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    Re: suggestion for a satisfactory celnav narrative
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 May 31, 22:32 EDT

    "As one who has struggled with a plethora of  publications that purport to
    convey the celnav gospel"
    
    How many books  constitute a plethora?  More seriously, which books have
    you enjoyed?  Which did you find less satisfactory? Can you pinpoint any
    features that worked  or didn't work for you??
    
    " I'd like to suggest a group project  of
    composing a "minimal" narrative of the essentials of  celestial
    navigation "
    
    It's feasible but first you have to define:  what is the 'minimal' narrative
    of celestial navigation? Latitude and longitude  by Noon Sun can be taught in
    one long afternoon. That's 'minimal' and you can  sail around the world using
    it (if you're feeling reckless and choose to leave  your GPS at home). But
    most navigators who learned the art of celestial  navigation in the late 20th
    century would be repelled by this choice of  'minimal' cel nav because they
    learned, what I call, "apex celestial navigation"  --the extremely stable set of
    celestial navigation tools and ideas that appeared  c.1958 and lasted through
    the obsolescence of the system four decades later.  This "apex celestial" takes
    maybe 8 or 10 long afternoons to learn, and it's  naturally much more
    involved. Do you need that? Does the student sitting next to  you need that? And the
    one sitting next to him??
    
    Generally speaking,  there are a thousand different students with a thousand
    different skill-sets and  educational backgrounds to bring to bear, and each
    of those has different goals,  too. For each of them, there is a unique, ideal
    'minimal narrative'. Maybe we  need an expert system that builds a textbook
    based on each student's answers to  a dozen questions (I'm serious --that's a
    real possibility). In the absence of  the perfect text for every student, there
    are numerous books that do an  excellent job of reaching some large fraction
    of celestial navigation student  'population'. Three I can think of:
    Howell's "Practical Celestial  Navigation"
    Whitney and Wright's "Learn to Navigate" (by the tutorial system  developed
    at Harvard)
    Mixter's "Primer of Navigation"
    But that's just  three out of dozens and dozens of options...
    
    -FER
    42.0N 87.7W, or  41.4N 72.1W.
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    
    
    

       
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