Celestial Navigation


On Thursday, April 20th, 2017, we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit in a planetarium classroom while Captain Rick Miller taught us about celestial navigation. The classroom was an odd shape, with a dome ceiling bordered with a beautiful mural painted by a local school. Captain Rick Miller presented himself as an intelligent and humorous man. It was clear that he enjoys his job.

GPS and other navigation technology isn't always necessary. For centuries, people didn't even have maps to travel by. He spoke about how useful celestial navigation is to find your location. On the ceiling, Captain Rick showed us a program that showed us all of the stars useful for navigation. We learned how to spot constellations. Living in NYC we can barely see one star on the clearest of nights. We also learned how to use longitude and latitude to find where we are. We were introduced to a tool, a sextant, that determines the altitude of the star, allowing us to find where we are in relation to the star. All I could imagine during this presentation was being on the Lettie G. Howard, locating where we are using the stars in the sky. If I was a student at Maine Maritime, I definitely take this celestial navigation class.

We all loved this Maine Maritime trip. We were lucky for this experience and are each grateful for this. I'm glad I got to visit this college because now I have another college I'm confident I'd love. Maine Maritime may be hours away, but it hits close to home.

By Emily Reyes, Marine Systems Technology Junior

JuniorVessel Ops