PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY FOR ENGINEERS

SHARES

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PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY FOR ENGINEERS .

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PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY FOR ENGINEERS BY FREDERICK HANLEY SEARES 111 Professor of Astronomy in the University of Missouri and Director of the Laws Observatory COLUMBIA. W. STEPHENS PUBLISHING 1909 COMPANY D . MISSOURI THE E.

BY FREDERICK. HANLEY SEARES .

Though the discussion has thus been made to place before the student the somewhat narrowly restricted. 171-192. The observational details of these solutions. pp. Chapter III is devoted to a theoretical consideration of the subject of time. the first chapter will serve as a review. azimuth. as a preliminary The inconsistencies of the work are due largely to the fact that the earlier pages were in print before the later ones were written. The volume is incomplete in that it includes no discussion of the a question fundaprinciples and methods of the art of numerical calculation mental for an appreciation of the spirit of the treatment. 1908. pp. but the author has found so much that is . are presented in Chapter IV. edition will contain this paper. and in the Engineering Quarterly of the University of Missouri. for they possess neither the completeness nor the consistency which. Although the method and the extent of the discussion have been designed to The following pages represent the meet the specialized requirements of such students. it is intended that the work shall also serve as an introduction for those who desire a broader knowledge of the subject. will characterize a later edition. with a few exceptions. while Chapters V-VII consider in succession the special adaptations of the fundamental formulae employed for the reductions. the limit of precision is that corresponding to the engineer's transit or the sextant. azimuth. Difficulties inherent in this defect may be avoided by a careful examination of an article on numerical calculation which appeared in Popular Astronomy.PREFACE result of several years' experience in presenting to students of engineering the elements of Practical Astronomy. for others. But these can scarcely be attained without some knowledge of the salient facts of Descriptive Astronomy. it will afford an orientation sufficient for the purpose in question. The main purpose of the volume is an exposition of the principal methods of determining latitude. For those who possess this information. and time. Chapter II blocks out in broad lines the solutions of the problems of latitude. and to the further fact that the manuscript was prepared with a haste that permitted no careful interadjustment and balancing of the parts. it is hoped. 2. an attempt has been means of acquiring correct and complete notions of the fundamental conceptions of the subject. In each instance the method used in deriving the final equations originates in the principles underlying the subject of numerical calculation. and yet the results are to be regarded as tentative. The final chapter. 349-367. Generally speaking. It is not customary to introduce historical data into texts designed for the use of professional students. v. The order of treatment and the methods proposed for the solution of the various problems have been tested sufficiently to establish their usefulness. and time. in a revised form.

H. . methods. most of the examples have been printed in The better to illustrate both the application of the formulae involved detail in order and the operations to be performed by the computer. in checking the calculations. SEARfS. for My much valuable assistance in preparing the manuscript. Haynes and Mr. LAWS OBSERVATORY. are as serviceable as any. and in reading the proofs. 1909. Northfield. To exclude to disregard the most effective historical a full appreciation of the significance and bearing means of giving the student Brief though they are. of the Department of Astronomy of the University of Missouri. and theories that he is disposed to offer an apology for the brevity of the historical sections rather than to attempt a justification of their introduction into a work mainly technical is in character. it is hoped that these sections 6f scientific results. this For acknowledgments are due to Mr. June. purpose the "Constellation Charts" published by the editor of Popular Astronomy. S. Care has been taken to may incline the reader numerical solutions for secure accuracy in the text as well as in the examples. and far less expensive than the average. Harlow Shapley. material from scientific instruction toward wider excursions into this most fascinating field. E. For these the reader is referred to the list The of errata on page 132. UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI. use of the text should be supplemented by a study of the prominent constellations. but a considerable number of errors have already been noted. F.vi PREFACE helpful and stimulating in a consideration of the development of astronomical instruments. Minnesota.

25 dis- Transformation of hour angle and declination into azimuth and zenith tance 14. Characteristics of the three systems. 24. 17. Transformation of hour angle into right ascension. to find the corresponding mean solar time. 36 36 36 . azimuth. 4' ' interpretation Relation of the problems of practical astronomy to the phenomena of the heavens Coordinates and coordinate systems 5 7 8 Ifr 7. to find the corresponding local time at any 25. 6. 28. Method of treating the corrections in practice 15 16 18 * 8. 23. solar time Mean solar time Sidereal time ". and parallactic angle Application of transformation formulae to the determination of latitude. basis of time measurement Apparent. . and vice versa Relation between the values of a time interval expressed in mean solar and sidereal units Relation between mean solar time and the corresponding sidereal time The right ascension of the mean sun and its determination Given the mean solar time at any instant to find the corresponding sidereal 40 42 44 44 47 time Given the sidereal time at any instant to find the corresponding mean solar time vii 48 . 3. 37 38 38 39. The tropical year The calendar Given the local time at any point. Changes in the coordinates Summary. 27. other point Given the apparent solar time at any place. and time 29 2? 31 31 32 CHAPTER HI TIME AND TIME TRANSFORMATION 1 1 8. 15. The 20. 26. 1 1 12. to find its hour angle. Refraction Parallax CHAPTER II FORMULAE OF SPHERICAL TRIGONOMETRY TRANSFORMATION OF COORDINATES GENERAL DISCUSSION OF PROBLEMS 1 0. of spherical trigonometry Relative positions of the reference circles of the three coordinate systems Transformation of azimuth and zenith distance into hour angle and declina'. and vice versa Given the latitude of the place. 22. The results of astronomical investigations The apparent phenomena of the heavens Relation of the apparent phenomena to their -' 1 '. The fundamental formulae 21 23 tion 13.CONTENTS CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION CELESTIAL SPHERE COORDINATES . 5. azimuth. 2. 9. or true. 4. PAGE. and the declination and zenith distance of an object. 16. 29. 1 . 30. 21. 9. . and vice versa Transformation of azimuth and altitude into right ascension and declination.

viii

CONTENTS
CHAPTER IV INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR USE
PAGE.

31.

Instruments used by the engineer
TIMEPIECES

50

32. 33. 34. 35.

Historical

50
51

Error and rate

Comparison of timepieces The care of timepieces

52
58

THE
36.

ARTIFICIAL HORIZON
59

Description and use

THE VEHNIEB
37. 38.

Description and theory Uncertainty of the result

59 60

THE
39.

ENGINEER'S TRANSIT
61 62
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Historical

40.

41

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Influence of imperfections of construction and adjustment Summary of the preceding section

71
71

42.
43.

The

level

44.
45.

Precepts for the use of the striding level Determination of the value of one division of a level

72 73
77

46.
47.

The measurement of vertical angles The measurement of horizontal angles The method of repetitions

80
81

THE SEXTANT
48.

49.
50.
5
1
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Historical and descriptive The principle of the sextant

85
86

Conditions

fulfilled

by the instrument

87 88
89

52. 53.

Adjustments of the sextant Determination of the index correction Determination of eccentricity corrections
Precepts for the use of the sextant

90 91 91

54. 55.

The measurement

of altitudes

CHAPTER V
THE DETERMINATION OF LATITUDE
56.

Methods
1.

95

MERIDIAN ZENITH DISTANCE
96

57.

58.

Theory Procedure
2.

96

DIFFERENCE OF MERIDIAN ZENITH DISTANCES

TALCOTT'S METHOD
97
98

59.
60.

Theory
Procedure
3.

ClRCUMMERIDIAN ALTITUDES
99

61

.

Theory
Procedure

62.

101

CONTENTS
4.

ix

ZENITH DISTANCE AT ANY HOUR ANGLE
PAGE.
102 103
5.

63.

Theory
Procedure

64.

ALTITUDE OF POLABIS
104 105

65.
66.

Theory Procedure

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67.

Influence of an error in time

106

CHAPTEK VI THE DETERMINATION OF AZIMUTH
68.

Methods
1.

108

AZIMUTH OF THE SUN
109

69.

Theory
Procedure
2.

70.

110

AZIMUTH OP A CIBCUMPOLAK STAR AT ANY HOUR ANGLE
110
112
3.

71. 72.

Theory Procedure

AZIMUTH FROM AN OBSERVED ZENITH DISTANCE
113
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73.

74.

Theory Procedure

113

75. 76.

Azimuth

of a

mark

114 114

Influence of an error in the time

CHAPTER VII THE DETERMINATION OF TIME
77.

Methods
1.

116

THE ZENITH DISTANCE METHOD
117 llg

78.

79.

Theory Procedure
2.

THE METHOD

OF

EQUAL ALTITUDES
118 119

80.

Theory
Procedure
3.

81

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THE MERIDIAN METHOD
120 123

82.

Theory
Procedure
4.

83.

THE

POLABIS VERTICAL CIRCLE METHOD

SIMULTANEOUS DETERMINATION OF TIME AND AZIMUTH
84.

Theory
Procedure

126 129 J32

85.

ERRATA INDEX

This revolves about the earth with a period of about one month. The planets and planetoids. form. The planets are eight in number. In order from the sun they are Mercury. they are small. comparatively speaking. The investigations of that the universe consists of the sun. The planetoids. Thus. With but few exceptions their paths lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. considered collectively. meteors. which are relatively cool. planets. and planetoids form the solar system. some of the satellites at least. which vary slowly in size. one of the foci of each orbit coincides with the sun. Venus. satellites. The satellites revolve about the planets. its attendant planets. Their distances from the sun range from thirty-six million to nearly three thousand Their diameters vary from about three thousand to nearly million miles. thousand miles. the coincidence is with the planet to which they belong. also known as small planets or asteroids. on account of its nearness. the stars. and planetoids. Jupiter. and gravitation. and rotates on its axis once during each revolution. in the case of the planets and planetoids. of comets. nearly circular in form. results of astronomical The the astronomer have shown and with these we must perhaps include comets and meteors. and Neptune. the sun. and the nebulae. and relatively to the planets. Nevertheless. investigations. are extremely small bodies so small that they are all telescopic objects and many of them can be seen only with large and powerful instruments. one of the most striking. One focus of each elliptical orbit coincides with the center of the body about which the revolution takes place. Saturn. Mars. The only satellite requiring our attention is the moon. In all cases the form of the path is such as would be produced by attractive forces exerted mutually by all members of the solar system and varying in accordance with the Newtonian law of In addition to the motion of revolution. rotate on their axes with respect to the stars.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY FOR ENGINEERS CHAPTER 1. planets. while for the satellites. number six hundred or more. Although one of the smaller bodies of the solar system it is. . constitute the stellar system. The stars and nebulae. Most of them are of comparatively recent discovery. and a considerable addition to the number already known is made each year as the result of new discoveries. Earth. and position. largely if not wholly gaseous in constitution. It is an intensely heated luminous mass. The sun is the central and dominating body of the solar system. I INTRODUCTION CELESTIAL SPHERE COORDINATES. Uranus. satellites. The sun. The paths traced out in the motion of revolution are ellipses. ninety for their collective mass is but little more than one one-thousandth that of : the sun. revolve about the sun.

is incredibly small as compared with that occupied by the stellar system.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY solar and stellar systems are by no means coordinate parts of the On the contrary. The corresponding diameters of the remaining spheres and their distances from the central body are shown by the following table. To obtain a more definite notion dreds of millions ing sun. vast as it is. two systems consider the following illustration Let the various bodies be represented by small spheres whose diameters and mutual distances exhibit the relative dimensions and distribution through space of the sun. of the relative size of the : OBJECT . for the sun is but a star. the former. planets. not very different on the portion average from the other stars whose total number is to be counted by hun- The universe. planets. . and the space containing the entire solar system. and to make its dimensions more readily comprehensible let the scale be fixed by assuming that the sphere representing the sun is two feet in diameter. includand planetoids. and stars. We shall thus have a rough model of the universe. satellites. is but an insignificant of the latter.

IXTKODUCTION 3 We do know. some of which resemble closely the delicate high-lying clouds of our own atmosphere. Minute disc like objects. systems constitutes one of the most. The greater size and luminosity of the former is offset by their greater distance. while what appeared to the early observers as the distinguishing characteristic of the stars is shown quent use of the expression fixed stars. and of the satellites relative to their primaries. apparently of simple chemical composition. their relative positions remain sensibly unchanged. In ancient times the fundamental difference between them was not known. The distances separating the various members of the solar system are such that the motions of the planets and planetoids with respect to the sun. while relatively to each other the -stars are apparently fixed. and. for there is evidence indicating that the stars have been formed from the nebulae through some evolutionary process the details of which are as yet not fully understood. The brightest are barely visible to the unaided eye. The nebulae are to be counted by the hundreds of thousand's. They are irregularly distributed throughout the heavens. structure. amounting occasionally to a hundred miles or more per second of time. the configuration of the constellations is the same as it was two thousand years ago when the observations upon which are based the earliest known record of star positions were made. In fact the word planet means literally. and voluminous masses of extraordinarily complex structure. double branched spirals. there appears to be an intimate relation connecting these two classes of objects. indeed. however. that any shift in position can be detected even for those which move most rapidly. and present the greatest imaginable diversity of form. sist of by the fre- They conwidely extended masses of luminous gas. and brightness. and they were distinguished only by the fact that the planets change their positions. jects are so great that is To the casual observer there is not a great deal of difference in the ap- pearance of the stars and the planets.interesting and important lines of modern astronomical investigation. The preceding paragraphs givo the barest outline of the interpretation' which astronomers have been led to place upon the phenomena of the heavens. a moving or wandering star. Their distances are of the same order of magnitude as those of the stars. rings. produce rapid changes in their positions as seen from the earth. The development of this conception of the structure of the universe forms the major part of the history of astronomy during the last four cert- . are to be found among them. while the faintest tax the powers of the largest modern telescopes. The distances of these obit is only when the utmost refinement of observation employed and the measures are continued for months and years. The stars are also in motion and the velocities involved are very large. With minor exceptions. but to the observer on the earth. that in many instances two or more stars situated relatively near each other revolve about their common center of gravity thus The discovery and study of these forming binary or multiple systems.

rising in the east. The but if careful observations be made it will be seen that these bodies can not be thought of as attached to the surface of the sphere. Its period of rotation is one day. tached is called the Celestial Sphere. but occurs some entire circuit is . but due to Copernicus. as its central idea is immediately suggested by the most casual examination of the motions of the celestial bodies. moon. The phenomenon can be described by assuming that each individual point is fixed to a spherical surface which rotates uniformly from east to west about an axis passing through the eye of the observer and the central rection The surface to which the light-points seem atpoint mentioned above. and occasionally Venus. Kepler. elementary devices which can be used for significant features are their description. there is another conception of the universe. Those in the east are rising from the horizon while those in the west are setting. A few hours observation shows that the positions of the points are slowly shifting in a peculiar and definite manner. They too seem to be carried along with the celestial sphere in its rotation. Their distances from each other remain unchanged. This theory bears the name of the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy. which also accounts for the more striking phenomena. Although the scheme outlined above is the only theory thus far formulated which satisfactorily accounts for the celestial phenomena in their more intricate relations. and Newton. and the resulting motion of the celestial bodies is called the Diurnal Motion or Diurnal Rotation. we shall now turn to a consideration of these motions and the simple. moves eastward tinuation of the observations will show that it apparently over the surface of the sphere along a great circle at such a rate that an completed in about one month. A similar phenomenon in the case of the sun manifests itself by the fact that the time at which any four minutes given star rises does not remain the same. daylight appearance of the heavens is not unlike that of the night except that the sun. The surface of the vault is strewn with points of light whose number depends upon the transparency of the atmosphere and the brightness of the moon. more The apparent phenomena of the heavens. and. Observations upon successive nights show A conthat the position of this object changes with respect to the stars. Its radius is indefinitely great. are the only bodies to be seen in the celestial vault. The system moves as a whole. Those of different brightness. one far earlier in its historical origin. 2. descending toward the west. its Many have contributed toward the elaboration of its details. and disappearing beneath the horizon only to rise again in the east. in the northern heavens describe arcs of circles in a counter-clockwise di- about a common central point some distance above the horizon.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY turies. a fact most easily verified in the case of the moon. but is never more than two or three thousand. The observer who goes forth under the star-lit sky finds himself enclosed by a hemispherical vault of blue which meets in the distant horizon the seemingly flat earth upon which he stands.

That the stars rise earlier on successive nights shows A that the motion of the sun over the sphere is toward the east. The direction of motion is opposite. to be the central body of the universe. completing a revolution in one day. half a dozen more or less. These elementary facts are the basis upon which the theory of Ptolemy was developed. This motion is called the Annual Motion of the Sun. Its motion in one day is approximately one degree. never depart far from the sun. in general. moon. moon. but its average is such that a circuit of the sphere is completed in one year. lation of the apparent phenomena to the conception of Ptolemy is obvious. Mercury and Venus. 5 star rising two hours after sunset on a h given night will rise approximately l 56 after sunset on the following The average intervals for succeeding nights will be l h 52 m . The paths of the others also lie near the ecliptic. l h night. It assumes the earth. concentric with the earth and enclosing the remaining members of the system.INTRODUCTION earlier for each successive night. but the planets themselves are not confined to the neighborhood of the sun. oscillating from one side to the other in paths which deviate but little from the ecliptic. and party to selective absorption of the light rays by the atmosphere surrounding the earth. and planets to revolve about the earth in paths which are either circular or the result of a combination of uniform circular motions. to that of the diurnal rotation. The sun. l h 4&m . the stars . moon. and planets move over the surface of the sphere. Two of them. being greatest in of rising of the stars. the sphere itself rotates on its axis with a uniform angular velocity. Relation of the apparent phenomena to their interpretation. 44 . While the sun. and regards the stars as attached to the surface of a sphere. It supposes the sun. respectively. The celestial sphere rs existence. The various motions proceed quite independently.. which. but their paths are looped so that there are frequent changes in di- rection and temporary reversals of motion. They have a general progressive motion toward the east. The celestial bodies purely an optical phenomenon and has no real though differing greatly in distance are all so far from the observer that the eye fails to distinguish any difference in The blue background upon which they seem projected is their distances. With careful attention it will be found that a few of the star-like points of light. The re3. Its path is a great circle called the Ecliptic. are exceptions to the general rule which These are rigidly fixes these objects to the surface of the celestial sphere. the wandering stars of the ancients. m etc. and the planets therefore appear to move over the surface of the celestial sphere with respect to the stars. and their connection with the scheme outlined in Section 1 is not difficult to trace. due partly to reflection. the planets. As already explained. which corresponds to the daily change of four minutes in the time This amount varies somewhat. in paths which lie in or near the ecliptic. fixed in position. Their motions with respect to the stars are complex. January and least in July. rotates from east to west.

their individual motions produce no sensible variation in their relative positions. are changing. the changes are almost vanishingly small. or we may think of B as fixed and A in motion. and partly to the rapidly shifting position of the observer. and the complex motions of the planets are due. and each is capable of giving an accurate description of the change in relative distance and direction. and attempt consideration of the phenomena If their explanation as the result of the action of forces and accelerations. The monthly motion of the moon is a consequence of its revolution about the earth. in the case of the celestial bodies.. barring a few exceptional cases. which makes the earth the central body of the this be done. planets. and satellites are relatively near. the Both methods are correct. partly to their own revolutions about the sun. by no means a matter of indifference. the sun. we may describe the variation in their distances and directions. and hence neither latter. With the heliocentric theory there is no such conflict. We may think of A as fixed and B moving. and we might . the diurnal rotation of the celestial sphere. In so far as the is can give rise to contradiction so lie long as the problem remains one of motion. Though two ways choice of route is open before us. the direct than the other. The former method of procedure is the starting point for the system of Ptolemy. even for the On the other hand. and herein . is but the result of the axial in their The annual motion rotation of the earth. A and B. the conception universe comes into open conflict with the fundamental principles of mechanics. That such is the case arises from the fact that we are dealing with a question concerning changes of relative distance and direction. and. Given two points. in either of two ways. the sun. as the fixed member of the system and describing the phenomena in terms of motions referred to it. Finally. or by choosing another body. either by assuming the earth to be fixed with the remaining bodies in motion. there more obvious phenomena of the heavens are concerned no contradiction involved in either of the conceptions which have been devised for the description of their relations. we can describe the fact that their distance apart. lies the essence of the various so-called proofs of the correctness of the Copernican system. exceptions.6 PRACTICAL ASTKOXOMY are so distant that. The problems of practical astronomy are among those which can be more simply treated on the basis of the geocentric theory. Both methods are correct. although the the geocentric theory presents no formal contradiction unless we pass beyond as a case of relative motion. and their motions produce marked changes to the stars. mutual distances and in their positions with respect of the sun in the ecliptic is but a reflection of the motion of the earth in its elliptical orbit about the sun. when a detailed description of the motions of the planets and satellites is required. and the direction of the line joining them. both leading to the same goal. for one is much more For the discussion of many questions the conception of a fixed earth and rotating heavens affords a simpler method of treatment but. So. the Copernican system is the more useful by far. for that of Copernicus. which at first glance seems to carry with it all the celestial bodies.

For the sake of simplicity. Relation of the problems of practical astronomy to the phenomena The problems of practical astronomy with which we are of the heavens. If the inclination of the axis to the plumb line can be determined. the solution of these four fundamental problems can be connected directly with certain fundamental celestial phenomena. we shall make use of ideas which are not universally applicable throughout the science of asbecause it tronomy. Both latitude and azimuth. and longitude. elemento the more matary conceptions which form a part of our daily experience. portant always to bear in mind the more elaborate scheme and be ever ready to shift our view-point from the relatively simple. although such phenomena are occasionally used for the purpose. outlined above. the latitude at once becomes known. upon the orientation of the vertical plane passing while the determination of time and longitude involve the posi- tion of the sphere as affected by diurnal rotation. therefore. Time measurement is based upon the diurnal rotation of the earth. The latitude of a point on the earth may be defined roughly as its (a) 4. concerned are the determination of latitude. of The time only to find the angle through which the sphere has rotated since some specified initial epoch. of a point is the angle included between the vertical the rotation axis of the celestial sphere and the vertical plane containing plane through the object. it is imbut. quite independently of any astronomical phenomena. The latter can be accomplished by purely mechanical means. through the latter. depend upon the position of the rotation axis of the celestial sphere. (c) which appears to us in reflection as the diurnal rotation of the celestial sphere. it . azimuth. is convenient. the determination of the difference in longi(d) tude of two points is equivalent to finding the difference of their local times. rotation of the celestial sphere can therefore be made the basis measurement. and for our present purpose. In brief. we have The solution of the longitude problem therefore involves the application of the methods used for the derivation of time. It can be shown that this is equal to the complement of the inclination of the rotation axis of the celestial sphere to the direction of the plumb line at the point considered. together with some means of comparing the local times of the two places. time. the determination of the azimuth of the (b) The azimuth point becomes but a matter of instrumental manipulation. upon its inclination to the direction of the plumb line. the former. angular distance from the equator. W>e shall speak of a fixed earth and rotating heavens in so doing. If the orientation of the vertical plane through the axis of the sphere can be found. must ever be the delight jestic structure whose proportions and dimensions and wonder of the human mind. As will be seen later. To determine the time at any instant. precise .INTRODUCTION "' have proceeded to an immediate consideration of our subject from this of emphasizing the character primitive stand-point but for the importance of what we are about to do. .

