Starpath Monthly Nav Quiz

We will post these questions monthly and announce answers and winners at the beginning of each month on our Facebook page.

Prize for closest answers will be your choice of ebook from Starpath Publications.


If you have questions about the questions, or comments, please post them on the Facebook page with the monthly announcment.

As with all of our training materials, we encourage questions and discussion on all of our practice questions.


email your answers to [email protected] with subject NavQuiz

Thanks for taking part.


NQ1 Nov 2011 — Pole Star and the Pole

(A) is the North Star getting closer to or farther from the true pole as time goes by?

(B) if getting closer, when will it be the closest (answer is a date); if getting farther, when was it closest?

(c) how close will it pass or did it pass the true pole? (answer is an angle, degrees and minutes)



(A) Getting closer. today dec 1, 2011 it is (90° - 89° 19.1' =) 40.9' from the pole. On dec 1, 2012 it will be 40.7'.

(B) Hard to be precise that far out, but it looks like around 2098 to 2102 will be the closest point, about 88±2 years from now.

(3) Again, just estimates, but it will be about 27.6' from the pole at its closest point, and from then on it will equally slowly move away from the pole.

To make these estimates we need some positional astromony program that will allow us to predict things beyond the actual dates that are valid for good precision. Thus these are estimates. An astronomer likely has better software than we have access to and could get more reliable answers, but for all that it really matters, this should be good enough.

No one! becuase we did not receive any answers. "Yes, Halloween, No" would have won the prize!

NQ2 Dec 2011 — to be announced shortly. Seems there is not a rush for this, but we will do it, nevertheless, and try to think of something either more engaging or maybe more of a standard nav problem that just has to be done carefully to be right.

Here is a basic navigation problem, but a very important one as it marks the transisiton between good seamship and navigation. That is, you could be an excellent, prudent seaman knowing many of the basics of chart and compass work and other means of piloting using crossed LOPs, but the transition to true navigation is marked by your ability to find a position using one landmark alone. The most basic of these—that is not electronic (ie radar range and bearing to a single target)—is a running fix.

We will make a running fix problem and post it here shortly. We will also make a chartlet that you can print to work it on. more soon...