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    Re: azimuth of polar star
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2011 Jan 18, 21:06 -0000

    Ronald van Riet asked-
    
    "A slide rule (well not quite, but close enough to be called a slide rule) 
    exists that was used to determine the azimuth of the pole star: the P.A.44 
    (http://www.rechenschieber.org/pa44.html web page in German).
    
    Does anyone know of a reason why the azimuth of the polar star is important 
    enough to develop a dedicated slide rule for it?"
    
    It seems more relevant to land-based  North-users rather than to sea 
    navigators (to whom precise azimuth is out-of-reach because of their 
    unstable footing).
    
    Such as land surveyors, mapmakers, those who may wish to align field-guns, 
    backyard astronomers setting up telescope pillars. That sort of 
    application.
    
    "Also, they claim that with a half degree of latitude, a full degree of 
    longitude and about five minutes time accuracy, the azimuth could be 
    determined with a 1 minute of arc precision. Could that be a valid claim? 
    It seems a bit too precise with the imprecise inputs..."
    
    Yes, it certainly could. As Peter Hakel points out, the azimuth of Polaris 
    is always within a whisker of due North, wherever and whenever it's 
    observed from. What has to be calculated is just a small correction, 
    because the declination of Polaris differs from 90º by just a fraction of a 
    degree. It's easy to deduce that correction to sufficiently high precision, 
    with a slide rule.
    
    George
    
    contact George Huxtable, at  george{at}hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK. 
    
    
    
    
    

       
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