Shooting the Sun

By Katherine Duke '05
Photos by Samuel Masinter '04

Think of the proverbial “billions and billions” of stars in the universe, and the hundreds or thousands we can see from Earth. Now consider that, for centuries before the advent of computers or GPS navigation, experienced sailors used 57 of those stars, plus the sun and moon, to determine their own locations in the vastness of the sea. That’s what 12 students began learning to do in Henry Parker Hirschel’s course, “Celestial Navigation.”