A sextant is used to make observations of the sun and other celestial bodies in order to determine a boat's current position. The navigator sights the sun through the sextant's telescope and, by moving the index arm, aligns the image of the sun with the horizon. The sextant then establishes the angle of the sun above the horizon. By knowing the date and time of day that this angle was recorded, the navigator can calculate position.
Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958) is Australia's most renowned Antarctic scientist and explorer.
In 1911 Mawson organized and commanded the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE 1911-14) and was the sole survivor of a three-man sledging journey that ended tragically. Mawson was knighted in recognition of his leadership of this expedition.
"It is now January, 1916, and still the pack showed no sign of breaking up."