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    Re: More Space Navigation
    From: Nels Tomlinson
    Date: 2003 Feb 18, 21:25 -0900

    I haven't thought this one through, but couldn't you use the parallactic
    shifts of the nearby stars to navigate when far from the sun?  You could
    identify the stars by their spectra, and I suspect that by measuring the
    angles between three stars, and comparing those angles to what they
    would be back home, you could get some idea of your position vector
    relative to the home solar system.  The red/blue shifts of the spectra
    would help nail down the velocity vector, and acceleration you could
    measure directly, from an inertial system.
    If you get REALLY far from home, of course, you'll have to take into
    account the fact that the stars have moved many lightyears in the
    millions of years since the light left them and reached earth.  We'll
    have plenty of time to work out how to deal with that on the way out
    there, I suppose.
    Fred Hebard wrote:
    > I'm still wondering what it would be like to navigate in interstellar
    > space.  There, position (parallactic) shifts of nearbye stars would
    > need to be accounted for.  I suppose until one got very far away, a
    > coordinate system centered on the sun could be used.  It doesn't
    > appear one could use a marine sextant to determine range to the sun
    > by diameter measurement after one was very far away.
    > Fred

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