8 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT A word more. Their planes are perpendicular to the horizon plane. The Direction of the Plumb Line. The vertical circle passing through the celestial poles is called the Celestial Meridian. This raises at once the general question of coordinates and coordinate systems to which we now give our attention. in the establishment of coordinate systems for the celestial sphere. derive the position of the sphere and its axis. the position of a point on the earth is fixed by referring it to the equator and some meridian The angular distance of the point as that of Greenwich or Washington. therefore. poses it is more convenient to consider this plane as the horizon plane. Its plane coincides with the plane of the terrestrial meridian through the point of observation. the Meridian. and we : are immediately led to the detailed consideration of our subject The solution of our problems requires a knowledge of the position of the axis of the celestial sphere and of the orientation of the sphere about that axis. For example. we are forced to an indirect method of procedure. cannot specify the position of any object without referring it. produced indefinitely in both directions. Coordinates and Coordinate Systems. either explicitly or implicitly. respectively. the stars for example. perpendicular to the direction of the plumb line. from the circles of reference are its coordinates in this case. Position is a relative term. The called the celestial sphere is North Celestial Pole pierced by its axis of rotation in two points and the South Celestial Pole. to some other object whose location is assumed to be known. Since our observations and measurements must be upon things which have visible existence. it cuts the celestial sphere in a great circle called the Horizon. The designation of the position of a point on the surface of 5. Produced indefinitely in all directions. We meet at the outset a difficulty in that the sphere and its axis have no objective existence. We a sphere is most conveniently accomplished by a reference to two great circles that intersect at right angles. . It is evident from the the North Pole and the South Pole. Great circles through the zenith and nadir are called Vertical Circles. relations between the phenomena and their interpretation traced in Section 3 that the axis of the celestial sphere must coincide with the earth's axis of rotation. or simply. We must make our measurements upon the various celestial bodies and then. Our first step. from the known location of these objects on the sphere. longitude and latitude. is the definition of the points and circles of reference which will form the foundation for the various systems. in the Nadir. pierces the celestial sphere above in the Zenith. is called the Horizon Plane. Since the radius of the celestial sphere is indefinitely great as compared with the radius of the earth. or the Direction due to Gravity. or more briefly. The plane through the point of observation. a plane through the center of the earth perpendicular to the direction of For many purgravity will also cut the celestial sphere in the horizon. and below.

The symbol used to designate each coordinate It is is written after its name 'in the table. Vernal and Autumnal. The vertical with the horizon are the cardinal points. to the south. respectively. East. called the Principal Secondary. and the direction of measurement of both coordinates. The Primary Coordinate is measured along the fundamental great circle from the principal secondary to the secondary passing through the object to which the coordinates refer. The intersection from which the primary coordinate is measured. and West. The details are shown by the following table. Small circles parallel to the celestial equator are called Circles of Declination. the Winter Solstice. The Solstices. North. Thus in System I we shall frequently use the distance of an object from . sometimes more convenient to use as secondary coordinate the distance of the object from one of the poles of the fundamental great circle. and the fundamental great circle. The Vernal Equinox is that point at which the sun in its annual motion passes from the south to the north side of the equator. The fundamental great circle and the principal secondary intersect in two points. that at which it passes from the north to section of the ecliptic and the celestial the south. In practical astronomy three systems of coordinates are required. ecliptic. the Autumnal Equinox. The Summer Solstice lies to the north of the celestial equator. The already denned as the great circle of the celestial sphere followed by the sun in its annual motion among the stars. and a clear understanding of the underlying principles will greatly aid in acquiring a knowledge of the various systems.is vertical circle intersecting the meridian at an angle of ninety degrees The intersections of the meridian and prime called the Prime Vertical. The Secondary Coordinate is measured along the secondary passing through the object from the fundamental great circle to the object itself. Great circles perpendicular to this are called Secondary Circles. sphere are called Hour great circle equatorial to the poles of the celestial sphere is called the Celestial Equator. South. At the basis of each system is a Fundamental Great Circle. One of these. form the reference circles of the system. Small circles parallel to the horizon are called Circles of Altitude or celestial Almucanters. Great circles through the poles of the Circles. must be specified. respectively. The equator are the Equinoxes. is inclined to the The points of intercelestial equator at an angle of about 23 degrees. The coordinate systems most frequently used in astronomy present certain features in common. The plane of the celestial equator coincides with the plane of the terrestrial equator. points on the ecliptic midway between the equinoxes are called the Summer and Winter.

10 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY COORDINATE SYSTEMS. SYSTEM .

COORD1XA TES 11 Point .

which. their motions are so slow that the coordinates of objects. at least. both in construction and use. change in the coordinate is very small. Such a list of positions is called an Ephemeris. like the stars. an additional introduced by their motions over the sphere and the changing It appears. for not only are the azimuth and altitude of a celestial object constantly changing. they are continuously varying. For such objects of time. altitude are of special service in surveying and in geodetic operations. The magnitude of the . But in spite of this disadvantage. If the time intervals separating the successive epochs for which the coordinates are given be properly chosen. In the third system. the final results being derived from the observed data by a process of coordinate transformation to be developed in Chapter II. is of great importance. that azimuth and position of the earth in its orbit. depends upon the conditions The allowance for its influence is there- made by each individual observer. on the contrary. The positions of all such objects are rapidly and constantly changing with respect to the circles of reference. are sensibly fixed. the reference circles are fixed for any given point of observation. however. For the nearer bodies. the position can be found for any intermediate 'The azimuth of objects near the horizon is also affected by refraction. Its determination in the case of a celestial body affords convenient methods of solving two of the fundamental problems with which we are concerned. always small. In consequence. the instrument required for the measurment of altitude is extremely simple. altitude is the most The observational part readily determined of all the various coordinates. is the coordinates but azimuth. Catalogues of this sort are not only serviceable for long periods but can also be used at all points on the earth. we have only to replace the single pair of coordinates which suffices for a star. for any given instant. altitude. but complexity is that their range of advantageous application in connection with celestial bodies is limited. latitude and time. In the first The method of determining its system. Since the fundamental circle in the first system depends only upon the direction of the plumb line. the reference circles share in the diurnal rotation. For celestial bodies. viz. by a series giving the right ascension and declination for equi-distant intervals of time. unless the point of observation is shifted. of the determination of latitude and time is therefore frequently based upon measures of altitude. but. remain practically constant for considerable intervals of time. 1 phenomenon The which is under which the object observed. their values are different for all points on the earth. Right ascension and declination are therefore convenient for listing or cataloguing the positions of the stars. amount will be discussed in Section 8. The latter circumstance renders right ascension and declination an advantageous means of expressing the positions of bodies not fixed on the sphere. The azimuth and as a result of the diurnal rotation. affects all of amount fore of the refraction. therefore.. Although not absolutely fixed on the sphere.12 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT the earth's atmosphere. altitude of terrestrial objects are therefore constant. a The bending of the light rays by known as Refraction.

called precession and nutation. That of the equator is best understood by tracing the changes in position of the earth's axis of rotation. one day intervals are sufficient. For the more distant planets. respectively. are published annually by the governments of the more important nations. The actual motion of the pole is very complex. Consequently. and the planets produce small changes in the positions of the equator and ecliptic. Collections of ephemerides of the sun. moon'. Precession is that part of the change in the coordinates arising from the progressive westward motion of the mean vernal equinox. of the precession and nutation depends upon the position For an object on the equator the maximum value of the precession in right ascension for one year is about forty-five seconds of arc or three seconds of time. together with the right ascensions and declinations of the brighter stars. and bears the title "American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. As the does not remain absolutely parallel to a but describes a conical surface. amounting in . The change in the given position. In the case of the sun. and the planets. The result is a vibratory motion of the equator about a mean position called the Mean Equator. direction of the axis takes place very slowly. The interval selected for the tabula- determined by the rapidity and regularity with which the coordinates change. For stars near the pole it is much larger." It is in the coordinates above. the mean equator itself slowly revolving about a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic. The amount of the star. the radius of the circle equal to the inclination of the equator to the ecliptic. whose motions are relatively slow. That issued by our own is prepared in the Nautical Almanac Office at Washington. the interval can be increased to several days. During this interval the inclination of the equator to the ecliptic never deviates greatly from its mean value of about 23^. while Nutation is the result of the oscillatory or periodic motion of the true vernal equinox with respect to the mean equinox. has a slow progressive motion toward the west. The resulting changes in the right ascension and declination are divided into two classes. but its characteristic features are the progressive circular component which causes it to oscillate or component already mentioned. The motion of the equator combined with that of the ecliptic produces an oscillation of the equinox about a mean position called the Mean Vernal Equinox. which. about 26000 years being required earth in its moves initial orbit. in turn.COORDINATES instant tion is 13 by a process of interpolation. the celestial pole appears to move over the sphere in a path closely approximating a circle with the pole of the The direction of the motion is counter-clockwise. necessary to examine the character of the variations produced by the slow motion of the reference circles mentioned The mutual attractions of the sun. The motion of the ecliptic is relatively unimportant. but for the moon the positions must be given for each hour. the axis for it to return to its original position. and a transverse nod back and forth with respect to the pole of the ecliptic. moon. and ecliptic as center.

reveals no measurable change in the coordinates. and motion for any other instant f. For all but a few. is e The annual precession example. in declination There remains to be considered the effect of the object's own motion the changes arising from the motion of such objects as the sun.000.000 miles. and. For the stars the matter is much and that of the observer. The motion of the observer may affect the position of a celestial object tion into the interval/ initial /' epoch and its two ways First. and can always be treated as a correction. The variation arising from the rotation of the earth on its axis is far smaller. in so far as the position is dependent upon the star's own motion. We have already seen how Their motions over the sphere are so slight as to be entirely inappreciable in the vast majority of cases. it is desired to find their values as affected by proper any instant. and is included with the effect of the object's own motion in the ephemeris which expresses its positions.is called Aberration. and not at all upon his position. signifies specifically. The change in one year is called the If the right ascension and declination are given for star's Proper Motion. Parallactic displacement. appears different from that when the observer is at rest. and the planets can be expressed by means of an ephemeris giving the right ascension and declination for equi-distant intervals of time. a shift in the position of the earth from one side of its orbit to the other. for . the actual change in his position due to the diurnal and annual motions of the earth causes a change in the coordinates called Parallactic Displacement. and is Aberration carefully to be distinguished from the parallactic displacement. The change thus produced . /. In the case of the stars. the fact that the observer is in motion at the instant of observation may produce an apparent change in the direction in which the object is seen. depends only upon except as position may determine the direction and magnitude of the motion. and for those in which the change cannot be disregarded. the observer's velocity. on the contrary. The displacement due to the earth's rotation is in : of course altogether inappreciable. to about <W relatively small. Parallactic displacement is usually called Parallax. it is possible to assume that the motion is uniform and along the arc of a great circle. The position of a star for a given proper motion are therefore all that is required for the determination of its position at any other epoch. Second. and does not exceed 20" for any of the the case of stars. of. as noted from a moving boat or train. when so spoken the correction which must be applied to the observed . the distances are so great that the maximum known parallactic displacement due to the earth's annual motion amounts to only three-quarters of a second of arc. it is only necessary to add to the given coordinates the products of the proper motion in right ascension and declinasimpler. expressed in years.14 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Polaris. in the same way that the direction of the wind. depends on the distance over which the observer actually moves. For the nearer bodies the parallactic displacement due to the earth's annual motion is large. moon. a distance of more than 180.

stars not lying in the direction of the earth's orbital motion. The corrections to which the coordinates are subject are proper motion. of prime importance in the solution of the problems of practical astronomy. they are different for different points of observation. in consequence. annual aberration. and In all cases these three are of these three the last is usually negligible. the properties of those of both and altitude. in them . but change as the For celestial objects they observer moves over the surface of the earth. and consequently. It is also the basis for the construction of the equatorial or vice versa. that the azimuth and altitude of terrestrial objects are constant for a given point of observation. and diurnal aberration arise in practice in connection with azimuth and altitude. are not only different for each successive instant. and the planets an ephemeris is required. that observations. The secondary coordinate. It is to be remembered. dependent upon local conditions. are used in the construction of catalogues and ephemerides. the center of the earth. for the same instant. The amount of the displacement is a maximum when the its is at right angles to the direction of the star. but only planetary parallax. the telescope must be inclined slightly in advance of the star's real position in order that rays may pass centrally through both objective and eye-piece of the The star thus appears displaced in the direction of the obinstrument. server's motion. and is dependent on the position of the observer on the earth. equal on its axis produces a similar displacement. to a certain degree. it requires consideration only in the most refined The coordinates of the second system possess. apply with equal force here. precession. the moon. as affecting such positions. declination. stellar or planetary as the case may be. is for mounting tigations. therefore. and The rotation of the earth to zero when the two directions coincide. Right ascension and declination are affected by all. Since it is impracticable to include catalogue and ephemeris positions of right ascension and declination. but for the sun. the form most commonly used in astronomical inves- 7. nutation. Hour angle. Right ascension and declination are sensibly the same for all points on the earth. : Aberration is due to the fact that the velocity of the observer is a quantity For all of appreciable magnitude as compared with the velocity of light. but also. diurnal aberration. for telescopes. and the remarks conThe second system cerning it made above. the standard position is the center of the sun for all other bodies. there remains to be considered. Method of treating the corrections in practice. is the same as in System III. their calculation and application are left to the observer. The Diurnal Aberration is so direction of the motion minute. and refraction.C O ORDINA TES 1S coordinates of an object in order to reduce them to what they would be were the object seen from a standard position. For the stars. proper motion. however. refraction. parallax. Summary. and. it serves as an intermediate step in passing from System I to System III. One pair of values serves to fix the position of a star for a long period of time. is a coordinate Systems I and III. like azimuth which varies continuously and rapidly.

The mean place of an object at any instant is its position referred to for the others. the consideration of the engiaccount of its minuteness.0 or 1900. the resulting change in velocity . by proper motion and precession. 8. Positions for all of these bodies for dates for suitably chosen intervals. Such catalogues usually contain the data necessary for the determination of the precession corrections which must be applied to the coordinates in deriving the mean place for catalogues also contain the value of the proper any other epoch. for example. and stellar parallax. The positions to be found in star catalogues are mean places. known as mean place. The apparent right ascension and declination are given for each star for every ten days throughout the year. intermediate to the ephemeris epochs can be found by interpolation. annual aberration. Refraction. for apparent places are also given for the ephemeris stars. their collective effect. to the instantaneous positions of the actual equator and equinox.0. The true place of an object at any instant The apparent place of an object at any instant is equal to the true place at that instant plus the effect of annual aberration. With this arrangement. The nutation and annual aberration corrections are found from data given by the various annual ephemerides. and are referred to the mean equator and equinox for the beginning of some year. it is sometimes necessary to know. 1855. and these are all that he needs. but he has occasion to calculate specially only those which depend upon the local conditions affecting the observations. Apparent positions are also given by the ephemeris for the sun. that we have different kinds of positions or places. When a luminous disturbance passes from a medium of one density into that of another. The velocity of light depends upon the density of the medium which it traverses. or with the catalogue positions mentioned above. and refraction. parallax. The ephemerides themselves contain mean places for several hundred of the brighter stars. The following is a brief statement of the methods by which their numerical values can be derived. The mean place is affected is its position referred to the true equator and true equinox of that instant.. Modern motion when appreciable. and the planets. the special calculation of the various corrections necessary for the formation of apparent places is avoided entirely in the discussion of all ordinary observations. The true place is equal to the mean place plus the variation due to the nutation. in order to use the ephemeris intelligently. and It thus happens sometimes. The last is so As rarely of significance in practical astronomy that it can be disregarded. The first we disregard on viz. nutation. true place. There remains for neer only refraction and parallax. the mean equator and mean equinox of that instant. the moon. It expresses the location of the object as it would appear to an observer situated at the center of the earth. and apparent place. but the engineer is rarely concerned with these. the influence of the individual variations. The observer must understand the origin and significance of all of the changes which occur in the coordinates. diurnal aberration.16 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY precession. that is.

The altitude of all celestial bodies. The light rays from a celestial object which reach the eye of the observer must penetrate the atmosphere surrounding the earth. They pass from a region of zero density into one whose density gradually increases from the smallest conceivable amount to a maximum which occurs at the surface of rays undergo a change in direction as indicated above. in a measure. are known as the Pulkova Refraction Tables. by the reduction of its various parts to tabular form in accordance with a method devised by Bessel. forms the basis of an elaborate mathematical discussion which results in an expression giving the refraction as a function of the zenith distance of the object. For the case of two media of homogeneous density. For example. and the normal to the bounding surface at the point of incidence lie in a plane. in turn. of the altitude. the direction of bending is away from is the normal. unless the direction of incidence is normal to The the bounding surface. This expression is complicated and cumbersome. the refracted ray. To proceed. When the density of the second medium greater than that of the first. This change in direction is called Refraction. an assumption must be made concerning the nature of the relation connecting density and altitude. but for many purposes a simpler procedure will suffice. the determination of the refraction involves the interpolation and combinationof a half dozen logarithms. more or less. is imperfect. unless the direction of propagation is Stated otherwise. it is extremely complex and its amount difficult of determination. especially in its upper regions. The tables based upon this slight. the approximate expression. but here. the ray is bent toward the normal. from one medium into another of different density undera light ray passing goes a change in direction. This. each of which gives rise to a distinct theory of refraction. The latter is determined by the density of the different strata. is a function This brings us to the most serious difficulty in the problem. Various hypotheses concerning the relation between density and altitude have been made. disadvantages overcome. When the conditions of density are reversed. perpendicular to the surface separating the two media. which. The course of the ray which reaches the observer is affected not only by its initial direction. effect is to increase the The simple. When . combined with the fundamental principles enunciated above.REFRACTION shifts the direction of the 17 wave front. and can be found in the theory more comprehensive works on spherical and practical astronomy. without sensibly changing their azimuth unless they are very near the horizon. incident ray. for although the differences between the corresponding numerical results are That generally used is due to Gylden. With this arrangement. our knowledge of the constitution of the atmosphere. but also by the refraction which it suffers is at each successive point in its path through the atmosphere. and the temperature of the air and the barometric pressure at the point of observation. the phenomenon of refraction the earth. the highest precision is desired these tables or their equivalent must be used.

i. 9. For rough work the matter can be still further simplified by using mean Fahr. b is the barometer reading in inches. which is equal to the angle /. the zenith. Their difference. 1 can be used for the calculation of the refraction. whence = 57" tan z'. r. in Fig. . the point of observation. Science p. v. 2.5 inches. angles z' 'This form was derived by Comstock. The refraction is given in seconds of arc. /. 60. and / =50 will rarely of (3) is 57". For 6=%9. respectively. . For altitudes greater than 20 and normal atmospheric conditions. and B the object. 2 of observation.18 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 983* tan 2'.when the altitude is not than 15. University of Wisconsin. (4) The values of r given by (4) can be derived from columns three and eight of Table I with either the apparent altitude or the apparent zenith distance as argument. (3) derived empirically from the results given by the theoretical development. the coefficient values for b and /. the error will seldom exceed a tenth of a minute of arc. Thus. Bulletin of the Series. is the parallax of B. the observed or apparent zenith distance. The error of the result less exceed one second. the circle represents a section of the earth C is the center of coinciding with the vertical plane through the object. z. The parallax of an object is equal to the angle at the object subtended by the line joining the center of the earth and the point Fig. The Z and z are the apparent and geocentric zenith distances. In this expression. Parallax. the earth. the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

coincide with the vertical plane through B\. Denoting value by/ we have (8) /=/ The value in the sin*'. of p varies with the distance of the object.s'. the earth is spheroidal in form. the each month). do not. in p is so slight that we may use its mean value of 8"8. the moon (page IV of For the sun. (7) The horizon. write We /=sin. r the distance where ft' and h are the apparent and geocentric effect of of the object from the earth's center. whence it results that the radius. and consequently the angle OBC. 21&-249). and the zenith distance z' or 2. respectively. 285). except at the and at points on the equator. The actual parallax in zenith distance poles is therefore slightly different from that given by (9). For approximate work the solar parallax is conveniently combined with The difference of the two corrections refraction given by (4). coefficient is p / r. is to increase zenith distances and decrease parallax. whence change /= The 878 sin z'. Actually. there . (5) (6) altitudes. For this its maximum value is about 1. The preceding discussion assumes that the earth is a sphere. just the opposite of that produced by refraction.PARALLAX 18 We have-the relations z = z' p. From the triangle OCB The angle / does not exceed a few seconds of arc for any celestial body therefore excepting the moon. The therefore. On this the parallax in azimuth is zero. the value of the parallax when its the body is the called the Horizontal Parallax. and the planets (pp. (9) error of this expression never exceeds 0''3. and in addition. for the basis plumb line does not point toward the center of the earth. The parallax depends upon p the radius of the earth. The values of / corresponding to (9) can be interpolated from columns four and nine of Table I. altitudes. can be derived from the fifth and tenth columns of Table I with the apparent the mean altitude or the apparent zenith distance as argument. />. It is tabulated American Ephemeris for the sun (p. in general. however.

