A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: John D. Howard
Date: 2015 Dec 20, 19:28 -0800
First of all, welcome.
You can determine your position with a sextant at any time of the day at any time of the year. So long as you can measure the angle ( height ) of a star, planent, or the sun above the horizion you can figure a Line of position - a small section of a circle. The method for about 150 years or so is to figure a LOP then use another star, planet or sun shot to figure another LOP ( and a third ..... ) and your position is where they cross. X marks the spot.
From a non-moving spot like your yard you can take a sun shot in the morning, figure a LOP then wait untill the afternoon and do the same. The two LOPs will cross at your location.
There are MANY ways to figure the LOP - math formulas, computer apps, table look-up, sliderule, and on and on. Look in almost any book on cell nav for more info, many on-line and in this NavList under resources.
There are other methods to find your position with a sextant other than the LOP way but for a long time nost navies and nav schools have favoried LOPs.
Hope this helps.