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

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From: Gary LaPook
Date: 2021 Mar 1, 15:44 -0800

I posted this in 2010:

"From: Gary LaPook

Date: 2010 Aug 15, 02:29 +0200

```One thing you can use a calculator for is computing the GHA of Aries.
All you need to write down, or, memorize, is three numbers. First, the
rate that Aries advances each day which is 59.139 minutes each day.
Second, the rate of advance each hour which is 15.041 degrees per hour.
The third number you need is the GHA of Aries at 0000Z on the 31st of
December from the prior year which is, for right now, 99° 33.4'. Knowing
these three numbers makes it easy to calculate the GHA of Aries for any
time during the year.

The first step is to determine how many days have passed since December
31st and this is easy since it is merely the number of the day in the
present year. January 1st is one day later, etc. Just add up all the
days in the months preceding the current month and then add the date of
the current month. "Thirty days hath September, April......" If you
haven't noticed it before, there is a pattern to the calendar, long
months alternate with short months with the one exception that two long
months are adjacent, July and August.

So just add up all the days and multiply by 59.139 minutes per day. If
you add this to the starting GHA on December 31st you would have the GHA
for 0000Z on the current day but it is easier if we wait until the end
of the computation to add in the starting value.

The next step is to multiply the time since 0000Z today. If you are
using a calculator with Degree, Minute and Second input simply put in
Hours, Minutes and Seconds, convert to decimal format and multiply by
15.041 degrees per hour. Add this to the result of the first step and to
the December 31st GHA and you have the value for the current time.

You can also do this computation by hand but it is tedious and you have
to be very careful doing the long hand multiplication but it does work
without electrons.

The first step is the same as above, calculate the change for the days
as in the first step in the first example.

Then, to calculate the change since 0000Z today, it is best to break it
into three separate computations, separate for hours, minutes and
seconds. It is also best to do all the calculations using minutes and
not degrees.

So the next step is to calculate the change for each whole hour at the
rate of 15.041° per hour which is the same as 15° 02.46' per hour. This
is also the same as 902.46 minutes per hour, so multiply the whole
number of hours by 902.46' per hour and write the result under the
result from the first step. (902.46 is 15 times 60 plus 2.46.) It's easy
to remember, 90 plus 2-4-6.

Next multiply the minutes of time remaining after the whole hours by
15.041 minutes per minute of time and place the result under the first
two results.

Next multiply the seconds of time by .2507 minutes per second of time
and place the result under the prior results. This .2507 number is
simply 15.041 divided by 60.

Add up all the minutes and divide by 60 leaving a remainder of minutes
and decimals. Add this to the starting GHA for December 31st and you
have the current GHA of Aries.

It takes about 7 minutes doing the long hand multiplication. It's a lot
faster with a calculator.

If you also memorize the coordinates of about ten well chosen stars then
you can do celnav without an almanac, completely from memory. You can
figure the dip correction in your head as simply the square root of the
height of eye in feet, and the refraction correction is also easy to
remember, 5 above 10° ;  4' above 12° ; 3' above 16° ; 2' above 21° ; 1'
above 33° and 0' above 63°. Now just add a Bygrave, a sextant and a
watch and you can navigate without any electrons or books."```

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