Celestial Navigation

Professor Robert Bergantino, of the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology at Montana Tech in Butte, is a highly respected student of the mathematical skills Lewis studied in Philadelphia in 1803, and the methods of celestial observation that the captains employed during the expedition for the purpose of determining latitudes and longitudes at 105 different remarkeable places. In the following essays Prof. Bergantino first illuminates the content and significance of the Astronomy Notebook that Robert Patterson wrote for Lewis's instruction, then re-examines nine of the data sets the captains produced from their celestial observations. He will conclude this study with illustrated explanations of the observation procedures Lewis and Clark utilized.

This project has been supported in part by a grant from the National Park Service's Challenge-Cost Share Program.