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A sextant - also called mirror sextant or the English version sixtant - is a nautical and optical measuring instrument. A sextant can be used to measure the angle between objects at very great distances - particularly the angle between a star and the horizon.

It is mainly used to measure the angle between stars and the sun, allowing one to calculate its position.
The name sextant comes from the fact that the circuit is one sixth of a surrounding area and therefore has a scale of 120 degrees.

The sextant is a replica of the classic sextant and is functional but not accurate and is therefore recommended primarily for decoration.

What use is a sextant today if you have all the electronic tools. With the sextant you can better understand how the orbits of the heavenly bodies and the angle of the earth to the sun change between day and night and summer and winter - this is far more interesting than just reading an electronic instrument.

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A sextant is an angle measuring instrument used to measure the angle between the visible horizon and a celestial body. This angle is called the altitude of the celestial body.
Measurements with the sextant are used, among other things, in astronomical navigation for geographical positioning. For example, a measurement of the elevation of the North Star or the elevation of the Sun at noon can be used to determine the observer's latitude by consulting tables in an almanac.

The instrument is used by navigators in sea and aviation, among other things, for positioning and is therefore designed in such a way that it can be held in the hand without a tripod.
The instrument consists of a frame of 60 degrees and is equipped with a scaled limbus (nonius) and a movable radial arm, the alidade with a mirror and a window with a reading mark on the limbus. Also attached to the frame are a fixed mirror, optical accessories and tinted glass to protect against sunlight.

The name derives from the Latin sextans, meaning one-sixth, since the instrument measures 60 degrees (or one-sixth of a full circle) and is an evolution of the octant (which was 45 degrees, or one-eighth of a full circle).

The nautical sextant with mirrors, believed to have come into use in 1767, is a further development of the octant and was believed to have been invented by the Englishman John Hadley in 1731. Around the same time, the American Thomas Godfrey made a similar invention. For astronomical use (without mirrors and telescopes) the sextant appeared as early as the 16th century.