A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Antoine Couëtte
Date: 2016 Aug 6, 23:46 -0700
Thanks for your results. I agree with them all. So we are on the same Planet.
Please find here-after my summarized comments while more detailed results are in the enclosed document.
First of all, it is important to remain cautious about "visual illusions" since the Canopus-Achernar-Fomalhaut alignment is a much better one than the Capella-Betelgeuse-Canopus alignment, and not conversely as I initially felt:
For Canopus-Achernar-Fomalhaut, the distances between stars are almost equal, and Achernar lies only at 1° from the Canopus-Fomalhaut great circle (spanning over 79°). While:
For Capella-Betelgeuse-Canopus, the distances between stars are not at all equal, and Betelgeuse lies at 3,1° from the Capella-Canopus great circle (spanning over 100°).
I therefore doubt that there could be any other three 1st Magnitude Star alignement as beautiful and prestigious than Canopus-Achernar-Fomalhaut. Any taker for additional example(s) ?
I performed own computations in the both the 2000.0 Reference System and in the Horizontal Coordinates System including the effects of refraction, with no appreciable difference for the latter case between your results published in the Horizontal Coordinates System (no refraction).
With our main measuring instrument being the naked eye, Refraction has no visible influence in this problem.
You will also find at the end of the enclosed document a method - chosen among several others available - to comptute the distance of a point to a great circle.
Finally, the Multiple star alignment yet to be discovered involves Vega-Antares-Acrux where Antares lies at 3,5° from the Vega-Acrux great circle. It is then easy to continue this Great Circle around the sky and check for close by other bright stars. Other stars are ….
Antoine M. "Kermit" Couëtte