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    Re: Questions about Celestial Navigation
    From: Greg Rudzinski
    Date: 2018 Sep 11, 11:30 -0700

    1.HOW POPULAR IS CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    Celestial navigation isn't popular due to the difficulties of mastering the various methods. The cost of instruments, tables, texts, and instruction is a financial burden to potential users. 

    2.HOW TRUSTWORTHY IS CELESTIAL NAVIGATION AS A MAIN TYPE OF NAVIGATION ?

    Trust would vary with skill level and the quality of instuments and tables. The concept itself is 100% trustworthy. Clear weather is a prerequisite.

    3.WHAT TYPE OF TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    The latest technology would include cell phones/tablets using sight reduction/plotting apps to instantly provide a line of position, running fix, or fix. Chronometers in the form of quartz watches are fully developed and keep time to within one second per week or better at very low cost ($10). The sextant today is basically unchanged since the 18th century.

    4.WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED IN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    Practical users would include navies, merchant marine, smallcraft cruisers, and remote wilderness travelers. There is academic interest in the fields of physics, engineering, nautical science, surveying, mathematics,  aviation, aerospace, astronomy, horology, cartography, and history.

    5. HOW MUCH DO WE KNOW AS A POPULATION ABOUT CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    Lots of knowledge has been preserved but the general public knows very little.

    6. HOW ACCURATE IS THIS KNOWLEDGE ?

    Position at sea is accurate to 2 nautical miles. Position on land is accurate to 0.5 nautical miles. Recoveing time is accurate to 2 seconds from a known position on land.

    7. WHAT SORT OF TECHNIQUES ARE USED IN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    Too many to list. See chapter 21 in the 1977 Bowditch (American Practical Navigator) pages 559 to 615.

    8. DO YOU KNOW OF ANY TECHNIQUES THAT WERE DEVELOPED FROM THE POLYNESIANS ? 

    None. Vikings, Europeans, Arabs, Indians, Asians, and Polynesians all seem to have understood the concept of latitude sailing independently.

    9. HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT POLYNESIAN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION ?

    Just what is stated in Wikipedia. Steering by stars and latitude sailing using zenith stars.

    Greg Rudzinski
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