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    Sextant with Point and Shoot Camera
    From: Greg Rudzinski
    Date: 2011 Jun 17, 12:44 -0700

    Yes a point and shoot camera mated with a sextant does sound like an odd couple but it seem to be working. A Canon PowerShot A3000IS image stabilized 10MP ($80) was used to capture and time sextant Sun observations from 1 to 4 power of optical magnification. 2 power seems to be the best optical magnification for the image stabilizer. Sextant readings require compensating for the gap between the lower limb and the horizon using the diameter of the Sun as a yards stick. This technique is good to the nearest minute of arc. Rocking the sextant while holding the camera takes a little practice. Timing to the second requires downloading to a lap top. Timing on the exact minute will let the camera screen serve as a way to measure lower limb compensation. A folded index card makes short work of dividing and measuring on the back of the camera. Setting the camera clock and capturing the sextant preset reading is done before the set of image observations.

    Not a technique for everyone but something worth trying for the fun of it. The PowerShot A3000IS is a great little camera for the money and does really good video with audio also.

    Greg Rudzinski

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