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    Sextant accuracy and possibility of future improvement
    From: Francis Upchurch
    Date: 2016 Jul 19, 11:08 -0700

    Just a thought as I progress inexorably into advanced ancienthood (my children's words, not mine) and the diminishing cerebral cortex will probably not think of this again.

    It has always seemed strange to me that the basic design and accuracy of the sextant has not improved significantly since Cook's time, whereas everything else has improved by quantum leaps. Why is that? Is there some fundamental physical or biological constant preventing improvement, a bit like not being able to travel faster than the speed of light or the acuity of vision? Or is it just that no-one has really tried to use modern, latest techniques to measure the angles more accurately?

    I love working with my Astra IIIB and am completely happy with that, and my recently acquired Francis Barker box sextant which is amazingly accurate , given the tiny dimensions. But why has not some genius come up with a new modern design that measures to say less than 1 ' of arc? Any thoughts from the savants?

    Still hoping for some deep thought from you guys on this and all topics Celnav (or indeed Astronav!). Keep up the good stuff. Keeps old folks like me excited, young of heart and mind and active!

    Best wishes

    Francis

       
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