Determining az/el

From: Brian Howell (bhowell@ifx.net)
Date: Wed Aug 29 2001 - 16:13:26 PDT

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    I got a Suunto Tandem last week.  It is very very handy for finding
    the az/el.  The Tandem is kind of expensive, the cheapest I have
    found is around $170.  If you have never seen or heard of one, I
    hadn't, I'm including a couple links.  Hope this helps.

    http://www.suuntousa.com/products_comp.htm
    Scroll down toward the bottom of the page and look for 'The Tandem'

    http://stores.yahoo.com/cinemasupplies/su-51-tandem-zone-1.html

    Brian

    At 12:19 AM 8/30/2001 +0200, you wrote:
    On Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:47:50 -0700, you ("Matson, Robert"
    <ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com>) wrote:

    >This is where you can get into "trouble".  Contrary to what
    >you might think, most people are very poor at determining
    >the zenith location, and are even worse at estimating the
    >elevation halfway between the horizon and zenith (45 degrees).
    >Nearly everyone grossly underestimates the elevation, and
    >points around 30 to 35 degrees above the horizon.

    That's very much correct, yes. Happens to myself often enough. :)
    Simply holding out your arm for pointing at the sky indeed gets you pretty
    much nowhere, that's just a guess like any other.

    Maybe I should have stated more clearly what my take at this is. If you
    hold your hand flat out and in front of your eyes, and then turn it
    straight up, you have an imaginary reference frame/angle of 90 that helps
    you to figure where the "half", 45 is in this frame, and then hold your
    hand at that angle. Now simply look up (sideways) along your hand and there
    you are (and maybe you get this "boy, is that high up" feeling :). Again,
    this is not very accurate, just a small trick. Works equally well with
    holding your forearm in front of your eyes instead of your hand, and your
    arm also gives you a longer line to aim along.

    And maybe I should have added that all of this surely needs practice and
    experience. As usual, you're getting better over time.


    CU!     Markus

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