Science: Radio Sextant

When Physicist K. G. Jansky of Bell laboratories discovered in 1932 that he could pick up radio waves from objects in space, he founded the exciting science of radio astronomy. As the sailors of antiquity had made the most of ancient astronomical findings, the U.S. Navy began studying radio astronomy to see whether a celestial radio signal might be something to steer by. Recently, the Naval Research Laboratory, working with the Collins Radio Co. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, revealed some details of a radio sextant that can navigate ships by radio waves from space.

The "eye" of the radio sextant, according to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!