A Conversation for Celestial Navigation

Experts in Celestial Navigation

Post 1


Great introduction to the art of Celestial navigation.

As a Quartermaster 2nd Class in the U.S. Navy I am considered to be an expert in Celestial Navigation in all of its forms. Unlike Naval officers all forms of navigation are my personal responsibility (Naval Officers are generalist in all the fields that a sailor must learn). Your article makes some good generalizations, but appears to over simplify the art of celestial navigation.

It should be noted that in the U.S. Navy one must obtain 3 or more LOPs to obtain an exact fix or running fix. 2 LOPs is considered an estimated position.

Also when the sun is directly overhead of your position it is called Local Apparent Noon.

I am not sure how much knowledge is required in the civilian world, but even in the Navy where some of us are required to learn the skills necessary to practice the art of Celestial Navigation it is rapidly disappearing as more people rely on electronic forms of navigation.

I enjoyed your entry immensly. If you would like ot collaborate on an entry to discusses the theory and skills of celestial navigation I would love to help out. Unfortunatly as I spend most of time at sea I only have limited time to access H2G2.

Fair winds and following seas.....

Experts in Celestial Navigation

Post 2

Ausnahmsweise, wie ├╝blich (Consistently inconsistent)

Hi Iskandar,

I only just saw your response to my entry. Thanks for the comments.

I agree that in practice three LOPs are required. Two, espcially if the angles are too acute, are not enough. Even then, you will likely have a triangle of error. (Is that called a cocked hat?)

I am just a part time sailor on the Great Lakes (Georgian Bay). My knowledge is all theoretical. I do have the German "B" license.

I certanly didn't mean to underestimate the skills required to navigate accurately using celestial navigation smiley - winkeye


Experts in Celestial Navigation

Post 3


Hello from sea...

I didn't mean to suggest that you had degraded the amount of skill necessary for competently navigating without electronic means.

I'm not sure what type of knowledge is necessary for the German "B" license. The U.S. Navy has taught me all that I know and I take every oppurtunity to practice my cel nav skills. Unfortunatly there are not too many others that have kept up the skill.

I'm happy to have met someone else who appreciates the art and science of navigation.

smiley - smiley

Experts in Celestial Navigation

Post 4

joseph schembri

You have a small mistake when you said the sun moves 4 miles a second the sun moves 4 miles a minute or 15 degrees an hour therefore 15x 24=360degs in a compass Interesting article though; I enjoyed reading it.
I circumnavagate the world on a sailing yacht 1983 using sextant most of the trip


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