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    Re: Faint stars easier to find on the horizon first?
    From: Jim Thompson
    Date: 2004 Jun 1, 07:12 -0300

    Just to clarify for the list -- precomputation was reasonably well covered
    in our course, and methods are handily available in most computer programs
    for CN.  But the specific point that has intrigued me is how much easier it
    is to find a star on the horizon before the naked eye can pick it up in the
    sky.  That is the trick that was not mentioned or sufficiently emphasized in
    our course work.
    I had viewed preplanning as useful for beginners and handy for
    professionals, but did not realize that it can be essential in order to
    improve the odds of shooting a good set of twilight bodies when the horizon
    was optimum, early in evening twilight (or later in morning twilight).
    As an aside, I spent a lot of time learning to use the 2102-D Star Finder,
    but even after working out its mysteries I still find it considerably more
    fussy than tapping up the predictions on a handheld or laptop computer.  And
    I have not yet learned to use 249.  The best software that I've found for
    precomputing a full set of bodies for a given time is the old DOS program
    NAVPLANNER by list member Stanley L. Klein: it generates great lists of
    bodies sorted by magnitude, highlighted by alitude window.  It also provides
    sunrise/sunset data for the date/DR position:
    Hopefully Stanley can find time to do up a Windows version (wink, wink).
    Jim Thompson
    Outgoing mail scanned by Norton Antivirus
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Henry C. Halboth
    > You bring up a very good point - pre-computation of altitude and azimuth
    > seems to be a neglected wrinkle in practical navigation and is barely
    > mentioned in most navigational texts to which I have quickly referred...

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