METHODS USED IN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION

Fred Franklin

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: From the days of the time sight, back in 1763, down to the present day there has been a gradual development in the science of navigation. Bowditch, in his first edition of "The American Practical Navigator" in 1802, included in his work the then known methods, including lunars and time sights. Sumner, in 1837, added materially to the science of navigation when he discovered that a single observation produces a line of position, somewhere on which the ship must be. The method of intercepts of Admiral Marcq Saint-Hilaire, which utilized the discovery of Sumner, was another important step forward. The publication of Davis' cosine haversine tables in 1905 gave navigators a simpler method of working up a sight. This method and many others are described briefly in this article. For convenience, these methods are divided into longitude methods which determine the meridian angle and usually the azimuth, and the altitude methods, which determine the intercept and the azimuth. Various graphical and mechanical methods, although not widely used, are included also.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 4, Number 1
Pages: 9 - 21
Cite this article: Franklin, Fred, "METHODS USED IN CELESTIAL NAVIGATION", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1954, pp. 9-21.
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