How To Convert a Decimal to Sexagesimal
You'll often find degrees given in decimal degrees (121.135°
instead of the more common degrees, minutes, and seconds (121°8'6"). However, it's easy to convert from a decimal to the sexagesimal system.
1. The whole units of degrees will remain the same (i.e. in 121.135° longitude, start with 121°
2. Multiply the decimal by 60 (i.e. .135 * 60 = 8.1).
3. The whole number becomes the minutes (8').
4. Take the remaining decimal and multiply by 60. (i.e. .1 * 60 = 6).
5. The resulting number becomes the seconds (6"). Seconds can remain as a decimal.
6. Take your three sets of numbers and put them together, using the symbols for degrees (°
, minutes (‘), and seconds (") (i.e. 121°8'6" longitude)
1. Though there are 360 degrees in a circle, each degree is divided into sixty minutes and each minute is divided into sixty seconds.