Using a Nautical Almanac on land

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Posted by martin on March 20, 1999 at 07:28:09:

An interesting passage in Colonel Bailey's "Mission to Tashkent". He has just crossed the 13,000 feet Chichiklik Pass.
"On June 5th we were due to reach the town of Yangi Hissar where the Chinese were preparing an official reception. This demanded punctuality, and our watches had not been set since we had obtained the correct time by telephone at Hunza three weeks before. I had an idea: we knew the longtitude of Yangi Hissar and from this it was not difficult to calculate from the Nautical Almanack the time at which some convenient star would cross the meridian. We therefore hung two strings with weights, one due north of the other, and when our stars crossed the two strings in line we knew they were on the meridian and a simple calculation enabled us to set our watches."

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