About this course
Using video, text, infographics, and Worldwide Telescope tours, we will explore the tools and techniques that navigators have used, with a particular focus on the importance (and difficulty) of measuring longitude. Grounded in the principles of position, direction, speed, and time, we will learn the challenges of navigating without a GPS signal. We’ll learn how the Age of Exploration and the economic forces of worldwide trade encouraged scientific progress in navigation; and how Jupiter’s moons, lunar eclipses, and clockmakers all played a part in orienting history’s navigators.
Centuries of progress in navigation have helped put humans on the moon and spacecraft on a comet. This course will explain how we got there, and how that progress enables you to get where you’re going today.
What you'll learn
- What exactly navigation is and how it works
- The importance of position, direction, and speed
- The many navigational tools of the 18th century
- How the motion of the sun and stars aids navigation
- Why longitude is so difficult to determine
- The historical context of navigation’s technical advances
- The role of chronometers and lunar distance
- The story of John Harrison and The Longitude Prize
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