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Old 26-11-2010, 14:32   #16
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CN book and software for those interested

Hi guys. I wrote a celestial navigation book which is free to download from my web site. You can get "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" at: Celestial Navigation
Also, I have authored some comprehensive CN software "Teacup Celestial" which is also for free at the web site. From what I can tell by comparison, it is more accurate than commercially available programs and easier to use. Sight planning, built-in perpetual almanac, sight reduction with plotted LOPs. Rise/set times, and Lunars are also part of this program. It is easy, fast, and makes CN a blast! In the near future I will also upload for free download Ageton S-tables with my easy to follow work sheets such that you can do all your CN with no electronics or computers and no sight reduction tables (you just need an Almanac and the ability to add and subtract), just 9 pages of numbers.

Rodger
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Old 26-11-2010, 18:28   #17
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Originally Posted by DragonFlyer View Post
Hi guys. I wrote a celestial navigation book which is free to download from my web site. You can get "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" at: Celestial Navigation
Also, I have authored some comprehensive CN software "Teacup Celestial" which is also for free at the web site. From what I can tell by comparison, it is more accurate than commercially available programs and easier to use. Sight planning, built-in perpetual almanac, sight reduction with plotted LOPs. Rise/set times, and Lunars are also part of this program. It is easy, fast, and makes CN a blast! In the near future I will also upload for free download Ageton S-tables with my easy to follow work sheets such that you can do all your CN with no electronics or computers and no sight reduction tables (you just need an Almanac and the ability to add and subtract), just 9 pages of numbers.

Rodger
Roger,

I had someone send me ArmchairCelestialNavigator.pdf a coupla years ago and have it on my website for download. Next time I update my site, I'll change it to a link to your site. It's cool to find out where it came from! Nice work.

-dan
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:59   #18
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Originally Posted by DragonFlyer View Post
Hi guys. I wrote a celestial navigation book which is free to download from my web site. You can get "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" at: Celestial Navigation
Also, I have authored some comprehensive CN software "Teacup Celestial" which is also for free at the web site. From what I can tell by comparison, it is more accurate than commercially available programs and easier to use. Sight planning, built-in perpetual almanac, sight reduction with plotted LOPs. Rise/set times, and Lunars are also part of this program. It is easy, fast, and makes CN a blast! In the near future I will also upload for free download Ageton S-tables with my easy to follow work sheets such that you can do all your CN with no electronics or computers and no sight reduction tables (you just need an Almanac and the ability to add and subtract), just 9 pages of numbers.

Rodger
Great site, indeed. Although celestial navigation is not longer required for professional navigation I appreciated to go back to the basics sometimes.
That is btw interesting. The sextant is not longer under carriage requirement but the almanacs are still published.

Thanks Rodger and good luck for you next long haul.
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Old 07-12-2010, 18:48   #19
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Thanks for the compliments and encouragement! I have recently updated the book to include the S-tables and work sheets, along with a derivation of equations for doing lunars (you won't get too many people interested in that, but what the heck). That is the one you should down load, and you should also try out the software because it is easy to use, has many example files to learn from, and takes the tedious labor out of CN leaving the learning and fun!

Rodger
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Old 07-12-2010, 19:06   #20
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Just read the book while at sea last week..excellent book..soon as i get a sextant in hand and learn a bit more nav astronomy, I think I will have it.
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:57   #21
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Originally Posted by DragonFlyer View Post
Hi guys. I wrote a celestial navigation book which is free to download from my web site. You can get "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" at: Celestial Navigation
Also, I have authored some comprehensive CN software "Teacup Celestial" which is also for free at the web site. From what I can tell by comparison, it is more accurate than commercially available programs and easier to use. Sight planning, built-in perpetual almanac, sight reduction with plotted LOPs. Rise/set times, and Lunars are also part of this program. It is easy, fast, and makes CN a blast! In the near future I will also upload for free download Ageton S-tables with my easy to follow work sheets such that you can do all your CN with no electronics or computers and no sight reduction tables (you just need an Almanac and the ability to add and subtract), just 9 pages of numbers.

Rodger
Rodger,
I've placed a link at my homepage's Navigation/Marine Service section to your Celestial Navigation page. I hope it doesn't bother you.

CU
Jens
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Old 19-12-2010, 08:18   #22
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New revision to book and software

Hi Jens1
Thanks for putting a link for my site on your site. I've been busy updating the book with better illustrations, corrections, tables, graphs, and some star charts. Also, I have self-published the book at Lulu.com, in case anyone wants a hard copy.
I've also improved the software with a calculator page where you can make direct calculated altitudes, and longitude calculations for a Sumner line, plane sailing, and dip and distance of the horizon (natural, or using nearby land).


