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    A quarter-millennium of almanacs
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2017 Sep 13, 17:15 -0700

    I just wanted to remind everyone that this year, 2017, is the 250th anniversary of the first official year of "The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris". It was ready for sale right at the beginning of the year 1767 itself. The human computers working in England were busy bees in the year 1767 and after, and it wasn't long before they were five years ahead of the calendar. It's a bit of a puzzle that you can't buy a modern Nautical Almanac for a year five years ahead of the calendar today. And I mean that: it's a puzzle! What is it about the way astronomical data in the modern Nautical Almanac is presented that is different from the way it was a century or two centuries ago that makes it more problematic to publish ahead? Why can't you buy the official Nautical Almanac for the year 2020 today?

    Frank Reed

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