# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

**Re: Almanac Question in JN**

**From:**Jan van Puffelen

**Date:**1995 Dec 14, 00:35 +0100

Jeff Gottfred wrote: > >2. Given the following commonly used formulae for computing Z, which is >the best one to use and why? > > sin Z = (sin t * cos d) / cos Hc > >or > > cos Z = [sin d - (sin L * sin Hc)] / (cos L * cos Hc) I use the formula (as part of an altitude sight reduction program): cos Z = -(sin Dec - sin Hc * sin Lat)/cos Hc/cos Lat)*sign(sin GHA) IF Z<0 THEN Z=Z+360 This gives an azimuth 0First let me say that I am not a sailor (except dinghies, which don't >count!), my interest in navigation began when I got a pilot's license >years ago, and today I am primarily focused on the historical techniques >used by folks like David Thompson, Alexander MacKenzie, Peter Fidler, >Lewis & Clark, &c. > >You give me my Astra IIIb, a good flat piece of glass, What do you do with a good flat piece of glass? Use it as an artificial horizon perhaps? IMHO far too unreliable! > either a good >watch (or a lousy watch and a set of lunar distance tables), A set of lunar distance tables? These are not published anymore as part of the Nautical Almanac since 1908! I will believe that you are able to calculate the Most Probable Position from a single altitude observation, but to derive the time from a Lunar Distance is a quite different matter, far, far more complicated. a current >almanac, and a set of log trig tables, and I could map the continent, >(or, presumably, take you anywhere in the world if someone else drives >the boat.) Yet, I have never taken a formal (celestial) navigation >course. > For mapping quite different techniques were employed (triangulation), using different instruments. Regards, Jan ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This mail list is managed by the majordomo program. To unsubscribe from this list, send the following message to majordomo@ronin.com: unsubscribe navigation For help, send the following message to majordom@ronin.com: help Do NOT send administrative requests to navigation@ronin.com. Thanks. -ben ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From mail Wed Dec 13 20:15 EST 1995 Received: from dg-rtp by wellspring.us.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-gens08) id AA08644; Wed, 13 Dec 1995 20:15:12 -0500 Received: from gomoku.ronin.com by dg-rtp.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-rtp-v02) id AA05826; Wed, 13 Dec 1995 20:16:09 -0500 Received: from localhost (ben@localhost) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) id UAA04126 for navigation-outgoing; Wed, 13 Dec 1995 20:10:10 -0500 Received: from agt.net (clgrps02.agt.net [198.161.156.1]) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) with ESMTP id UAA04119 for ; Wed, 13 Dec 1995 20:10:06 -0500 Received: from clgrpt05-port-27.agt.net (clgrpt05-port-27.agt.net [198.161.156.124]) by agt.net (8.6.11/8.6.9) with SMTP id SAA03764 for ; Wed, 13 Dec 1995 18:11:48 -0700 Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 18:11:48 -0700 Message-Id: <199512140111.SAA03764@agt.net> X-Sender: gottfred@mail.agt.net (Unverified) Mime-Version: 1.0 To: navigation@ronin.com From: gottfred@agt.net (Jeff Gottfred) Subject: Re: Almanac Question in JN X-Mailer: Sender: owner-navigation@ronin.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: navigation@ronin.com Errors-To: owner-majordomo@ronin.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Length: 2823 Jan van Puffelen wrote: >I use the formula (as part of an altitude sight reduction program): > > cos Z = -(sin Dec - sin Hc * sin Lat)/cos Hc/cos Lat)*sign(sin >GHA) > > IF Z<0 THEN Z=Z+360 > >This gives an azimuth 0 What do you do with a good flat piece of glass? Use it as an artificial >horizon perhaps? Actually I use it to cover my artificial horizon (a bowl of water) so that it doesn't blow in the wind... >A set of lunar distance tables? These are not published anymore as part >of the Nautical Almanac since 1908! I will believe that you are