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We would like to challenge you with a few questions based on the information provided above to encourage you to reexamine the object and to think about the various contexts of its invention, production, promotion and use.

Question #1   Why was it important for a ship's navigator to know the time at night?
Question #2  What other navigational instruments were used by mariners in the 17th and 18th centuries?
Question #3  What factors influenced the use of wood or brass for navigational instruments in the 15th - 17th centuries?
Question #4  What special skills were required of makers of nocturnals?
Question #5  What evidence do we have that nocturnals were actually used on ships sailing to Canada in the 17th century?