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    Sun, distances and self-confidence
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2005 Jun 7, 12:40 -0500

    I made few more Sun observations with artificial
    horizon from the window of my Kiel appartment.
    Here are the results:
    Coordinates: 54d19.7'N, 10d08.8'E, IC=+0.6', watch 1 sec fast.
    May 29, naked eye: GMT 5:01:10  30d00.8'
                           5:03:32  30d40.7'
                           5:04:46  31d01.2'
    Reduced alt: 15d29.9'. Computed alt 15d30.2' (this was naked eye!)
    May 29, inverting scope: 5:08:23  32d03.1'
                             5:10:20  32d35.8'
                             5:12:45  33d17.0'
                             5:13:49  33d34.4'
    Reduced alt: 16d39.4' Computed alt 16d39.3' (Error +0.1')
    May 29, Galileo scope:   5:16:05  34d12.6'
                             5:17:31  34d37.5'
                             5:18:34  34d55.0'
    Reduced alt: 17d 30.8' Computed alt: 17d30.9'  (Error -0.1')
    June 7, inverting scope (my favorite)
                             4:57:45  30d28.4'
                             4:59:35  30d58.4'
                             5:01:15  31d27.1'
    Reduced alt: 15d41.9' Computed alt: 15d41.8'    (Error +0.1)
    I am pleased both with the magnitude of the errors and their
    random sign (so they are not systematic).
    It seems from these data that my sextant is indeed
    in good order after Freiberger's tune up. Or, as
    Fred suggested once, that I finally gained some self-confidence.
    BUT: On May 31 I observed the distance between Vega and
    Altair, from the same window, with the same sextant, and
    with the same self-confidence,
    and in reasonably good weather...
    and got a long and consistent series... which was 1.5' off!
    I used both my scopes.
    And this distance is not large... in the same range as my Sun
    measurements. I am at complete loss. Is there indeed some bug
    inside my sextant's trommel? The bug which sleeps in the morning
    hours and wakes up at night? Or should I ask an oculist to check
    my night vision?

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