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    Re: Northern lights navigation puzzle
    From: Antoine Couëtte
    Date: 2022 Nov 22, 04:07 -0800

    Re : First submission here , and its correction here.

    From Frank's initial clue about the date being on 19 March 2012 , we can compute that "the" planet on the picture is Mars.

    Mars, at Magnitude M = -1.9 It is then significantly brighter than Saturn at Magnitude M = 1.6 on early 2008 .

    Mars tabular Declination is about 1° higher than Saturn's, which makes an even better match on the picture.

    Only the reddish color is missing on my laptop and on my printed copy. However on Magnitude and Position criteria Mars looks better than Saturn.

    Then .... let's go for Mars.

    Mars being at 2,680' away from Castor as measured on the picture, my best estimate for the date now becomes 15 March 2012, i.e. 4 days from Frank's 19 March 2012.

    I have taken this opportunity to re-run positions :

    (1) With same heights as earlier, yielding Observer's Latitude = N69°23' . And :

    (2) With all heights in (1) above minus 20' for each, yielding Observer's Latitude = N69°30.2' . And finally :

    (3) With all heights in (1) above plus 20' each - or with all heights in (2) above plus 40' each - yielding Observer's Latitude = N69°15.9'

    Hence the Observer's latitude is relatively insensitive to systematic errors in heights due to this bad horizon determination.

    This enables to confirm unchanged Observer's Latitude at 69°20' N , uncertainty hopefully not exceeding 1° now. Nonetheless I am aware that I might have used a possibly "tilted" horizon, which might have even more significant effects onto the accuracy of my Fixes.

    Nonetheless - tilted or not tilted horizon ... - I keep being puzzled at Castor so close both in Height and in Azimuth from Pollux. In the area of the fix, their both LOP's are distant by 50 NM ... very strange indeed, especially since Procyon LOP is much closer (10 NM) from Pollux LOP in the area of this fix and is 60 NM from Castor LOP.

    In other words, Procyon LOP confirms/fully supports Pollux LOP (to 10 NM), but it 60 NM away from Castor LOP.

    Any possible explanation here ?. 

    Looking up my North Pole Atlas, and taking in consideration that the shoreline seems locally oriented towards 245° or so, + existence of roads I can identify a few possible spots on Earth :

    - Vicinity of Tromsø in Norway (E 020°) , or

    - Victoria Island : Prince Albert Bay/Inlet southern part into Amundsen Golf (W 117°)

    - Alaska Northern shore at Barrow (W 155°), or

    - Alaska Northern shore at Point Lay (W 163°), and

    I could not clearly identify such spots in Russia.

    All this obtained through thinking and computing. That's about all I can do.

    Eager to see the results obtained from modern Sky displaying software, and

    most of all : what is the actual picture position ?

    Thanks in advance.


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