Since programmable electronic calculators were first employed in marine navigation, a variety of formulae has been used for calculating astronomical refraction. As the choice is wide, some formulae have been selected from commonly used reference sources and their accuracy and suitability examined. No attempt has been made to assess the validity of the selected formulae to represent astronomical refraction in practical circumstances. Accuracy comparisons have been made using the refraction algorithm proposed by Garfinkel – the standard adopted by the British and American Nautical Almanac Offices. New formulae are given that are simple and accurate, even over a wide range of temperature and pressure, and which for all practical purposes may be considered equivalent to the tables of refraction given in the Nautical Almanac.
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