How to determine geographic latitude

How to determine geographic latitude

Knowledge of geographic latitude at which there is your house can be very useful. In spite of the fact that today the exact location can easily be determined by compact navigators, to be guided by areas in the "old" ways still relevant and very interestingly.

It is required to you

  • Minimum knowledge of the star sky and also:
  • - two laths,
  • - bolt with a nut,
  • - protractor.


1. To determine the geographic latitude of the place, it is necessary to make the simplest protractor. Take two rectangular wooden levels one and a half-two meters long and fasten pivotally their ends by the principle of compasses. Thrust one leg of compasses to the earth and establish it vertically on a plumb. The second level has to move rather hardly on the hinge. As the hinge it is possible to use a bolt with a nut. These preliminary works have to be done in the afternoon, before twilight. Weather, naturally, should be chosen rather cloudless that it was possible to observe the star sky.

2. With approach of twilight go to the yard and find the Pole star in a sky. To define location of a star, find the constellation of Big Dipper. For this purpose face on the North and try to make out seven stars forming an outline of a big ladle. Usually this constellation is easily found. Now mentally draw a line through two extreme stars of a ladle towards a bell and measure on it five pieces equal to distance between these stars. You will get on rather bright star which will be Polar. Make sure that you were not mistaken: the found star has to be the end of a small ladle – constellations of Little Dipper.

3. Direct a mobile leg of compasses strictly to the Pole star. For this purpose you should turn a little in the earth the device and again to expose a vertical lath on a plumb. Now kind of "aim" at a star – surveyors so do – and record position of the device, having fastened a nut on the hinge. Now by means of a protractor measure a corner between the direction on a star and a vertical rack. It is possible to make it already on light, having moved the fixed device in the room. From the received result take away 90 degrees - it is and will be the latitude of your place.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team