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Build A Sundial
Build a Simple Sextant

The Sun in Time

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Build A Simple Sextant!

In order to get a feel for how astronomers might measure the altitude, or height above the horizon, of a star...or any object, students can build a simple sextant.   This PDF file (you will need Acrobat to print this file) will give you,  the teacher, some important background information on sextants.  If you download this file (also a PDF file), you will have the student version of the experiment, which includes the data sheet and some post-lab questions.  A good history of the astrolabe may be found by clicking here.

If you don't have the Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer, you can download it free, from

The Sun in Time,  sponsored by the NASA IDEAS program, is a joint partnership between NASA, the von Braun Astronomical Society, and Huntsville area middle-schools.

To return to the Sun in Time home page, click here.

sciLINKS logo (4000 bytes) Selected by the sciLINKS program, a service of National Science Teachers Association. Copyright 2001.

Please direct comments, questions, and suggestions to:
Mitzi Adams
(256) 544-3026
This page last modified on 16 October, 2001.