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Thread: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

  1. #1
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    Default Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2018...y-have-worked/
    “The weather was thick and snowy as Siguršur had predicted. Then the king summoned Siguršur and Dagur (Raušślfur's sons) to him. The king made people look out and they could nowhere see a clear sky. Then he asked Siguršur to tell where the Sun was at that time. He gave a clear assertion. Then the king made them fetch the solar stone and held it up and saw where light radiated from the stone and thus directly verified Siguršur's prediction.”
    http://www.nordskip.com/iolite.html
    iolite1.jpgiolite2.jpg
    https://www.ksl.com/?sid=27804704
    A Viking sunstone is actually what we now know as cordierite. Cordierite is a crystal composed of magnesium, iron and aluminum that has a unique property that the Vikings found very useful — it can detect the direction from which polarized light is coming.

    Light scattered by air molecules is polarized and the direction of polarization is at a right angle to the sun. A cordierite crystal is translucent yellow, but due to its crystalline structure the stone turns a blue and purple color when it is turned at right angles to the sun, even when the sun is obscured by clouds.
    https://www.polarization.com/viking/viking.html

    https://greenzaku.deviantart.com/art...olor-143766672
    The upper and lower pictures are of the SAME STONE, a drilled bead, pictured at different angles under exactly the same lighting conditions. This fascinating change of colour that occurs when the stone is viewed at different angles is known as ' pleochroism ' and is caused by the 'double of refraction of light of a mineral.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 04-11-2018 at 01:11 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    fascinating!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    The old becomes new again.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    Thats too cool

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    I say Benson, be a good chap and pass up the Garmin.....

    I wonder how accurately it can pin point, surely that would come down to the fineness of each stone to filter? I wonder when the concept of "do we have enough time" or "not enough time today for that" started, outside of referring to sun and moon or day and night? Would vikings and their Sagas have spoken to times past in a different way? Hey Argen, whats the time? "It is 3 suns into the day after the snow melt, in the Reign of Vlad the Impaler......."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    I say Benson, be a good chap and pass up the Garmin.....

    I wonder how accurately it can pin point, surely that would come down to the fineness of each stone to filter? I wonder when the concept of "do we have enough time" or "not enough time today for that" started, outside of referring to sun and moon or day and night? Would vikings and their Sagas have spoken to times past in a different way? Hey Argen, whats the time? "It is 3 suns into the day after the snow melt, in the Reign of Vlad the Impaler......."
    << Sigh, nobody ever reads my links>> In the first link, they said accurate within a few degrees.
    Another source says
    Researchers say Vikings used transparent calcite crystal to fix the bearing of the Sun, to within a single degree of accuracy.
    https://phys.org/news/2011-11-viking-sunstone-myth.html

    Massive coronal mass ejections usually miss us, but if one makes a direct hit, the Garmin will be fried. For rad hard instrumentation I would recommend a sextant over the sunstone. Remember Carrington flare of 1859? Another flare in 1877 set fires in telegraph offices.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 04-12-2018 at 01:30 PM.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    My bad, i had a Benson moment before reading your link! My plastic sextant is never far away.....i remember the panic in the early days when the system was shut down or severely degraded, and overheard a distraught yachtie complaining he would have to learn Astro......

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    Navigation doesn't matter so much with an ultra shoal draft boat designed for running up on the beach or bouncing over a reef. Put the stone away and hand up another beer

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Old shool navigation redscovered -- again

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    I would recommend a sextant over the sunstone. .
    I think the sunstone was only used when visibility was so poor that sun/stars couldn't be seen. It wasn't a "pinpoint navigation" tool, but it'd getcha pointed the right way. Mostly according to the sagas they seem to have navigated by sun, stars and wave patterns.

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