Rodger
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Old 23-11-2011, 07:32   #23
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

The easiest way for me to learn celestial navigation is by using the Celestial Navigation app for the android phone. The app turns the phone into a sextant by using its sensors to measure the star altitude. You can then record the sight and it would do the computation of your location for you. You can take a look at it here
Celestial Navigation Software For Android Phone and Tablet | eBay

or you can search for 'celestial navigation software' on ebay.
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Old 23-11-2011, 17:16   #24
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

I was at the dock the other day when a guy came in under tow. He had no electronics after a lightning strike. Only the bilge pumps worked. I am a big fan of electronics and have plenty of backups, but if they all blew out due to lightning, solar storm, or a nuclear strike (that's when you really need a self sufficient boat), then the old fashioned obsolete methods would still work to eliminate some of the guesswork. I have a sextant, but don't even know where it is right now. Gotta go find it and look on some of these sites before the big *bleep* hits.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:27   #25
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

This is a great thread, but I am going to play Devils advocate and say DONT LEARN TO DO A NOON SIGHT,(at least not at first). I say this because when I was cruising (before GPS, and SatNav was way too much money for most cruisers) everyone used a sextant. In meeting hundreds of cruisers over many years I realized that many learned to do a noon sight and never got farther than that. They still concedered celestial as a black art for math majors. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you have printed worksheets that are layed out for whatever book you are using , the math is just adding and subtracting. Once you figure out a normal sun sight (LOP) it is only a few more steps for the stars and planets,and a little more after that for the moon. One of the reasons that I dont like noon sights is that it is hard to bring the sun down to the horizon if your boat is almost underneath the sun. Sights on any body are more precise if the body is between 20degrees and maybe 75degrees. I tried to learn Celestial at a Junior College course taught by an astronomer who confused the whole class. I gave up and was later taught by an ex Navy Quartermaster who didnt go into theory at all, just what was needed to take and work out an LOP. That gave me the basics, and I learned the rest from a small book called 10 Easy Steps To Celestial Navigation. All of us have met kids or grand kids that learned to drive in a car with an automatic, and they never learned to drive a stick. They are afraid(or too lazy) to try a stick shift. That is why I worry about people learning noon sights first. I hope this stirs up the conversation a little._____Grant.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:32   #26
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

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Originally Posted by J Ventura View Post
The last time I crossed the Atlantic I carried a sextant , Reed's abridged tables and a little book called "One day celestial navigation" .
When I got to Florida I was getting my latitude down to within 2 miles ( once 1 ...) with the noon sight , and it felt great.
I'm looking forward for my next big enough passage to allow me to settle on a routine and start working on the longitude , and my ultimate goal is to be able , someday , to do a crossing without a GPS.
I think that if everyone experienced the thrill of finding the position without electronics everyone would be dedicated to Celestial Navigation.
Ok,
Gives the man bragging rights to "once 1"
So you were becalmed and laid off the rum.......right?
come on...help me feal better....grins
Mark
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:08   #27
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

I'm in as well
thanks
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:55   #28
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

Alright what should we learn first?
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:06   #29
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Re: Celestial Navigation Fun !

Learning the sky is relatively easy. It's something I did as an amateur astronomer (pre-celestial nav), but not difficult. The first things is DON'T use some goofy iPhone ap or a "go to" scope. You'll never learn that way. I built my own telescopes and always used the low-tech "star hopping" method of finding deep-sky objects (i.e., galaxies, nebulae, etc.). Whenever I run into someone who claims to have had and used a "go to" scope, invariably they don't know the basics of their way around the sky.

Here's a list of stars that are very easy to learn, locationwise: Polaris (contrary to popular belief, it's NOT bright at all, but easy to find off the two edge-of-the-bowl stars off the Big Dipper part of Ursa Major). From the Big Dipper handle, "arc to Arcturus" and "spike to Spica." Deneb is the "tail feather star in the giant cross of Cygnus. Vega completes the summer triangle (Deneb, Altair and Vega). Orion's Betelguese (the very red star on Orions right shoulder) and the very blue star on his foot is Rigel. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky is in Canis Major, the dog companion just behind/to the side of Orion. Find the Pleides (the seven sisters) and just below will be a "v" that is the horns of Taurus. The brightest star in the v is Aldeberan. Scorpius is relatively easy to find in the south in summer -- the main reddish star there is Antares.

Just a lot of little tricks like that. It's actually pretty easy.
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Old 13-12-2011, 08:35   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonFlyer
Hi guys. I wrote a celestial navigation book which is free to download from my web site. You can get "Celestial Navigation in a Teacup" at: Celestial Navigation
Also, I have authored some comprehensive CN software "Teacup Celestial" which is also for free at the web site. From what I can tell by comparison, it is more accurate than commercially available programs and easier to use. Sight planning, built-in perpetual almanac, sight reduction with plotted LOPs. Rise/set times, and Lunars are also part of this program. It is easy, fast, and makes CN a blast! In the near future I will also upload for free download Ageton S-tables with my easy to follow work sheets such that you can do all your CN with no electronics or computers and no sight reduction tables (you just need an Almanac and the ability to add and subtract), just 9 pages of numbers.

Rodger
Wow, brilliant book, absolutely fab, I'm a fan of old navigational techniques and I love your treatise on sumner and lunars very clear well done.

Dave
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