One aspect of astronomy that we don't touch upon much in Sky & Telescope is navigation. Using the Sun, Moon, and stars to determine your location on the planet and chart your course was vitally important to early explorers, sailors, and aviators. Now, not so much. Technology has given us the Global Positioning System, which is amazing, providing you have electricity to power your GPS receiver.

Interested in celestial navigation? You may want want to go to Connecticut in June.

US Navy

If you're interested in this largely overlooked sibling to stargazing, you might be interested in a workshop this June to be held in Mystic, Connecticut. Long-time online acquaintance Frank Reed e-mailed me this week and told me about the weekend conference he is organizing.

"Navigation Weekend," the second such program he's planned, will be held June 6–8 at the planetarium at the historic Mystic Seaport. If you're hot stuff with classical navigation methods, or just have an interesting experience, consider giving a presentation. As Reed notes, "This year we're focusing on longitude by lunar distance observations, as well as the 50th anniversary of the modern Nautical Almanac."

For details see Reed's information page.

I'm not sure I'll head down for the special weekend, but I've been meaning to go back to the Mystic Seaport. I was there once with my grandmother, perhaps 35 years(!) ago. It's been on my list of day-trip places for a while. I wish I was there today — it's Pirate's Day!


Image of ContrerasJULIANNE33


March 29, 2010 at 1:45 am

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