Science Café: The history of the sextant

Science Café: The history of the sextant


21:30 - 22:30


Observatório do Lago Alqueva
CM 1127, Monsaraz

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The history of the Sextant

By Nelson Nunes

Observatório do Lago Alqueva
Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço
Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

Several are the nautical instruments that sailors used through time to find the position at sea: Kamal, Crosstaff, Quadrant, Astrolab, Sextant, GPS. We will explore how they look like and how they work using the items from the Observatório do Lago Alqueva.

Nelson Nunes has a first degree in Technological Physics Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and a PhD in Physics from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Nelson was a researcher in cosmology in London, Minnesota, Cambridge and Heidelberg. In 1998 was a member of one of the teams that found out in that year that the Universe is currently accelerating.  He has been working in the construction of theoretical models that attempt to explain the nature of this acceleration. At the moment he is a researcher of the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences and teaches in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. He is the director of the Observatório do Lago Alqueva in Monsaraz, Alentejo.