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Re: Determining Elevation with a Sextant
From: George Huxtable
Date: 2002 Mar 3, 13:23 +0000

```I know it's not relevant to navigation, but may I add a few words in reply
to Dan Allen's question about finding the elevation of his home above sea
level, using a sextant?

I agree with those who said that a barometer was a more appropriate
instrument, which just needs taking down to the nearest seashore for a
comparison, thoroughly tapping it before and after.

Another way would be to measure with a good thermometer the temperature of
the steam that emerges from his kettle. Or apply the rule that says it's
impossible to brew up a good cup of tea above 2000 feet, because it's so
sensitive to the water temperature. Trouble with that one is that I have
never, ever, succeeding in finding a decent cup of tea anywhere in the USA.

Reminds me somewhat of a question in a physics exam, more than 50 years
ago. The physics lab was a few storeys up from ground level, and the
question asked was how would one find the height of the lab above ground
using a mercury barometer. One student (not me) profferred the answer that
he would drop the barometer out of the window and, with a stopwatch, time
the interval before he heard the crash, then use Newton's laws of motion to
derive the height. He got some marks for this, because the examiner
conceded that although it wasn't the method that he had in mind, it would
probably give a more accurate answer.

George Huxtable.

>Does anyone have any clever ideas about determining one's elevation above
>sea level using a sextant?  What if one knows one's
>latitude and longitude exactly -- would that help?
>
>Dan
>
>Daniel K. Allen
>mailto:danallen46---bi.com
>http://home.attbi.com/~danallen46/

------------------------------

george---.u-net.com
George Huxtable, 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
Tel. 01865 820222 or (int.) +44 1865 820222.
------------------------------

```
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