A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2016 Apr 20, 00:03 -0700
Peter Monta, you wrote:
"Would it help to suspend a collimated source in midair near the object of interest? "
Interesting idea! I have never experimented with a collimated light source, but even an un-collimated marker, if far enough away to be nearly in focus helps tremendously. That's a mouthful to refer to a high tree branch or a roof peak. The catch is getting the angular alignment right. For example, if I know that Jupiter is at altitude 42° and azimuth 141°, I can probably find it in late afternoon in a clear sky if I can place a tree branch right next to that exact location. A workable trick is to find it in a telescope based on true coordinates. Jupiter is almost always visible in a typical backyard telescope, like my old 6" reflector, even in the middle of the day so long as the sky is a nice deep blue. Then switch to binoculars by sighting along the telescope tube. Once you find it binoculars, you can "walk" the planet to a convenient foreground object like a high tree branch. Now aligned with the branch, you lower your binoculars and run a very slow search pattern close to the foreground tree branch. I have found Jupiter in late daylight this way a few times. It sure is easier when the Moon is close by...