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    Re: Carry on, Mr. Bowditch
    From: Fred Hebard
    Date: 2003 Jan 15, 19:34 -0500

    The Nautical Almanac was first published in the 1760s, about 40 years
    prior to Bowditch's time.  It was published primarily to facilitate
    the computation of time by observation of distances between the moon
    and other celestial objects, the classical lunar so much discussed on
    this list.  And the sextant was invented primarily to perform the
    measurements of those lunar distances to the precision required.  A
    sextant is not needed to observe occultations.  So Bowditch did not
    invent the lunar.  But, according to the book on navigation that
    bears his name, he did markedly simplify the calculations to where
    they could be performed by ordinary seamen rather than only by those
    with extremely high proficiency in mathematics.  Lunars for the rest
    of us.
    I don't know what a three-star lunar is, but others on this list may
    be able to enlighten us.
    Frederick V. Hebard, PhD                      Email: mailto:Fred@acf.org
    Staff Pathologist, Meadowview Research Farms  Web: http://www.acf.org
    American Chestnut Foundation                  Phone: (276) 944-4631
    14005 Glenbrook Ave.                          Fax: (276) 944-0934
    Meadowview, VA 24361

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