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Using the Sextant - 14220_274
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Altitude Corrections, Continued - 14220_276
Altitude  Corrections Altitude Corrections Of  the  following  five  altitude  corrections,  the  first  three  apply  to observations  of  all  celestial  bodies.  The  last  two  corrections  are applicable  only  when  the  observed  body  belongs  to  the  solar  system. Figure  9-9  illustrates  the  correction  problem.  To  obtain  the  true  altitude, you  must  correct  the  sextant  altitude  of  any  celestial  body  for: 1.  Index  error,  which  is  the  constant  instrument  error  caused  by  a  lack of  perfect  parallelism  between  the  index  mirror  and  horizon  glass  when the  sextant  is  set  at  0°. 2.  Refraction,  which  is  the  deviation  of  rays  of  light  from  a  straight line  caused  by  Earth’s  atmosphere. 3.  Dip  of  the  horizon,  which  is  the  difference  in  direction  between  the visible  and  celestial  horizons  caused  by  the  observer’s  height  above  the surface. If  the  observed  body  belongs  to  the  solar  system,  corrections  must  also be  made  for: 4.  Parallax,  which  is  caused  by  the  proximity  of  bodies  of  the  solar system  to  Earth,  resulting  in  a  difference  in  altitudes  measured  from  the surface  of  Earth  and  from  the  center  of  Earth.  Such  an  occurrence  is  not true  of  other  heavenly  bodies  whose  distance  from  Earth  is  considered infinite. 5.  Semidiameter,  which  results  from  the  nearness  of  bodies  of  the  solar system,  which  makes  it  necessary  to  consider  the  observed  bodies  as appreciable  size  instead  of  as  mere  points  of  light;  for  example,  stars. The  sextant  altitude  of  such  a  body  is  obtained  by  bringing  its  disk tangent  to  the  horizon.  Semidiameter  correction  must  be  applied  to  find the  altitude  of  the  center. 9-19

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