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Notice the knots in the cord attached to the carved mahogany transom.Before leaving homeport, the navigator would tie a knot in the cord so that, by holding it in his teeth, he could sight Polaris along the top of the transom and the horizon along the bottom.To return to homeport, he would sail north or south as needed to bring Polaris to the altitude hed observed when he left home, then sail down the latitude.Over time, Arab navigators started tying knots in the string at intervals of one issabah.In the word "astrolabe" - "astro means star and "labe" roughly translates as to take or 'to find.' The astronomer's beautiful, intricate and expensive astrolabe was the grandfather of the much simpler, easy to use mariner's quadrant and astrolabe.The mariners quadranta quarter of a circle made of wood or brass--came into widespread use for navigation around 1450, though its use can be traced back at least to the 1200s. The scale spans 90 degrees and is divided into whole degrees.The word issabah is Arabic for finger, and it denotes one degree 36 minutes, which was considered to be the width of a finger.They even developed a journal of different ports that recorded which knot on the kamal corresponded to the altitude of Polaris for each port they frequently visited.
Although no formal background is needed for this lesson, some familiarity with the basics of navigation and the Universal Plotting Sheet will be useful to the learner.Types of lunar eclipses A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the Sun and Moon but the 3 celestial bodies do not form a perfectly straight line in space.When that happens, a small part of the Moon's surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth's shadow, called the umbra.Earth, coordinates, celestial sphere, latitude, longitude, declination, Greenwich Hour Angle, GHA, equator, meridian, degree, minute, nautical mile, geographic position, altitude, azimuth, sextant, index correction, dip, star, navigation, Sun, morning, evening, sight, Local Apparent Noon, LAN, fix, running fix, estimated position, dead reckoning, assumed position, Nautical Almanac, celestial data calculator, Ho, Hc, Hs, Zn, ship, position, sight reduction, intercept method, altitude-intercept method, Marcq Saint Hillaire Method, Universal Plotting Sheet, line of position, LOP In order to better serve our users and sponsors, access to our online materials requires registration.To learn more about registering or to get help with common questions about our site, please visit our FAQs.