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    Re: Stark Tables for lunars
    From: Andrés Ruiz
    Date: 2010 Nov 10, 16:36 +0100

    See in the link provided by Frank the review by George Huxtable:

    Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Celestial navigation is a way to find your latitude and longitude on earth using a sextant to measure the angular heights of celestial bodies above the horizon. It has been used by mariners at sea and explorers on land for three hundred years, and it is still used today as a dependable backup to modern electronic navigation. Routine celestial navigation relies upon accurate time (Universal Time) to find the longitude of a position (latitude does not require time). Advanced celestial navigators can find longitude without knowing the time using a technique called Lunar Distance. In this technique, the sextant is used to measure the angular (diagonal) distance between the moon and another celestial body. Since this distance slowly changes as the moon moves eastward though the stars, it can be used to find the time of day that is needed to complete the longitude determination. The process of finding longitude from lunar distance, however, requires special tables that have not been published in the Nautical Almanac or other sources since the early 1900s. Although software solutions have been available, most advanced celestial navigators are very grateful to navigation historian Bruce Stark for creating these printed tables dedicated to this task. They have been used and tested by mariners for more than 15 years and are praised by experts for their ingenuity and ease of use in solving this complex navigation exercise-which all agree is the hallmark of an expert celestial navigator. With The Stark Tables in your nav station, you no longer have to fear losing power to your electronic navigation aids, nor are you dependent on accurate time from any official broadcast. Besides their practical use in back up navigation, historians have used these tables for years to interpret the logbooks of Lewis and Clark, David Thompson, James Cook, Matthew Flinders, George Vancouver, Nathaniel Bowditch, and other notable explorers and sea captains. "It is remarkable in this day when the very survival of celestial navigation seems in question, that an individual should suddenly appear on the scene and present to the world such a brilliant piece of work. Stark has rendered a great service to the celestial navigation community." - Robert Eno, The Navigator's Newsletter "Captain Cook would have relished using these tables, had they been available to him then." - George Huxtable, FRIN

    2010/11/10 Frank Reed <FrankReed{at}historicalatlas.com>

    I recently received a copy of the new edition of Bruce Stark's lunar tables. The title is now "Stark Tables for clearing the lunar distance". This is a large format paperback book with some 24 pages of explanatory text and examples and over 300 pages of tables. The new edition is being published by Starpath. It's available on amazon.com and presumably elsewhere. Here's a direct link to it on amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Stark-Tables-Bruce/dp/091402521X/

    These tables provide a modern and quite unique tabular (pencil and paper) method for clearing lunars. I've never actually used Bruce Stark's method, but I've certainly spoken to many people who have used them successfully and find them fun and accurate. The explanatory text alone is worth reading. There's some excellent general advice here on shooting lunars.

    In case anyone's wondering, I haven't used these tables myself simply because it doesn't suit my own preferences. If I'm going to use a modern method for clearing lunars, I figure I might as well go fully modern and do it on a computer or at least a calculator. And if I'm going to use a paper, tabular method, I prefer to explore the methods that were used historically two centuries ago. But that's just me.

    Beyond their function as mathematical tables, there's something else that's worth repeating here. Bruce Stark began marketing these tables himself back in the 1990s, and his efforts helped to create a real renaissance of interest in lunars generally. That impact is every bit as important as the technical value of these tables, maybe even more so.

    -FER
    PS: Bruce Stark, if you're reading this, thank you for the signed inscription!

       
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