The influence of the spheroidal form of the earth is so slight.20 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT a minute component affecting the azimuth. it should be remarked that the apparent zenith distance used for the calculation of the parallax is the observed zenith distance freed from is refraction The that is. For the first system of coordinates. zenith distance thus corrected serves for the calculation of the parallax. but. as these coordinates do not appear as observed quantities in the problems with which we are concerned. therefore.5 h' Thermometer. TABLE I.. right ascension. and the limits of precision here considered. zenith distance. the influence of both refraction and parallax is confined to the coordinate altitude. . refraction is to be applied first-. MEAN REFRACTION AND SOLAR PARALLAX in. 29. Finally. and declination are all affected by both refraction and parallax. . the development of the expressions which give the corresponding corrections is omitted. that it requires consideration only in the most precise investigations. Hour angle. of the two corrections. Barometer. 50 Fahr. however. or its alternative.

b. Their values in terms of XY X the parts of the triangle and the radius of the sphere are x y cos B. z =. Let XYZ 1 . r sin a sin B. and. 3. at the coordinates of preferred to this system be x\ /. B. and its sides by a. (10) Construct a second set of axes. because of this fact. and the with the origin 0.CHAPTER II FORMULAE OF SPHERICAL TRIGONOMETRY TRANSFORMATION OF COORDINATES GENERAL DISCUSSION OF PROBLEMS. Fig. be any spherical triangle. as origin . XYZ. The more complicated transformations require the solution of a spherical triangle. the different systems should therefore receive careful attention. Denote its angles by A. 0. Let ABC. such that the plane Let the reccontains the side c. and C'. a brief exposition of the fundamental formulae of spherical trigonometry is introduced at this point. r sin b cos A. coinciding with the side c. . the XY plane X axis passing through the vertex A. r sin b sin A. first by rotatfirst about the Zaxis through the angle 21 The coordinates of the . and the axis passes through the vertex B. y. r cos i>. We then have x y d The second ing the first = = =. 10. and z. tangular coordinates of the vertex Cbe x. Transform- ations of coordinates are of fundamental importance for the solution of most The relations between of the problems of spherical and practical astronomy. = r sin a rcos<z. construct a set of rectangular coordinate axes. and /. set of rectangular axes can be derived from the c. The fundamental formulae of spherical trigonometry. and c With the center of the sphere.

we obtain the desired relations cos a a cos B a sin B cos b cos c -\- sin b sin c cos sin b cos c cos sin sin = cos b sin c sin b sin A. 3 are all less than 90. pp. and dropping the Substituting into equations (12) the values of x. the details of which will be considered in connection with the determination of latitude. to find one or more of the angles. and apply to all spherical triangles. Otherwise there will be two solutions. but. they should be transformed so as to reduce the addition and subtraction terms in the right terms (Num. members of (13) and (14) to single Aside from the case covered by equations (i3)-(i5). . x = x'cos c y sin c. (13) (14) (15) A. y.. c. and are independent of the rectangular coordinate axes introduced for their derivation. be known. provided the algebraic sign of the sine of the required side. A. two others occur in connection with the problems of practical astronomy. cos A = cos asin bcos bc cos c r-T sin . (16) Similar expressions for the angles B and Ccan be derived by a simple permu- tation of the letters in (16). practically. Thus. A solution for the third case can also be found by a rearrange- ment of the terms of (13). The first of these can be solved for those cases which arise in astronomical practice by a simple transformation of (13).y. the application of expressions of this form is limited on account of the necessity of determining the angles from . Equations (i3)-(is) are conveniently arranged as they stand if addition- For use with subtraction logarithms are to be employed for their calculation. Cal. They determine without ambiguity a side and an adjacent angle of a spherical triangle in terms of the two remaining sides and the angle included between them. Although the parts of the triangle in Fig. and an angle opposite one of them. Equation (16) affords a theoretically accurate solution of the problem. viz. the ordinary logarithmic tables.22 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY in system can therefore be expressed the relations terms of those of the second by means of y = x sin c +y cos z = z. x'. that in which the given parts are two sides of a spherical triangle. and that in which the three sides are given. These equations express relations between five of the six parts of the spherical triangle ABC. 13 and 14). or of the sine or cosine of the required angle. (12) and (n). and z from (to) common factor r. From them all other spherical trigonometry formulae can be derived. the method of development and the results are These relations are the fundageneral. 2. mental formulae of spherical trigonometry. to find the third side.

pp.a) The expressions and tan J4<7are similar in form. -. Spherical Trigonometry. The transformation of the coordinates of one system into those of another requires a knowledge of the relative positions of the reference circles of the various systems. B tan 2 y C= is IS -. When the three angles of a spherical by it is advantageous to introduce triangle are to be determined simultaneously. and check by sin (s-l>) sin (s-c) sin (s-a) . . of the half-angles of the triangle is known. 4. angles of a spherical triangle from the three sides are tan s = % (a + b + c b. (a a permutation of the letters of (17). B. The proof of this statement can be derived from Fig. r. (16). . In the case of Systems I and II the principal secondary circles coincide fundamental great circles are inclined to each other at an by definition..SPHERICAL TRIGONOMETRY For numerical calculation it is important to have formulae such that the angles A. Form s - a. The desired relations can be derived by a transformation Col.' (s-a) Sin J and can be derived Similar expressions for b s c). (19) (s. removed if the quadrant of Relative positions of the reference circles of the three coordinate systems. ). which represents a section through the earth and the celestial sphere in the . g we find tanj^ 2 yB A = sin K -. s and s-c. = in sin 5 sin . sin s If If ]^ Check: tan %A tan y. The angle which is constant and equal to the complement of the latitude of the place of observation. 3 and 14). Two one 11. and C can be interpolated from their tangents (Num. which = # + + B C the auxiliary K. The ambiguity solutions are possible. . 12 and 16-18). defined by the relation _ sin (s-a) sin (s-6) sin (s-c) Substituting (18) into (17). giving of (Chauvenet. the complete formulae for the calculation of the three Collecting results. their cosines.

4- Now. The principal secondary of the third system does not mainis . respectively. ip. the celestial equator. It thus appears that the second system can be derived from the first by rotating the first about an axis passing through the east and west points. of the point (21) whence H'E = 90 (22) which was to be proved. which cuts the terrestrial P meridian in ee. by But. the latter being greatly exaggerated with respect to the former. definition the arc eO measures the latitude. the terrestrial meridian of 0. (23) Arc HP = (24) From (21) and (24) it follows that the latitude of any point on the earth equal to the declination of the zenith of that point. It is to be noted. and TV are the Z and P'. The plane of the celestial equator coincides with that of the terrestrial equator. the zenith and the nadir. of. It is also equal to the altitude of the pole as seen from the given point. with the meridian plane.. the poles of the celestial sphere. and the inner. The outer circle represents the celestial meridian. through an angle equal to the co-latitude of the place. that Arc and ZP 90 iff = Co-latitude <f.* 0. O. Fig.24 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY plane of the meridian of the point of observation. HH' and EE\ the lines of intersection of the planes of poles of the earth. viz./ and/'. Systems II and III have the same fundamental great circle. horizon and equator. further.

both latitude and sidereal time It is scarcely necessary to add that the reverse transformations are required. the plane of the equator as seen from the North. I is reproduced in Fig. shows that the . a knowledge of the sidereal time. 5 represent an orthogonal projection of the celestial sphere upon is the north celestial pole. The arc of the principal secondary of the third system with respect to that of position P MBV This arc is equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox. and declination. The transformation requires the solution of the spherical The essential part of Fig. intersects the celestial equator. can be designated as shown in Fig. demand the same knowledge. I. ascension of the observer's meridian. while. Finally. the third system can be derived from the first by rotating the first into the position of the second. therefore. n. and thence into the position of the third. 25 in a uniformly Let Fig. Fig. It is also equal to the right ascension of the observer's meridian at the instant considered. the transformation of coordinates involves the determination of the changes arising in the coordinates as a result of a rotation of the various systems in the manner specified above. n 6. = We vernal equinox at that instant. but rotates clockwise direction as seen from the north side of the equator.RELATIVE POSITION OF COORDINATE SYSTEMS tain a fixed position with respect to that of the first. Transformation of azimuth and zenith distance into hour angle 12. Briefly stated. to pass from azimuth and altitude to right ascension and declination. that the third system can be derived from the second by rotating the second system about the axis of the celestial sphere through an angle equal to the sidereal time. upon an enlarged scale. the point where the meridian of M. and V. or the 0. An parts of the triangle ZPO inspection of the notation of p. 6 triangle ZPO. It is called the Sidereal Time right thus have the following important definition: The sidereal time at any instant is equal to the hour angle of the the first. It is at once evident that the transformation of azimuth and altitude into hour angle and declination requires a knowledge of the latitude. It follows. p. of hour angle and declination into right ascension and declination. therefore measures the instantaneous the vernal equinox.

have for the calculation we m sin M = m cos M = cos 3 sin cos 3 cos t t sin z cos A. (29) In formulae (26)-(28) we have 3. five three equations for the determination of two equations are given for the determin- . (14).'26 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Assuming the latitude. defined by m m sin are introduced mcosM = M= sin z cos A. Substituting these relations into (26) and (27) and collecting results. y>. t and in (29). (<p cos z.M). (Num. sin 3 = sin z sin A. 3. (26) (27) (28) ip <p To adapt auxiliary quantities these formulas for use with the ordinary logarithmic tables. it is seen that the transformation involves the determination of the side it and the adjaquestion 90 cent angle t in terms of the other two sides. and (15) gives sin 3 t t cos 8 cos cos 3 sin = cos z sin sin z cos = cos z cos + sin z sin = sin z sin A. A = i8oA. (25) 90 <p. Cat. = m cos . Equations (i3)-(i5) are directly in = = applicable. cos z. unknown quantities. the and M. <p <f> cos A. and 90 y> the angle 180 A included between them. 14). The substitution of (25) into (13). p. and it is only necessary to make the following assignment of parts: a * c = 90 = *. Fig. 90 and z h. 6. cos A. to be known. = m sin (tp-M).

For one. negative. pp. The interpolated values must agree with those resulting from the last three equations of (29). from which the angle determined. the latter. and 3. M. The former method is shorter. log sin 3 and log cos <J are interpolated from the table. M M M of M and m thus derived are to be substituted. For simplicity. The left members of the third and fourth of (29) are of the same form as the first two. which affords a The subtraction of log sin from log m sin partial check. and check by The comparing the other function with the value interpolated from the tables with the calculated d as argument. and second equations. of The Mh are interpolated with a single opening of the M. This affords a third partial check. and log cos The difference of the last two must equal log tan M. The determination of 3 and the application of the check can be accomplished in either of two ways: We may interpolate 3 from the smaller of the two functions logcosiJ and logsincJ. which of the two solutions we adopt. which fixes the quadrant of /. in any specific case. it affords a means of testing the accuracy of The order first of solution two equations. With the value of d thus derived. the next step is the determination of log sin 3 from the last of (29). /. along with z and A. Great care must bf . determine Whatever the values of z and A. which is found by subtracting log cos 3 from log sin 8. the first method is usually In applying the checks it is to be noted that the accumulated error of calculation (Num. is always positive. so far as the final values of / itive. cosJ/. we assume that M and m from the is as follows: First. /. sin M. The hour angle. and tanM. and log cos 3 having been found. more precise in the long run. This makes the algebraic signs however. pairs of values of It is immaterial. as the numerical solution. or we may interpolate d from log tan 3. care being taken to apply the checks at the points indicated above. since 3 must always lie between +90 and 90. In practice. a point of great practical importance. Cal. The addition of this result to log cos must agree with the value of log mcosM from the second of (29). the quadrant being fixed by a consideration of the algebraic signs of any two of the three functions. which makes it possible to determine /and cos 8 by an application of the process employed for finding m and M. of two units in the last place of decimals. gives log m. 4 and 12) may produce a disagreement of one. is available than is required for the theoretical solution of the problem. The algebraic sign of cos 3 is necright-hand essarily positive. there will always be two and m satisfying these equations. which gives a second partial check. for the other. respectively. m. into the members of the last three of (29) for the completion of the calculation. It is to be noted that this limitation upon the sign of cos<J removes the ambiguity existing in the solution of the general spherical triangle which was mentioned on p. members of the first difference of the logarithms of the right-hand members of these equations equals log tan M. and in rare instances. although not necessarily so sufficient.ORDER OF SOLUTION 27 In both cases one more condition ation of the four unknowns. and 8 are concerned. m will be pos- M of sin M and cos M the m same as those of the right-hand (29). The values M. values of log cos 3 and log sin 3 must correspond to the same angle. 22. log sin M table.

is in the second column. the azimuth of an its zenith distance 62 37' 49". although the majority of the numbers appearing Its omission saves time and produces no confusion. in the computation are logarithms. The abbreviation /o^-is not prefixed to the arguments. For the first. using addition-subtraction logarithms. an erroneous computation may check. <5 is derived from log sin 3. need not ordinarily be written down. The calculation of t and 8 from equations (26)-(28) with the aid of additionsubtraction logarithms is accomplished by an application of the method used for the solution of the last three of (29). The only differences which occur are to be found in the details of the combination of the quantities which enter into the right members 1. in this case. 3 is determined from log tan 3. The check quantities must agree both in absolute magniapparently tude and algebraic sign. made with the ordinary tables. In the calculation of (29). that for equations (29). Otherwise. For a place of observation whose latitude is 38 56' 51". Example object is 97 14' 12" and and declination. . which. sin 5 and cos 5. appears column. of the two groups of equations. The arguments tor the check quantities. is smaller than log cos d. Find the corresponding hour angle The in the first calculation for equations (z6)-(28).PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY exercised with the algebraic signs of the trigonometric functions and in assigning the quadrants of the angles. They are inserted here In order to illustrate the application of the control.

Applying the we derive N = sin N = cos d cos A = cos d sin sin z cos A = sin N). I= same principle as before. and (28). The transformation can be effected by solving (29) in the reverse order to that followed in Section 12. the quadrant of A is fixed by the fact that sin z is necessarily positive. n sin 3. cososin/ 1 . versa. This eliminates the ambiguity attached to the solution of the general spherical triangle. The unknowns are involved in the same manner in both cases. sin = = sin d sin -\- cos o cos <f> cos/. then have by definition B We any . the latter. It is better. the transformation of the coordinates of one of these systems into those of the other requires only a knowledge of the relation between hour angle and right ascension. p. two sides and the included angle are given. . with the exception that the sine and cosine of z are interchanged in the left members of (3i)-(34) as compared with the corresponding functions of d in (26)-(2 9 ). (27). Since the coordinate declination is common to Systems II and III. As before. however. (34) (<p (<p The two groups (3i)-(33) and (34) give the required transformation. to use equations of the same form as those appearing in the preceding section. we find by substituting into cos 2 z cos A (13). In Fig.TRA NSFORMA T1ONS 29 Transformation of hour angle and declination into azimuth and 13. (15). /. since z is always included between o and + 180. with the ordinary tables. to find the remaining side. (29) A comparison of these equations with groups (26)-(28) and shows that the same arrangement of calculation can be used for both transformations. (14). In the solution of (3i)-(33) and (34). With the following assign- ment of parts a b = = 90 c = 90 z. n cos sin z sin /. cos z = n cos N). 5. 180 A. (31) (32) (33) sin <Jcos^> + cosd sin ycost. These are of the same general form as (26). The former can be used with addition-subtraction logarithms. zenith distance. and vice 14. Transformation of hour angle into right ascension. thus reducing the two problems to the same type. A B and <p = t. 25. (30) <p. let be the intersection of the hour circle through celestial body with the celestial equator.

In a place of observation whose latitude is 38 58' 53". Example 2. Find the corresponding azimuth and object is 2o i9 4i8. 5. in this figure. (36) result Equations (35) and (36) express the required transformations. = 9= Sidereal time. the point /. = = Right ascension of object.30 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Arc Arc VM Arc MVB MB = Hour angle of object. II. t = 20" I9 m 41-8 = -8 = 38 ? 3 = 304 31' 47" 55' 27" 58 53 tint . that by equations (34). correspond- ing to B in Fig. The calculation by equations (3l)-(33) i* in the first column. the hour angle of an h m 8 31' 47". t whence (35) a. The same can be derived from Fig. p. and its declination zenith distance. in the second. I.

TRANSFORMATIONS
Example
when
3.

31

What
is

Is

the right ascension of an object

whose hour angle

it I7 h 2i

m 34!6,

the sidereal time
(35)

2i h i4 ni 52!8?

By equation

/

= 2i b i4 n 52!8 = 17 21 34.6 = 3 S3 18.2,

Ans.
8 h i2 m 34!8,

Example
when

4.

What
is

is

the hour angle of an object whose right ascension

is

the sidereal time
(36)

By equation

a
t

= & 6m 28'7 = 8 12 34.8
53 53-9> Ans.

Transformation of azimuth and altitude into right ascension and 15. declination, or vice versa. These transformations are effected by a combination of the results of Sections 12-14. For the direct transformation, determine / and 8 by (26)-(28) or (29), and then a by (35). For the reverse calculate / by (36), and then A and z by (3i)-(33) or (34).
Example 5. What is the right ascension of the object whose coordinates, at the sidereal lime I7 h 2i ln i6*4, are those given in Example I?
The hour angle found in the solution of Example i by equations (26)-(28) is 4 h47 m 46'4. h m This, combined with ff I7 2i i6!4 in accordance with equation (35^, gives for the required ll nl right ascension I2 33 3o!o.

=

Example 6. At a place whose latitude is 38 38' 53", what are the azimuth and zenith distances of an object whose right ascension and declination are 9 k 27 ra i4'2 and 8 31 '47", reh m . spectively, the sidereal time being 5 46 56o?
By equation
tions (39) gave

2oh i9 m 4i8. We have, further, t 8 (36;, / These quantities are the same as those appearing in Example

=

=

31 '47"
2.

and

A

= 300

10' 29", z

= 69

The

<f 38 38' 53". solution by equa-

=

42' 30".

Given the latitude of the place, and the declination and zenith 16. distance of an object, to find its hour angle, azimuth, and parallactic angle. We have given three sides of the spherical triangle ZPO, Fig. 6, p. 26,
to find the three angles, the parallactic angle being the angle at the object.

The
is

parallactic angle

is

not used

in

engineering astronomy, although

its

value

frequently required

in practical

astronomy proper.

Equations (20) are directly applicable for the solution of the problem. Assigning the parts of the triangle as in (30), and, further, writing the angle C q parallactic angle, we have for the calculation.

= =

32

PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY
a

=

z,

b
s

= 90 c = 90 = (a + b +
3,

if,

'A

c),

Check:
2

(s-a)
sin

+

(s-i>)

+

(s

-c)

=

s,

=

(j-a)sin (j-)

sin (j-<r)

w
q=
f

K
sin (.y-<z)'

sin (J-^)'

T,

tan

K
sin (j-c)'

Yi

Check:
Object {

tan J4 ' cot
of meridian,

/A
l

2

tan /^ ^
in

=

^
a

}

^

/,

% A, % q

{ ge

^" d }

quadrant

In engineering
all

required. formulae are

that

is

astronomy the determination of the hour angle, t, is usually For this case it is simpler to use equation (17). The

=

2,

b

= 90
2

b

d,

c
c).

= 90
(s

<f,

s

=y
(5

(a

+ +
(s

Check:
tan .

- a)
f

+
in

-

b)

+
in

-

c)

=

s,

(38)

%

=

(*-*)

(j-,)
a)

sin s sin (s

ject

2 y t is to be taken in the first or second quadrant according as the obwest or east of the meridian at the time of observation. For those cases in which the object is more than two and one-half or three hours from the meridian, equation (16) written in the form

where
is

cos*

cos z - sin -

<?sin
if

a>
,

cos 3 cos

(39)

will usually give satisfactory results.
trol

upon the value of
is

/

given by

(38).

In any case, (39) affords a valuable conThe numerator of the right member of

(39)

readily calculated by

means

of addition-subtraction logarithms.

17.

Application of transformation formulae to the determination of

It was latitude, azimuth, and time. the fundamental problems of practical

shown

in

Section 4 that the solution of

astronomy requires the determination of the position of the axis of the celestial sphere and the orientation of the sphere as affected by the diurnal rotation. In practice this is accomplished indirectly by observing the positions of various celestial bodies with respect to the horizon, the observed data being combined with the known position of the bodies on the sphere for the determination of the position of the sphere itself. The means for effecting the coordinate transformation hereby implied are to be found in the formulas of Sections 12-16. Although the most advantageous determination of latitude, azimuth, and
time requires a modification of these formulas, it is, nevertheless, easy to see that the solution of the various problems is within our grasp, and that the

TRANSFORMA TIONS GENERAL DISCUSSION
Example 7. For a place whose latitude Is 3S56'si", find the hour angle, azimuth, and parallactic angle of an object east of the meridian whose declination and zenith distance are
8 16' 14" and 54 16' 12", respectively.

If

Equations (37) are used for the solution, which is given below in the column on the left. only the hour angle were required, equations (38) or (39) would be used. As an illustration of the application of these formula;, the problem is also solved on this assumption. The first ten lines of the computation for (38), being the same as that for The (37), are omitted.

remainder of the calculation for (38) occupies the upper part of the right-hand column. The solution by (39) is in the lower part of this column. The object is rather too near the meridian for the satisfactory use of equation (39), although it happens that the resulting value of
the hour angle agrees well with that from (37) and (38).

8

1

6'

14"
51 '2

b
c

38 54 98
5i

5

16
16
3

(s-6) (i-c) cosec (s-a)
In

sin

8.78890
9.88892

0.13218

14

cosec
tan*

s
t

0.00927
8.81927
9.40964,
165
35' 46"
ii

9
35

y

2i
s
s

23
101

35

47
3"

48

Ck.

- a - c

47
3

36
34

33i

32

s-6
i

3i

50

44

39

sin (s - a) sin (i-*)

9.86782 8.78890

sin (s

-c)
s

9.88892 0.00927
8-55491

cosec

2 log /T A" log

9.27746*

tan

%t

tan )4

t

K cosec

cot Yi A tan q cot A tan

%

%

s

34

PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT
all

intimate relation to
culation.

of the other kinds of time, so that,

if

the sidereal time

has been found, the determination of the others becomes but a matter of cal-

would be complicated. It is simpler to deterA, and assuming for the calculation of each that one or separately, <p, both of the others are known. - a. Let it For example, equation (31) is a function of 2, <J, <p, and /
Practically, such a solution

mine

=

be assumed that the zenith distance of a star of known right ascension and declination has been measured and that the time of observation has been noted. The substitution of the resulting data into (31) leads to the determination of the only remaining unknown, namely, the latitude, (p. Again, the elimination of z from (32) and (33) gives an expression for
as a function for
d,

be assumed that <p and 6 are known. <p, The azimuth of a star of known right ascension and declination can therefore be calculated. The calculated azimuth applied to the observed difference in .azimuth of star and mark gives the azimuth of the mark.

and

t

=d-

A

a.

Let

it

Finally, equations (38)
z,
(f,

and

3.

If

and (39) express the hour angle, t, as a function of the zenith distance of a star of known right ascension and decin

lination be

measured

a place of

known
t

culated.

Equation

(35), in

the form

= +

latitude, the
a,

hour angle can be calthen gives the sidereal time of

observation.

knowledge of the time;

solutions thus outlined require, for the determination of latitude, a for the determination of time, a knowledge of the latFor the first two, time and itude; and, for azimuth, both time and latitude. If each is latitude, it might appear that the methods proposed are fallacious.

The

required for the determination of the other, how can either ever be determined? The explanation is to be found in the fact that the formulas can be arranged
in

such a

way

that an

approximate value for either of these quantities

suffices

for the determination of a relatively precise value of the other. Thus, a mere as to the time will lead to a relatively accurate value of the latitude, guess which, in turn, can be used for the determination of a more precise value of the

time. The process can be repeated as many times as may be necessary to secure the desired degree of precision. The principle involved in the procedure In thus outlined is called the Method of Successive Approximations.

numerical investigations

it

is

of great importance.

The method

amounts,,

practically, to replacing a single complex process by a series, consisting of Ordinarily, the success of the repetitions of some relatively simple operation.

method depends upon the number
must be made
in

of

order to arrive at the desired result.

repetitions or approximations which If the convergence is

rapid, so that one or two approximations suffice, the saving in time and labor as compared with the direct solution is frequently very great. Indeed, in some

instances, the method of successive approximations is the only method of procedure, the direct solution being impossible as a result of the complexity of the relation connecting the various quantities involved.

