Article ID: CBB350276070

The Astronomical Navigation in Portugal in the Age of Discoveries (2017)


This paper is about the evolution of astronomical navigation in Portugal, in the Age of Discoveries. We will focus our attention on the contributions, by the Portuguese mariners, to the determination of latitude at sea, using Polaris or the Sun. Besides the longitude issue has a solution only in the second half of 18th century, the Portuguese sailors intended a method to obtain this geographical coordinate, appealing to the conjunctions and oppositions of the Moon. This method was used in Magellan’s voyage (1519-1522). In this paper, we will try to present these efforts made by the Portuguese, that allowed them to face the vast oceanic waves with some degree of confidence.

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Authors & Contributors
Gingerich, Owen
Şen, Ahmet Tunç
Danışan, Gaye
Salvestrini, Francesco
Hoogendoorn, Klaas
Nicolai, Roel
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Terrae Incognitae
Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques
Medieval Encounters
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Presses Universitaires de Rennes
Oxford University Press
Baltycki Osrodek Badawczy
Instruments, astronomical
Instruments, navigational
Copernicus, Nicolaus
Melanchthon, Philipp
Lewi ben Gershom
Urdaneta, Andrés de
Seydī 'Ali Re'īs
Sacrobosco, Johannes de
Time Periods
16th century
15th century
18th century
17th century
Ottoman Empire
Indian Ocean
Mediterranean region
Pacific Ocean

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