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    Re: Historical question
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2004 Oct 24, 03:11 EDT
    Alex E wrote:
    "In general, the book makes an impression that altitudes are taken with a "good Quadrant", while a sextant is only for the lunar distances."

    Yep. Sextants were carefully controlled. You didn't want a junior officer dropping the damn thing. If they dropped an octant, well, you can dock his pay, but without the sextant, lunars would be impossible. Sextants were invented for lunars. The ability to read large angles, the ability to read angles to 10 arcseconds, the presence of a powerful telescope... these are all features required for lunars but irrelevant for almost all other aspects of celestial navigation.

    And:
    "but why ONE observer should use two different instruments for altitudes and distances??"

    I agree. It wasn't necessary. Then again, it wouldn't hurt. Small arguments could be made in favor of Norie's wording, but I don't think it's worth worrying over...

    Frank R
    [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    [X] Chicago, Illinois
       
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