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    Re: Scrap paper with time sights c.1870
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Apr 3, 13:26 -0700

    Lars, you wrote:
    "In total there are 32 time sight reductions belonging to two different voyages, apparently made in 1855. The first voyage "begins" 28 July in 52N 25W and ends 18 August in 42N 69W, seems to be a voyage from Ireland or the Channel towards the Boston area. The second voyage contains four observations between 22 October in 31N 72W and 26 October in 27N 75W."

    That's wonderful, Lars. Thank you for working them up. I hope you enjoyed it, too! I am teaching another session of my class "Celestial Navigation: 19th Century Methods" April 20-21 at Mystic Seaport, and I will be showing around these bits of scrap paper and talking about your analysis as another example of something that students can do --if they put their minds to it. We focus primarily on the navigation notebook from the whaleship Charles W. Morgan (preserved at Mystic Seaport) that the museum has in its collection. The pages are very similar to these scraps -- pages and pages of time sights and also noon Sun latitude problems. It's amazing how much navigational information can be extracted from scribbled notes on scrap paper that might appear at first glance to be as boring as someone's tax calculations. The nice thing about these pages, which you've analyzed, is that they are not museum pieces so I can hand them around to students and they can get their paws on some real history.

    -FER


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