Author Topic: longitude  (Read 2516 times)

Offline weithman5

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longitude
« on: February 27, 2012, 07:12:12 AM »
so over my quick trip to paris i read this book "Longitude"  By Dava Sobel. for those of you that find inspiration in efforts of perseverence mixed with a little politics and history, I recommend it.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: longitude
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 08:06:46 AM »
I read that about 8-10 years ago.  Had been to the Greenwich Observatory within the previous year, so having seen all of the breakthrough historic timepieces there really brought the book to life.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: longitude
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 09:52:22 AM »
i wouldn't mind making that trip either.
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: longitude
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2012, 09:19:12 PM »
Love that book. I suggest you also read her book Galileo's Daughter.

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline punatic

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Re: longitude
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 10:52:01 PM »
154⁰58’45.48”W - me
There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way.


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Offline jet.gorilla

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Re: longitude
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 08:49:07 AM »
Great book.  It was an amazing problem:  "time" that is.    They have an awesome display of clocks at the British museum in London.   Some of the clocks related to this issue are there.  My friend  and I dead reckoned across the Atlantic once in a cessna 172.  We hit the Azores with about 15 miles of error.  We came back using a handheld aerial sextant and a clock and were dead on at the Azores and Canada.   

We didn't have a GPS (they werent available yet to mortals) or SATNAV.  We could have used Loran I suppose but we figured if mariners could use a sextant, then we could.  It was very interesting to generate the calculations and fix the positions.  We had an opportunity to do that again with a GPS and the only real issue was being fast enough with the calculations to have a valid fix.  We found that it took about 8 minutes to do the work (we weren't professional sextant users obviously)  and we were moving at twice the speed as we were in the cessna 172 so we had 20 mile errors just because of our rate of speed (at least based on the GPS data). 

It was an interesting process.  The same guy I made those trips with later sailed his 40 ft sailboat from California to Australia via Bikini Atoll using sextant only navigation.  He had two handheld GPS' on board but they were both locked in a safe and he would have had to call me on a sat phone to get the code for the safe to get it out.  He never did.  I thought that was pretty cool.  He had a beautiful, antique sextant that he used for that trip. 

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: longitude
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 09:27:49 AM »
I saw the H1 to H3 and the T1 at the museum in Greenwich some time back.  Have they been moved?
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Offline jet.gorilla

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Re: longitude
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 09:47:40 AM »
I saw the H1 to H3 and the T1 at the museum in Greenwich some time back.  Have they been moved?
No, they haven't moved.  The clock collection at the British Museum covers clock history but there are some nice examples fo the evolution of navigation clocks.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: longitude
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 10:36:53 AM »
I saw the H1 to H3 and the T1 at the museum in Greenwich some time back.  Have they been moved?
No, they haven't moved.  The clock collection at the British Museum covers clock history but there are some nice examples fo the evolution of navigation clocks.

OK, got it now.  The H1-3 are very large and intricate.  The T1 looks like a 6 inch diameter pocket watch.

They also have some other timepieces on display at Greenwich, including the current atomic clock that keeps Greenwich Mean Time (or at least a display of the time to about 8 places to the right of the second place - most were a blur).
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 10:38:32 AM by hopfenundmalz »
Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!