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    Re: The Star of Bethlehem and Navigation
    From: Marcel Tschudin
    Date: 2009 Jan 4, 12:41 +0200

    Frank, you wrote:
    "Any such event would have been visible along a long path (a "line of
    position" in fact). Even if they had the predictive ability to
    determine that an event would not be visible from their own longitude
    and latitude (and this is unlikely), they could not have determined a
    single location just by the requirements of visibility."
    I don't know the astronomical capabilities of e.g. the Babylonians,
    but I would have guessed that they would have had quite some skills in
    visible observations of sun, moon and planets if they were engaged in
    Astrology. By systematic observations they may also have gained a
    certain understanding on the daily movements of the celestial bodies.
    I also imagine that the observation of changes in the sky by
    travelling east/west and north/south would have been a sort of "first
    level" knowledge for them. With such a basic know-how it should have
    been possible to make predictions for several days or may be even for
    a few weeks. As I mentioned before the prediction of a location could
    have been in form of travelling time towards a certain direction.
    Mike, you asked:
    "Hopefully my almanac has also made some reasonable adjustments for
    changes in the earths axis.  Are those know well enough and
    predictable enough to project them 3000 years into the past?"
    I would have assumed that the information on the eclipses would
    provide information on both, deltaT and nutation. May be someone who
    has the article on how deltaT was evaluated can be more precise.
    Paul, you wrote:
    "I can't explain why my computation has Venus stationary on the 10th,
    not the 1st."
    I did send an e-mail to Mr. Koch via the editor of the journal,
    informed him on the ongoing discussion here on NavList and invited him
    to comment directly. So, may be we will hear from him.
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