A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding
From: Steven Wepster
Date: 2001 Feb 16, 4:23 AM
In my opinion JED Williams makes very inspiring reading and I believe he has some very sharp and original thoughts. Cotter describes the mathematical techniques quite extensively but, speaking as a mathematician, sometimes I think there is more to it then he tells you. The Quest for Longitude focuses mainly on the technical development of the chronometer (understandable because the symposium was organised around the Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments). As a result it underrates the lunar distance method. The same can be said of Sobel's Longitude (besides being prejudiced and romanticised). Greenwich Time by Derek Howse has more on the lunar disances; he also wrote a biography of Maskeline ("Nevil Maskeline: The Seaman's Astronomer", Cambridge University Press, 1989). Many interesting articles in Vistas in Astronomy, especially Vol. 28 (1985) dedicated to the Longitude Zero symposium that celebrated the centenary of the adoption of the Greenwich Meridian. If you read French this might be ineresting: F Marguet, "Histoire de la Longitude a la Mer au XVIIIe siecle, en France", Augustin Challamel, Paris 1917. _Steven.