Paul E. Wylie

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: The current American and British Nautical Almanacs have been designed primarily for ease and expedition in use. Compactness has been sacrificed, quite properly, to this end. It is not believed that an almanac of radically different design should be produced with the thought that it should supersede the current nautical almanacs. However, there does exist an unoccupied field for a pocket almanac that would serve most of the purposes of the American Nautical Almanac. This pocket almanac would consist of about 24 pages, including explanations; could be sold for a few cents; and would permit the determination of the GHA and the declination of the Sun, the four navigator’s planets and the 57 navigator’s stars, at any time during a calendar year, with as good precision as the American Nautical Almanac permits, and with about the same ease. For example, I have been told that the probIem of frequent replacement of Air Almanacs in wartime has on occasion caused difficulty and anxiety. If navigators of military aircraft in wartime were required to carry on their persons a copy of the Pocket Nautical Almanac, they need never lack adequate almanac data. Similarly, ship’s officers and others who might in emergency find themselves in command of lifeboats at sea, should carry with them the Pocket Nautical Almanac. Landlocked surveyors and explorers should find the proposed almanac interesting. Various instrument houses now supply surveyors annually with ephemerides of the Sun and of Polaris, in the form of a small pamphlet. The Pocket Nautical Almanac might weil replace these ephemerides, permitting a much wider selection of astronomical bodies for observation by surveyors, and thus affording greater economy of time and better precision of results.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 3, Number 10
Pages: 349 - 352
Cite this article: Wylie, Paul E., "THE POCKET NAUTICAL ALMANAC", NAVIGATION: Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 3, No. 10, 1953, pp. 349-352.
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