The problems with which we have to deal therefore present themselves under the most diverse conditions. in astronomical work of the highest precision. On the other hand. it is to be remembered that the various problems are not merely to be solved. of the details. . for the precision required may vary within wide limits. But. since the nature of the data obtained through their use will influence the arrangement of the solutions. we must consider the subject of time We find application in engineering astronomy their characteristics and the con- ditions under which they are employed. and azimuth. time. problems of There remains the formulation a detailed development. renders the question one of some complexity. 35 for the solution of the and azimuth has been outlined. as well as those already obtained in the discussion of the principles of numerical calculation. before proceeding to in its theoretical aspects the different kinds of time. their definition and their relations. and with a minimum expenditure of labor. and it is then desirable to sacrifice accuracy and thus reduce the labor involved.GENERAL DISCUSSION The general method of procedure latitude. and. Chapter IV is therefore devoted to a discussion of various astronomical instruments. no means should be overlooked which can in any way contribute toward an elimination or reduction of the errors of observation and calculation. if an intelligent arrangement of the methods is to be accomplished. In arranging the details of the methods for the determination of latitude. one must constantly bear in mind the results which will be established in the two following chapters. time. Chapter III will be devoted to this must also consider the various astronomical instruments that question. For many purposes approximate results will suffice. but they are to be solved with a definite degree of This requirement precision.

The instant of transit of the apparent sun is called Apparent Noon=A. Solar Time. Apparent solar time is therefore. Since motion is relative. motion along the ecliptic is also like- is wise variable. or true. accordingly. Apparent. interval The It is The In astronomical practice the apparent solar day begins at apparent noon. Solar Time=A. III TIME AND TIME TRANSFORMATION The basis for the basis of time measurement. we must specify the object to which the rotation obvious that of the earth we may have is is referred. but also on account of the fact that the angle of projection changes. Mean Solar Time=M. three kinds of time fictitious object called the ever. S. The projection into the equator of the a reflection of the earth's orbital motion. or true. Hence. N. sun is called an Apparent. By referring to different objects. Mean Solar Time. 20. sun across the same meridian between two successive transits of the apparent. 19. ecliptic. The adoption everyday life would bring with of such a time system for the regulation of the affairs of it many inconveniences. D. a uniformly varying quantity. which is but. is The apparent. Solar Day=A. T. or true. or true. The rotation of the earth is the measurement of time. earth revolves about the sun in an elliptical orbit. as the basis of time measurement. the rotation referred to three different things: the apparent. sun. 36 . have. or True.S. equal to the hour angle of the apparent. howturn the matter about and take the apparent diurnal rotations of these objects with reference to the meridian of the observer. the same length. and about 23^ degrees at the equinoxes. from that of the true sun. it one of the The earth's motion is such that the radius vector with the sun sweeps over equal areas in equal times. it follows that the angular velocity of the earth in its orbit is variable. solar time at any instant at that instant. subdivided into 24 hours. and Sidereal Time. being o degrees at the solstices. Further. it is several different kinds of time. Actually. we We : Apparent. sun. and the vernal equinox. or true. based upon the motion of a fictitious body called the mean sun. the angular motion of the sun along the variable. such that it completes a circuit of the sphere in the same time as the apparent. Since the connecting distance of the earth from the sun varies. nor are apparent solar days of not. not only because the ecliptical motion is variable.CHAPTER 18. which are counted continuously from o to 24. considered to 'be fixed. In practice. S. the first of which would be the impossibility of constructing a timepiece capable of following accurately the irregular variations of apparent solar time. On this account there has been devised a uniformly varying time. on the average. or True. or True. the sun itself occupying foci of the ellipse. a mean sun.T. the mean sun is so chosen that its right ascension differs as little as possible. The mean sun is an imaginary body supposed to move with a constant angular velocity eastward along the equator.

the hours of the civil mean solar day are not numbered continuously from o to 24.e. The corresponding standard times are Eastern. D. theoretically. equinox . The sidereal time at any instant is equal to the hour angle of the true vernal equinox at that instant. Oct. in most countries. and 120 degrees west of Greenwich. Central. is supposed to change 12 hours before the transit of the mean sun. Mountain. generally. and Pacific. but from o to 12. (See p. Mean of the same length. and differ among themselves. 6. 105. points within lY? degrees of longitude of a standard meridian use the local boundaries hour are quite irregular. actually. being affixed to the time in order to avoid ambiguity. ioh A. respectively. mean solar day is the standard In astronomical practice the mean solar day begins at mean noon. The instant of transit of the solar time is mean sun called Mean Noon=M. and the unit for the measurement of time. 7. by an exact number of hours. The standard meridians for the United States are 75. avoid this difficulty the time of the same meridian.. 90. Further. mean sun was on the meridian on Oct.DEFINITIONS The Mean Solar Time at any instant is equal mean sun at that instant. or Civil Date. 25. Oct. or P. 1907. The system thus defined is called Standard Time. and then again from o to 12. and from the local mean solar time of the meridian of Greenwich. 7. is S. 8. But since a change of date during the daylight hours would be inconvenient and confusing for the affairs of everyday life. it is evident that at solar time for different places not on the same meridian place were to attempt any instant the mean is different. These are slow as compared with Greenwich mean solar time by 5. with the result that all timepieces referred to them indicate at any instant the same number of minutes and seconds. all Although. and 8 hours. For example the civil date 1907. M. The interval between two successive transits of same meridian is 37 to the hour angle of the the mean sun across the called a Mean Solar Day=M. D. 21. The astronomical date therefore changes at noon. throughout the civilized world. all To especially in connection with railway points within certain limits of longitude use The meridians selected for this purpose are an exact multiple of 15 degrees from the meridian of Greenwich. 8 did not begin until the calendar. confusion would all arise.) The interval between two successive transits of the true vernal across the same meridian is called a Sidereal Day=S. solar time. M. i. its If each local to regulate its affairs in accordance with own mean traffic. is to the astronomical date. 8 of the From the manner of definition. M. solar time of that meridian. the letters A. a uniformly varying quantity and all mean solar days are Mean solar time is the time indicated by watches and clocks. Oct. N. the Calendar Date. It is subdivided into 24 hours which are numbered continuously from o to 24. the separating adjacent regions whose standard times differ by one mean Sidereal Time. at the midnight preceding the astronomical change of date. 22 h The astronomical day equivalent .

During this interval the mean sun makes one circuit of the celestial sphere from in equinox to equinox again.=366. in general. is The usual order of procedure in time determination as follows: Every observatory possesses at least one sidereal timepiece whose error is determined by observations on stars. origin in The fractional parts of a For chronological purposes the use of a year involving day would be inconvenient. and the Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton in California. a uniformly varying quantity. therefore have the important relation: whence it We One Tropical Year=365-2422 M.2422 M. (40) In accordance with a suggestion due to Bessel.0. D. and serve for the regulation of watches and clocks generally. 22. The symbol for this instant is formed by affixing a decimal point and a zero to the corresponding at the instant year number. The Tropical Year. S. strictly speaking. for the variations in the motion of the equinox take place so slowly that. coincide with the beginning of the calendar year. That actually used has its a decree promulgated by Julius Caesar in 45 B. 23. D. Since the precessional and nutational motions of the true equinox are not uniform. of sidereal time in the transformation of the coordinates of the second system into those of the third. It also plays an important role in the determination of time generally. and vice versa. The true sidereal time thus obtained is transformed into mean solar time by calculation.2422 revolutions with respect to the observer's meridian. for the purposes of observational astron- omy. which ordered that Calendar. thus for 1909. Its length is 365. the tropical year begins when the mean right ascension of the mean sun plus the constant h part of the annual aberration is equal to 280 or i8 40"'. and used for the correction of the mean solar timepieces of the observatory. in particular the United States Naval Observatory at Washington. send out daily over the wires of the various tele- graph companies. S. Certain observatories. sidereal time is not. . in a direction opposite to that of the rotation of the follows that during a tropical year the equinox must complete 366.2422 S. These signals reach every part of the country.38 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The instant of transit of the true vernal equinox is called Sidereal Noon=S. and does not. series of time signals which indicate accurately the instant of mean noon. The Tropical Year is the interval between two successive passages of the mean sun through the mean vernal equinox. N. all The importance sidereal days are of the same length. for sidereal time is more easily determined than either apparent or mean solar time. but practically it may be considered as such. C. has already been shown in Sections 11 and 14. The most important are the tropical and the Julian. D. sphere itself. although the difference between the two never exceeds a fractional part of a day. the beginning of the tropical year is indicated by This epoch is independent of the position of the observer on the earth 1909. Several different kinds of years are employed astronomy.

The difference between the Julian and the tropical years is about ii m . In order to avoid the gradual displacement of the calendar dates with respect to the seasons resulting from the accumulation of this difference. and. differs from the Gregorian by 13 days. At the same time it was ordered that 10 days should be dropped from the calendar in order to bring the date of the passage of the sun through the vernal equinox leap years difference was introduced in 1582 by Pope amounts approximately to three back to the 2ist of March. All years. mean solar. 24. to find the corresponding local From the definitions of apparent solar.0003 day or 26". The Gregorian calendar was soon adopted by all Roman Catholic countries and by England in 1752. at present. and sidereal time. Gregory therefore ordered that the century years. the Julian Calendar. should not be counted as such unless the year numbers are exactly divisible by 400. any other geographical meridians of the two places. point.e. The average length of the Gregorian calendar The In the year differs from that of the tropical year by only 0. twice the sixth day before the calends of March in the introduced by counting such years were long distinguished by the Years. The accumulated days in 400 years. The years of designation bissextile. = the time of the western place. Russia and Greece and other countries under the dominion of the Eastern or Greek Church. and the calendar based upon it. In consequence the calendar year was 365^ days. still use the Julian Calendar.THE CALENDAR 39 the calendar year should consist of 365 days for three years in succession. it follows that at any instant the difference between two local times is equal to the angular distance between the celestial meridians to which But this is equal to the angular distance between the the times are referred. although they are now called Leap With this arrangement the average length of are Common Years. time at Given the local time at any point. Let Tt TV L = the time of the eastern place. where it was at the time of the Council of Nice in 325 A. other years are common years. The Julian system thus modified is called the Gregorian Calendar. these The extra day of the fourth year was to be followed by a fourth of 366 days. their difference of longitude. = longitude difference of the two places. i. all of which are leap years under the Julian rule. All years revised rule for the determination of leap years is as follows: the century whose numbers are exactly divisible by four are leap years. as the Julian year is longer than the tropical. This period is called a Julian Year. Te We then have the relations: = Tw +L (41) . a slight modification in the method of counting Gregory XIII. excepting These are leap years only when exactly diiisible by four hundred. modern system the extra day in leap years appears as the 2Qth of February. which. the Julian calendar falls behind the seasons by this amount. 365 days Roman system. D.

12 Oct. find the corre- Te = 1907. Given. Example 8.. mean solar time I2 h I4 m 16:41. mean solar. astronomical astronomical 600 18 18 18 o Oct. Oct. of M. n oh 3 i6i8 P. From equation (36).85 57. whence M. 12 6 i8 o A. A. solar time 1907. S. A. find the Te L = 1907.M. The right ascension of the mean sun is known from its manner is . T.M. Greenwich mean sponding Washington mean solar time. central standard time 1907. 10 astronomical / j ^^ 25. A. L Example 10. 12 Oct. S. sun sometimes smaller and sometimes greater than that of the mean sun. Given. R.33 P. R. Given. A. T. Given the apparent solar time at any place. Oct. The difference S. find the corresponding Greenwich mean solar time. R. = II oh ii 3 m i6'i8 18.85 A. (42) Equation of Time.M.A. S. 12 o o o o \ / P.74 Ans. TV = L Te = = 1907. of A. S. The ascension of the apparent sun is calculated from the known orbital motion right of the earth. or sidereal. S. ii 57. civil Example 11. we find = M. T. Oct. 9 53 53 23 7\v= 1907. 6 = TV = 1907. E is = S. T. A.40 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Equations (41) are true whether the times be apparent solar.M. to find the corred a. S. t and the definitions of mean solar and apparent solar time. of M. corresponding Columbia mean solar lime.33 34. civil and astronomical. T. R. Oct. astronomical and civil. Columbia solar time. =d = = M. . Oct. h h s Given. and vice versa. 3 5 h I4 m 21" 8 6 16 5 5 22 Ans. T. 1907. its maximum absolute value being about i6 throughout times positive.M. Oct. central standard time 1907. and sometimes negative. A. Example 9. since the right ascension of the apparent called the . II 6 h 18 18 o" A.. Oct. find the corresponding Greenwich mean 7V= i2 h H m L Te = 6 = 18 16141 9 23 18. of A. S. The equation of time varies irregularly m It is somethe year.M. sponding mean solar time. Oct. 6 3 h I4 m 21". civil Oct. S.

is equal to the corresponding value of E. sun in column two of page II." which immediately folprinted low those containing the equation of time. 1907. 165) in E (to be added to M. Oct. p.39 i. E for Gr. Given.) 15 S. T. M. Oct. 19 23 23 2. Greenwich apparent solar time 1907. Change Gr. T.T. 1907. 20 nh 23 5 i8 m I2!2 A. 14. 15 26 i 13 Gr. whose values are tabu- In the American Ephemeris they are given for instants of Greenwich apparent noon on page I for each month.15 52 Ans. p. T. 15 I3 2h 6 m 12506. T. N. 15 corresponding Greenwich mean solar time. 1907. 20 Example Given. not given in the American Ephemeris. If the time to be converted refers to a meridian other than that of Greenwich. S. Note that for each date the difference of the right ascension of the apparent. in the columns headed "Difference for i Hour. Values of E for times other than The algebraic sign of containing its values E is Greenwich apparent noon and Greenwich mean noon must be obtained by interThis operation is facilitated by the use of the hourly change in E polation. astronomical L Columbia M. 1907. T. Oct. N. Gr.06 14. the corresponding Greenwich time must be calculated before the interpolation is made. A. 15 1907. A.M. Oct.001. 1907. latter when apparent solar time is to be found from a given mean solar time.) i 13 2 57. A. h 52"" 14" S. 164) (to be subtracted from A. T. 15 52 6 Ana.95 14.9 Ans. 1907. 20 18. Oct. find the corresponding Greenwich apparant solar time. on page II. S. E during M. Greenwich mean solar time 1907. 15 i 13 -)- 56588 1.3 53.o 54.95 12. M. Change in M.2 18 14 E for Gr. but the column is headed by a precept which indicates whether it is to be added to or subtracted from the given time. S. i Example 13. Oct.. and for Greenwich mean noon. or true. T. Oct.S.06 1907. and the lated in the various astronomical ephemerides. S.M.11 (Eph.07 (Eph.TIME TRANSFORMATION of definition. M. Given.63 (Eph.) Gr. S. Oct. 15 h 52"" 14511. 20 E during 5 h i8 m 12* 58.20 57. p. Oct.11 12. S. in accordance with the Example 12. find the C. Oct.S. and the right ascension of the mean sun in the last column of the same page. . Oct. The former page is used when apparent time is converted into the corresponding mean solar time. 165) E (to + Columbia A. definition. for Gr. be added to Columbia M. N. h standard time 1907. Gr. corresponding Columbia apparent solar time. 1907. Oct. 1907. find the m ' E Change in E during 2h 6m 12' -f- 56*75 1. Oct. 41 This data suffices for the calculation of . T. central n i8 m 1252 A. 19 9 8 1907. T.9 12. T. S.

3 13.50 i. 1907. = 24" h m 3 565555 Sid. 56"" 45091 M. 19 23 h 23 m f4"9.909 h . Columbia A.52 E (to be sub. Oct. 20 5 58. Oct.2 A. Change in JE during 5 33 h m 13' +2. T. mean Relation between the values of a time interval expressed in and sidereal units. A. S. Oct. T.2422 (43) /m = Ia - (44) Writing ' 11T= 365. S. N. = IIl24 = 2365555 D.M. Ans. 19 1907. 1907. A. find the corresponding central standard time. S. T. T. T. by supposing 7S 24 o h = 24 h we obtain from (46) m O5ooo Sid. connecting f 26.2422 (43) IT _ 366.42 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Example 15. S. T. S.9 i8. 12. S. D. Oct.2422 and (44) become 7S 7m = /m + Ill/m =7 5 (45) (46) 1 17s Assuming 7m = 24 b we find from 0:000 (45) 24" o Similarly. from Columbia A. 1907. = 23 S.o 1907. solar = the value of any interval / in mean 7m = the value of /in sidereal units.) Columbia M.2 E Gr. T. m M. 20 for Gr. in S. Gain of 6 on M. 20 23 II 8 9 18 53. Oct. Hence Gain of on M. A we find solar units. S. S. Equation (40) is the fundamental relation If we let the units of mean solar and sidereal time. in i i M. Given Columbia apparent solar time 1907.. S. Oct. = 1124 = 235. from (40) /s = =/m + 365^422 366. 19 23 h L 69 33 14 15 23 5459 18.3 L C.

0006 Error = 0. =10. S. 1/60). (45) /m fs = = I6"1 18 2 21*20 40. T. II) The calculation of II/S by the last of (49) /. II by Tables II and III printed at the" end of the American Ephemeris. and the second the argu- ment which to be used for the interpolation.ini For many purposes these expressions imate relations: IIl24 h hour hour = IIIi" = 918565 = III =9. not Example interval.081 Error Error = 0. the contains the numerical values of II/s. find the equivalent sidereal By Eq. S. value thus found differs onlyo'oi from that derived from Table III of the Ephemeris.72 1. = 2O = 11 28 m 42*17 3 25 is II/S /m = 2O 21. l/6o). 1/70). It will be observed that factors of is H/ and III/m indicate the table. Table Table III gives those of III/m. Table Ans.37 = 3 m 2 "37 . provided the highest precision required. 17.33 Ill/m = 160. while arguments being the values of the first /s and 7m.88 (Eph. 16. and vice versa. or more simply.41 1/60X10*78= II/s 201.8296 may be replaced by the following approx- 1124 IIIi III = = 4 4 m (i (l (i 1/70). in I M. Gainof0onM. Given the sidereal interval 20" 28 m 42*17. =10 (i = 0*016 = 0. upon (49). S.0037 Error value Equations (45) and (46) may be used for the conversion of the in mean solar units into its corresponding value of a time interval expressed The calculations are most conveniently made in sidereal units. as follows: = 20*478 io*/s = 204*78 = 3. the equivalent mean solar (46) /. III) The calculation of III/m by the third of (49) as follows: /m = 16*306 I/7oXio*/m = 163106 = 2.T.29 2O. Example By Eq.92 is III/m = 16 21 (Eph. respectively. Table Ans. In case tables are not available the conversion can be based upon equations is (47) or (48). Given the mean solar interval toMS" 1 21*20.73 = 2 m 40!73 IO"/m find The Interval.S.RELATION OF SIDEREAL AND SOLAR INTERVALS and further Gain of 43 on M.

The transformation requires a knowledge of R. and. and angle. a (51) in It reckoned in Julian years from the epoch 1900. however. indeed.25)' + osooooo93* + nutation in right ascension. and the gain of the former during the same period as shown by the in R first of (47). T.From equation (50) it is seen that the gain of sidereal on mean solar time during any interval is equal to the increase in during that interval. a fact already indicated in Section 21. now turn our attention to a consideration of the methods which are avail- We able for the determination of this quantity. we have exact numerical agreement between the change in the latter for one mean solar day. is equal by definition to the mean solar time. which can be made the basis for the conversion of the one into the other. thus appears that the increase in the right ascension of the mean sun is not which t is proportional to the increase in the time. In Section 14 it was shown that the relation connecting the hour angle of an object with the sidereal time is t= to the 6 a where a represents the right ascension of the object. Jan. This. shows that s which are approximately-}. The nutation in right ascension oscillates between limits strictly (50). we find M=6 R R (50) in which its hour represents the right ascension of the mean sun. provided only that the interval for which the change is to be calculated is small enough to render the variations in the last two terms of (51) negligible. oa o h Gr. Relation between mean solar time and the corresponding sidereal time. Equation (50) therefore expresses a relation between mean solar time and the cor- M responding sidereal time. and. . From this it follows that the methods given in Section 26. is The shown in RG = 18" 38 m 45 ! 836 + (236:555 X 365. right ascension of the mean sun and its determination. as the same is true of the term involving 2 t in (51). The latter. M. the right ascension of the mean sun. can equally well be applied to the determination of the increase in R. at the instant to which the given time refers. B 555. Its change in one day is therefore very small. as given by equation (51). Applying this equation mean sun. in connection with equation sidereal time is not a uniformly varying quantity. It works on theoretical astronomy that the right ascension of the mean sun at any instant of Greenwich mean time is given by the expression 28.44 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT 27. it follows that the increase in the right ascension of the mean sun one mean solar day is sensibly 236. including Tables II and III of the Ephemeris and the approximate relations (49).I s and I with a period of about 19 years.

or their equivalent. 236. approximately at least. Denoting terms of (51) we have for Greenwich mean noon of any other date Ro computed from (51) R = R00 + where UW (54). If care be taken to count D from the nearest Jan.. the value of . o the error will never exceed o. 555. at a point whose longitude west of Greenwich is L is given by is L R= or XL + HIM. If an Ephemeris is not available the values of R can still be found. For a given place the term IIIZ is a constant. 111(1) (55) D indicates the o. (56) value of D may be to the tabular number standing opposite obtained from Table III by adding the day of the the name of the month in The is conveniently expressed in decimals of a day by means of Table value thus found is to be combined with D. question. M. o for each of the years these by Roo and neglecting the variations in the last two 1907-1920. page 46. and are to be found in the last column of page II for each month.'3 or III. The first of these contains M the values of for the date Jan. (54). O (52) equal to the time interval separating mean noon of the place from the preceding Greenwich mean noon. and can then be added mentally to the value of Ro as the latter is taken from the Ephemcris. Substituting (55) into R The month IV. (54) suffice for the Equations (52) and (53). If the precise value of 8 M be used. its precise numerical values are tabulated in the various astronomical ephemerides for every day in the year. by the use of Tables II-IV. Further. represent the right ascension of the mean sun at the instant of mean noon for a point whose longitude west of Greenwich is L. The quantity HIM may be at R derived from Table III of the Ephemeris with as argument.RIGHT ASCENSION OF MEAN SUN 45 To facilitate the solution of problems in which R is required. (53) R=R + nation of IIIZ + HIM. If these tabular values be represented by Ro. = Ro + UIL + + M). In the American Ephemeris they are given for the instant of Greenwich mean noon. viz./? at any mean time. number of mean solar days that have elapsed since the preceding Jan. that arising . determi- any instant at any place when the value of Ro for the preceding mean noon is known. it follows from the preceding paragraph that RL for = R + IIIZ. Its value can be calculated once for all. and if Ri. the uncertainty in R derived from (56) will be only from the neglect of the variation in the last terms of (51).

Year . o d o h GR. T. M.46 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY TABLE II RIGHT ASCENSION OF THE MEAN SON FOR THE EPOCH JAN.

