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    Re: lunars with and without altitudes
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Nov 21, 17:39 EST
    George H you wrote:
    "I am aware that Frank Reed has been advocating the use of observations
    around noon to determine the moment of noon for some time, and have no
    wish now to rehearse once again the weaknesses in that procedure. As
    he says, it's an inferior way to get local time."
     
    Well, let's not confuse matters by misquoting me, George. Observations *around* noon are a very good way to determine the moment of noon, as I have described at some length in the past (and probably will again soon!). What I referred to as an "inferior" way to get local time was the late 18th/early 19th century practice of "calling out" noon based on the *single* observation of the Sun's maximum altitude.
     
    And you wrote:
    "What, then, would be the procedure for discovering the moment of noon
    AT noon, in such a way that the moment of noon can be "called out"?"
     
    I was referring to the "common practice" for setting local time on pocket watches carried by the ship's officers. I believe you are under the impression that ordinary watches were rare c.1800. There's good evidence that they were not. Most officers aboard ship seem to have carried them by this date. They set them at noon to local apparent time as determined by "calling out" noon during the Noon sight. This was a common practice, whether we like it from a modern theoretical standpoint or not. Navigators later in the day "regulated the watch" by doing a time sight. This would lead to an adjustment (or correction) of the watch by a few minutes. That "regulated" local time from the time sight would then be compared with the Greenwich time from a lunar distance sight or the chronometer.
     
    -FER
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars

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