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Koan
2004-Jan-01, 05:15 PM
I came upon a piece regarding the use of constellations for navigation by people in the 1600s. I have extracted a section that puzzles me. Does anyone know if this kind of direction is a possibility for getting from one place to another on land or sea ?


Constellation Reference Orion And Taurus Orion And Neptune. Constellation Reference Orion.

By taking these references, and applying their location, and supposed year, and estimated time of departure (fall) I contacted the Bays mountain observatory in Kingsport Tennessee and asked the resident astronomer if he could calculate a direction with that. He said "sure no problem let me put it in the computer".

aurora
2004-Jan-01, 05:36 PM
I came upon a piece regarding the use of constellations for navigation by people in the 1600s. I have extracted a section that puzzles me. Does anyone know if this kind of direction is a possibility for getting from one place to another on land or sea ?


Constellation Reference Orion And Taurus Orion And Neptune. Constellation Reference Orion.

By taking these references, and applying their location, and supposed year, and estimated time of departure (fall) I contacted the Bays mountain observatory in Kingsport Tennessee and asked the resident astronomer if he could calculate a direction with that. He said "sure no problem let me put it in the computer".

The quote is unclear to me, but I think it is saying that a person could find out what direction a planet or constellation set in a particular year from a particular place?

If so, yes. But the quote is incomplete, I cannot be certain. Can you provide more contextual information?

Bob
2004-Jan-01, 05:52 PM
Neptune wasn't discovered until the mid-19th century and the "longitude problem" wasn't solved until the development of chronometers in the 18th century. So accurate determination of position wouldn't be possible by observation of constellations and planets circa 1600.

Koan
2004-Jan-02, 01:08 AM
Thanks. That gave me the information that I needed.