Celestial Navigation in the GPS Age

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Paradise Cay Publications, 2007 - Science - 274 pages
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Many books on celestial navigation take shortcuts in explaining concepts; incorrect diagrams and discussion are often used for the sake of moving the student along quickly. This book tells the true story-and the whole story. It conveys celestial navigation concepts clearly and in the shortest possible time.It's tailored for navigation in the GPS age-a time of computers, calculators, and web resources. Although it covers all of the traditional methods of 'working a sight, ' the primary thrust is using the (under $10) scientific calculator. By using equations that you key into your calculator, this book guides you toward a better understanding of the concepts of celestial navigation.You will learn novel ways to plot lines of position, ways to check your sextant accurately by star sights, and how to tell what time it is from a moon sight. The many appendices are a treasure of references and explanations of abstract ideas. Celestial Navigation is a crucial skill for the offshore navigator to know, this book provides the shortest path to that knowledge.
 

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Contents

Other Lunars
97
THE ALTITUDE OBSERVATIONS
99
The Sextant
100
The Telescope
102
Telescopes with Traditional Horizon Mirrors
105
Sextant Checks and Adjustments
109
The Index Mirror
110
The Horizon Mirror
112

PLOTTING THE CELESTIAL NAVIGATION LOP
13
Coordinates
14
The Navigation Triangle
16
The Local Hour Angle
18
Azimuth Angle and Azimuth
19
Three Plotting Methods
20
THE ST HILAIRE METHOD
25
The Straight Line Approximation
27
The Error
28
Why St Hilaire?
30
THE NAUTICAL ALMANACAN OVERVIEW
31
The Altitude Corrections
32
SUN SIGHT REDUCTIONS
35
Using Direct Computation
37
Altitude Corrections
39
The GHA and Declination Increments
40
The LHA
41
The Triangle Solution
42
Using Tables
44
The Solution Using HO249
45
The Solution Using HO229
48
Four Examples of Sun Sights
49
SIGHTS OF OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES
55
The Planets
57
The Stars
59
Star Sights by Direct Calculation
60
Star Sights by HO249
62
The Moon
63
SPECIAL SIGHTS
67
Meridian Sights
69
Latitude without Meridian Shots or UT
70
Latitude and Longitude from Meridian Sights
71
Longitude from Altitude and Latitude
73
Position without St Hilaire
77
LUNAR DISTANCE SIGHTS
81
Taking the Lunar Sight
83
The Distance Clearing Concept
85
Clearing the Lunar Distance
88
The Sight Reduction
90
A Lunar Example
94
Accuracy
95
So Why Lunars Today?
96
Index Error
113
Backlash
114
Sextant Arc Error
115
Taking a Sight
117
Averaging Sights
121
Altitude Corrections
124
Refraction
125
Parallax
126
OPERATIONS AT SEA
129
Celestial with GPS
130
Those Special Sights
133
Plotting
134
Estimated Positions and Running Fixes
135
Special LOP Orientations
138
Great Circle Sailings
141
Time
143
Accuracy
144
TABLES CALCULATORS AND COMPUTERS THE DEBATE
147
Calculators and Computers
151
INSIGHTS FROM THE NAVIGATION TRIANGLE
155
The Azimuth Rules
158
Special Cases of the Azimuth Equation
160
EXERCISES FOR UNDERSTANDING AND CONFIDENCE
163
Sight Reduction and the Navigation Triangle
165
Navigational Astronomy
175
Courses Distances and Charts
181
Lunar Distances
185
Computer Programming
189
APPENDICES
195
APPENDIX A NAVIGATION TRIANGLE FORMULAE
196
APPENDIX B CALCULATOR KEYSTROKES
200
APPENDIX C EXCERPTS FROM THE NAUTICAL ALMANAC
207
EXCERPTS FROM HO229
216
SIGHT REDUCTION WORKSHEETS
230
APPENDIX F CONCEPTS IN PLANE GEOMETRY
237
APPENDIX G SEXTANT ARC ERROR TABLES
239
APPENDIX H DIP SHORT OF HORIZON
253
APPENDIX I A BRIEF HISTORY OF NAVIGATION
254
APPENDIX J ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
260
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE TEXT
265
INDEX
267
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

John Karl is a physicist, artist, pilot, writer, and a sailor. He learned celestial navigation 50 years ago and has been sailing for 60 years. He's taught celestial navigation workshops at the Univesity of Wisconsin and aboard the 3-masted S/V Denis Sullivan, conducted marine research in the Great Lakes and Gul of California.

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