A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Tom Sult
Date: 2015 Oct 29, 15:12 -0500
On Oct 29, 2015, at 00:47, Lu Abel <NoReply_LuAbel@fer3.com> wrote:
Whenever I teach celestial, I start by telling my students that it's something fairly simple -- made difficult by obscure and obfuscatory terminology.
On Oct 28, 2015, at 4:52 PM, Frank Reed <NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com> wrote:
I agree. The terms and the distinctions themselves do not make much sense. The only one of these that I ever use with students, and that just to fill them in on the crappy terminology, is Hs. The others are confusing and worthless. There are many examples of peculiar terminology in celestial navigation, like "horizontal" parallax (is it sideways?), and "semi-diameter" (not radius?) and even "declination" (what's declining??). But these are historical terms that reflect the legacy of the development of navigation. They deserve a little respect, if only for historical "color". The acronym-happy late twentieth century has buried us in two-letter and three-letter shorthands that obscure rather than illuminate. Babbling about EP and AP and GP and all the rest isn't communication. This private, occult, semi-military jargon has become an unintentional barrier, a rite of passage with no educational purpose. I say, 'ditch it'. To which I should add a disclaimer: "IMNSHO". Ha!