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    Russian trick
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2004 Oct 3, 18:30 -0500

    To all practicing land (or ice:-) navigation:
    
    On taking altitudes with artificial
    horizon based on horizontal liquid level
    (like Davis horizon, or a plate of oil/water/sugar sirup:-).
    
    Here is the trick which permits to take altitudes
    of stars and in general simplifies the use of art.
    horizon very much.
    (The problem with taking star altitudes with art. horizon
    is that it is very hard to get both images of the SAME
    star in your field of view. Just because it is
    hard to tell which star is which when looking through
    your sextant). But the trick also greatly simplifies ALL
    observations with artificial horizon.
    
    I learned the trick from Chauvenet (vol. 2) and he refers
    on a Russian astronomer Knorre. It is so nice that
    I want to share it with everyone who practices
    land navigation. (Besides, Chauvenet is out of print,
    and I'm afraid that not everyone has access to this
    great book). The trick is based
    on the following
    
    Theorem. When the two imnages of the star in your
    field of view coinside, the angle of inclination
    of your index mirror (and thus the index arm) to
    the horizon is constant, INDEPENDENT of the star.
    This angle is thus a characteristic of your sextant.
    
    Proof. It is a simple exercise in high school geometry.
    Just make a picture and see what this angle is:-)
    
    Conclusion: attach to the index arm a little bubble
    level in such a way that you can see it during the
    observation, without having to move your sextant.
    The angle of the level attachment can be easily found
    by experimentation or theoretically.
    
    Point your sextant so that you see the image
    reflected in water through the transparent part of
    your horizon glass (and the plane of the sextant is vertical).
    Then (holding your sextant firmly)
    move the index arm until the level
    begins to play.
    In this arm position, both images will be in your filed of view!
    
    Alex.
    
    
    

       
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