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    Re: Learn Celestial Navigation
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2012 Jul 12, 05:31 -0400

    Dear Bryan,
    
    I am a math teacher myself, and I like your idea to teach some Cel Nav
    to a math class. Of course, if I were teaching this myself, I would
    not try to teach practical skills (how to use tables and calculators),
    but the beautiful and simple elementary mathematics which lies in
    the foundation of the subject.
    After all, your students are not future celestial navigators,
    and I believe that for "practical purposes" all this subject is completely
    useless at the age of GPS.
    
    So here is an approximate syllabus I would consider for high school
    students:
    
    1. Celestial sphere, and coordinates. Its daily rotation. Path of the Sun.
    Solar and mean time.
    2. Two coordinate systems, (altitude, azimuth) and (declination,hour
    angle). Transition between them.
    3. Determination of latitude using Sun or the Polar star.
    The principle of sextant.
    4. Problem of longitude and its solutions: Lunar distances and
    chronometer.
    5. The principle of the line of position method.
    
    If time permits, one can include such things as refraction, dip of the
    horizon and parallax with more or less detail.
    
    This would give plenty of opportunities to explain some very elementary
    but nice mathematics, including the solution of a spherical triangle.
    
    Everything except the Lunar distance method can be found in any good
    modern book on Cel Nav; a very elementary explanation of the Lunar
    distance method can be found in the article of George Huxtable in this
    list archive.
    
    Alex.
    
    On Wed, 11 Jul 2012, Bryan Feezor wrote:
    
    >
    > I am a High school math teacher on Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of 
    Maine, and I am planning on teaching a Celestial Navigation course next 
    school year as part of one of my math classes.    I have many questions about 
    CN and only a basic knowledge of the practice.   I would love to get some 
    more information on class offerings or instruction for myself as I have only 
    taught myself what little I do know.
    >
    > Any information about where to look for classes or helpful websites would be fantastic!
    >
    > Thanks,
    >     Bryan
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