Category Archives: astronomy

Stars For All Seasons – Part 3

Circumpolar Stars “Know The Stars And You Will Always Have A Compass”.    (Michael Punk. 2002. The Revenant). In article one of this series this article, we briefly touched on the topic of circumpolar stars and here we continue with that … Continue reading

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Stars For All Seasons – Part 2

Summer Stars in the Northern Hemisphere  Winter Stars in the Southern Hemisphere “Know The Stars And You Will Always Have A Compass”.    (Michael Punk. 2002. The Revenant) In the last article, we discussed Rotation (the reason the stars seem to rise … Continue reading

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Stars For All Seasons Part 1

Often asked questions: Why do the stars seem to rise earlier each night?  Why do the stars that we see in the night sky change from season to season?  There are two separate reasons for these phenomena, Rotation and Revolution. … Continue reading

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In Defence of Mer Pas

The noon sight for latitude is a method of calculating latitude from the altitude of the sun at the instant it crosses your meridian and for this reason, the method is also known as ‘Meridian Passage’ or ‘Mer. Pas’.  I … Continue reading

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Celestial Navigation – Theory and Practice

I have received a number of messages asking why my book ‘Celestial Navigation – The Ultimate Course’ is not currently available.  The truth is that I have been spending the winter months revising and updating this book and it will … Continue reading

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Astro Navigation in the Forests of the Iroquois

Link: History of the Mason Dixon line Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason plotted the famous Mason Dixon Line in 1765, long before the days of GPS or any other electronic navigation equipment. How was it then that they were they able … Continue reading

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Translating A Celestial Position Into A Geographical Position.

This follows the previous post which discussed the Celestial Co-ordinate System. If we wish to use a celestial body’s position in the celestial sphere to help us to navigate on the Earth’s surface, we must be able to translate that … Continue reading

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The Celestial Co-ordinate system.

In astronomy, we need a celestial co-ordinate system for fixing the positions of the celestial bodies in the celestial sphere. We express a celestial body’s position in the celestial sphere in relation to its angular distance north or south of … Continue reading

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What’s The Point of Astro Navigation When We Have The GPS?

Imagine that you are driving through Birmingham when, suddenly, your ‘Sat Nav’ starts to tell you that you are in Manchester.  In such a situation, you would quickly realise that the GPS had gone haywire; however, if you were in … Continue reading

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The Importance of Azimuth and Altitude in Astro Navigation

 In the diagram above, the celestial sphere is drawn in the plane of the observer’s meridian with the observer’s zenith (Z) at the top.  Point O represents both the observer and the Earth. Z represents the observer’s zenith. X is … Continue reading

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