A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Andrés Ruiz
Date: 2010 Nov 10, 16:36 +0100
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:
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.
PS: Bruce Stark, if you're reading this, thank you for the signed inscription!