The Sextant was completed in 1673, the 12th year of the Kangxi Emperor’s reign in the Qing Dynasty. Despite being widely used in Europe, the sextant did not make an appearance in Chinese astrological history before Ferdinand Verbiest designed one and began to use it in China. It measures eight feet in radius and the scale of a sextant is 1/6 of a full circle. The sextant was used to measure the angle of elevation of a celestial object above the horizon, and to calculate the angle between two objects limited to 60 degrees of arc. It also measured the angles of the sun and the moon. Its structure and design were based on the Tychonian sextant.


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