able to >calculate the Most Probable Position from a single altitude >observation, but to derive the time from a Lunar Distance is a quite >different matter, far, far more complicated. Yes, that's why I am quite pleased with getting 10 statute mile accuracy in longitude using a lunar distance formula of my own computation. I have since located some formulae for clearing the distance that date to 1786 up to about 1880-- I expect to do much better with them. (Of course, I do lunars just for fun, and at demonstrations at historical re-enactments, &c) Remember, lunars are a direct method for longitude -- I use transits for latitude (200 years ago the noon shot was the staple of the navigator's diet). As for the lunar distance tables, you are quite right, they have not been produced for over 80 years. I generate them myself using the data in the almanac and a computer program that I wrote... >For mapping quite different techniques were employed (triangulation), >using different instruments. Well, yes and no. The early explorers (circa 1780-1820) basically used their sextants. David Thompson personally surveyed over one and a half million square miles of this country using a sextant manufactured by Dolland. His accuracy is astounding, seeing as how he only had a lousy watch and a set of lunar distance tables. The guys with the theodolites and chains came along about 100 years later.... Cheers! Jeff, Calgary. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This mail list is managed by the majordomo program. 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Thanks. -ben ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From mail Mon Dec 18 01:12 EST 1995 Received: from dg-rtp by wellspring.us.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-gens08) id AA21991; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 01:12:31 -0500 Received: from gomoku.ronin.com by dg-rtp.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-rtp-v02) id AA03506; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 01:13:34 -0500 Received: from localhost (ben@localhost) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) id BAA15549 for navigation-outgoing; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 01:02:20 -0500 Received: from mail.eskimo.com (root@mail.eskimo.com [204.122.16.4]) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) with ESMTP id BAA15543 for ; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 01:02:17 -0500 Received: from tia1.eskimo.com (ctaylor@tia1.eskimo.com [204.122.16.40]) by mail.eskimo.com (8.7.3/8.6.12) with SMTP id WAA26652 for ; Sun, 17 Dec 1995 22:04:15 -0800 (PST) Message-Id: <199512180604.WAA26652@mail.eskimo.com> X-Sender: ctaylor@mail.eskimo.com (Unverified) X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.4 Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 22:04:34 -0800 To: navigation@ronin.com From: ctaylor@eskimo.com (Chuck Taylor) Subject: Re: Almanac Question in JN Sender: owner-navigation@ronin.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: navigation@ronin.com Errors-To: owner-majordomo@ronin.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Length: 5295 Jeff Gottfred (gottfred@agt.net) wrote: >I believe that "recipe" methods are inherently dangerous. This is >because any new twist to the problem can leave you uncertain of your >answer. Please consider the following questions: > >1. Are the rules for determining Zn the same using pub 229 and using a >hand calculator? The answer is, "It depends." There are two common conventions for assigning algebraic signs to Latitude and Declination: (1) North is + and South is - for both Latitude and Declination. This method is taught in USPS JN 89/92. (2) Latitude is always +. Declination is + if Latitude and Declination have the same name (both North or both South); otherwise it is -. This method is taught in USPS N 93. If you use (1), the answer is "No." If you use (2), the answer is "Yes." >2. Given the following commonly used formulae for computing Z, which is >the best one to