celestial navigation

noun

Definition of celestial navigation

: navigation by observation of the positions of celestial bodies

Examples of celestial navigation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The British Columbia native became the eighth person in the world (and first in North America) to circumnavigate the globe alone using only celestial navigation. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "Canadian Man Takes Social Distancing to an Extreme and Sails Around the World Alone in 265-day Voyage," 21 Sep. 2020 On their travels through the South Pacific, London taught himself celestial navigation and learned how to surf in Hawaii before ending his trip in the Solomon Islands. Karen Carmichael, National Geographic, "Set sail with these 10 books about epic ocean voyages," 9 Sep. 2020 Since antiquity navigators had been able to find their latitude fairly easily using celestial navigation. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "Why Maps Are Civilization’s Greatest Tool," 6 Aug. 2020 The sextant sailors used in the 18th century for celestial navigation had a telescopic attachment (which gave Popeye the Sailor his characteristic squint). Austin Grossman, The Atlantic, "Monocles Were Never Cool," 13 Oct. 2019 This feat of celestial navigation could be one more step toward Carl Sagan’s dream of journeying across the cosmos on reflective sails propelled by beams of light. Amy Thompson, Smithsonian, "LightSail 2 Launches to Space to Soar on the Power of Sunshine," 25 June 2019 The yachters race for 645 miles, using celestial navigation only (in other words, the stars instead of a traditional map). Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Bermuda This June," 31 May 2019 On the ground, the military is starting to retrain pilots, ship captains, and ground troops in fail-safe forms of navigation that don’t rely on GPS—like celestial navigation. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 Topics range from mastering celestial navigation to improvising fishing line from thread to getting water from a barrel cactus (only for emergencies, since cactus water can induce diarrhea). Bill Heavey, WSJ, "Summer Books: Camping," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'celestial navigation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of celestial navigation

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for celestial navigation

Time Traveler

The first known use of celestial navigation was in 1922

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Cite this Entry

“Celestial navigation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/celestial%20navigation. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on celestial navigation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about celestial navigation

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