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    About Lunars - George Huxtable
    From: Greg Gilbert
    Date: 2002 Jan 29, 3:51 PM

    My thanks and admiration to George Huxtable for his beaut little monograph
    "About Lunars".  It was compulsory reading last night, and I'm really keen
    to attempt the second example - after reading the paper several more times
    of course!!
    
    This is the first time I have even begun to understand what all the fuss was
    about, and thanks to all the List members who pushed for George to summarise
    the subject.  As a fascinated reader of the List, and a very ignorant and
    amateur navigator, I was really impressed with George's explanations and
    examples.  He managed to reduce all the really technical stuff, assume very
    little pre-existing knowledge, and still go ahead and produce a gem.  I
    can't wait for Part 3!!!
    
    Some suggestions which would help me, and probably others, are:
    
    1.      Pictures and diagrams always make life easier for me, so I was
    wondering if some could be included at a later date.
    2.      The trig formulae are a little bit hard to visualise with the
    notation used, and would be better written down with an Equation Editor or
    similar.
    3.      I'd also appreciate more information on how the early astronomers
    actually did all the arithmetic.  What we do on a calculator or computer now
    must have taken them years.
    
    It is humbling to learn that the great navigator Captain Cook used only the
    Lunar method to determine longitudes on his first voyage, and checked the
    early chronometers with lunar calculations on his second and third voyages.
    George's section entitled "Just Think" paints a vivid picture for me of all
    the navigators calculating away under very difficult conditions.  This April
    we in Australia will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Matthew
    Flinders encounter with the French explorer Baudin in Encounter Bay near
    Victor Harbor in South Australia.  Flinders was the first to circumnavigate
    Australia and the first to use the name Australia.  The navigational
    calculations he would have done make my mind boggle.  It's so much easier to
    understand and appreciate their accomplishments now.
    
    Thanks again for the time and effort you devoted to this paper.
    
    
    Greg Gilbert
    35o10' S, 138o42' E.
    

       
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