Equation (58) may be interpreted as follows: of the ^L is the right ascension mean sun at the preceding mean noon for a place in longitude L west of therefore also equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox i. nearest Jan. Now Greenwich. Find the right ascension of the mean sun for the epoch 1907. i8 h 37 i 5-1 (Table II) 0. (58) RL = Ro + lllL. Columbia M.7 (Table II) lllL III(Z> -f- M) = R= 59 3 49. From equation (50) we find corre- = M+R Introducing the value of (57) R from (53) we have = M+i + where UIM. By Equation /. 93) (Eph. minutes. 21 6m 2<ji Columbia M. It is M is the equivalent sidereal interval. June 16 S..1 6 12 35 Jf= m 3 5'2i.7 5' 19. Table III) Ans. and seconds that have elapsed and by (45) M+IIIAf . T. to the sidereal time of the preceding mean noon at the is the mean time interval since preceding mean noon. If a Example 8 h 2i m 14-00 18. Sept.00 = R=5 III 36 (Eph.7 2. p. together D> somewhat greater uncertainty is permissible. = 6h ^?o = Sh = (54) 34 i i m 25*'0 0. <1 1909.e. place considered. = -ioi = = = The +o li 8io(Table8lIIandIV)^?oo (1910) IIl(Z is I2 h loodtgo 4oo-?76o S-725 = = + M) = III/. T. with the value of Roo for l\\z following Jan. precise value given by (54) 29. ^? = i8 h = 10 5 36 i 0-5 0. 34 find the Ans. The right member of (58) therefore expresses the sum of the sidereal time of the preceding mean noon and the number of sidereal hours. o. (D + M) = i67<)348 m 4 (D + M) = 6697392 m 1/70 X4 (> + M) = 9TS63 Example 2 By Equation (Tables (56) o (1907) and IV. Given the mean solar time at any instant to sponding sidereal time. 47 This requires that for 183* the negative value of Table III be employed. If D be reckoned from the expeditiously found by using 4 (i o as above. the corresponding error will not exceed 3". at that instant. (59) Equations (59) and (58) solve the problem. the result may be more m 1/70) for III.TRANSFORMATION OF MEAN SOLAR INTO SIDEREAL TIME 0-4. Find the right ascension of the mean sun for the epoch S. Table III) (Eph.67 22.34 48. 1 1 9 21 m i8'33 ll\L lllAf Af=8 14.

1 i 0. M. 16.W) = # = M= 16 2 37T7 27.4 55 Ans. By equation m (60) i8 h 4 (i 1/70) (Z> + . In case the Ephemeris is not at hand.67 111M= 2 42. Nov. by the equation. which for Columbia may be taken equal to i The expression can be adapted for use at any other meridian by introducing the derived from appropriate value of IIIL. as indicated R may R be obtained from (56) and substituted into (57) for the determination of 0. (61) . = IS = = 8 39 i 39-98 0. By equations (56) and (57) 1/70 X 4 m OD + = m 4 (Z> + A/) = D-\-M 45 d +o d 686 44*314 i77-?256 M)=- 2. m 7. (60) term in the right member of this formula is the average value of . M=6 Substituting as in Section 29 R we have RL M=O or IUM X I. viz.532 = IIIL = lll(D + M) = = Koo M= i6 h 27"" 32:2 18 37 5. 30.23 55. find the corresponding sidereal time.05 10 Aas. is the sidereal time corresponding to the mean time. 5 8 Ans. The maximum error in the value of (60) is i. The uncertainty in the sidereal time thus found will be the same as that of derived from (56). Example 20. designed for use at the meridian of Columbia. Oftentimes a rough approximation for 6 is all that is required. In such cases the following. is useful : 0= The J?oo first i8"37'?7 + M + 4m (i i//o) (D + M).5 54-7 10. Given Columbia mean solar time i6 h 27 (58) and (59) i6 h 27"" 32517 32517 on 1909.48 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT In other words it since noon. mean Given the sidereal time at any instant to find the corresponding solar time. We make use of equation (50). By equations M= Xo III/. m plus the constant term IIIL.7 2 8 54 10 43.

and RL the sidereal Since time of the preceding mean noon. is the given sidereal time. minutes. May 12. Columbia sidereal time i h 7 m 19*27. the mean Given. Ans. find the corre- By equations 9 = RL = RL = RL) = (62) and (63) 25. To find the equivalent mean time interval we must.33 (Eph.82 M= 34-o 19. i. RL 11(0 RL). Equation (62) is susceptible of an interpretation similar to that given (58) in the preceding section.M. = 9 38. (62) RL =R + III/. sponding central standard time. T. Table II) 21 L= 43 9 52 C. and seconds that have elapsed since the preceding mean.72 18. factor 7m ft we find 49 member by member. 1908. May 13.46 jii jm 19*28 20 46 3 3 21 53. S. noon.e. solar time corresponding to the given 0. Example 21. and dropping the (I + III)(I II) = I Combining this with (61) we find M= d where. The right member of (62) therefore expresses the number of mean solar hours.TRANSFORMATION OF SIDEREAL INTO MEAN SOLAR TIME common Multiplying equations (45) and (46). . as before. 6 RL is the sidereal interval that has elapsed since noon. (63) Equations (63) and (62) solve the problem.05 A. in accordance with equation (46). subtract from d ^L the quantity 11(0 RL).

000 for a method which would give the longitude of a ship within half a degree. the artificial horizon. made the clock an instrument of precision. Graham opment which. and in 1714 that of Great Britain offered a reward of 20. The pendulum seems first to have been used as a of governing the motion of a clock by Biirgi of the observatory of Landgrave William IV at Cassel about 1580. It can not be transported from place to place. The following pages give a brief account of the theory of these instruments and a statement of the methods to be followed in using them. time and azimuth are the watch or engineer chronometer. IV INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR USE Instruments used by the engineer. Contrivances for the measurement of time have been used since the beginning of civilization. 50 With an accurate portable timepiece. TIMEPIECES 32. The use of both the engineer's transit and the sextant presupposes an under- standing of the vernier. though it is not certain that the principle employed was that involved in the modern method of regulation. By the beginning of the eighteenth century the need of accurate portable timepieces had become pressing. however. and in 1657 give it an application that attracted general attention. not so much for the work of the astronomer as for that of the navigator.CHAPTER 31. Netherlands established large money prizes for a successful solution. to rediscover the principle. was not until some years later that his idea found material realization in a clock ever this constructed by his son Vincenzio. with important modifications in the escapement mechanism introduced by in 1713. therefore. It remained for Huygens. and it does not. the method now used was certainly suggested by Galileo about but Galileo was then near the end of his life. The instruments employed by the for the determination of latitude. The most difficult thing in finding the position of a ship is the determination of longi- At that time no method was known capable of giving this with anything more than the roughest approximation. Since then its develin design and construction has kept pace with that of other forms of astronomical apparatus. The pendulum clock must be mounted in a fixed position. fulfill all the requirements that may be demanded of a timepiece. the Dutch physicist and astronomer. matter was of such importance that the governments of Spain. the construction and theory of this atand sextant undertaken. . and it 1637. and the engineer's transit or the sextant. but it was not until the end of the sixteenth century that they reached the degree of perfection which made them of service in astronomical observations. tachment is is treated separately before the discussion of the transit In consequence. How- means may be. Historical. blind and enfeebled. France. and the tude. although the question had been attacked The by the most capable minds of the two centuries immediately preceding. Some sixty years later Harrison and Graham devised methods of pendulum compensation for changes of temperature.

TIMBI'lECES

51

which could be set to indicate the time of some standard meridian before beginning a voyage, the solution would have been simple. Notwithstanding the stimuIn 1735 Harrison lus of reward no solution was forthcoming for many years. succeeded in constructing a chronometer which was compensated for changes of temperature; and about 1760 one of his instruments was sent on a trial voyage
to Jamaica.

Upon

return

its

variation
its

values of the longitudes based on
error.

was found to be such as to bring the readings within the permissible limit of

The

under the action of no forces, but

ideal timepiece, so far as uniformity is concerned, would be a. body moving The in practice this can not be realized.

modern timepiece of
but
falls

precision is a close approximation to something equivalent, short of the ideal. Thus far it has been impossible completely to nullify

the effect of certain influences which affect the uniformity of motion. Changes in temperature, variations in barometric pressure, and the gradual thickening of the oil lubricating the mechanism produce irregularities, even when the skill of the designer and clockmaker

No timepiece is perfect. is exercised to its utmost. can say only that some are better than others. Further, it is impossible to set a timepiece with such exactness that it does not differ from the true time

We

by a quantity greater than the uncertainty with which the latter can be determined. Thus it happens that a timepiece seldom if ever indicates the true time; and, in general, no attempt is made to remove the error. The timepiece is started under conditions as favorable as possible, and set to indicate approximately the true time. It is then left to run as it will, the astronomer, in the meantime, directing his attention to a precise determination of the amount and the rate of change of the error. These being known, the true time at any instant is easily found.
33. Error and rate. The error, or correction, of a timepiece is the quantity which added algebraically to the indicated time gives the true lime. The error of a timepiece which is slow is therefore positive. If the timepiece is fast the

algebraic sign of its correction is negative. The error of a mean solar timepiece is denoted by the symbol J7"; of a To designate the timepiece to which the correction sidereal timepiece, by Jt).
refers subscripts

.

may be
;

added.

Thus

the error of a Fauth sidereal clock
.

may

Sometimes be indicated by Jti f of a Negus mean time chronometer, by J7*N it is convenient to use the number of the timepiece as subscript. If 6' be the indicated sidereal time at a given instant, and JO the corresponding error of the timepiece, the true time of the instant
will

be
(64)

= 0' + JO'.
The analogous formula
for a

mean

solar timepiece

is

T= T + JT'.
The
daily rate, or simply the rate, of a timepiece
is

(65)

the change in the error

during one day.

52

PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY
If the error of a timepiece increases algebraically, the rate is positive; if
it

decreases, the rate

negative. The symbols fid and dT with appropriate suband mean solar timescripts are used for the designation of the rates of sidereal The hourly rate,>. the change during one hour, is somepieces, respectively.
is

times more conveniently employed than the daily rate. It is convenient, but in no wise important, that the rate of a timepiece should be small. On the other hand, it is of the utmost consequence that the rate should
be constant; for the
to
reliability of the

instrument depends wholly upon the degree

which

this condition is fulfilled.

Generally it is impossible to determine by observation the error at the instant must therefore be able to calculate its for which the true time is required. If the rate value for the instant in question from values previously observed.

We

is

constant this can be done with precision; otherwise, the result will be affected

by an uncertainty which will be the greater, the longer is the interval separating the epochs of the observed and the calculated errors. If Jt} and Jt)' be values of the observed error for the epochs / and /', the
daily rate will be given

by

in

which /' /must be expressed in days and fractions of a day. The rate having thus been found, the error for any other epoch, t". may be calculated by the formula
JQ"

= J6' + 3d(t"
clock was

t')

(67)
27561

Example

22.

The

error of a sidereal

+5

sidereal time, and 5 33510 Feb. 14 at 7^6 sidereal time.

+

on

1909, Feb.

n,

at 5^2; find the daily rate,

on 1909, Feb. 3, at 6'.'4 and the correction on

We

have J0

= + 5 m 27-61,
/'

J0'=
/

+ 5 m 33">
5^2
3
d

and

=

i i

d

6^4

=7

d

22l'8

=

7<

1

95.

Equation (66) then gives $0

= + 5H9/7-9S =
7*16,
t'

-f

0:69,

which

is

the required value of the rate.

To

find the error for Feb. 14, t"

we have
d

= i4

7^6

nd

5^2

=

3'!

2 l'4

=

3<?i,

whence by equation

(67)

40"

'-=

+ 5 m 3351 + 3.1 X 0569 = +

5"'

35524.

Ans.

34. Comparison of timepieces. It is frequently necessary to know the time indicated by one timepiece corresponding to that shown by another. The determination of such a pair of corresponding readings involves a comparison of the two To make such a comparison the observer must be able accurately timepieces.

to follow, or count, the seconds of a timepiece without looking at the instrument. It is desirable, moreover, that he should be able to do this while engaged with

other matters, such as entering a record in the observing book,

etc.

CLOCK COMPAR/SONS
;

53

Pendulum clocks usually beat, or tick, every second and chronometers, every The beats of the ordinary watch are separated by an interval of a With each beat the second hand of the timepiece moves fifth of a second. forward by an amount corresponding to the interval separating the beats a whole second space for the clock, a half second space for the chronometer, and
half second.

second for the watch. two timepieces coincide, observer has only to pick up the beat from at the other and note the hour, minute, and time on the first. After noting the reading
a fifth of a
If the beats of

a comparison

is

easily

made.

The

one, then, following mentally, look second corresponding to a definite

of the second, the observer should look again at the first before dropping the count, to make sure that the indicated number of seconds and the count were in agreement at the instant of comparison
If the beats of the timepieces

do not coincide, and

it

is

desired to obtain a com-

parison with an uncertainty less than the beat interval, the observer must estimate from the sound the magnitude of the interval separating the ticks. He will then

note the hour, minute, second, and tenth of a second on the second timepiece corresponding to the beginning of a second on the first.

When

a watch

is

to be

should be taken from the

latter.

compared svith a clock or a chronometer, the count The tenths of a second on a watch corresponding

to the beginning of a second on the clock or chronometer may be estimated by noting the position of the watch second hand with respect to the two adjacent second marks at the instant the beat of the clock or chronometer occurs. The

comparison will then give the hour, minute, second, and zero tenths on the clock or chronometer corresponding to a certain hour, minute, second, and tenth of a. second on the watch.

and a mean solar timepiece are to be compared, a very precise be obtained by the method of coincident beats. It was shown in Section 26 that the gain of sidereal on mean solar time is about ten seconds per hour,
If a sidereal

result

may

The ticks of a solar and a sidereal timepiece, each beating seconds, must therefore coincide once every six minutes. If one of the timepieces beats half seconds, the coincidences will occur at intervals of three minutes. comparison is made by noting the times indicated by the two instruments
or one second in six minutes.

A

If carefully made, the uncertainty of the comparison will not exceed one or two hundredths of a second.
at the instant the beats coincide.
1907, Oct. 29, five comparisons of a watch were made with the Fauth Laws Observatory. The means of the comparisons are Or = iS h 23 m o'oo, and 7 w = 4 h 3 nl i6i2 P.M. The error of the Fauth clock was 29172, and the longitude west of Greenwich is 6 h 9 m Find the error of the watch referred to central standard

Example
1

23.

On

sidereal clock of the

18*33.

time.

From Of and J(t r find by (64). The sidereal time is then to be transformed into C. S. T. by (62) and the first of (41;. The resulting C. S. T. compared with 7"w gives the error of
the watch.

54 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY .

It is not necessary. chronometer time. The two values of J7"c. The first of these would depend upon data secured during the first 15 minutes of the observing period.. at The interval between any two chronometer readings minus the difference between the corresponding watch readings is the loss of the watch as compared with the chronometer during the interval. are omitted. in general. if /c 7w then = interval between two chronometer times. or. therefore. would give 15 separate values for R.CLOCK COMPARISONS The second and details of the conversion of 55 third comparisons are reduced by the method used for Ex. while the intermediate values of /. But. we adopt the simpler procedure of forming the mean of the values we then substitute into (a) with /c = I5 m We thus find mean 7W = I4 m 57*65.. T. 3 and and 30.. The reduction will then give not only the quantitative value of the final result. and for the derivation of the final result of 7W which . and soon. 2 and 17. R are thus led to the following grouping of the comparisons: i and 16. = interval between two watch times. The selection of the comparisons for the formation of the pairs K R requires careful attention if the maximum of precision is to be secured. The into C. to calculate the separate values of the relative rate. and the average uncertainty of a single comparison. a precise value of the watch time corresponding to the first chronometer reading. fourth column of the table gives the values of 7W corresponding to this choice. the ath comparison is paired with the(is The )th. Any irregularity in the rate will therefore reveal itself in the form of a progressive change in the separate values of /?.. since 7C is assumed to be constant throughout. .n present a satisfactory agreement. 15 We + T second from the seventeenth. 23. The first of these is derived by subtracting the first from the sixteenth. it follows It is desirable for the sake of symmetry in the reduction that the separate values of should be of the same degree of precision. Example 26. chronometer made Given thirty comparisons of a Wallham watch and a Bond sidereal intervals of one minute. The 15 values of 7 substituted into equation (a). the second. The solution of the first part of the problem may therefore be accomplished by grouping the comparisons in pairs and applying equation (a). equation (a) shows that constancy of 7W will be quite as satisfactory a test of the reliability of the timepieces as constancy in R. 7"w = the last. The mean of the resulting values of will then be the final result. to find the rate per minute of the watch referred to the chronometer. consider the resultant error of observation in when derived from equation (a). upon those obtained during the last 15 minutes. Denoting the influence of the errors in the observed watch times upon the interval 7W by e we find for the error of /? Since c is independent of the length of the interval separating the comparisons. S. by subtracting the 18 . and it is important to arrange the calculation so that any irregularity in the relative rate will be revealed. Thus. together with the constant value 7C 15. whence the mean relative rate of the watch referred to the chronometer is 05157 per minute of . but at the same time will throw light upon the reliability of the instruments employed. To obtain a criterion for the most advantageous arrangement.' would correspond to various intermediate 15-minute intervals... from (b) that the precision of R increases with the length of this interval. The quotient of the loss by the interval in minutes is a value of the relative rate per minute. R = relative rate of watch per minute.

56 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT WATCH AND CHRONOMETER COMPARISON No. .

and the mean of the corrected watch times by A/ we have (0 . to the five th reading. or. it may be accepted.. average residual. 79 and 30. their however. The values of these corrections are column results are given to of the table.oi. 3 and 4. the less will be the i. . The differences between each corrected watch time and the mean of them all are called residuals. The average residual. for the calculated value of and the mean TV will the first R differ but little from the quantities they are taken to represent. io h 25 m 25579. not known and cannot be found. is 0509. comparison. In general. 2 and 3. of the residuals. shown that if the exact value algebraic sum must be zero. iff. (Num. the remainder is o. and readings. Since the chronometer beats halt-seconds and the clock seconds. it is evident that the more accurate the observations.. in 29^?...e. Denoting the residuals by r. . and the watch times. The principles illustrated in the preceding reduction find frequent application in the treatment of the data of observation. Ten successive coincidences of the beats of a & Rupp mean . But the true values of R and of the first comparison are we therefore proceed as best we may. the interval between the successive coincidences is that required for the clock to lose Gregg pieces by the method of coincident beats. the actual error of this and of each of R the remaining readings could at once be found by forming the difference between the true value and each of the corrected watch times. reading by the effect of the rate during the interval separating it from the first observation. and the student should investigate for himself the precision of the result when such combinations of the comparisons as 15 I and 2. These two places of decimals in order to keep the errors ot calculation small as of observation. Example 27. etc..or. ( in order. 26. accorduse for the true relative rate the value calculated above. as a measure of the precision of the observations.. . corrected for rate. i)/f. 2 and 28. = A/ 7"w (c) are in the last It is The values of i< formed in accordance with A of valuable control may be applied at this point. 1 is the m required precise watch reading corresponding to the first chronometer reading. To accomplish this we have only to add to the readings. M column of the table. 29 and 30.. The residuals will differ but little from the corresponding errors. the smaller their variations among them. the algebraic sum of the residthe division which gives as quotient In the present case the algebraic sum of the residuals is -fo. which checks the formation of the mean and ihe residuals. \R. the grouping of the observations for the determination of the mean value of R should be examined. 17. Af be used for the formation p. and. consider the corrected watch has been used in applying the corrections for rate. The method used for the reduction is similar to that employed in Ex. TV. The example is typical and the methods followed in the discussion should receive careful attention. To determine the average uncertainty of a single comparison of two time- Bond sidereal chronometer with those of a time clock are taken as the basis of the investigation. Although the average of the residuals will not exactly equal the average of the errors.) If. i and 2. the quantities o/?. compared with the errors The mean of the values of TV. barring a constant systematic error. Comp.CLOCK COMPARISONS 57 would then have given a precise value of the watch time corresponding to the first chronomThe given problem may be reduced to this case by correcting each watch eter reading. The comparisons are in the second and third columns of the table.If the true value of if the true value of the first watch reading were known. o' 45 o'oo. and 16. i and 30. easily is in used. and for the true value of We must watch reading. nevertheless. the mean of all the corrected readings. The average of the errors would then indicate the precision of the comparisons. To obtain a notion of the uncertainty of a single comparison. an approximation for uals will equal the negative value of the remainder the value used as a mean. ingly. without This we may accept as the average uncertainty of a single regard to algebraic sign. In particular. are employed in place of that actually used... selves.... in column six. . for.

The individual values of these intervals are in column four. which . if. o7. The numerical values of the corrections are from the readings. hibit the influence of" the errors of observation we find what the clock readings would have been had they This is done by subtracting all been made at the same instant as the first. 2/. . whence 7= 2 59!O4. . i" in 358*. in column six. . . COMPARISON BY COINCIDENT BEATS. To ex0:5 as compared with the chronometer. The value to be in column five. the corresponding average uncertainty of a comparison is Since the clock o'ooS. The variations in the values of 7" represent the influence of the errors of observation. used for 7 is one-fifth of the average of the intervals between the th and the (-j-5)th clock readings. and the reduced clock readings themselves.58 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Denote the true value of this interval by I. in order. may loses be accepted as the average uncertainty of the time of a coincidence. Their mean is n m I4' 55!2. No. g7. The average residual for the reduced clock readings is 2*94.

