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    Re: Precision of lunars
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2007 Apr 19, 16:10 -0400

    
    Dear Fred,
    Thanks for your encouraging message.
    
    > Your findings also dovetail with Jan
    > Kalivoda's report of the findings of a German who investigated
    > precision of lunars at sea in the late 1800s.
    
    Can this be found? Was this on the old list or on a new one?
    
    > standard deviation of lunar distance reported by Jan was about 25
    > arcseconds.
    
    That is 0'.4. I am very interested, how exactly this was studied.
    
    > I am wondering how much practice you estimate it took you to achieve
    > this level of proficiency?
    
    Probably several thousands individual shots (star-to-star and Lunar
    distances). 4 standard student notebooks of records.
    And a lot of thinking about the reasons of errors.
    I am constantly doing this for about 3 years, since I bought my
    SNO-T. I mean almost every evening with clear sky...
    well perhaps 1/2 of all evenings with clear sky:-)
    
    I reported my results from time to time, good and bad.
    From the very beginning I had occasionaly very good results,
    but some were bad.
    And this was unpredictable. Gradually the proportion of good results
    increased... by 2007 it increased to a reasonable level:-)
    
    Right now I looked into the records of a year ago.
    About 1/2 of all shots were within 0'.3 limit
    and another half 0'.4-1'. Some had even more than 1',
    but these were not frequent.
    I used to blame my sextant...
    
    Now it is much better. And I think that the sextant is very good
    after all.
    
    Alex.
    
    
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