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    Re: Learn Celestial Navigation
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2012 Jul 12, 13:25 -0400

    Alan,
    
    > learning what you dismiss might well turn out to be an
    > interesting intellectual exercise,
    
    I thought that learning how Sun and Moon rotate around Earth
    and how to use spherical trig to pass from one coordinate system to
    another is more interesting intellectual exercise than learning how to
    use tables or some particular software or a calculator.
    
    > notwithstanding the fact that GPS
    > units, I too have one, have been known to fail, no?
    
    Everything can fail. I supose that a very small percentage of modern
    ships have a person in the crew who can really use Cel Nav.
    (As Frank noticed once, the best insurance for a failing GPS is
    a spare GPS:-) I've read on this list that Cel Nav is no longer
    a required course even in the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
    And I learned this at least 5 years ago.
    
    Question to the list: is a sextant (and HO tables) still a standard
    equipment for newly built commercial ships? (I doubt it).
    
    > As to Brian's students, who knows but that some of them might become
    > ships officers, to whom  old fashioned CN might well be a requirement
    > for licensing.
    
    Who knows. These are thousands of various professions in the world
    all requiring some specific technical skill,
    and teaching some technical skill to high school students because
    "it might happen that one of these students will need exactly
    this skill" seems ridiculous to me. (Even if one of them will need it, he
    will probably forget it before he needs it.)
    
    So I would not teach high school students how to adjust a sextant,
    how to use HO tables, or how to solve a special triangle with some
    particular software.
    
    But I would teach high school students how Sun rotates around the Earth,
    (or Earth around the Sun:-) and how in principle one can solve any
    spherical triangle.
    
    Alex.
    
    
    
    
    
    

       
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