Measure all 3 values - indicated on the figure :

The Altitude of the North Star (Polaris) will be given by (see shaded triangle):

Tan (alt) = (h2-h1)/L

Apply this formula and find the average of altitudes from all students in your class. Imagine walking along the Jordan River - and following the method described by Bishop Nicolas -will you and your classmates on average arrive correctly at Jerusalems latitude ?

The drawing of Bishop Nicolas measuring the altitude of the polar star - is courtesy Soren Thirslund - Naval Museum, Helsingoer - permission to reproduce only if Astronomy On-Line and Soren Thirslund are mentioned. Soren has written several interesting books on navigational history - some of them are to be published by the Conway Maritime Press - London. Soren Thirslund would appreciate a feedback - does this old method really work ? - so please

Report all your results obtained by this special method to the European Student Group

Last update: Nov 18, 1996