Celestial navigation is the art and science of finding one's geographic position by means of astronomical observations, particularly by measuring altitudes of celestial objects – sun, moon, planets, or stars.

Cross Staff

Medieval surveyors using the cross staff

This website provides a compact manual I wrote for mariners, surveyors, globetrotters, outdoorsmen, students, and other people interested in navigation, earth sciences, and astronomy:

A Short Guide to Celestial Navigation

This electronic book is intended for readers familiar with the fundamentals of geography, algebra, and geometry. In particular, the principles of geographic coordinates and trigonometric functions should be known. Everything else is explained in the text.

The complete manual is available in Portable Document Format (.pdf). To download it as a single, compressed file (, 705 kb, updated May 24, 2001), click  here.

Since I am almost constantly working on the manual, it may be a good idea to check this site for updates from time to time.

The publication is free. Please observe the license terms included in the documentation.

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