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    Re: 10 DM Note
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Mar 9, 18:14 -0000

    Alex wrote-
    | I found in Gauss's biography that I am reading
    | now that he owned a 9-inch Troughton and Simms,
    | but the book gives no more details, except that Gauss
    | liked to use it very much. Apparently he never sailed,
    | but used his sextant just for fun, with
    | "land navigation". In the geodesic surveys he
    | made as a part of his duty as an astronomer
    | he used a Borda reflective circle and theodolites.
    | For astronomical observations in his university
    | observatory, he used meridian circles and transit
    | instruments (some of them apparently are still
    | in the observatory).
    | It is not clear whether his sextant survived
    | to our days. I've seen his observatory in Gottingen,
    | (from outside)
    | it looks completely neglected, and there is no
    | access to the inside, no museum, nothing.
    | Alex.
    Comment from George-
    I haven't read that biography, and don't know much about Gauss, but
    wish to add a note of caution about the word "sextant", where
    astronomers are concerned. Indeed, they used an instrument called a
    sextant, because its arc subtended 60 degrees, but this was not a
    reflecting device as is the mariner's sextant, so it could be used to
    measure angles to no more than 60 degrees, not 120 degrees. It was
    used in sky surveys by measuring the angles between a star-under-test
    and two or more reference stars, in sequence, each star being viewed
    by its own telescope.
    contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    To post to this group, send email to NavList@fer3.com
    To , send email to NavList-@fer3.com

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