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    Re: Learn the stars, by phone
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2009 May 22, 20:09 -0700

    Actually, you can easily navigate with a Skyscout.  After all, it does provide 
    both a compass and a gps. That's a pretty good starting point.  In fact, my 
    early gps' were fairly basic, no talking or anything beyond basic maps.  So 
    sure, I could!
    
    The idea of a globe that you could zoom in and out on, with the Sumner lines 
    (circles) drawn on the globe, the geocentric lat lon of the object shown, the 
    zenith, the poles and other navigational lines just like Dutton would be an 
    awesome application.  Being able to turn the globe would be slick too.  So 
    pick out your navigational star and have the smart phone show you which one 
    it is.  Click on the app, and it draws your Sumner Circle.  Pick another one, 
    and you see where this is going...  You don't actually even need to see the 
    real star, the circles come from your geographic position.  The fun of the 
    app is that you can pick out the stars and then see 'real McCoy'.  Terrific 
    for snagging new users and wonderful for explaining how celestial works for 
    the beginner/intermediate student.  I even like the name Sumner's Circles :-)
    
    Now as to the variation.  I would suggest a double table lookup where the 
    latitude and longitude are the dependent variables, with the variation for 
    that location being the independent variable.  This is a trivial lookup 
    application that can readily retrieve the expected magnetic variation 
    quickly.  So now when you azimuth sensor (compass) tells you that you are 
    pointing ESE, we can add on the variation.  You are correct, without some 
    other reference, it cannot know that the variation is beyond expected.  
    Speculation on my part, and guilty as charged!
    
    
    
    
    
    
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