About five minutes before local noon the sea captain goes to the bridge with sextant in hand.
Prof. had forgotten his sextant and rode back to our main camp for it.
The flat bar which carries the nonius scale and index-glass of a quadrant, octant, quintant, or sextant.
The sextant is the one most in use and so will be described first.
Without an English sextant you cannot take an altitude at all.
Now read the angle of the height of that light by using your sextant.
“Twenty-six minutes,” continued the captain, reading off his sextant.
So saying Johnson turned upon his heel and dived below for his sextant.
It would be like chucking the sextant and the compass overboard.
The sun reached its height, and Lund busied himself with his sextant.
instrument for determining latitude, 1620s, from Modern Latin sextans, said to have been coined c.1600 by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, from Latin sextans "a sixth," from sex "six" (see six). So called because the sextans has a graduated arc equal to a sixth part of a circle.
An instrument containing a graduated 60° arc and a movable pivoted arm corresponding to the radius of the arc's circle, used in celestial navigation to measure the altitude of a celestial body in order to determine the observer's latitude and longitude. A horizontally mounted telescope and two small mirrors are arranged so that the observer can, by moving the pivoted arm, sight the horizon and the reflected image of the celestial body in the same line, giving a reading along the arc that is used to look up the observer's position in a published table.