A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Gary LaPook
Date: 2017 Feb 5, 12:57 -0800
My celphone calculator comes up with trig functions displayed to a precision of 12 significant figures, which is neat. But when you are doing real calculations in the real world on the real sea or up in the real air, the accuracy of the result of any calculation is limited to the least accurate input, no matter the level of precision that you show on your calculator. We generally input the celestial data to a precision of one-tenth of a minute for marine navigation and to one whole minute for inflight navigation but the data does not actually have that level of accuracy. Then, when finding a running fix, we input course and speed to whole degrees and whole knots but it desn't really have that level of accuracy either. So, while this theoretical discussion is interesting, on any moving vehicle, ship, airplane, car or on foot it doesn't improve on the traditional method.