One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Ascertain the altitude of the sun with a sextant in order to determine one's latitude.
- ‘To shoot the sun, the navigator would hold the astrolabe in such a manner as to allow the sun's rays to pass through the upper vane, turning the alidade until the small beam of light fell on the hole of the lower vane.’
- ‘In the afternoon we hove to and tried to get the boat still enough for Ken to shoot the sun with a sextant.’
- ‘Star and planet sights must be taken at dusk and dawn when both these bodies and the horizon are clearly visible, but you can shoot the sun and moon at any time of the day when you can see them.’
- ‘Firstly, in a small boat when you shoot the sun with your sextant it is easy to mistake the top of a wave for the horizon and get the wrong answer.’
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