The on the same vertical circle. The artificial horizon consists of a shallow dish force of gravity brings the surface to a horizontal position. filled Description and use. by turn- THE VERNIER 37. and the angular distance of the image below the surface will be equal to that of the object above. and the high reflective power of the metal makes it possible to see the various celestial bodies reflected in the surface. and the vernier is then used to measure the fractional part of the scale division included between the last preceding scale graduation and the zero tion of the scale. The difference between the values of a scale and a vernier division the least reading = is called / of the vernier. THE ARTIFICIAL HORIZON 36. When the zero of the vernier stands opposite a graduais given directly by the scale. should be kept in a fixed position with respect to the points of the compass. which we may denote by n. the desired reading will of the vernier. and in this connection the artificial horizon is a valuable accessory to the sextant. It can also be used to advantage with the engineer's transit for the elimination of certain instrumental errors. the arrangement being such that the angle. The measurement of the distance between the object and its image therefore affords a means of determining the altitude of a celestial body. to scales for the purpose of reducing the uncertainty of measurement. It is important that the plates of glass should be carefully selected in order that the light rays traversing them may not be deflected from their course. but for distant objects the error is insensible. Pierre Vernier. who in 1631 described its construction usual form the graduations are such that the total number of vernier divisions. The vernier is a short graduated plate attached Description and theory. this is true only when the eye of the observer is at the surface of the mercury. its its and In inventor. The vernier slides along the scale. It takes its name from use. Any given object and its image will be situated with mercury. . or length. The angular distance between the object and its image is therefore twice its apparent altitude. is equal to i divisions of the scale.IHtlilZON AND VERXIEli 59 chronometer. The artificial horizon is usually provided with a glass roof to protect the surface of the mercury from disturbances by air currents. the graduation nearest the zero of the scale marking the zero of the vernier. Usually this not occur. Strictly speaking. scale. to be measured corresponds to the distance between the zeros of the scale and of the vernier. The effect of any non-parallelism of the surfaces may be eliminated by making an equal number of settings with the roof in the direct and reversed position. reversal being accomplished ing the roof end for end. so far as possible. If d d' = value of one division of the = value of one division of the vernier.

than 1/2. a quantity so small that the graduations will nearly. The latter may be fixed at O. Denote its value by i'. In practice the actual counting of the number of divisions between the zero of the vernier and the coincident pair is avoided by making use of the numbers stamped on the vernier.60 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY method of graduation described above. The final result is the sum of v and the reading corresponding to the last scale graduation preceding the zero of the vernier. that between the third v each successive interval decreasing by /.osd. for an arbitrary setting of the vernier. These give directly the values of n'l corresponding to certain equidistant divisions of the vernier. Now. if not quite. it follows that the interval between the second pair of graduations will be v 2/. and are therefore to be disregarded in the determination of /. Since a vernier division is less than a scale division by the least reading. By proceeding far enough we shall on. we count the number of vernier from the zero of the vernier to the vernier graduation which most nearly least coincides with a graduation of the scale. and we therefore find p In practice = v V+*. Suppose this pair to be n' divisions from the zero of the vernier. constructed vernier is whose fectly of the result is therefore 1/2. therefore. The first interval is the one whose magnitude is to be determined by the vernier. for the ) d = nd' whence '-*-*-. 38. The maximum error of a reading made with a perThe uncerabsolute value is 1/2. The least reading of the vernier is (68) therefore i/tith of the value of a scale division. (69) we disregard s and use = n'l. The value of the corresponding interval will be v '/=. (70) To divisions determine the value of v. beginning with the zero of the vernier and proceeding in order in the direction of increasing readings. I. The product of this number into the reading is the value of v. and so /. (n i then. Uncertainty of the result. or less coincide. Usually one or two divisions precede the zero and follow the last numbered graduation of the vernier. find a pair for which the interval differs from zero by an amount equal to. gain in precision resulting from the use of the vernier may be found by comparing the uncertainty of its readings with that arising when the scale alone is used. These do not form a part of the n divisions of the vernier. consider the intervals between the various vernier graduations and the nearest preceding graduations of the scale. They are added to assist in the selection of the coincident pair when coincidence occurs near the end of the vernier. as experience shows that this The . tainty .

. There it found its first extensive application in the who constructed a number of "azimuth-quadrants" famous observatory on the island of Hveen. the spirit level not yet having been invented. will affect the result. With a carefully graduated instrument. the plate being beveled to a knife edge where it touches the scale. it rests on top. there was no need for moving them from place to place as they were intended solely for astronomical observations. The condition that divisions of the vernier equal . they were constructed instruments of Tycho Brahe. preferably. and. The adjustment for level was accomplished by means of a plumb line. all lie. To do so it is only necessary with the interval between the next following pair of graduations. The principle involved did not appear in western Europe. Otherwise an error due to parallax THE ENGINEER'S TRANSIT 39. however. indeed. should the line of sight perpendicular to the scale. for the Historical. In many instruments. The inverse ratio of the two uncertainties may be taken as a measure of the increase in precision. Though primitive in design. Magnification of the object was impossible. and it is possible that a similar contrivance was employed by the Arabs at an even earlier date. possible to estimate s in fractional parts of the least reading. however. With this arrangement the greatest care must be exercised in reading to keep The vernier should fit positions.i scale /. The matter should be tested for different parts of the scale by bringing the zero of the vernier into coincidence with a scale graduation. therefore. and then examining whether the r ) st (+ vernier graduation stands exactly opposite graduation of the scale. It appears. until the latter half of the sixteenth century.UNC&RTAINTT OP VEKXIER HEADINGS is 61 approximately the uncertainty of a careful eye estimate of the magnitude of r.//io times as precise as that derived from an estimate of the fractional parts of a scale division. The combination of a horizontal measurement of azimuth and altitude is known circle with a vertical arc to have been used by the Persian astronomers at Meraga in the thirteenth century. as a quarter of a century was still to elapse before the construction of the first telescope. in the same plane as the scale. The vertical arcs of Tycho's instruments were movable about the axis of the horizontal circle. in snugly against the latter. or with that of the pair immediately preceding. and were provided with index arms fitted with sights for making the pointings. it is possible. for his . by estimating the magnitude of e. Information may thus be obtained as to the accuracy with which the graduation of the instru- ment has been performed. that a vernier is of no advantage unless the number of its divisions is in excess of ten. use of a magnifying lens usually shows that none of the vernier graduations exactly coincides with a graduation of the scale. The instruments were large and necessarily fixed in position and. to push the limit given above. according as is positive or The precision to somewhat beyond the e compare The sum of the two intervals to be compared is negative. It is therefore I divisions of the must be rigorously fulfilled if reliable results are to be obtained. whence we find that the result given by the vernier is approx- imately .

was embody the essential principle of the adapted to sighting purposes through the introduction of the reticle by Gascoigne. though not an absolute necessity. which appears first to have been made in a portable form by John Sisson. Certain attachments. Slow motions were introduced by Hevelius. the student is referred standard work on surveying. are not required for the determination of latitude. centers of the circles lie in 3. thus making it possible The universal instrument was to measure angles by the method of repetitions. and the spirit level. In the instrument fulfilling the ideal of construction and adjustment. and were capable of determining angular distances with an uncertainty of only i' or 2'. the theodolite. : circle and the alidade coincide. about the middle of the eighteenth century. The planes of the circles are perpendicular to the corresponding axes of rotation. then practically complete. the universal instrument. by Thevenot. are satisfied 1. first constructed during the early years of the seventeenth century. . The rotation axes of the horizontal 2. The vernier was invented in 1631. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the design and construction were greatly improved by Reichenbach. and the lines joining the zeros of the verniers pass through the axes. and to establish precepts for the arrangement of the observing program such that this influence may be reduced to a minimum. it becomes of importance to determine the influence of the residual errors in construction and adjustment. the engineer's transit. and that observations will not be undertaken until the various adjustments have been made with all possible care. In particular. and should be provided with two verniers situated 180 apart. diagonal prism for the observation of objects near the zenith. and shade glasses for use in solar observations are a convenience. On the other hand. and Picard. 40. in 1660. They are of interest not only on account of the re- markable they series of results they yielded in the hands of Tycho. among others. notably the compass any and the telescope level. It is assumed methods by which the engineer's transit may be adjusted. and a variety of other instruments. but rather a combination of inventions by various individuals at different times. to a detailed description of the engineer's transit. who also added the movable horizontal circle. For and azimuth. it is desirable that the instrument used in the solution of these problems should possess features not always present in the modern instrument. All these were combined with the principle of the early azimuth-quadrant to form the altazimuth. an Englishman.62 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY with the greatest care. Auzout. A Influence of imperfections of construction is that the student familiar with the and adjustment. but also because modern altazimuth. None of these modern instruments is the invention of any single person. and the transition to the engineer's transit required only the addition of the compass and such minor modification as would meet the requirements of precision and portability fixed by modern engineering practice. the fol- lowing conditions. time. But since an instrument is never perfect. The telescope. the vertical circle should be complete. The the corresponding axes of rotation.

is No.. The vertical axis of rotation is truly vertical when the plate bubbles are centered.SV/iY.1 /. and F t and V'> the< zeros of the verniers. be rotated in order ively. circles to the axes can be shown that the error due to lack of perpendicularity of the In well conis of the order of the square of the deviation.. 5. i. are / =A and OaV.M/A'. ' l . the line through the optical center of the objective and the middle intersection of the threads. line joining V and V is the eccentricity of the verniers.. A and A. OCV Denote these by R.V. In Fig. respectively. 2. the point where the rotation axis intersects the plane of the circle. 6.. on the other hand. 7. The perpendicular distance of a from the The reading of F. the zero of the The distance aC=e graduations.V X . line of sight. and of F. respectThe angles through which the instrument must. No. l 1 l . of importance only in the measurement of horizontal angles by the The error arising in such measures from non-coincidence of the vertical axes may be eliminated by the arrangement of the observing pro- gram described No. that the zeros of the verniers may move from O to the positions indicated. If the third condition not satisfied the readings will be affected by an error called eccentricity. it is structed instruments therefore insensible. and /?. is the eccentricity of the circle. It in Section 47. I is method of repetitions. 3. O. is responsible for the re- mainder. It is The vertical circle reads zero the task of ditions are satisfied.. Fig. the instrument maker to see that the first three of these conThe observer. 7. 1 A BRRO/tS 63 4.=A.e. The The horizontal rotation axis is perpendicular to the vertical axis.. when the line of sight is horizontal. is the angle OCF. are therefore to be regarded . is perpendicular to the hori- zontal axis.. 7 let C be the center of the graduated circle OV^^ a.

. greater than two.') +.) . The eccentricity is therefore eliminated by combining the means of the readings of both verniers.^(A +A = #(/?. u and 2 are tne corrections for eccentricity for the points O. The quantities b and c are the errors in level and collimation.64 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY as the angles which determine the positions of the verniers with respect to and 2 with the vernier for the pointing in question. uniformly distributed about the first In practice it is sufficient to use the degrees indicated by the circle. r=inclination of the line of sight to the horizontal axis. 4 6.) = % (R + R.=R + /*. residual errors in Nos.') It we have the analogous equation (74) 2 = #(*/+*.'/ where are of the order of tt"/r r the radius of the circle. 4 7.' . . (72) where and Vz .+*. 8.+*. Horizontal Angles: In the measurement of horizontal angles an error of adjustment in No. of the horizon. 7 has no influence.) + E. t t) (75) The left member of (75) is the angular distance through which the instrument is rotated in passing from the first position to the second. + t . is V^ . R l and R s. t + A. + % (E. . and the equation shows that this angle is equal to the difference in the means of the vernier readings for the final and initial positions. The mean of (71) and (72) y> (A. which represents a projection of the celestial sphere on the plane Then. let Z be the zenith. The sides of the triangles when ZAZ' . let To investigate the effect of *=inclination of the vertical axis to the true vertical.E. vernier with the means of the minutes and seconds of the two readings. + # (. Z' the intersection with the celestial sphere of the vertical axis produced.) .'). The XW+A. ^^inclination of the horizontal axis to the horizon plane. telescope. difference of (73) and (74) is therefore e' is and of the verniers and .#(*. are A. It can be shown that the eccentricity will also be eliminated by combining the means of any number of verniers. the intersection of the horizontal axis produced with the celestial sphere O is seen at the intersection of the threads.). The relations connecting t A A readings. Nos.). The last terms . y=inclination of the horizontal axis to the vertical axis. 90 90 -f- . O an object whose zenith distance is and A in Fig. = *. is easily shown that the eccentricity f (73) ar>d (74) are entirely insensible in a well constructed instrument. (73) For any other pointing of the A. respectively.

ZO. determined by the angle through which it must be rotated to bring A from coincidence with ZP would be AT to 90. (81) no errors of adjustment. the direction of A referred to P The direction given by the instrument. and Z'A. K and / be the directions of ZA. Finally. (76) (77) In a carefully adjusted instrument i. referred to ZP. respectively. -f cos/sin /cos/. equation (80) -f (90 may be written = b cos 2 90 K + k) sin z a a or K Were there k = b cot z + c cosec z . the difference 5 K Since the verniers maintain a fixed position with re/ 90 represents the effect of the residual errors . spect to A.INSTRUMENTAL ERRORS 65 and ZAO have the values indicated in the figure. and we may neglect their squares as insensible. let k. j. is /. and b are very small. Applying equations (13) and (15) to triangle ZAZ\ we find sin b cos b sin = sin/cos = cos/ sin / /. Equations (76) and (77) thus reduce to (78) (79) Equation (13) applied to triangle sin c ' ZAO gives sin za cos (AT = sin cos za + cos (80) Since c and 90 K + k are c also very small. its actual position.

. R be the actual horizontal circle reading. for it appears in (86) multiplied by cot ". R. b. and axis to the plane of the horizon for C.). O'. sensibly. sin /. = 180 ZO' A'ZO' in of AZO in 8. . L. therefore. If. (84) the circle reading less 180. or C. from (78) and (83) t R = %(R+R + zcos/cot2 o ) . Since the the horizon as horizontal axis ment move is not truly horizontal. and R . the value for a perfectly adjusted instrument. We then find.66 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY circle readings. The sides of s .. for objects near the horizon the effect of i cos /. L. viz. either C. L. L. R. a. and C. and Fig.). reflected in a dish of mercury. j. vertical circle The through O. (85) or. and the component of i in the direction of the line of sight. the inclination of the horizontal The mean of equations (82) and is *. simi- larly to equation (80). More- over. If the instrument be provided with a striding level. the values of b and b l Their substitution into (85) will then give the horizontal circle reading completely freed from i. and as far below made in the same position reflected image. C. t R is .. (83) C. (82) refers to that position of the instrument for which the vertical circle is on the right as the observer stands facing the eyepiece (C. in = R + 6cots + ccosecs Q . is small. K A'ZO' are The angle at k' where fe' is the direction of ZA' referred to ZP. we have amount of the error { R. R.) cot*. (82) Assuming that equation given by equation (78). substituting the values of b and b. A'0' = A0 = go+c.. is on the horizontal that the But by (79) l=k. c. both observations being of the instrument. for settings on any object is free from the influence of j.. and cThe readings may also be freed from the influence of b by combining the results of a setting on O with those obtained by pointing on the image of seen may be determined by observation.=j where (84) z'cos/. To investigate the effect of the errors for a pointing on O' we must therefore A consider the triangle ZA' ^is place = ZA = gob. the component of i parallel to the horizontal axis. L. we find by a which the value of b is precisely similar investigation for circle left (C. R. (86) It therefore appears that the mean of the readings of the horizontal circle taken C. slightly about the vertical axis in turning from a small amount to a new position A'. whence it follows given by (81). will be on the is above. it will be necessary to rotate the instruwill thus down to 0'.

if /?' 90 k' ^ cot sa circle -\- c cosec sa . c L.') a. .f cosec s 5 . finally. C. R'b cot z + c cosec s =y J ' C. (88) By the same method we A' find from the l\ reflected observation. are ordinarily quite insen- The squares and products of the errors of adjustment sible. (89) in which /?. This equation combined with (84) gives . + A . (90 in other words the mean is of the instrument. L. (87) Equations (82) and (87) both refer to C. he the horizontal A> reading for the setting on O' .. for both positions from b. R. ZAZ'. Finally the combination of (88) A' and (90) gives K' =K(/?+ + A. L. consider again Fig.' is the circle reading less 180 for C. =A + . L. whence we find with all necessary precision. The true zenith distance of is z.not only : of the readings. j and c upon the readings of the vertical circle. we find =angle- = sin /'sin /. . C. whence K and. + AY). but from the collimation error as well.?= Angle ZAO. Z0 = ZAO cos sa = sin /. free . that given by the vertical circle readings is equal to the From the triangle we find angle Z'AO.AZ' cos 6s\n(ca ) Z'AO by s. and from Denoting the instrumental zenith distance triangle /. C.INSTRUMENTAL ERRORS sin c sin <>7 bcos 5 -)- cos b sin * cos (K '). (90) Equations (88) and (90) show that the mean of the horizontal circle readings for direct and reflected observations of an object in the same position of the instrument is free from the influence of any adjustment error in level. direct and reflected.R. is /? -|- A") + c cosec z C. R. cot cosec s . R. A'o 2 ( Their mean a.sin c + cos b cos c cos (ZAO). Vertical Circle Readings To investigate the influence of i. = 1 14 (A . 8.

) + / si n /. however.)-Hsin/. R. z = z + /sin /. (99) which v 1 t and v 3 are the circle readings. (93) in which s. respectively. (92) A similar investigation gives for the reversed position of the instrument = + .. (98) to 360 For an instrument whose vertical circle is graduated continuously from o it is easily shown that the equation corresponding to (98) is = in ! % (v. L.. C. residual error of adjustment in No. If r The and rt for C. The ordinary angles s and engineer's transit reads altitudes. since c 2. R. 7. R. using the mercurial horizon. It therefore appears that the vertical circle readings are not sensibly affected by /. positions of the instrument does eliminate the index error. are not read directly from the circles. . '.. be the vertical circle readings when the line of sight is hor- we have z = 90 r + /. The component of i in the direction of the line of sight. The mean of (96) and (97) s = 90 iX(r + r. i. C. L. Substituting (94) and (95) into (92) and (93) . C. R. for they will include the effect of the index error. ?' sin/. or the component of / parallel to the horizontal axis. are combined. or. c. (95) o z = 90 = go is r 1\ + / + /sin /. and / the reading izontal. viz. L. (94) ^=90-r. and C. The formation of the mean for the two value.e. L. Considering the triangle defined.68 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY' b. L. is the instrumental zenith distance for C. and C. R. the readings will not be the true altitudes. C. but if there is any deviation from the condition expressed in No. 7.-/. L. the To free the results from z'sin/ reflected. C. i sin/ enters with i"ts full and (98) and (99) show that it cannot be eliminated even when readings taken C. and i are very small. we find for the reflected observation we may combine observations direct and A'ZO' previously cos (i 80 za ) = sin bs\n c + cos b cos c cos {ZA'O'} . (96) (97) /-fz'sin/. the subscripts being assigned so that <i8o*. C.

find Angle In ZA 'Z' = 80 2. C. The influence of t'cos/. = 90X(r+r'). (ioo) Now cle if r' be the vertical circle reading for C. (104) In other words. the true 2 zenith distance of O' is 180 angle ZA'O'. R. neglecting products and squares of the errors of adjustment. L. Denoting the instrumental = zenith distance of 0'. but the So index correction as well. R. j and c is insensible. which is the angle Z'A'O'. for in this way different parts of the vertical circle are used. (103) C. by 180 (\ s' we s . Similar considerations for and reflected. C. Z'A'-=go _/. L. R. For an instrument with a vertical circle graduated continuously from o to it is easily shown as before that in (103) and (104) the sum of the circle readings must be replaced by their difference taken in such a way that it is less than 180. observations direct C. (102) Since between from / by a quantity of the order of the errors. ZZ' = triangle ZA'Z' the sides are ZA'=go find is'in b. we shall have. (101) This substituted into (ioo) gives C. give 5U = 90 %(r. and and denoting the angle ZZ'A' by /'we cos b sin (z' z ) = sin /'. similarly to (94). the difference sin I' will be insensible. thus partially neutralizing errors of graduation.) ( 1 80 s') a = 2' the t.. observations direct in a single position of the and it reflected instrument are sufficient. and / the ciris reading when the line of sight horizontal. + r/). R. so that when equations (96) and and are combined to form the mean we have simply (102) /' differs i sin / j s. . and C. R.. or with sufficient approximation za z' isinl'. reflected. far as the errors here considered are concerned. the formation of the means of the vertical circle readings for observations direct and reflected in the same position of the instrument eliminates not only the component of i in the direction of the line of sight. Nevertheless is desirable that measures be made both C.INSTRUMENTAL ERRORS 69 whence. L. R 360. C.

from triangle ZA^Z^. 4 7. within quantities of the order of the products and The same will be true.= %(R + R. The mean of (96) and (106) is in 1 ^0 = 90 For A(r-\a circle l r. It is not always convenient to make use of the therefore desirable to be able to apply a artificial horizon. even though the plate bubbles squares of the errors. provided. That such will be the case follows from a consideration of Fig. the elimination of the errors will. and /. its dimensions remaining unchanged. L. Again. for observing at one side of the field is equivalent to introducing an abnormal value It is . we find for circle left analogously to (97).. It is easily shown that if the instrument be rclevclled before observing in the reversed position.). (107) which is free from b. both for the horizontal and the vertical circle. It is important that this be done. and Z' a position Z t '. in general. 2. the latter having been reduced by 180. If this is not so. for (106) presupposes that the instrument is relevelled after reversal.). The result is therefore free from both b and c. The triangle ZA^O leads to an equation differing from (84) only in that b t is replaced by b. graduated continuously we have similarly. The reversal and relevelling is equivalent to rotating the triangle ZAZ' about Zthrough the angle i8o+2c. while (97) assumes that no change is made in the position of the vertical axis during the observations. even though the threads be respectively horizontal and vertical. 8.) (1 08) as before the readings are to be taken in such an order that their difis that the pointings are always made by bringing the object accurately to the intersection of the threads. the mean of the readings C. and it is method of elimination which does not depend upon this accessory. will be free from the errors in all of the ad- justment under Nos. C. be incomplete. z = 90 r^ I z'sin/. The mean of the new equation and (82) is simply new A R. L.70 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The precedirfg discussion assumes that the adjustments of the instrument remain unchanged throughout the observations. they be brought to the same position in the tubes that they occupied before. thus assumes a A lt distant from position >by 90+^. (106) which the vertical circle reading r is not the same as the r l of (97). R. c. are not accurately centered during the direct observations.= where ference less than 180. assumed throughout y2(v l -i'. after reversal. (105) where R and R 1 are the horizontal circle readings. and C.

4 7 excepting com- ponent of deviation of vertical axis from vertical insensible or eliminated (98) or (99). direct and reflected. the horizontal reading will . Horizontal circle readings: Component of deviation of vertical axis from vertical in direction of line of sight. The preceding results may be summarized No. This method of procedure requires a knowledge of the theory of the striding level. Correction for the latter may be made by tiplied by cots . L. and the scale includes a larger number of divisions. L. Summary of the preceding section. for both C. Owing to residual errors of adjustment. All errors in in Nos. forms. while pointings above or below the horizontal thread correspond to a modification of the index error of the vertical circle. from mean direction of line of sight of readings C. 42. See equation 7 insensible or eliminated from mean of See equations readings. graduation error of vertical All errors under Nos. L. R. No. The scale reading of the middle of the bubble for this position is called the horizontal the zero at the end. R.. observations with the striding level. See Section 47. Non-perpendicularity of circles to axes usually has no sensible influence on circle readings. non-perpendicularity of axes. No. Component of deviation from vertical which is parallel to horizontal axis appears mulSee equation (86). its tube is It is made in two longer.INSTRUMENTAL ERRORS THE LEVEL 71 of the collimation. The adjustits mounting should be such that the bubble stands at the middle of the tube when the base line is horizontal. See Equation (91). any residual error being eliminated by some one of the methods of Section 40. circle is as follows: I. ment of the level tube within reading. and C. and C. Non-coincidence of vertical axes enters only when the horizontal used by the method of repetitions. In some cases. and C. L. See equation 6 (85). Eccentricity of circles and verniers eliminated by forming means of readings of both verniers. Desirable to observe both C. The adjustment of the engineer's transit with respect to the vertical is usually made by means of the plate bubbles. and collimation eliminated by forming mean of readings taken C. R. for both horizontal and vertical angles provided plate bubbles have same See equations (105) position in tubes for both positions of the instrument. The striding level is more sensitive than the plate bubbles. 4 circle. to reduce (103) All errors in Nos. however. The error in No. R. Nos. See equation (75). and (107) or (108). one with the zero of the scale at the middle of the tube. L. / index error of vertical circle Vertical circle readings: does not enter. 41. 4 7. the other with Theoretically the two forms are equivalent. and (104).The level. R. 4 eliminated by forming mean of readings direct and reflected. 4 7 eliminated from mean of readings C. however. and C. in same position of instrument. and C. 2. 3. Error eliminated by proper arrangement of observing program. All errors in Nos. it is desirable to remove the effect of this error by measuring the inclination of the horizontal axis to the horizon and applying a suitable cor- rection to the circle readings.

