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Some things change, some things stay the same. After 35 years in print, we find that the virtues and values of this book and the Star Finder it discusses have not changed. For navigators who might rely on celestial navigation, or for anyone who cares to learn more about star and planet ID and how these bodies move across the sky, this book remains a wonderful resource.

This book turns the 2102-D Star Finder into a hand-held planetarium, which will become your most important tool for star ID and for planning star and planet sights. It also includes many unique practical tables not found elsewhere, such as how to tell the best use of the moon from its age, how to compare brightness of stars and planets in an easy way, which stars are reddish, and more.

Includes a general discussion of choosing and optimizing star-planet sights and how to optimize sun-moon fixes during the day, along with general tips on practical celestial navigation. Plus how to use the Star Finder as a solar compass if your magnetic compass should fail.

Extensive realistic examples worked out in full numerical detail. This is definitely a specialized book. But it will certainly tell you all you ever wanted to know about the Star Finder — and probably more! — but it is organized in a way that is easy to use to find what you need.

We prepared this book in about 1984 when we learned that nearly every yacht gone ocean voyaging carried a Star Finder with it, but that barely anyone ever used it to any practical value. This book will change that situation for those who take the time to read through it.

Computer programs and smart phone apps can do a lot these days to help with star ID, but few are set up to do this job as well as you can do it yourself with the 2102-D Star Finder. Remember one important factor when comparing to any electronic device: the Star Finder works when it is wet!.... No, I take that back. Three important things: you can also drop it and step on it, and it still works! ...and three: it does not require batteries.

New in the Third Edition

Numerical examples were all carefully reviewed, which led to several corrections and clarifications. Nearly all the illustrations and images were redone or improved, and we added new sections on improving accuracy from the template readings and how to solve great circle sailing, a major new application of the device. The Bibliography and other cited links were also updated.


  • Third Edition,
  • Paperback,
  • 68 pages,
  • 85 illus.,
  • 7.5" x 9.25", (Starpath, 2019, Seattle)

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