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    Re: Celestial Navigation without a sextant.
    From: Doug Royer
    Date: 2008 Mar 7, 16:46 -0800

    Supposing one was in a small boat with an accurate timepiece and the
    necessary tables, how accurate could you determine your longitude by
    observing the rising or setting of the sun or any other celestial
    body?  Also, assuming you had a compass and were north or south of the
    tropics, would it be possible to estimate your latitude by taking a
    bearing of the setting or rising of a celestial body?
    Do you really want to know how accurately or precisely? There is a
    In reality your "position" thus gained will be not very accurate. But
    your in-accurately calculated position could be precise.
    What you are asking is more on the lines of what is called "lifeboat"
    emergency navigation. Where certain observation tools can be fashioned
    from other equipment (such as a protractor, a nut and string as a
    makeshift sextant to take a sight) on board the life boat. There are
    other emergency navigation procedures that will also give passable
    results with not much in the way of readily available equipment at hand
    and they are explained in many navigation books. May not be very
    "accurate" but it may be precise enough to enable you to have a life's
    chance at knowing where you are.
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