Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading
Azimuth Compass an instrument employed for ascertaining the position of the sun with respect to magnetic north. The azimuth of an object is its bearing from the observer measured as an angle clockwise from true north.
An azimuth compass (or azimuthal compass) is a nautical instrument used to measure the magnetic azimuth, the angle of the arc on the horizon between the direction of the sun or some other celestial object and the magnetic north. This can be compared to the true azimuth obtained by astronomical observation to determine the magnetic declination, the amount by which the reading of a ship's compass must be adjusted to obtain an accurate reading. Azimuth compasses were important in the period before development of the reliable chronometers needed to determine a vessel's exact position from astronomical observations.
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