2024 Capt'n Jack's Bristol Bay- Out Now!


Celestial Navigation Work Forms

Starpath Publications


By David Burch 

Starpath work forms for sight reduction procedures in celestial navigation have been used by tens of thousands of navigators for over forty years. Designed to make the sight reduction of all celestial bodies flow in the same logical procedure that matches how data are presented in the Nautical Almanac and in the various sight reduction tables. There is always a place for adjusting angles to base values as needed, plus reminders on the signs of the values. Intermediate results are grouped for convenient entrance to the tables and for plotting the resulting lines of position.

Once a few examples have been worked, the forms alone guide you through the process. Even after being away from cel nav for long periods, the forms are a quick refresher that gets you back up to speed quickly.

Detailed instructions are included, with warnings about common errors. Forms included are:

Form 104 (40 forms) Sight reduction of all bodies using Pub 249 (Vols. 2 and 3) or Pub 229 (all volumes). The workhorse of the Starpath approach to celestial navigation

Form 111 (12 forms) Sight Reduction of stars using Pub 249 Vol.1 Selected Stars.

Form 106 (20 forms) Sight reduction of all bodies using the NAO Sight Reduction Tables included in the Nautical Almanac. This form is a unique tool that makes these tables (that every navigator has) as easy to use as any other method.

Form 108 (6 forms) A combination of Form 104 and Form 106 for those who choose the NAO Tables as standard,

Form 109 (48 forms) For completing multiple solar index corrections and averaging them. This is a high-accuracy method, praised since the formative days of celestial navigation in the late 1700s, but not used as often as it could be these days.

Forms 107, 110, and 117 (6 each) cover latitude and longitude at noon as well as latitude by Polaris. These are basic procedures, but many new to cel nav find them helpful to get started... and they are instant refreshers after being away from the subjects for some time.