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    Re: Bubble Horizon Altitude Corrections
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2004 Jul 5, 01:09 EDT
    Bill wrote:
    "I understand why dip would be ignored in either case.  Howell suggests
    ignoring temp/pressure corrections while the almanac says to include them."

    Sue was wrong on that point. You should include corrections for non-standard temperature and pressure when correcting any sextant observation. Note though that they are very small in most cases. By the way, since you're inland, be advised that you should use "sea level" barometric pressure. This differs a little from the pressure usually reported in weather reports (but not very much unless you're at Denver-like altitudes).

    "The almanac does not state which limb of the moon is observed with the
    bubble horizon.  Are bubble observations traditionally made on the center of
    the body?"


    "Howell says that since you are observing the center of the sun, no
    correction is needed except for refraction taken from the star table and
    moon parallax.  No mention of 15'."

    That's correct. The Moon tables in the almanac have a "built-in" 30 minutes to make the calculations less prone to error.

    " It strikes me in the case of the Sun the
    total of UL and LL corrections (UL treated as a positive) is greater that 2x
    the semidiameter, and that the UL correction is usually greater than SD, and
    the LL correction is less than the SD, so the actual center of the Sun is
    lower than its observed center by the difference of LL corrections - LL
    corrections.  That value differs from the refraction correction for stars."

    For either the Sun or the Moon, when using a bubble sextant or an artificial horizon (and superimposing both images) you want to AVERAGE the corrections for the upper and lower limbs. So let's suppose a Sun altitude by bubble sextant of 10 degrees. Opening up the front of the almanac you'll find that the LL correction is 10.7 minutes while the UL correction is -21.1 minutes. The average is 5.2 minutes (add 10.7 and -21.1 and then divide by two). This will differ by a tenth of a minute from the corresponding correction for the stars because the Sun has a small parallax correction which is included in the table. That's why it's slightly better to use the average from the Sun table instead of taking the corresponding number from the star table. But remember, for ordinary celestial navigation, a tenth of a minute is a very minor correction so you won't go wrong with either approach.

    Frank R
    [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    [X] Chicago, Illinois
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