use and why? > > sin Z = (sin t * cos d) / cos Hc > >or > > cos Z = [sin d - (sin L * sin Hc)] / (cos L * cos Hc) If you use the latter, the rules for converting Z to Zn are the same as for Ho 229. If you use the former, you have to worry about the sign of t and use different rules for converting Z to Zn. This is just a surmise; correct me if I am wrong. >3. What is the following formula? > > For sperical triangle XYZ, > cos X = (cos x - cos y * cos z) / (sin y * sin z) This is a formula for finding an angle (X) of an oblique spherical triangle given the three sides (x, y, and z) in degrees, where x is the side opposite the angle X. It is derived from the Law of Cosines for oblique spherical triangles. See the Chemical Rubber Company (CRC) Standard Mathematical Tables or Bowditch (1995) Section 2115 or Bowditch Volume II (1981) Section 142. >4. Use the formula in #3 above to derive: > a) a formula for computing Hc Let X = LHA (or t), x = Co-Hc, y = Co-Latitude, z = Co-Declination, where Co-Hc = 90 - Hc, etc.. Observe that cos(90-Hc) = sin(Hc), cos(90-Lat) = sin(Lat), and sin(90-Dec) = cos(Dec). Then with a little algebra, you get sin Hc = (cos LHA * cos Lat * cos Dec) + (sin Lat * sin Dec) Find sin Hc, then take the arcsine to get Hc. By happy circumstance, either LHA or t will give the same answer. > b) a formula for computing Z Let X = Z, x = Co-Declination, y = Co-Latitude, z = Co-Hc and proceed as before to get cos Z = (sin Dec - (sin Lat * sin Hc)) / (cos Lat * cos Hc) > c) a formula for computing the great circle distance between any >two points on the surface of the earth. Observe that if the starting point is L1, Lo1 and the destination point is L2, Lo2, then the starting point corresponds to your DR or AP, and the destination point corresponds to the GP of the body. Co-Hc corresponds to the great circle distance between these two points. Use the above formulas with Lat = L1, t = Difference in Longitude = (Lo1 - Lo2), Dec = L2. Zn corresponds to the initial course angle. To visualize this relationship, draw the Navigational Triangle and the corresponding Great Circle Triangle. >I would argue that if the JN course (which I am not familiar with) does >not prepare one to answer these questions, then either the course should >changed, Sorry, I have to disagree with Jeff on this one. As a teacher of JN and N for my local squadron, my observation is that only a relatively small percentage of the JN students I see have enough math background to be able to handle the above. All of them, however, can learn to be competent celestial navigators without going into that much of the mathematical details. It is important that they have a good understanding of the Navigational Triangle and know at least two methods of solving it, but they don't need to know how the methods were derived. > or one should do the extra study required oneself. I find it rewarding to do so, but to "demand" that others should do so is not reasonable. People take JN for different reasons. Some just want to learn to get from point A to point B. To impose such stringent requirements on JN students would drive away most of them. I submit that we should try to encourage more people to study celestial navigation, not discourage them. Let's not be mathematical elitists. It is hard enough to convince people that celestial navigation is not an anachronism in this day and age when a GPS can be had for $250 (US), which is considerably less than the price of a metal sextant. Having said that, I complement Jeff Gottfred on having the ability and discipline to work out his own Lunar Distance tables and methods. Jeff, perhaps you would be willing to share with the rest of us more about the Lunar Distance method and how you use it. ------------ Chuck Taylor Everett, WA ctaylor@eskimo.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This mail list is managed by the majordomo program. 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Thanks. -ben ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From mail Mon Dec 18 19:24 EST 1995 Received: from dg-rtp by wellspring.us.