Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seeing stars again: Naval Academy reinstates celestial navigation - Capital Gazette

USNA Celestial Navigation

My father commanded a 110 foot sub chaser on convoy escort duty in the north Atlantic.  Every day they had to report their noon position - determined by using a sextant like that above.  The advantage of celestial navigation is that it is three dimensional.  It helps you orient yourself in space.  - gwc

Seeing stars again: Naval Academy reinstates celestial navigation - Capital Gazette

by Tim Prudente

The same techniques guided ancient Polynesians in the open Pacific and led Sir Ernest Shackleton to remote Antarctica, then oriented astronauts when the Apollo 12 was disabled by lightning, the techniques of celestial navigation.
A glimmer of the old lore has returned to the Naval Academy.
Officials reinstated brief lessons in celestial navigation this year, nearly two decades after the full class was determined outdated and cut from the curriculum.
That decision, in the late 1990s, made national news and caused a stir among the old guard of navigators.
Maritime nostalgia, however, isn't behind the return.
Rather, it's the escalating threat of cyber attacks that has led the Navy to dust off its tools to measure the angles of stars.
After all, you can't hack a sextant....