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    Re: Celestial Navigation as a college course
    From: Jeremy C
    Date: 2010 Apr 15, 19:15 EDT
    Frank wrote:
    "I probably over-stated my case in my first post on this. I don't object to celestial navigation as the basis for a college course, but I definitely don't think it should be counted towards fulfilling a "science requirement" under the normal sense of that in a highly selective liberal arts college. It's great as an elective topic, and there's a thousand ways you can go with it. In fact, you're pretty much guaranteed to end up using cel nav only as the BASIS for the course since, by itself, it's just not meaty enough. You couldn't teach *just* celestial navigation and fill out a semester length class."
    I had to laugh at this.  Of course he is referencing a liberal arts school instead of a glorified trade school which is what I consider the college I attended which was teaching Celnav to actually navigate ships.
    When I went through the Maritime Academy 12+ years ago now, the standard curriculum for Celnav related courses were 4 full semester classes; navigational astronomy, spherical trig, and 2 full semesters of problem solving including everything from LAN observations to ex-meridians and all manner of moon calculations with the notable exception of lunar distance.  
    In addition, the major academic challenge of our last two sea terms was a practical celestial navigation logbook featuring in the first part; 20 sets of sunlines each consisting of 3 separate observations (each to be reduced as separate lines and NOT averaged), , 20 azimuths, 5 amplitudes, 10 LAN's (including 2nd estimate time predictions) crossed with AM or PM sunlines, and 5 each of AM and PM stars (with calculated sunrise/set, civil and nautical twilights and a selection of  precalculated stars).
      For part 2 we had to complete 4 days runs (the combination in a day of all of the above) for a "C" and 7 or so for an "A."  All were completed on paper with HO 229 tables (due to my discovery that HO 249 could be used for reduction as well as star precalculation, it was banned for use in the seaproject  This project was completed in a period of about 45 days of actually being at sea. The result was that at every conceivable moment we weren't in class we were on the bridge with a sextant in our hand.
    As you can imagine, i can whip out a reduction "form" for sun, star, planet, and moon in my sleep and can do a full reduction in a matter of minutes, even if i start "cold." 
    Despite all of this education and years of actual practice at sea, i find by reading this list there is so much i don't know about the actual math and theory of this subject I can't see how a good teacher COULDN'T fill a semester with this subject.
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