Denoting by r'. or else its influence must be eliminated. and is therefore free from the horizontal reading. whatever the position of the zero of the scale. the readings of the ends of the bubble for two positions. assume that all tions. respectively. /". let m' and m" of the bubble. d= the angular value of one h = the horizontal reading. The inclinations to be measured should be small and the horizontal reading should correspond as closely as possible with the scale reading of the middle of the tube. division of the level scale. 2 (in) in which the mean of the observed inclinations has been written equal to b. the mean of (109) and (no) is b=y (m' + m")d. even for the form in which the zero of the scale is at the middle of the tube. for any inclination of the base line. the right end of the level is high. /'. b" = (m" (109) (i 10) K)d. The convention regarding the algebraic sign is such that when b calculated from (113) is positive. sitive instrument. and writing D=y we find 4 d. Since h has opposite signs for the two positions of the level. and r". and all toward the left. made in the direct and the is by combining readings easily accomplished reversed position. toward the right are positive. (114) which may be used for the calculation of h when a complete observation has been made. The points of contact of the level with the pivots upon which it rests must be carefully freed from dust particles. 43. We b'=(m'h)d. ative. we find from the difference of (109) and (no) h=^(r' +/' /'/"). . The level is a senand great care must be exercised in its manipulation if precise results are to be obtained. Its value must be determined and applied as a correcThe latter tion to the scale readings. be the readings of Further. (112) from (in) ("3) This result depends only upon the readings of the ends of the bubble and the value of one division of the scale. Since b' and b" are two observed values of the same quantity. Precepts for the use of the striding level. reversal being -Let made by turning the level end for end. and b' and b" the corresponding observed inclinathe middle Finally. for the level direct and reversed.7J PRACTICAL ASTRO NOMT not usually be zero. negreadings increasing then find.

it should be shielded from the rays of the sun. \ 6 = Sd. second. Determination of the value of one division of a level.4 13.7 I2 m - +31-0 20. The right end of the bubble should always be read first. The determination of the change in the inclination of the arm of the level trier necessary to move the bubble over a given number of divisions gives at once the angular value of one division of the scale. server should be familiar with the sensitiveness of all the levels of his instrument. to this end. with one whose zero is at the end.8 35.'i6 and 0*032. or the various levels may be attached separately for the investigation. and ample time should be allowed for the bubble to come to rest before reading. made with a level whose zero point is in the middle of the tube. most easily found by forming first the diagonal sums of the four readings written as above. respectively. a convenient form for the record: Time r' r r" r' r>' r" +/" 4/' "I -S. The entire transit may be mounted on the arm. which is an instrument consisting essentially of a rigid base carrying a movable arm whose inclination to the horizon may be varied by a known amount by means of a graduated micrometer screw. value of one division of its scale is an essential. r' Mistakes in may be is avoided by noting that The following. must equal r" which 6' represents the sum of the four readings. 15'" T=9 b 9. The instrument should be protected from changes in temperature. /'. gular The investigation of levels is most easily carried out with the aid of a level trier. even though he depends entirely upon a simple centering of the bubble If the striding level is to be used. in /". careful attention being given to the algebraic sign. and. and the time of reading reversal for each observation should be noted. a knowledge of the anfor the adjustment. and from the heat of the reading lamp and the person of the observer. which is adjustable in the more sensitive forms. the length of the bubble. for both r' and I" and r" and /' will be opposite in sign and approximately equal in absolute magnitude. The The observation was D 0=6 h + 14. the are 8'.THE LEVEL The length 73 of the bubble.0 The ob44.1 + io. is S following illustrates the record and reduction of level observations".3 + 16. .\ + . The values of Example first 28. should be about one-third the length of the tube.

the corresponding bubble for level direct. A glance at the results in this variable. Each of the displacements of the bubble in column six therefore corresponds to a in in inclination of 24". Column two of the table gives the micrometer means of the end readings of the settings. The bubble was run from the left to the right end of the tube and back again. The quotients formed by dividing the displacements into 24" similar reducare the values of one division of the level for different portions of the tube. the differences between the th and the (6-f)th readings column five. The principle used in combining the observations is the same as that emmicrometer screw ployed in Examples 26 and 27. The means is for the two series are in the last column. . column sufficient to show that the curvature of the level tube is ONE DIVISION OF A LEVEL LEVEL TRIER No.74 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Example 29. The ends of the bubble level trier for the by moving were read for each setting of the micrometer. tion of the readings taken with the level in the reversed position gave for d the values in column change A eight. and column six. and columns three and four. The fifth column contains the means of the quantities in the two preceding columns. The length of the arm and the pitch of the are such that a rotation of the micrometer head through one division changes the inclination by i". the micrometer head through four divisions at a time. The following shows part of the reduction of observations made with a determination of the value of one division of a level. for both level direct and reversed.

the displacement of the bubble in scale divisions. tan b = tan i sin (r rc ). we find Arc//=90 whence from the triangle (r r. We may therefore use the approximate relation = (r with an error not exceeding o"oi. let HC and in Fig. (117) The angle r ding to the equal to sd. and d the angular value of one division. 9 b. In the spherical right triangle HLC the angle //is equal to i. however. and b. for i equal two or three degrees. 75 whence the angular value of one division of the level i and the horizontal circle readings. HLC. which is supposed to be attached with its axis perpendicular to the radius through L and parallel to the plane of the circle. any position of the level. deflection of the axis from the vertical. (US) The angle b is very small and. . the corresponding may be determined as before. . may be written b. ra) tan which. bi r ) tan (116) we have (r l the analogous equation i. 9 represent portions of the horizontal circles for the normal and the deflected positions of the vertical axis. l r is change where s in inclination is the change in the horizontal circle reading corresponThe latter. To express d as a function of HC inclination.. r tan /. thus have finally as the expression for We d (118) r.ONE DIVISION OF THE LEVEL of the horizontal circle. L. For any other inclination.). r) tan i. if ra and r be the horizontal circle readings corresponding to the inclinations zero and b respectively. the Fig. while that at L is 90 Now. r ra will never exceed one degree. combined with (112) gives bi b = (rt .

levelling screws. Such a series of readings constitutes a set. The deflection was 3. level the instrument. by means of the middle of its bubble is also centered after the deflection. For very sensitive levels it should be less. preferably on a desirable to check the constancy of i by deflecting through masonry pier. sight on a distant object. The observations may be made either by displacing the bubble through a definite number of divisions and noting the corresponding change in the horizontal circle readings. The graduations of the tube are in two groups of three each. in both positions of the instrument. The bubble should be run from one end of the tube to the other and then back again. as rigidly mounted as possible. the groups being separated ONE DIVISION OF A LEVEL DEFLECTED Axis Level Divisions . tion of the value of one division of the striding level of a Berger transit. the deflection of the vertical instrument be provided with a telescope level. while the latter is to be preferred for the long finely graduated tubes of sensitive levels. bring the telescope bubble back to the tube. For short say 10'. this angle toward the vertical at the end of a set and noting whether the It is The instrument must be instrument is then levelled. or by changing the circle readings by a definite amount. the vertical circle reading by the angle i and. taking care at the same time that the transverse plate Then change In the absence of a telescope level. change the vertical circle reading by i.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT should be two or three degrees for the investigation of the If the ordinary transit levels. axis may be accomplished as follows: Level the instrument and center the The angle i telescope bubble. and observing the variations in the position of the bubble. tubes with only a few graduations the former method is more convenient. and bring the object back to the intersection of the threads by means of the levelling screws. This precaution is necessary in order that the deflection may have no component perpendicular to the plane of the vertical circle. Observations were made by the deflected axis method for the determina- Example 30.

For Polaris or any other close circumpolar object. The object is therefore brought into coincidence with the vertical thread near the point of intersection. In order that the threads may be seen sharply defined on the card. The differences of the readings for a displacement of the bubble through two divisions are in the fifth column. the instrument in the meantime being rotated by means of the horizontal slow motion so that both transits are observed at the intersection of the threads. by a proper focusing of the objective. the image may be projected on a card held a few inches back of the eyepiece. For example. the influence of semidiameter being eliminated. The measurement of vertical angles. The difference in motion in the two cases necessitates a difference of method in making the settings. in column four. While waiting for the second This method is open to the objection that transit. Then. The observer will have 45. in column one of the table. Observations on the sun are most readily made with the aid of a shade of colored glass. The same number of The mean of the readings will then settings should be made for both limbs. The calculation for the determination of d is in accordance with equation (118). the altitude of the sun's center may still be found with the . the time of coincidence and the vertical circle readings being carefully noted. when the time is again noted. and kept on the thread by slowly turning the horizontal slow motion until the instant of transit across the horizontal thread. the instrument may be adjusted so that the preceding limb is near the horizontal thread and approaching the intersection. it is necessary that the eyepiece be drawn out a small fraction of an inch from its normal position before the solar image is focused. the time and the vertical circle readings being noted as before. and the minutes of the means of corresponding settings. which entails a considerable loss of time. If there be more than one horizontal thread. thrs cannot be done with precision. correspond to the altitude of the sun's center. an interval of three or four minutes separates the transits of the two limbs. The instrument is clamped and the instant of tangency carefully noted. but this of course requires a reading of the vertical circle for each transit. the vertical circle is read. The interval may be shortened by shifting the position of the telescope between the observations. without changing the vertical circle reading. the image is allowed to trail through the field until the transit of the following limb occurs. the star should be brought to the intersection of the threads by the slow motions. If for any reason the program cannot be made complete in this particular. For stars whose altitude varies rapidly. but if this is not available. occasion to measure the altitude not only of rapidly moving equatorial stars but also of circumpolar objects like Polaris whose positions with respect to the horizon change but slowly. The horizontal circle was read when the bubble was symmetrically placed with respect to the pairs of graduations indicated The circle readings themselves are in columns two and three. There are several methods by which the pointings may be made. the difficulty can be avoided by observing the transits over the extreme threads the preceding limb over the first thread and the following limb over the last thread.MEASUREMENT OF ALTITUDE 77 by a space approximately equal to the length of the bubble.

C. /.R. Bearing in mind the various fac- we adopt star. the rapidity with which the observer can make the pointings and read The arrangement in the circle. the observations may be discontinued at the middle of the set. direct. The instrument must therefore be relevelled carefully after each reversal. ) reading on star. which is to be used when all of the pointings directly on the star.R. reflected. observations on a will at the following as convenient arrangements for a set of The necessary modifications for measures on the sun in once be suggested by the methods for making the settings described the preceding paragraph. the screws need not be touched until the set has been completed unless the bubbles should become made With the second. On the other hand. if more precision is . rigorously speaking. the elimination of the errors depends upon the bubbles occupying the same positions in their tubes for both C. c and /. a single set is limited by the fact that it is convenient to use for the reduction the means of the circle readings and the Since the change in the altitude of the star is not proportional to the times. the two means. After the instrument has once been levelled. in the time. will not correspond to change each other. and the position of the object. readings on star. but if the observing interval does not exceed a certain limit.L. I Level. 2 OBSERVATIONS DIRECT AND REFLECTED Level. changed during the intervals separating the various direct observations and the corresponding reflected observations immediately preceding or following. of the Epliemeris derived of the observing program is determined by the results Section 40 and summarized in Section 41. that the number should not be less than two maximum number to be included in The for each position of the instrument. 4 readings Reverse.L. C. 2 2 Readings on first star. reading on star. It is desirable. R. i readings on star. i With the are arrangement. on star. reflected. say a quarter of an hour. C. and C. If only an approximate result is required. Reverse. which the displaced by a considerable amount. readings on star._/. L. will find application when the artificial horizon is elimination will be complete if the adjustments remain unemployed. VC. The number of settings to be made for the determination of the altitude depends upon the precision desired. 2 i reading on star. direct. \ \ I C. Both verniers should be read for each setting of the telescope. R. OBSERVATIONS DIRECT Level. however. The observing program will also depend on the method employed for the elimination of the instrumental errors tors involved. no appreciable error will be introduced into results secured with the engineer's transit by treating the means as a single observation. direct. Reverse Level. direct. therefore.78 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT I aid of the value of the semidiameter interpolated from page for the instant of observation. i reading on star.

For an instrument with its vertical circle graduated continuously o to 360 the zenith distance will be given by c. z =Yt(v t v. for the determination of the altitudes of Polaris and Alcyone. For observations on the sun. L. For circumpolar objects. an error has been committed. for refraction and parallax in accordance with Sections 8 and Buff 31. The test is usually sufficient to locate errors of the class mentioned with such certainty as to justify a correction of the original record..MEASUREMENT OF ALTITUDE desired. the apparent altitude. or perhaps a whole degree. 2. and (107) show that for an instrument graduated to read altitudes. The following is the record of partial sets of observations made with a Buff engineer's transit at the Laws Observatory.. The quotients will thus express the change in the altitude in minutes of arc for one minute of time. The observed altitude. the mean of all C. on 1908. in the circle readings. The relatively large difference in the readings C. however. one v will represent the mean of all the circle readings If the artificial horizon has been used. those involving mistakes of 10' or 20'. If the v. Friday P. additional sets 79 may be observed. < 180. reveals the existence of an index error of 2' or 3'. and the time intervals in minutes and tenths. ._/'. If this condition is not satisThe errors most likely to occur are fied. and C. For direct observations the quotients of the differ- ences between the successive circle readings by the differences between the corresponding times must be sensibly equal. If the artificial horizon quotients must be calculated for the direct and reflected observations separately. R. free from the instrumental errors.) (119) where the subscripts are assigned in such a manner that i>.R. '. C. observations are direct. the distance. thus derived must be corrected 9. The Example & timepiece used was an Elgin watch. It is convenient to express differences of the circle readings in minutes of arc. should be the change in the altitude is reduced separately. and the other. Oct. The fact that for a short interval sensibly proportional to the change in the time makes it possible to test the consistency of the measures. a simple inspection will usually be sufficient to indicate the consistency of the observations. The measures were all direct. each of which. Equations (103) and (104). and an exact number of minutes in the times. one v will represent the mean of all mean of all the reflected readings. the other. M. or zenith the direct readings. An inspection of the readings for Polaris shows that the measures are consistent.L. and /. will be given by forming the mean of the circle readings obtained in accordance with the above programs. the combination of the data for the calculation of the quotients will depend upon the has been used the method followed in making the settings. and is easily derived in any special case. and should always be applied immediately after the completion of the set in order that the measures may be repeated if necessary.

2 i-4 20 20 21 37 4i 59 38 i 20 21 59 38 I L R 43 91139"' 1.4 22 22 R ^ _ 6H 2ii9-5 For Alcyone the close agreement of the values for the rate of change in altitude per minute of time given in the last column is evidence of the consistency of the measures. The quantities in the fifth line are the means. must be applied. A 40' Ver. which may be obtained from Table J. for the determination of the altitude of the sun. The measures were all direct and were made by projecting the image of the sun on a card. Example 32. 39 A 26' Ver. 8 R R L L m 2i!4 1. The transits were observed over the middle horizontal thread. Thursday P. page 20. The following observations were made with a Berger engineer's transit on 1908. To correction for refraction. 39 B 26' Clrcle Watch 9>>3s Ver. the telescope being shifted after each transit. October 15.80 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY POLARIS Vertical Circle ALCYONE Vertical Circle Watch 19" Ver.. B 20 40' Clrcle Rate 33 25 26 33 34 39 26 33 36 50 36 ii 8" 35-1 1- 34 29'. M. The timepiece was the Fauth sidereal clock of the Laws Observatory. Fauth . The angles are the apparent altitudes obtain the true altitudes a corresponding to the watch times immediately preceding.

and 31:4 at 9" 54 P. Recorder W. ALTITUDE OF POLARIS AND AZIMUTH OF MARK No.. Its value will correspond mean of the times. If more precision is desired than can be obtained from a single set.L. to the Example 33.I. each of which should be reduced separately. the circle should be shifted between the sets. 5606 h 38*7 at 7 59 P. mark C. R for those Both verniers of the horizontal circle should be read for each setting.M. Jrw = Object & Buff Engineer's Transit No. C.HORIZONTAL ANGLES DIRECT OBSERVATIONS setting on mark \ on star on star setting on mark i 1 / 81 1 2 settings 2 settings I DIRECT OBSERVATIONS i DIRECT AND REFLECTED OBSERVATIONS setting on setting on setting I 3 3 i i setting on mark setting on mark settings on star settings on star setting on mark setting on mark C.M. C.R. Thursday P. 13. setting on mark C. setting setting reflected / on star. direct J setting on mark C. reflected \ on star. C. the time should be noted in addition.R. 1908. star. 2 2 M. mark C. Mark . several sets may be observed. and made on the star. Station No. amount of the shift between the successive sets should be 36o/.R. The following is the record of a simultaneous determination of the altitude of Polaris and the difference in azimuth of Polaris and a mark.. Buff Observer Sh. setting on star.L. To reduce the influence of graduation error.. the horizontal If the number of sets is n. Oct. C. on direct 1 _. C.R.I.L. The required difference of azimuth will be the difference between the means of the readings on the mark and on the star.R.

although these may be eliminated in part by combining series measured in opposite directions. and determines the value of z. but. the precision of the result given by (120) will be considerably greater than that of the mean of n separate measurements of the angle D. But no matter what the magnitude of i may be. For instruments such as the engineer's transit. Not only is the observer thus spared considerable labor. With the engineer's transit. that part of the resultant error of observation arising from the intermediate settings is due solely to the imperfect setting of the cross threads on the object. in which the uncertainty accompanying the reading of the angle is large as compared with that of the pointing on the object. If the turning from A to B is repeated n times. it may be eliminated forming the mean of direct and reflected readings made in the same the by position . the errors which necessarily would affect the readings do not enter into the result. and the observing program must be arranged to eliminate this along with the other instrumental errors. however. For any given setting the deviation of the axis from parallel- are small systematic errors upon whether the initial setting ism. the method of repetitions is not to be recommended. the inclination of the upper axis to the vertical. and hence affords an unusual opportunity for small variations in position to affect the precision of the measures. the method of repetitions may be used with advantage. as is the case with the modern theodolite provided with read- ing microscopes. any non-parallelism of the vertical axes will affect the readings. for For different settings i will be different. i. rotation of the instrument on the lower motion causes the upper axis to describe a cone whose apex angle is 2p and whose axis is inclined to the true vertical by i'. i'. what is of more importance./. is made on A or on B. it is not certain that the compensation is of the completeness requisite for observations of the highest precision. within certain limits easily including all values arising in practice.82 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY increase the reading by the angle D. we shall have D = ^=A.. Consequently. Although there is even here a theoretical advantage. Moreover. Since rotation takes place on both the upper and the lower motions. it is offset by the fact that the peculiar observing program required for the application of the method presupposes the stability of the instrument for a relatively long interval.e. repectively. The method circle is (I20) of repetitions derives its advantage from the fact that the not read for the intermediate settings on A and B. while that from B back to A will produce no change since during this rotation the vernier remains clamped to the circle. for a setting in question. unites with the inclination of the lower axes to the true vertical. and R. and. But for instruments in which the accuracy of the readings is comparable with that of the pointings. each of which requires two readings of the circle. experience has shown that there dependent upon the direction of measurement. the difference between the circle readings for the final setting on B and the initial setting on A will be nD. and if the initial and final readings be R.

Read the horizontal circle for last setting on B. The mean difference of of the values of D calculated from the four series is the required azimuth A and B. will be near the horizon. and to neutralize the systematic error dependent upon the direction of measurement. it is only necessary that n be the integer most nearly equaling k 36o/Z>. or any multiple of 360. Read the horizontal circle for last setting on A'. In order that this may be the case. approximately at as that for the last setting on />'. least. ^ C. The first It is also easily seen that.R. if after any arbitrary number of settings the instrument be reversed about the loiver motion and the series repeated in the .R. provided that i is 83 and magnitude for on pages 66 and 67 whose both settings. The circle Repeat for C. (84). but their sum will be zero if the values of / are uniformly distributed throughout 360. reading for the first setting on B' must be the same. c. /cot -f- p cos /cot 2 -f- c cosec 2 . Were i' zero. Uusually one of the objects.L. equation (82) shows that each setting will be affected by an error of the form . be made under these circumstances.L. ' denote the reflected images of A and B.R. respectively: Level on the lower motion. say A. ( Reflected <. such that the vernier readings for the corresponding settings in the two series are approximately the same.R. This follows from the discussion result is expressed by equation (88). approximately at least. in which case A must then be substituted for reflected settings on A' will be impossible. the instrumental errors i' and /will be eliminated. i would constantly be equal to/. Turn from A to B on the upper motion times. Equations (82). The error due to i will not be eliminated from these A' in the settings.METHOD OF REPETITIONS of the instrument. reflected. where the k is any integer. Equation (88) shows that j. and last terms of this expression will have the same values for all on the same object.L. in practice usually I or 2. When the artificial horizon is not used the program must be modified. the entire process must be repeated C. owing to the presence of the factor cot2 it may be disregarded. (Set Direct -j on A and read the horizontal circle. although the direction of the deflection would change with a rotation of the instrument on the lower motion.. and (86) show that they may pointings be eliminated by combining with a similar series made C. above program. To remove the influence of the collimation. will also be eliminated. The values of the second term will be different for each setting owing to the change in I. direct. If a series of n repetitions C. if after a series of n repetitions observed C. n further repetitions be made C. the direct and reflected series should be measured in opposite direcWe thus have the following observing program. in which A' and tions. Hence. Set on B' and read the horizontal circle. I Turn from B' to A' on the upper motion times. but. the deviation of the upper vertical axis from perthe same in direction pendicularity with the horizontal axis.

