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    Re: The Star of Bethlehem and Navigation
    From: Geoffrey Kolbe
    Date: 2009 Jan 01, 14:47 +0000
    The errors we are looking for here is in the order of fractions of an hour, not days. If a solar eclipse is reported on a clay tablet in a certain year of a king's reign, we can be fairly sure which eclipse that is and on what day it occurred without any specific reference to the day being required. What we need to know is when on that day it occurred and that depends on the local means of time-keeping and how accurately we can translate the reported time into our time system. This rather limited the data set for Stephenson and Morrison.

    Geoffrey Kolbe

    At 14:27 01/01/2009, you wrote:
     

    Ok, Geoffrey, that makes things fairly clear: no chance for a possible
    "navigational" approach.

    You wrote: "The ancients did not have clocks as we know them."
    The time is one thing. I guess that also the dates of the observations
    may not always be clear and could be off by a day or so. In those days
    the beginning of the month was determined by the first visibiltiy of
    the crescent moon as it is still done for the Islamic calender. There
    exist these days - in the time of computers - various propositions on
    how this first visibilty can be calculated for a given location. Does
    the paper you mentioned indicate how they handled this problem?

    Marcel


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