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Celestial Navigation

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Overview

This book covers how to find position at sea from timed sextant sights of the sun, moon, stars, and planets plus other routine and special procedures of safe, efficient offshore navigation. No previous navigation experience is required-the only math involved is arithmetic (adding and subtracting angles and times).

This is a practical course, which includes clear explanations of how it works and how to do it well. Plus this course includes ...
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Overview

This book covers how to find position at sea from timed sextant sights of the sun, moon, stars, and planets plus other routine and special procedures of safe, efficient offshore navigation. No previous navigation experience is required-the only math involved is arithmetic (adding and subtracting angles and times).

This is a practical course, which includes clear explanations of how it works and how to do it well. Plus this course includes other crucial factors of ocean navigation besides just finding out where you are from the stars, such as logbook procedures, dead reckoning, error analysis, route planning, etc. At the end of this course, you will be ready for ocean navigation. Thousands of mariners have successfully learned celestial from these materials and gone on to cross oceans and circumnavigate the globe.

The course is designed around a unique work form that makes all sextant sights essentially the same. The form and procedures have been developed and tested with the help of tens of thousands of students over the past 25 years.
You will soon be doing the sextant-sight reductions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets, with little more than a glance at the work form. It reminds you what to do at each step, and then carries you on to the next.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780914025016
  • Publisher: starpath publications
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 503,641
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Table of Fully Worked Examples iv
PROPOSED SYLLABUS vii
INTRODUCTION 1

Chapter 1. BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
1.1 Overview of Ocean Navigation 5
1.2 Overview of Celestial Navigation 7
1.3 Bird's Eye View of a Celestial Fix 8
1.4 Latitude, Longitude, and Nautical Miles 10
1.5 Arithmetic of Angles and Time 13
1.6-7 Exercises on Angles and Time 16
1.8 Terminology Review Exercise 17

Chapter 2. SEXTANTS
2.1 About 19
2.2 How to Take a Sextant Sight 20
2.3 How to Read a Sextant 24
2.4 Exercise on Sextant Reading 27

Chapter 3. NOON SIGHTS (LAN)
3.1 Introduction to LAN 29
3.2 Details, Virtues, and Drawbacks 31
3.3 Procedures for doing an LAN Sight 33
3.3c Practice with Sun's Declination 40
3.4 Exercise on LAN Sights 44

Chapter 4. PLOTTING AND CHART WORK
4.1 Introduction 45
4.2 Universal Plotting Sheets 45
4.3 Exercise with Universal Plotting Sheets 47
4.4 Procedure for Plotting Celestial LOPs 47
4.5 Exercise on Plotting LOPs 52
4.6 DR Plotting Exercise 54

Chapter 5. SUN SIGHTS
5.1 Introduction 57
5.2 Sunrise, Sunset, and Twilight Times 57
5.3 Instructions for doing Sun Lines using Starpath Work Forms 59
5.4-6 Practice with Sun Lines 70-71
5.7 More Practice: LAN Sights Reduced as Sunlines 72

Chapter 6. RUNNING FIXES
6.1 Introduction 75
6.2 Running Fixes in Coastal Navigation 75
6.3 Running Fixes in Celestial Navigation 77
6.4 Exercises on Running Fixes 78
6.5 Running Fix from Sunlines #6 and #7 79
6.6 More Notes and Practice with Running Fixes 80

Chapter 7 STAR SIGHTS
7.1 Introduction 83
7.2 Sight Reduction of Stars 84
7.3-5 Star SightExercises 85-87

Chapter 8 PLANET SIGHTS
8.1 Introduction 89
8.2 Sight Reduction of Planets 90
8.3-6 Exercises on Planet Sights 93-94

Chapter 9 MOON SIGHTS
9.1 Role of Moon Sights 95
9.2 Sight Reduction of the Moon 95
9.3-5 Exercises on Moon Sights 98-100
9.6 Use of the Moon and Planets 101

Chapter 10 STAR and PLANET IDENTIFICATION
10.1 Introduction 103
10.2 Identifying Stars and Planets - Links to The Star Finder Book 103
10.3 Precomputing Star Sights 103
10.4 Star Gazing as a Navigator 105

Chapter 11 IN DEPTH...
11.1 Electronic Navigation at Sea 111
11.2 Radio Time Signals 116
11.3 Compass Checks at Sea 119
11.4 How to Average Sights for Optimum Accuracy 119
11.5 Emergency Procedures 122
11.6 Solar Index Correction 123
11.7 How to Check a Sextant with the Stars 126
11.8 An Ocean-Going Nav Station 128
11.9 Offshore Navigation Checklist 131
11.10 Latitude by Polaris 132
11.11 Sight Reduction with the NAO Tables 135
11.12 Use of Pub 249, Vol I, Selected Stars 140
11.13 Calculators and Computers for Celestial Navigation 146
11.14 Dip Short and Sextant Practice at a Shoreline 147
11.15 Using Artificial Horizons 149
11.16 Plastic Sextant Sights 152
11.17 Longitude from LAN 156
11.18 Sunrise and Sunset Times Practice 158
11.19 Choosing the Assumed Position Practice 158
11.20 AM to PM Running Fixes 159
11.21 Practice with Pub 249, Vols. 2 and 3 161
11.22 Taking Your Departure 162
11.23 Emergency Navigation Card Examples 163
Appendix 164
GLOSSARY 165
ANSWERS TO EXERCISES AND PRACTICE 183
TABLES SELECTIONS 205
WORK FORMS 235
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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    Coherant and sequenced explanation of a difficult topic;particularly so in the days of computerized and GPS navigation

    Learing to navigate by use of a sextant and the position of stars, planets, moon and sun is difficult although basically intuitive.While other texts and courses tend towards repetitive, rote learning, with aftergoing theory, this author presents an understandable theory and practice format.The inclusion of easy to copy practice charts would be helpful; alternatively a download and copy mechanism would help. This book is great on the why rather than the how of getting results. The discipline is antique in some ways yet fascinating; it is also very unforgiving of careless procedures and errors in arithmatic.

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