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-gens08) id AA28538; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:22:22 -0500 Received: from gomoku.ronin.com by dg-rtp.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-rtp-v02) id AA16652; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:23:26 -0500 Received: from localhost (ben@localhost) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) id TAA23210 for navigation-outgoing; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:12:07 -0500 Received: from mv.mv.com (root@mv.MV.COM [192.80.84.1]) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.6.5/8.6.5) with ESMTP id TAA23190 for ; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:11:35 -0500 Received: from agt.net (clgrps02.agt.net [198.161.156.1]) by mv.mv.com (8.7.1/mem-940616) with SMTP id TAA01184 for ; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:13:32 -0500 (EST) Received: from clgrpt06-port-21.agt.net (clgrpt06-port-21.agt.net [198.161.156.151]) by agt.net (8.6.11/8.6.9) with SMTP id RAA01685; Mon, 18 Dec 1995 17:09:19 -0700 Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 17:09:19 -0700 Message-Id: <199512190009.RAA01685@agt.net> X-Sender: gottfred@mail.agt.net (Unverified) Mime-Version: 1.0 To: navigation@ronin.com From: gottfred@agt.net (Jeff Gottfred) Subject: Re: Almanac Question in JN Cc: BStewart@mcd.gov.ab.ca X-Mailer: Sender: owner-navigation@ronin.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: navigation@ronin.com Errors-To: owner-majordomo@ronin.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Content-Length: 3486 Chuck Taylor (ctaylor@eskimo.com) has written an excellent response to the three questions that I posed-- Thanks for responding Chuck! I have only a few minor comments to add. >>2. Given the following commonly used formulae for computing Z, which >>is the best one to use and why? >> >> sin Z = (sin t * cos d) / cos Hc >> >>or >> >> cos Z = [sin d - (sin L * sin Hc)] / (cos L * cos Hc) >If you use the latter, the rules for converting Z to Zn are the same as >for Ho 229. If you use the former, you have to worry about the sign of >t and use different rules for converting Z to Zn. This is just a >surmise; >correct me if I am wrong. Close enough. The answer I was looking for was that function #1, derived from the law of sines, has a quadrant problem, whereas the function #2, derived form the law of cosines, does not. I.e. the sine of x is equal to the sine of 180-x, but the cosine of x is not equal to the cosine of 180-x. This means that you are less likely ot make a mistake computing Zn from Z if you use formula #2. >>3. What is the following formula? >> >> For sperical triangle XYZ, >> cos X = (cos x - cos y * cos z) / (sin y * sin z) > >This is a formula for finding an angle (X) of an oblique spherical >triangle given the three sides (x, y, and z) in degrees, where x is >the side opposite the angle X. It is derived from the Law of Cosines >for oblique spherical triangles. See the Chemical Rubber Company (CRC) >Standard Mathematical Tables or Bowditch (1995) Section 2115 or >Bowditch Volume II (1981) Section 142. Actually this is the law of cosines for spherical triangles. For those who are keen and haven't seen it, I will provide the derivation of this function from plane trig in a separate message. >my observation is that only a relatively small >percentage of the JN students I see have enough math background to be >able to handle the above. Yes, I agree that a course my not be able to cover this in depth, but I would hope that it would instill in the student the idea that the course does not teach it all... learning never ceases... As an aside, the math required is taught in grade 12-- remember the infamous "unit circle". But, I also remember struggling with it, and I am sure that the JN mandate is not remedial math... >I find it rewarding to do so, but to "demand" that others should do so >is not reasonable. I quite agree. By no means would I "demand" that others learn. But I would, perhaps, suggest it as good survival training. (I might also add that a survival situation is not the time to pull out a lifeboat sextant and start reading the instructions on the side... If the techniques are not deeply ingrained, then fatigue, panic, &c. can make learning impossible.) >perhaps you would be willing to share with the rest of us more about >the Lunar Distance method and how you use it. Gee! I thought you'd never ask! I'll send out a sepearte message on the very subject! Once again, thanks for your response Chuck! Cheers! Jeff. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ This mail list is managed by the majordomo program. To unsubscribe from this list, send the following message to majordomo@ronin.com: unsubscribe navigation For help, send the following message to majordom@ronin.com: help Do NOT send administrative requests to navigation@ronin.com. Thanks. -ben ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From mail Thu Dec 18 00:45 EST 1997 Received: from dg-webo by wellspring.us.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-gens08) id AA18269; Thu, 18 Dec 1997 00:45:50 -0500 Received: from gw-ronin.mv.net by dg-webo.webo.dg.com (5.4R3.10/dg-webo-v1) id AA20290; Thu, 18 Dec 1997 00:45:46 -0500 Received: (from majordomo@localhost) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.8.5/8.6.9) id XAA05882 for navigation-theList; Wed, 17 Dec 1997 23:58:06 -0500 (EST) Received: from imo11.mx.aol.com (imo11.mx.aol.com [198.81.19.165]) by gomoku.ronin.com (8.8.5/8.6.9) with ESMTP id XAA05873 for ; Wed, 17 Dec 1997 23:57:48 -0500 (EST) X-Authentication-Warning: gomoku.ronin.com: majordomo set sender to owner-navigation@roninhouse.com using -f From: WSMurdoch Message-Id: Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 23:34:36 EST To: navigation@roninhouse.com Cc: WSMurdoch@aol.com Mime-Version: 1.0 Subject: [Nml] GHA Aries and GHA and Declination of the Sun boundary="part0_882419677_boundary" Organization: AOL (http://www.aol.com) X-Mailer: Inet_Mail_Out (IMOv11) Sender: owner-navigation@roninhouse.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: WSMurdoch Errors-To: owner-majordomo@ronin.com Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="part0_882419677_boundary" Content-Length: 6644 This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --part0_882419677_boundary Content-ID: <0_882419677@inet_out.mail.aol.com.1> Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII Woops. There is a mistake in the date part of the GHA Aries and sun GHA and declination calculation forms that I posted a week or two ago. I slipped up. The year 2000 is a leap year, so an extra day of 86,400 seconds has to be inserted after February 29. I modified the form and a new copy is attached. If you find any other mistakes, let me know. For someone who wants to put the formulas a program, there is an easy way to convert customary time and date to centuries before and after 1200 1 Jan 2000. It comes from Van Flandern and Pulkkinen, Low Precision Formulae for Planetary Positions, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, vol 41, p 391, (1979). It works from March 1900 through February 2100. They also have another formula for longer lengths of time. T = (367*yr-trunc(7*(yr+trunc((mo+9)/12))/4) +trunc(275*mo/9)+day+(hr+(min+sec/60)/60)/24 -730531.5)/36525 The function trunc is just like trunc in Excel. It drops the fractional part of the number. trunc(8.9) = 8, trunc(-8.9) = -8. Bill Murdoch Kingsport, Tenn. --part0_882419677_boundary Content-ID: <0_882419677@inet_out.mail.aol.com.2> Content-type: text/plain; name="SUNGHAA.TXT" Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable Content-disposition: inline Step 1 Working with the Greenwich time and date, calculate the number of= centuries before (-) or after (+) 1200 1 Jan 2000. Year Month 1997 -94,737,600 Jan 0 Jul 15,638,400 1998 -63,201,600 Feb 2,678,400 Aug 18,316,800 1999 -31,665,600 Mar 5,097,600 Sep 20,995,200 2000 -129,600 Apr 7,776,000 Oct 23,587,200 2001 31,579,200 May 10,368,000 Nov 26,265,600 2002 63,115,200 Jun 13,046,400 Dec 28,857,600 2003 94,651,200 Number for the year ___,___,___ year ____ Number for the month __,___,___ month ____ Day ___ x 86,400 =3D _,___,___ Hour ___ x 3,600 =3D __,___ Minute ___ x 60 =3D _,___ Second ___ __ __,___for dates in March 2000 and later add = 86,400 Total seconds ___,___,___ / 3,155,760,000 =3D Centuries __.