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    Re: How far is polaris?
    From: Mike L
    Date: 2007 Nov 22, 01:39 -0800

    In other words, A2 accounts for the finite distance of the star! That
    is to say, the star wobbles with respect to the background galaxies
    (can't say stars because they are too near!!!)
    It is absolutely mind boggling to think that a handheld instrument
    like a sextant could possibly be affected by the distance to the
    It completely turns history on its head. I've always been led to
    believe that astronomers looked at the stars as an end in itself - the
    great scientists pushing back the frontiers of knowledge  - knowledge
    for the sake of knowledge's sake!
    In fact, it seems to me that knowledge of the stars and motion of the
    planets was a necessary but fairly god-forsaken task mainly undertaken
    as a part of the production of accurate navigation tables.
    Engineers produced the equipment necessary to take the measurements,
    engineers then took the measurements and then some self-publicist
    scientist came along took what was already known by the engineers and
    gave it a grand title of the grand theory of space, etc. and claimed
    it was entirely his work!
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