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Calcite, and its importance in early celestial navigation (NEAT)


~LARGO~

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Hi all,

I get such a kick out of Bedrock Bob, mostly because he is a very smart guy, about almost any subject you can bring up.

I would have put this post in Meteorites, where Bob has been posting, but here in this rocks, minerals seemed less offensive to those sensitive... :rolleyes:

I have always been interested in celestial navigation for a very long time. One of my heavy construction partners I worked with, had been a sea captain of an oil tanker, according to him, his ship was the first to pass through the Suez Canal after WW2, winding up in New Orleans to offload its cargo of middle east crude oil.

This carpenter was always surprising me, by how much he knew about mathematics, calculating angles for complicated concrete forms, etc.

He would tell me about all his experiences about coming "around the horn" down at the bottom of Africa, just for starters. He told me he had a sextant, a pretty ancient tool by which folks eons ago could use the sun and stars by which to navigate the seas of the world, and as his function as the ships captain, he needed to know how to use the sextant in order that he could safely make his way home.

Anyway, back then, and still to this day, knowledge of celestial navigation was a must for being able to navigate around the world, without the aid of modern communications, radar, and GPS, and all that gee whiz stuff.. Today, the need for this ancient method of navigation has not changed, as one of my friends who became a navigator on a C-130 transport aircraft, told me one of his most difficult requirements to become an aircraft navigator,was that he had to learn to utilize a hand held sextant, while in flight, in the event the aircraft navigation instruments quit working. He did, finally...

I finally wound up with a Leupold sextant, made in Portland Oregon, which I purchased from a retired professor of oceanography at one of the Oregon universities. Nope, never have learned anything about the thing, but it is cool to look at.

What this is all leading up to, is an article I found about celestial navigation, and this article, is especially interesting, as it talks about how the early Norwegians, in open boats, were able to utilize a special stone, calcite, which can have very special properties, by which these "old timers" figured out somehow, to be used to navigate thousands of miles of open water. Unimaginal to me still, how they could figure it all out, and make it work, makes my pea brain spin in wonderment...

Here is a link (finally) http://www.nordskip....ss.html#karlsen

There are lots of things to read about on this website, be sure to look at the highlighted link below.

That tells you all about the almost magical properties of calcite.

And, to those old Norsement, it WAS magical.

http://www.nordskip.com/navnotes.pdf

Thanks for looking!

Gary

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Hi all,

I get such a kick out of Bedrock Bob, mostly because he is a very smart guy, about almost any subject you can bring up.

I would have put this post in Meteorites, where Bob has been posting, but here in this rocks, minerals seemed less offensive to those sensitive... :rolleyes:

I have always been interested in celestial navigation for a very long time. One of my heavy construction partners I worked with, had been a sea captain of an oil tanker, according to him, his ship was the first to pass through the Suez Canal after WW2, winding up in New Orleans to offload its cargo of middle east crude oil.

This carpenter was always surprising me, by how much he knew about mathematics, calculating angles for complicated concrete forms, etc.

He would tell me about all his experiences about coming "around the horn" down at the bottom of Africa, just for starters. He told me he had a sextant, a pretty ancient tool by which folks eons ago could use the sun and stars by which to navigate the seas of the world, and as his function as the ships captain, he needed to know how to use the sextant in order that he could safely make his way home.

Anyway, back then, and still to this day, knowledge of celestial navigation was a must for being able to navigate around the world, without the aid of modern communications, radar, and GPS, and all that gee whiz stuff.. Today, the need for this ancient method of navigation has not changed, as one of my friends who became a navigator on a C-130 transport aircraft, told me one of his most difficult requirements to become an aircraft navigator,was that he had to learn to utilize a hand held sextant, while in flight, in the event the aircraft navigation instruments quit working. He did, finally...

I finally wound up with a Leupold sextant, made in Portland Oregon, which I purchased from a retired professor of oceanography at one of the Oregon universities. Nope, never have learned anything about the thing, but it is cool to look at.

What this is all leading up to, is an article I found about celestial navigation, and this article, is especially interesting, as it talks about how the early Norwegians, in open boats, were able to utilize a special stone, calcite, which can have very special properties, by which these "old timers" figured out somehow, to be used to navigate thousands of miles of open water. Unimaginal to me still, how they could figure it all out, and make it work, makes my pea brain spin in wonderment...

Here is a link (finally) http://www.nordskip....ss.html#karlsen

There are lots of things to read about on this website, be sure to look at the highlighted link below.

That tells you all about the almost magical properties of calcite.

And, to those old Norsement, it WAS magical.

http://www.nordskip.com/navnotes.pdf

Thanks for looking!

Gary

Largo your friend is right about the C-130 navigation....on the right side of the cockpit was a table and station

for the navigator.....and in the ceiling of the Herc's is still to this day a port for the sextant in the ceiling next to

the overhead escape hatch....

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Largo your friend is right about the C-130 navigation....on the right side of the cockpit was a table and station

for the navigator.....and in the ceiling of the Herc's is still to this day a port for the sextant in the ceiling next to

the overhead escape hatch....

Thanks Don, you should know!

Thanks for the support!

Gary

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