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    Re: 1888 Bowditch Pages on Lunars now online
    From: Brian Whatcott
    Date: 2002 Jan 25, 8:14 PM

    At 07:03 PM 1/25/02, Dan Allen wrote:
    >has 11 pages from a personal copy of Nathaniel Bowditch's 1888 version of
    >"American Practical Navigator".  (Well, the Navy actually had changed most
    >of his original work by this time, but you get the drift...)
    >The 11 scanned pages are 2.2 MB in size total.
    >Dan Allen
    In the same vein, here are some notes on his predecessors' efforts.
    "Regiomontanus's interest in the motion of the Moon led him to make the
    important observation that the method of lunar distances could be used to
    determine longitude at sea. It was many years, however, before the position
    of the Moon could be predicted with sufficient accuracy to make the method
    practical and instruments constructed to give the lunar position with the
    high degree of accuracy necessary for the method. Regiomontanus describes
    how the position of the Moon can be used to determine longitude in the
    ephemerides for the years 1474-1506 which he published. "
    In 1773, a journal entry of Cook's:
    "Such are the improvements Navigation has received from Astronomers of this
    Age, by the Valuable Table they have communicated to the Publick under the
    direction of the Board of Longitude contained in the Astronomical Ephemeris
    and the Tables for correcting the Apparent Distance of the Moon and a Star
    from the effects of Refraction and Parallax . . . Much Credet is also due
    to the Mathematical Instrument makers for the improvements and accuracy
    with which they make their Instruments, for without good Instruments the
    Tables would loose  part of their use."
    Brian Whatcott
       Altus OK                      Eureka!

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