By Meinte Veldhuis
President, Little Thompson Science Foundation
Public Star Night at the Little Thompson Observatory.
Friday, February 19, 2010 from 7– 11 p.m.
850 Spartan Ave at Berthoud High School (park east of the high school; directions are posted on the website, www.starkids.org)
The guest speaker for Friday February 19 will be Edward Armstrong, an experienced sailor, who will talk about Celestial Navigation.
Celestial Navigation, also known as astronavigation, is a position fixing technique that has steadily evolved over several thousand years to help sailors cross featureless oceans without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to enable them to know their position on the ocean. Celestial Navigation uses “sights,” or angular measurements taken between a celestial body (the sun, the moon, a planet or a star) and the visible horizon. The angle measured between the sun and the visible horizon is most commonly used. Skilled navigators can also use the moon, a planet or one of 57 navigational stars whose coordinates are tabulated in the Nautical Almanac and Air Almanacs.
Edward Armstrong graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He owns a 33-foot Hans Christian sailboat, which is kept in San Francisco’s East Bay. He holds many certifications from the American Sailing Association including one in Celestial Navigation. He also holds a Coastal Skipper (Yachtmaster) certification from the Royal Yachting Association in Great Britain.
He has sailed as a professional crew member aboard the Schooner Stephen Taber (launched in 1871) off the coast of Maine and he has sailed in the San Francisco Bay area, Pacific Northwest including Desolation Sound in British Columbia, the coast of Maine including a passage to Nova Scotia, the English Channel area including passages to Ireland and France (several times) and around the Isle of Wight.
Weather permitting, after the presentation visitors will be invited to look through our large telescope at various celestial objects. Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month (except July, when we are closed for annual maintenance). If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at: www.starkids.orgPrint This Post