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    Re: Jupiter and the Moon
    From: Paul Dolkas
    Date: 2013 Jan 21, 11:57 -0800

    Thanks. I figured it would be something like that - can't wait to try it out.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: navlist-bounce@fer3.com [mailto:navlist-bounce@fer3.com] On Behalf Of eremenko---.edu
    Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:38 AM
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Subject: [NavList] Re: [NavList 22022] Re: Jupiter and the Moon
    There are two reasons why such Lunars may be inconvenient for time and longitude.
    1. One reason is that the planet and the Moon move in the sky in the same 
    direction as it is the case now. When a planet performs, retrograde motion, 
    this helps the accuracy of the Lunar slightly.
    2. More importantly is that the Moon and planet do not move on the same 
    circle. This is because both orbits are inclined to ecliptic.
    In the region of the sky where they come closest, imagine them moving on the 
    straight lines which do not intersect. Then, near the time when they come 
    closest to each other, the distance between them almost does not change. And 
    this is bad for the Lunar.
    The worst case scenario is when the lines are parallel and on the significant distance from each other.
    So the answer to your question depends very much on the planet, and the time 
    when it comes close to the Moon.
    But generally I feel that 30-40 degrees distance would be sufficient, and at 
    all larger distances the accuracy will be ruughly the same.
    > I’m curious: when does “close” become too close? Last night & 
    > tonight’s Lunar shots gave pretty inaccurate results for GMT, (--- 
    > Is there a rule of thumb about what the minimum distance should be for 
    > halfway decent results?
    > -Paul
    > From: navlist-bounce---org [mailto:navlist-bounce---org] On Behalf Of 
    > Frank Reed
    > Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 8:52 PM
    > To: NavList---org
    > Subject: [NavList] Re: Jupiter and the Moon
    > Alex, you wrote:
    > "Near limb will be the dark one."
    > Only for the first half of the night. Near closest approach, Jupiter 
    > will be more or less in line with the terminator, and the choice of 
    > near or far limb may be tough to make. Not that it matters. If there's 
    > any doubt, wait it out. Then for a good while after, Jupiter will 
    > still be very close to the Moon but the illuminated limb will be the near limb.
    > You asked:
    > "Why is this a more "excellent test" than any other Lunar?"
    > I didn't say it was "more excellent". I said it was "STILL excellent"
    > despite the fact that it does not represent a historical case. That 
    > is, even though they would have avoided such sights for the method of 
    > longitude by lunars, we can still shoot them today to test the 
    > instrument and observer and also to understand the basic mechanics and 
    > manipulations of shooting lunars. And it's a nice next step after 
    > measuring the Sun's diameter (which I described recently as good 
    > "training" for lunars). Most beginners find it much easier to start 
    > with a short distance lunar because there's less flailing about with the sextant.
    > Parenthetically, you wrote:
    > "I understand this could be a test for my conjecture about something 
    > wrong happening with my sextant first two teeth."
    > Actually, the suggestion from Bill Morris was a terrific idea. If you 
    > have really concluded that there is some flaw in the arc near zero, 
    > then take that portion of the arc out of the puzzle. Just adjust your 
    > sextant until you have an index error of, say, 5 deg 0.0' exactly or, 
    > more likely, 5 deg 0.5' (some small extra bit). There's no harm in 
    > that. For every sight, you take, you just knock off 5 degrees before 
    > you even write it down. Treat the 5 degree mark as your new zero. 
    > Incidentally, I asked if you're more "optimistic" because the sights 
    > which you recently posted DO NOT display that 0.3' offset which you 
    > say you always find. The average of the set shows an error of less 
    > than a tenth of a minute of arc, and the standard deviation is right 
    > around a quarter of a minute of arc, right in line with the numbers that I 
    have described for many, many years in NavList posts.
    > You asked:
    > "Do you mean by the horizontal parallax? How else can the latitude 
    > affect a lunar distance?"
    > Yes, exactly. It's that "position fix by lunars when GMT is known" 
    > that I have described in many earlier posts. You can fix your latitude 
    > and longitude by measuring a pair of lunar distances at known GMT. 
    > Again, this was never done in the early history of lunars (meaning 
    > 1770-1850 when they were in active use at sea). But the Apollo 
    > spacecraft was equipped for shooting lunars and "earthers" (ugly name 
    > which no one used --but you get the idea: sights like lunars using the 
    > Earth's limb instead of the Moon's), and on Apollo 8 in 1968, just to 
    > make sure it would work as a backup, Jim Lovell shot many lunars for fixing the spacecraft's position.
    > So there's still a historical case involved here... not historical in 
    > the sense of 200 years, but 55 years is starting to be quite a long 
    > leap back into the history of navigation.
    > I began the above paragraph with "yes, exactly". I suppose I should 
    > qualify that slightly by saying that this depends on measuring the 
    > Moon's "parallax in position" generally rather than saying "horizontal parallax"
    > specifically, but that's mostly a question of semantics. It's the 
    > Moon's parallax that makes this possible.
    > I mentioned that there were other issues (again, historically) with 
    > small angle lunars, and you asked: "What are they?"
    > There's the big one involving non-linear interpolation in the lunar 
    > distance tables. If you watch the distance reaching a minimum tomorrow 
    > night, you could easily see that the standard tables giving the 
    > distance once every three hours would have been difficult to apply 
    > (quadratic and possibly higher order interpolation would be required). 
    > Secondarily, many methods for clearing lunars assumed that short 
    > distances would never be used and by design those methods were allowed 
    > to be inaccurate for short distances. If a navigator shot a short 
    > lunar, that might entail learning a whole new procedure for clearing the sight.
    > You also wrote:
    > "I understand that the distance changes very slowly because they have 
    > different declination. But what else is bad about close lunars? 
    > Suppose the declination happens to be the same."
    > I think I answered your question above, but I just wanted to add that 
    > I think you chose the wrong word here. The distance changes very 
    > slowly because the two objects are passing each other at different 
    > "apparent ecliptic latitudes" (not declinations), and hence the Moon 
    > is not travelling across the sky directly towards/away from Jupiter. I 
    > don't mean to quibble over a minor distinction. I'm saying this only 
    > because there's a small chance someone following along might get the wrong idea.
    > -FER
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