Scientists Think They Have Found The Mythical ‘Sunstone’ Vikings Used To Navigate Warships

An oblong crystal found in the wreck of a 16th-century English warship is a sunstone, a near-mythical navigational aid said to have been used by Viking mariners, researchers said on Wednesday.

The stone is made of Iceland spar, a transparent, naturally-occurring calcite crystal that polarizes light and can get a bearing on the Sun, they said.

It was found in the remains of a ship that had been dispatched to France in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as a precaution against a second Spanish Armada but foundered off the island of Alderney, in the Channel.

British and French scientists have long argued that the find is a sunstone — a device that fractures the light, enabling seafarers to locate the Sun even when it is behind clouds or has dipped below the horizon.

Please read the rest here: http://www.utaot.com/2013/03/06/scientists-think-they-have-found-the-mythical-sunstone-vikings-used-to-navigate-warships/

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