# Determining az/el

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

• Next message: Sebastian Stabroth: "Re: progress tle , high drag factors"

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

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
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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