___ ___ ___ ___ =3D T Step 2 Calculate the GHA of Aries, GHAA, in revolutions. Remove the int= eger part of the number leaving the decimal part. It can be either posit= ive or negative. If it is negative, add 1 to it to make it positive. Mu= ltiply the revolutions by 360 to convert it to decimal degrees and if des= ired to degrees and minutes. GHAA =3D 0.7790573 + 36,625.0021390T + 0.0000011T^2 - 0.0000122sin(125.0 - 1934.1T) - 0.0000009sin(200.9 + 72,001.7T) = =3D ____._______ rev. _0._______ rev (decimal part) 0._______ rev (if negative, decimal part + 1) ___.____ =B0 ___ =B0 __._ ' Step 3 Calculate the Sun's mean anomaly. g =3D 357.528 + 35,999.051T ____.____=B0 Step 4 Calculate the ecliptic longitude of the Sun. EL =3D 280.466 + 36,000.771T + 1.915sin(g) + 0.020sin(2g) ____.____=B0 Step 5 Calculate the obliquity of the ecliptic. e =3D 23.440 + 0.015T __.____=B0 Step 6 Check to see if cos(EL) is positive _ or negative _. Calculate = the GHA Sun. Add 180=B0 to the value if the cosine of EL is negative. A= dd or subtract multiples of 360=B0 until the answer is between 0 and 360= =B0 GHA Sun =3D GHAA - tan-1(cos(e)tan(EL)) (+ 180=B0 if cos(EL) is negative) ___.____=B0 ___ =B0 __._ ' Step 7 Calculate the Declination of the Sun. Negative values are south;= positive are north. Dec Sun =3D sin-1(sin(e)sin(EL)) ___.____=B0 _ __ =B0 __._ ' Step 1 Working with the Greenwich time and date, calculate the number of= centuries before (-) or after (+) 1200 1 Jan 2000. Year Month 1997 -94,737,600 Jan 0 Jul 15,638,400 1998 -63,201,600 Feb 2,678,400 Aug 18,316,800 1999 -31,665,600 Mar 5,097,600 Sep 20,995,200 2000 -129,600 Apr 7,776,000 Oct 23,587,200 2001 31,579,200 May 10,368,000 Nov 26,265,600 2002 63,115,200 Jun 13,046,400 Dec 28,857,600 2003 94,651,200 Number for the year -94,737,600 year 1997 Number for the month 28,857,600 month Dec Day ___ x 86,400 =3D _,864,000 Hour ___ x 3,600 =3D 28,800 Minute ___ x 60 =3D _,___ Second ___ __ __,___for dates in March 2000 and later add = 86,400 Total seconds -64,987,200 / 3,155,760,000 =3D Centuries -0.020 593 201 =3D T Step 2 Calculate the GHA of Aries, GHAA, in revolutions. Remove the int= eger part of the number leaving the decimal part. It can be either posit= ive or negative. If it is negative, add 1 to it to make it positive. Mu= ltiply the revolutions by 360 to convert it to decimal degrees and if des= ired to degrees and minutes. GHAA =3D 0.7790573 + 36,625.0021390T + 0.0000011T^2 - 0.0000122sin(125.0 - 1934.1T) - 0.0000009sin(200.9 + 72,001.7T) = =3D -753.4469769 rev. -0.4469769 rev (decimal part) 0.5530231 rev (if negative, decimal part + 1) 199.0883 =B0 199 =B0 05.3 ' Step 3 Calculate the Sun's mean anomaly. g =3D 357.528 + 35,999.051T -383.8077=B0 Step 4 Calculate the ecliptic longitude of the Sun. EL =3D 280.466 + 36,000.771T + 1.915sin(g) + 0.020sin(2g) _461.6929=B0 Step 5 Calculate the obliquity of the ecliptic. e =3D 23.440 + 0.015T 23.4397=B0 Step 6 Check to see if cos(EL) is positive _ or negative _. Calculate = the GHA Sun. Add 180=B0 to the value if the cosine of EL is negative. A= dd or subtract multiples of 360=B0 until the answer is between 0 and 360= =B0 GHA Sun =3D GHAA - tan-1(cos(e)tan(EL)) (+ 180=B0 if cos(EL) is negative) 301.8001=B0 301 =B0 48.0 ' Step 7 Calculate the Declination of the Sun. Negative values are south;= positive are north. Dec Sun =3D sin-1(sin(e)sin(EL)) -22.9252=B0 S 22 =B0 55.5 ' --part0_882419677_boundary-- =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-= =-= TO UNSUBSCRIBE, send this message to majordomo@ronin.com: =-= =-= unsubscribe navigation =-= =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=