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    Will the Nautical Almanac Survive?
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2006 Mar 30, 11:10 -0500

    Frank's note prompts a question in my mind and one which I have posed before. 
    Perhaps Ken, as a retailer for the commercial version of the NA can shed some 
    light on this too:
    For how much longer will the US Government publish the Nautical Almanac? With 
    GPS pretty much having eclipsed, if not eradicated celestial, will we 
    eventually reach a point where the Nautical Almanac will no longer be 
    available as a printed document - commercial or government-produced --  but 
    as a computer program with printable tables? I sure hope not but it seems to 
    me that the world is fast going paperless and electronic.
    For that matter, will there still be a practical requirement for observatories 
    to collect and calculate astronomical ephemeris data. Certainly these data 
    will likely be maintained for astronomers but what about for the mariner, who 
    requires a slightly different version?
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Frank Reed 
    Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:45 am
    Subject: Re: Almanac Heaven
    > Ken Gebhart wrote:
    > "Also, Brown's Almanac  (Glascow), and Reed's Almanac, are claimed
    > by the
    > British Almanac Office to be  paying royalties too.  "
    > And really, it is in their best interests  financially to do so. The
    > astronomical and navigational data themselves cannot  be
    > copyrighted. No one owns the
    > position of Mars at 0h GMT on June 23, 2013. No  one owns the
    > value of the
    > atmospheric refraction at four degrees altitude. I can  easily
    > publish today my
    > own "Nautical Almanac" calculated from first principles  (and the
    > standard JPL
    > ephemeris data) and it would be functionally identical to  the
    > officialNautical Almanac. But who would buy it (especially since I
    > make  that data available
    > for free on my web site)? Part of the reason that navigators  and
    > navigationenthusiasts are willing to buy private almanacs today is
    > because  of the
    > implicit promise that there are no errors since they derive from
    > the  "official"
    > source. A re-publisher is spending money wisely to get data
    > sanctioned with a
    > "seal of approval" from those official sources. It creates  instant
    > credibility. And of course , there is no way that *they* could
    > publish any mistakes.
    > By the way, didn't someone inform the list a while  back that
    > Reed's Almanac
    > (no relation, incidentally) no longer includes  celestial
    > navigation tables?
    > -FER
    > 42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.
    > www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars

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