Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: suggestion for a satisfactory celnav narrative
    From: Henry Halboth
    Date: 2005 Jun 4, 13:50 -0400

    One circumstance comes immediately to mind which allows the establishment
    of position without prior knowledge of either latitude or longitude,
    always assuming an accurate chronometer to be at hand - it is, of course,
    a special circumstance, not frequently encountered.
    When passing under the Sun, i.e., declination very close to observe's
    latitude, as evidenced by altitudes approaching 90-degrees, circles of
    Zenith Distance established immediately before + at + after transit may
    be swept from the Sun's geographical position at time of sight, and their
    interception demonstrating the vessel's position with a great degree of
    accuracy. Of course, if you should happen to obtain a true altitude of
    exactly 90-degrees, the Sun's geographical position at the time of
    observation will be the ship's position at that time with no further
    It is not particularly easy to observe altitudes of this angular height,
    and any effort requires an unobstructed 360-degree view of the horizon,
    as azimuth changes extremely rapidly at and about the time of transit. I
    have had the opportunity to make this observation on several occasions
    off the coasts of Africa and obtained results within the range of
    practical accuracy.
    On the subject of the determination of longitude by equal altitudes at
    and about noon, and again assuming an accurate chronometer, I most
    strongly disagree with the comments posted regarding practical accuracy.
    I some time ago posted an article, which was absolutely ignored by the
    pundits, concerning this method, including a manner of verifying the
    accuracy of the circummeridian altitudes as respects equality of observed
    time. There is, in my opinion, no more reason to condemn this methodology
    than there is to condemn Lunars - again given circumstances and the
    relative need to establish a position.
    On Sat, 4 Jun 2005 08:41:59 +0100 George Huxtable
    > Bill Noyce wrote-
    > >Perhaps the fact that "longitude by noon sun" comes up so often
    > >is a good reason that there *should* be a discussion of this
    > >method, pointing out why it is a bad idea...
    > >
    > >Is there any other observation that gives longitude without
    > >knowing latitude first?  Maybe this is part of its appeal.
    > ================
    > To my mind, finding latitude at noon is a trivial matter that
    > presents a
    > problem only when the sky is cloudy at noon.
    > To answer Bill's question, if a time-sight is taken at the moment
    > when the
    > Sun is due East or due West of the observer, then his latitude isn't
    > needed
    > at all in calculating local time-by-the-Sun. But that can only
    > happen in
    > the Summer months.
    > But why, in this age, does a mariner still ask for separate
    > determinations
    > of latitude and longitude? It's as if we were still stuck in the
    > early
    > 1800s, and Sumner and St Hilaire had never invented position lines.
    > Why not
    > just measure two altitudes of the Sun, at any old times, but times
    > which
    > are well separated so that the Sun's azimuth has changed
    > significantly
    > between them. Then draw a couple of position lines from some assumed
    > position, allow for vessel's run in the interval, see where they
    > cross, and
    > that's where you are, in lat and long. Simple as that. Applies to
    > any sight
    > of any body at any time: a universal way of doing the job. Who needs
    > anything different?
    > George.
    > ================================================================
    > contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by
    > phone at
    > 01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1
    > Sandy
    > Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    > ================================================================

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site