun Glasses as a Viking Sunstone
The Fabled Viking Sunstone
Time and Travel in Old Norse Society
How Could the Viking Sun Compass Be Used with Sunstone Before and After Sunset?

Expedition: Draken-Harald-Harfagre




Al Placette’s Tutorial
Umland’s Short Guide to Celestial Navigation
Omar Reis’s Introduction to Celestial Navigation
Douglas S. J. De Couto’s summary
Celestial Navigation Basics from John Jacq
Celestial Navigation in a Teacup
Dutch Dresser’s Course (through the Internet Archives – the “wayback” machine)


ONLINE DATA: Almanac Information, Lat-Lon Finders, etc.

Bowditch’s American Practical Navigator Online PDF
Nautical Almanacs: Publications 229 and 249 (air and maritime sight reduction tables) and data for Assumed Position and Time.
Find your latitude and longitude

Universal Time from the US Navy
Omar Reis’s Online Nautical Almanac
Civil and Nautical Twilight, Sun and Moon Rise and Set


The Foundation for the Promotion of the Art of Navigation
Royal Institute of Navigation

Institute of Navigation
Nautical Almanac Office


US Sailing’s  Celestial Navigation Certification– the governing body for the sport of sailing in the US.
The U.S. Navy’s Celestial Navigation Page

Ocean Navigator Magazine
The Navigation List – archives
Interactive Sextant
Everything you wanted to know about Marvin Creamer but were afraid to ask!



H. Umland’s Freeware Page
Palm Pilot Celnav Program
Java Script Programs for Navigators by Jacky Wong
Omar Reis’s Navigation Star Finder
Omar Reis’s Navigator Light Computer Program
Walter Fendt’s Apparent Position of a Star
Pocket Stars PC – (PDA)
Interactive Spreadsheets for Celestial Navigation



How to Use Plastic Sextants: With Applications to Metal Sextants and a Review of Sextant Piloting – and useful for anyone learning about any kind of sextant!
Secrets of the Viking Navigators
Latitude Hooks and Azimuth Rings: How to Build and Use 18 Traditional Navigational Toolsby Dennis Fisher
The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H.A. Rey
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel
Navigation in the Age of Discovery By Duane A. Cline
Taking the Stars: Celestial Navigation from Argonauts to Astronauts by Peter Ifland
Emergency Navigation by David Burch
The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature by C.S. Lewis (the Ptolemaic model of the universe).
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea by Steve Callahan
My Old Man and the Sea  David and Daniel Hayes.
Celestial Navigation for Yachstmen by Mary Blewitt
Practical Celestial Navigation by Susan Howell
We the Navigators: the Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific by David Lewis
The Last Navigator by Stephen Thomas
Voyage of Rediscovery: A Cultural Odyssey through Polynesia by Ben. R. Finney
The Sextant Handbook by Bruce Bauer
The Star-Finder Book: A Complete Guide to the Many Uses of the 2102-D Starfinder by David Burch
The Nautical Almanac, Commercial Edition
Long-Term Almanac 2000-2050 by Geoffrey Kolbe
Line of Position Navigation: Sumner and Saint Hilaire – the Two Pillars of Modern Celestial Navigation by Peter Ifland and Michel Vanvaerenbergh

Out of Print – Worth Looking For!

Airborne: A Sentimental Journey by William F. Buckley Jr.

The Haven Finding Art: A History of Navigation from Odysseus to Captain Cook, by E.G.R. Taylor

A History of Nautical Astronomy by Charles H. Cotter





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