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    Re: No sextant, no watch, no almanach, nothing
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2004 Nov 8, 00:10 EST
    Trevor K wrote:
    "Geoffrey's method would need a star catalogue but not necessarily an
    almanac. Since the stars are fixed (at the level of precision of
    instrument-free navigation), the declinations of the brighter ones can
    be learnt with relatively little difficulty. "

    Right. And if it's acceptable to know that Polaris has a declination of nearly 90 degrees without an almanac, then surely it' acceptable to memorize a few more star positions. The funny thing is that the declinations of stars could be recovered very quickly by a knowledgeable person (on shore) without access to an almanac, but what about latitudes of places on Earth? It would easier to live without a star chart than to live without a map of the globe...

    And:
    "When on the intended parallel, those stars should of course be just
    circumpolar, grazing the horizon at each inferior meridian passage --
    something that could be observed with reasonable precision at tropical
    and temperate latitudes."

    I guess you could extrapolate to visualize that "grazing" motion, but stars are literally invisible within a couple of degrees of the horizon...

    Frank R
    [ ] Mystic, Connecticut
    [X] Chicago, Illinois
       
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