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    Re: What are the impacts created by Vagaries of refraction
    From: Mark Coady
    Date: 2016 Aug 3, 19:47 -0700

    MMM..that actually all was very clear and makes a lot of sense.....it takes me back to the discussion last week about trying to make magical improvements to sextants.

    If we start with the (sighhh --disputable) premise that the beauty of the sextant is it is a non-electric simple mechanical device (thus reliable as all hell) to be used on a moving vessel to be read by normal human eyes. Ultimately the reason why the sextant got to be where it is and basically stopped is it is very well suited to this task.

    The horizon gets fuzzy and wobbles a bit, we get fuzzy and wobble a bit, the almanac has a bit of resolution wobble too.... so its really very much as good as we really need for normal things...so why fix what ain't broke.

    If we universally applied that we would all still be living in caves, I suppose.

    Flattening things out is actually kind of cool, it makes me think of some of our thermodynamic calculations.  Basically you start with the theroetical equation, verify the correct answer with testing, then apply the correction factors to the equation to get the real answer. Seems bassackwards but it works...Good science is repeatable.  

    One of the important things I have learned in engineering is to always know up front what the right answer should be (or at least the range it should fall in).  That way if it is way out of kilter.....you know something went amuck.  

       
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