# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

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Re: A One-Hour Presentation on Celestial Navigation
From: Lu Abel
Date: 2016 Mar 3, 19:15 +0000
That could all be done in just ONE hour??   IMHO, not in any meaningful way.

If the goal is to engage people in learning celestial, I would think that actually taking a sight and reducing it (even if the latter is by an application such as Celestial Tools) would be far more likely to whet a novice's thirst for learning more about celestial than more complex technical details such as error triangles, COPs vs LOPs, etc.  If I were a novice, all those items might leave me with the impression "too complex for me to ever learn."

I vividly remember taking my first sights a quarter of a century ago.  After taking some sights, my class and instructor retired to a nearby restaurant to reduce sights.   When my very first sight produced a LOP only a mile or so from our GP, I felt like Christopher Columbus!!  To actually use this strange new device called a sextant and then to go through some not-yet-understood mathematics called "sight reduction" and have it produce a meaningful LOP was the biggest thrill I've ever had in learning more about and finally teaching celestial.

To: luabel@ymail.com
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2016 7:33 AM
Subject: [NavList] Re: A One-Hour Presentation on Celestial Navigation

> what to do with an hour-long presentation
Pretend you are in a boat and run a complete set of calculations for three pretend sights. Pretend to use sextant as you do it, but use some meaningful numbers for today. Do the calculation and plotting for real.
Along the way make short detours to mention technical issues while taking sights, how the line of positions is actually a circle of position and why lines do not all intersect in one point and what an error triangle is and how to interpret it.
That's what I would like to see if I was a sailor who does not know celestial navigation but wants to.

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