L. Set on A Turn from A to Read horizontal Set on and read horizontal circle. Level on the lower motion.. provided the observing program be not too long. is zero. not the case. whether the settings are distributed through 360 the obserprovided only that the instrumental errors remain constant during vations. C. and the errors will be oppoof the two series is formed. is a star. approximately on B.L. Reverse on lower motion and relevel.R. the in direction. and C. \ Turn from B to Read horizontal A on upper motion times. provided that the for corresponding settings C.L. (See page 70. The maximum number. If the instrument is provided with a striding level. change the direction off by 180.R. which it produces may be eliminated from the mean of two series.84 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT sum of the errors involving/ will be zero. and the errors for the two positions will neutralize and error each other when the mean is formed.L. one C. and one C.R.R. When one of the objects. the mean say B. the influence of i\ p. of repetithis may unduly prolong D which can be made advantageously depends upon the stability of the instrument and must be determined by experience. pletely eliminated.) This will the values of /' for C.R. or a multiple of 360. each setting will be affected by an additional error of the this is form i' cos/' cot 2 in which /' is constant so long as i' remains unchanged If i' be the result of a non-adjustment of the plate bubbles. I > C. or apcircle readings The reversal of the instrument on the lower motion changes proximately so. B on upper motion circle for last setting ^ times.R. The site in sign and will cancel when the mean in the preceding reversal also eliminates the influence of j and c as indicated the direction settings C. and c will be comor not. C. The above assumes .L. paragraph. z'. Practically. by relevelling after reversal. will differ by 180. 180. The must be noted. are the same. C. at least approximately. The circle reading for the first arrangement the instrumental errors i'. should be the same. The mean of the values of D calculated from the two series is the required azimuth difference of A and B. Consequently.p. If that the deflection of the lower axis. least. B and read horizontal circle.j. D .L. the time of each setting on B calculated value of will then correspond sensibly to of the times. circle for last setting on A. will therefore differ by 180. but when the observations. it is desirable that the value of n should be such that nD With this is small equals 360. The consideration of these results leads to the following arrangement of the observing program. A and B respectively. The values of / for corresponding of the reverse order. on B. and / may be taken into account by measuring the inclination of the horizontal tions axis for each setting and applying a correction to and 3 of the form cotz in which b denotes the sum of all the observed inclinations for settings on l R R . \ C. the deflection/ by and C. as that for the last setting at setting on B.

. relevelled. On 1909. April 9. although the means for the set are also given. the following observations of the difference in azimuth of Polaris and a The of repetitions with a Buff & Buff engineer's m 36". the instrument was reversed on the lower motion.THE SEXTANT Example transit. recorded times are those of a Fauth sidereal clock whose error was mark were made by the method +6 After four repetitions C. and the series repeated in the reverse order.. 85 34. Since the azimuth difference is approximately 174. 720 must be added to the readings on the star before combining them with those on the mark. The results for the two halves are derived separately.R.

the index arm. two small mirrors perpendicular to the plane of the arc. whose line of sight is parallel to the frame. simultaneously with the first. flat. The two mirrors and the telescope are provided with adjusting screws. respectively. Only that half of the horizon glass adjacent to the frame is silvered. pivoted at the center of the arc and provided with a . two images This being the case. 49. The position of the index glass correof the arm and the attached mirror. the tele- scope may be moved perpendicularly back and forth with respect to the frame thus permitting an equalization of the intensity of the direct and reflected images by varying the ratio of the reflected and transmitted light that enters the telescope.86 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY and to-day the sextant is the only instrument which practice of navigation. directly. a movable index arm. its compactness and lightness. which may be used to bring them accurately into the positions presupposed by the theory of the instrument. and a small telescope. The telescope. be read from the graduated arc by means of a sponding to any setting may The second mirror. and then from the silvered portion of the latter. and with it a distant object may be seen through the unsilvered portion. / and H. the relative inclibe one-half the angular distance the objects. and. The principle of the sextant In Fig. is directed toward the horizon glass. usual form of the instrument the maximum angle that can be measured is therefore about 140. In addition. In addition. usually 70 in length. nation of the mirrors as shown below. is firmly attached to the vernier. enter the telescope parallel to the rays that pass from the first object through the unsilvered portion of the horizon glass. the horizon glass. The use of the instrument is simplified by graduating the arc so that the vernier reading is twice the inclination of the will in be seen coincidence. and hence. since the construction is such that the inclination separating may be read from the graduated arc. the a certain definite position If ing the objects. Adjustable shade glasses adapt the instrument for observations on the sun. metal frame supporting a graduated arc. 10 let 0V represent the graduated arc. a reflected image of the second object may be seen in the field of the telescope. the angular distance of the objects. and IV. by giving the index arm depending upon the angular distance separatthe position of the arm is such that the rays of the second object reflected by the index glass to the horizon glass. the index glass. The index arm of the pivoted at the center of the arc and has rigidly attached to it one whose reflecting surface contains the rotation axis mirrors. the index glass and the horizon glass. can advantageously be employed in the observations necessary for the determination of a ship's position. and the precision of the results that may be obtained with it render it one of the most convenient and valuable instruments at our command. the eye of the observer. When the frame is brought into coincidence with the plane determined by the object. and any other object. is frame of the sextant in a manner such that when the vernier reads zero the two mirrors are parallel. it becomes possible to find the angular distance between the objects. will With the mirrors. The modern sextant consists of a light.

whence A = 20y. is graduated so that the reading is twice the angle subtended angular distance between the two objects is given directly by the scale. among others. a = b+ Y A. But since the arc (121) by OF the 50. But M. falling on / in the figure is When V coincides H are reflected to H and thence in the direction HE. must be fulfilled by the perfectly adjusted sextant. are seen in tion indicated coincidence.THE SEXTANT vernier at V. The posisuch that the two objects 5. the mirrors are parallel. pass through the unsilvered portion of and enter the telescope in the direction HE. 87 with 0. In the triangle IHE. 2a 2i> 2 the triangle IHN a = b + M. measures their and is equal to the angle subtended by the arc 0V. The two beams therefore enter the telescope parallel. for the rays from 5. . It is to H distance A HN SJH whence But in = + A. separating the objects. and S. respectively. inclination. The following conditions. /<Vand and by the fundamental laws of reflection they bisect the angles and IHE. being the angle between the normals to the mirrors. Therefore. while those from S. is one-half the angular be shown that the inclination of / to are the normals to the mirrors. Conditions fulfilled by the instrument.

Index glass. 5. The center of rotation of the index arm must coincide with the center of the graduated arc. the other. The index glass must be perpendicular to the plane of the arc. Since the positions of the mirrors and the telescope are liable to derangement. the horizon glass is not perpendicular to the plane of the arc. No. and noting whether the arc and its reflected image lie in the same place. If then the eye be placed close to the mirror. manufacturer. unscrew the telescope and stand it on the arc just in front of the surface of the index glass produced. and must be adjusted until the direct and reflected images of the same object can be made accurately coincident. image as the index arm is The reflected image should pass through the moved back and forth by the slow motion. The parallelism of the telescope to the frame may be tested by bringing the images of two objects about 120 apart into coincidence at the edge of the field nearest the frame. The horizon glass must be perpendicular to the plane of the arc. The adjustment of the horizon glass may be by directing the telescope toward a distant. To test the perpendicularity of the index glass. and in such cases the adjustment had best be entrusted to an instrument maker. from the measures the influence of any residual errors in the adjustments. If not. The telescope. No. correction must be made by the screws at the base of the mirror. Adjustments of the sextant. Conditions Nos. i. If the adjustment imperfect. The vernier must read zero when the mirrors are parallel. Although elimination is impossible. The horizon glass. without changing . the observer will see the reflected image of the upright telescope alongside the telescope itself.88 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT 1. 3. Then. 4 and 5. preferably a star. By carefully moving the index arm. direct If it does not. at least. 2. 5 must be satisfied as perfectly as possible by the of the observer. and bringing the index arm near the zero of the scale. sharply defined object. the position of the mirror must be changed until such is the case. 1-4 are within the control No. No. the telescope and its image may be brought nearly into coincidence. it should be remarked that the errors arising in connection with Nos. 51. 4. The test can also be made by looking into the index glass as before. 3. Two images of the object will then be seen in the field of view one formed by the tested rays transmitted by the horizon glass. 2. and applied as corrections to the readings obtained with the instrument. The axis of the telescope must be parallel to the plane of the arc. If the two are parallel. The telescope should be rotated about its axis in order to be sure that is it is perpendicular to the plane of the arc. Some instruments are not provided with the necessary screws. methods must be available for adjusting the instrument as perfectly as This is the more important inasmuch as it is impossible to eliminate possible. may be determined by the methods given in Sections 52 and 53. place the sextant in a horizontal position. by those reflected into the telescope by the mirrors. the index glass is in adjustment.

set the index at o. and read the vernier. on account of their size. the reflected being above the direct. Then make an equal for Let R. The mean of R. we determine the zero reading as follows: Make the two images externally tangent. but consider the last degree graduation preceding the zero of the and read in the direction of increasing graduations. + *. and R. will then be the value of the zero reading. is the quantity which must be added algebraically to the scale readings to obtain the true reading. 7 (124) (125) =360-^ (/?. It can be shown that the errors affecting the readings as a result of an imperfect adjustment of the index glass. and we shall have number of settings the mean of the corres- 7=o -#(*. If the zero of the vernier falls to the right of the zero of the scale. (122) a. We therefore have 7=0 7=360 ^. If not. and the telescope are of the order of the squares of the residual errors of adjustment. . an index error will be introduced into the angles read from the scale. The index correction. If care be exercised in making the adjustments. /. When observations are to be made on the sun. Since it is impossible. the resulting errors will be negligible as compared with the uncertainty in the readings arising from other sources. a star if possible. Determination of the index correction. Call ponding readings R. Index adjustment. the index correction should be determined from measures on this object. represent tangency with the reflected image below.INDEX CORRECTION 89 If they remain the reading. in coincidence. shift the images to the opposite side of the field. The zero reading is what the instrument actually reads when it should read zero. do not use negative scale as 359. to bring the solar images accurately into coincidence. bring the direct and reflected images of the same distant object The corresinto the coincidence as in the adjustment of the horizon glass. by the amount of the index error. If the fourth condition is not fulfilled. R (123) The latter expression is to be used for the determination of 7 when the zero of the vernier falls to the right of that of the scale for coincidence of the direct and reflected images of the same object. If not. to disregard this adjustment and correct the readings glass. R Make a series of zero 52. varied by means of the adjusting screws of the supporting collar until the test is satisfactory.. No.). readings. the mean of a series of such readings. To test the adjustment. the ponding scale reading is called the zero reading adjustment is correct. sharply defined object. 4. its position must be the telescope is in adjustment. = . the horizon glass. however.+*. readings on a distant. R If is zero. and bring the images into coincidence by means of the proper adjusting screws attached to the horizon It is better.).

can then be derived. the eccentricity angular corrections for those graduations of the scale which coincide with vernier and R. The mean result for each angle. simple method is to measure with a good theodolite the angles between a series of distant objects. with fifth the usual form of the instrument there is but a single vernier. where E. R. and E and E. the sun's semia distance of diameter. freed from index correction. from which the value of s for any other reading. the results may be plotted as From the plot a ordinates with the corresponding values of R' as abscissas. respectively. Should the value for the reduction of observations on the sun (see Section 55). we have four semi-diameters in shifting to the brilliancy of the solar image. I. Any defect condition introduces an eccentricity error into the readings. in order that the influence of irradiation may be eliminated.. The readings of the graduations for the readings R R coinciding graduations when the vernier reads R a and R may R ' R'. this cannot be eliminated. for if the index correction changes by any considerable amount. the sextant reading. It should be noted that the usefulness of the table depends upon / remaining sensibly constant. Care should be taken always to enter the table with the R' corresponding to the given R as argument. Each sextant must be investigated specially for the determination of the eccentricity errors affecting the readings for different parts of the scale. (127) may be written and E is the correction which be denoted by must be applied to e=A Having determined e (R + f). its diameter appears larger of than it really is a phenomenon known as irradiation. gives by (71) an equation of. ' The chief difficulty in investigating the eccentricity of a sextant consists securing a suitable series of known angles. Determination of eccentricity corrections. the index correction. Since the center of the reflected image moves over from the first position to the second. (128) dis- from (128) for a considerable number of angles tributed as uniformly as possible over the scale. These may be found by measuring a series of known angles of different magnitudes.from equation (126) should be used rather than that derived from the Ephemeris. Since. in the 53.90 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The readings thus obtained will also give the value of 5. table may be constructed giving the values of s for equidistant values of R'. the form A=R + f+E. in order to obtain the true value of the angle. A. S be required Owing the value calculated . (127) two objects whose is the sextant reading for coincidence of the distance is A. Denoting its value by e. Ra may change sufficiently to render the tabular values of e no longer applicable. nearly in A . respectively.

will be the numerical value of the correction in minutes of arc. Some practice is required in order to be able to bring the object and its mercury image into . which causes the reflected image to oscillate along a circular arc in the The index is to be set so that the arc is tangent to the image of the The corresponding reading corrected for index correction. The index correction should be determined both before and after each series of settings. The correction for dip is field. 54. dip of horizon. the instrument should be handled with great care. carefully be noted in using the sextant: The image of a star should be a sharply defined point. select those which will make the direct and reflected images of the same color.MEASUREMENT OF ALTITUDES in the horizon. To obtain the true reading the plane of the arc must be vertical. If the use of the mirror shade glasses cannot be avoided. care 91 being taken to tilt the instrument so that in turning from one object to the next no rotation about the horizontal axis is necessary. and always test them before beginning observations. use. horizon. the visible horizon lies below the astronomical horizon. for a slight shock may disturb 'the adjustment of the mirrors and change the value of the index correction. it finds its widest application in practical astronomy in the determination of the altitude of a celestial body. shade glasses attached to the eyepiece rather than those in front of the mirrors. For observations on land the artificial horizon must be used. expressed in feet. Although the sextant may be used for the measurement of angles lying in any plane. Practically. it also should be reversed at the middle of the program. At body sea the observations are into contact with the made by bringing the reflected image of the image of the distant horizon seen directly through the unsilvered portion of the horizon glass. Make the adjustments in the order in which they are given above. since. If a roof is used to protect the surface of the mercury from wind. Precepts for the use of the sextant. and refraction is the required altitude. The measurement of the angular distance between the object and its mercury image gives the value of the double altitude of the object. The measurement of altitudes. and reverse them through 180 at the middle of the observing program to eliminate the effect of any non-parallelism of their surfaces. In all cases make the direct and reflected images of the same intensity by regulating the distance of the telescope from the frame. that of the sun must show the limb clearly defined and free from all blurring. Finally. and reduce the intensity of the images as much as is consistent with clear definition. owing to the elevation of the observer. and the correction for eccentricity may be disregarded as relatively unimportant. necessary. For solar observations. 55. the matter is accomplished by rotating the instrument back and forth slightly about the axis of the telescope. The following points should Focus the telescope accurately. Make all coincidences and contacts in the center of the field. whenever possible. The observations are not susceptible of high precision. The square root of the altitude of the observer above the level of the sea.

reflected image will appear in the field. The consistency of the measures should always be tested. The time and the reading are noted as before and the process is repeated until a sufficient number of measures has been secured. The varying lowered. the plane of the arc being held vertical. reflection can be seen. is best determined by giving the instrument a slight oscillatory coincidence motion about the axis of the telescope and noting the time when the reflected image in its motion back and forth across the field passes through the direct index is set so that the become coincident the time image. as in the case of the engineer's transit (see page 79) by calculating the rate of change of the readings per minute of time. If R denote the mean of the vernier readings. the mercury image. the time and the vernier reading being It is not necessary to use the method described above for the images into the field for any of the settings but the first. a series of such settings in quick succession. The ing the index near zero the Stand in a position such then turned slowly downward toward the mercury. When they The instant of is noted and the vernier read. Measures for altitude may also be made by setting the zero of the vernier on one of the scale divisions so that the images are near each other accurately and approaching a coincidence. By bringcenter of the horizon. reflected image and if the observer is careful to stand so that the the sextant is kept vertical. the index be left clamped and the telescope be directed toward noted for each. images are approaching and clamped. been sufficiently The altitude of the object will cause them to change their relative positions. the index the same time at a rate such that the being moved forward along the arc at If the plane of of the object remains constantly in the field. If it is not at once seen. a slight rotation about the axis of the telescope will bring it into view. the apparent double altitude of the object will be given by (129) . If however. care must be coincidence quickly and accurately. for if. are really those of the object and its reflectaken that the images coinciding tion in the mercury. unless too long an interval has elapsed. its image seen directly through the unsilvered telescope is mercury will come into the field when the telescope has portion of the horizon glass Both images should then be visible. The following is the simplest method of procedure: that the mercury image is clearly visible in the and direct the telescope toward the object. The index is then moved 20' so that the images will again be approaching coincidence. bringing after reading.92 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY In case the object is a star. the constancy of the time intervals between the successive settings will be a sufficient test. the observations have been made by noting the times of coincidence for equidistant readings of the vernier. The time of coincidence and the vernier reading are noted. the reflected image will also be in the field. To should be taken obtain an accurate value of the altitude.

If for any reason this cannot be done. made On 1909.MEA S UREMENT OF AL TITUDES in 93 which /is the index correction. We shall then have for solar observations jp_i_ = Rd /. 2' (133) (134) The I. JLowersign. The of the observed times is found from where the refraction.' wa ^~ S+I+e i nf c / L . the correction for semidiameter. ' by equation (3). 5= the semidiameter of the sun calculated by equation a (126). and e true altitude corresponding to the mean the correction for eccentricity. =+6 ra 37'. instead. desired instead of the altitude. solar parallax. To eliminate the influence of semidiameter. = + r /. but. ' f Upper sign. altitude decreasing. (131) For measures on the sun coincidences are not observed. zenith distance = 90 z' h\ (130) and z from z + r. The true altitude and zenith distance are then given by A 2 = A' r+p. or if more accurate results are required. = number of settings for images receding. may be obtained from columns four and eight of Table For approximate results r / may be taken from the fifth page and tenth columns of this same table. The error of J0 F the timepiece was tion of latitude. April 10. The observations will be reduced later for the determina- . n = total number of settings. page If the 20. is r./. altitude increasing } "1 in which h' is the apparent altitude of the sun's center corresponding to the mean of the observed times. page we calculate z' from 18. 20. the following sextant observations of the altitude of at the Laws Observatory near the time of meridian transit. Example the sun were 85. a correction for semidiameter must be applied. Let instants nr = number of settings for images approaching. may be derived from Table I. the when the images are externally tangent. the same number of contacts should be observed for both images approaching and images receding. and the term involving S.

94 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Readings on Sun .

will it is to be noted that <p depend upon the errors affecting Star positions are so accurately known. p. (136) Assuming now that the differentials of z and represent the errors in these quantities. Even with this limitation there will be considerable variety in the procedure depending upon the position of the star and the circumstances of the observations. however. Writing dt=dO and solving dip = sec Adz tan A cos ipdd. that the <?. s\nzdz = sin dcosip (32) dip cos 8 sin i <p cos tdip cos d cos ip sin tdt. We thus find (Num.CHAPTER V THE DETERMINATION OF LATITUDE 56. The preceding chapter indicates the methods that be employed for the measurement of the zenith distance. which will occur as the when A is or 180. d. t=0 and ip being considered variable. z. Since these quantities increase azimuth deviates from o or 180. It is the purpose of the present chapter to determine the most advantageous method of using the fundamental equation and to develop the formulas necessary for the practical solution of the problem. Comp. the object observed for the determination of latitude should be as near the meridian as possible. and we need concern ourselves only with those affecting the It is latter two quantities. the resultant error in if will be given by (136). 6. particularly important to know the influence of an error in the time. The relation connecting small variations in z and d with changes in if is found by differentiating (31). and we now proceed to the consideration of the following five cases in which the 95 given data are. On page 34 it was shown that if the zenith distance or altitude of a star of known means right ascension and declination be measured at a time. . In order that this may be a minimum. for since this quantity is assumed to be known. sec A and tan A must have their minimum absolute values. it is desirable to be able to specify liow accurately it must be given in order to obtain a definite degree of precision in the latitude. respectively. (135) which by means of and dz (33) reduces to dip -f sin = cos A for dip A cos <p dt. 2. Methods. and errors in a and 8 are insignificant as compared with those occurring in z and the resultant error of observation in . u. may To establish a criterion for the use of equation (31). the latitude of the place of observation can be determined by known of equation (31).) .

Theory. The clock time of obervation is then given by pp. or (139) will then give the required value of the latitude. Procedure. . T. the sidereal time of transit must be converted into the corresponding respectively. I. (139) For the instant of observation we have by (35) 58. If Ad be the error of the timepiece. an observation was made at the Laws Observatory with a sextant for the determination of the latitude by a meridian altitude of the sun. series of zenith distances when the object is near the meridian. =a Jd. The The 3. mean time. The reading on the upper limb at the calculated time of transit was 118 29' 10". it is be derived geometrically by means of Fig. T'=TAT. For = 180 d s. the observer will bring the image to the intersection of the threads. difference of the meridian zenith distances of two stars. the clock time of transit will be O' = a. or <p = dev (138) Equation (138) whence zenith. then gives the altitude as before. 24 seen that the upper sign must be used for objects south of the may also and the lower. (137) whence d. (141) In case the error of the timepiece is uncertain. properly corrected. 4. MERIDIAN ZENITH DISTANCE is on the meridian 57. The The zenith distance of an object at any hour angle. If a mean timepiece is used. 49 and 39. 5. On 1909. along with 8. or the direct and reflected images into coincidence if the sextant is used. April 10.. 4. is of observation. for objects between the zenith and the lower culmination the fundamental relation becomes ^ pole. The hour angle of an object this case equation (31) reduces to cos za zero. This instant marks the time of meridian passage. The to be interpolated from the Ephemeris for the instant true zenith distance is then to be determined by some one of the methods of Section 45 or Equation (138) 55 for the clock time 6'. For = cos za <f> (if d). altitude of Polaris at any hour angle. A zenith distance of an object when on the meridian. p. The error of the clock. by equations (62) and (41). The corresponding reading. (140) where a. a little before the time of transit and follow with the slow motion until it becomes necessary to reverse the direction in which the tangent screw is turned in order to keep the image on the thread.96 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 1. Example 36. 2.

so far as precision is concerned. where the subscripts indicate the position of the stars with respect to the zenith. From equation <f (f (138) = $s + = #N *K. Sun's a at Col. with the engineer's transit small differences of . the index correction and the eccentricity will be elimsextant. N. therefore. + *) + in y*(zi *') + # (r t rN ). A. ' (142) which the true zenith distances have been replaced by ZK rt rK and z* The declinations are given by the Ephemeris. A. By limiting the application of the equation to those cases in which the zenith distances are nearly equal. DIFFERENCE OF MERIDIAN ZENITH DISTANCES TALCOTT'S METHOD we have 2s . the latitude can be + + . and the semidiameter to be used are those of Ex. 35. The calculation of the clock time of transit is in the left hand column. 18' Gr. A. Theory. is Finally. instrumental errors affecting the two observations equally will be eliminated. is the fact that the errors of observation which would affect these instrumental corrections.TALCOTT'S METHOD 97 the index correction. were they determined. In the case of measures with the for example. makes it possible to introduce other and more precise measurement than those which depend upon the use of a grad- circle. do not enter into the result. a considerable increase in precision will be obtained as compared with that resulting from meridian zenith distances. 59. for the difference of in the determination of the total refraction. of the refractions is readily calculated. calculated by (142). and the difference respectively. T. For example. similar condition exists in the case of the refrac- A two refractions corresponding to nearly equal zenith distances can be calculated with a higher degree of precision than is possible tion. One-half the sum of these two equations gives <P=# (*. Since the measures are differential. inated and need not. be determined. N. But what is of more importance. J0 r = 6h 9"= 14 = +6 i = 6*155 ft 42 37 5 / e 0'=i The true value of the latitude known to be 38 56' 52" 1 8 ih' //' = -f = Unknown = 118 29 ii = 59 14 36 i =118 29' 10" z' i == 30 45 15 24 /= 5 = * = 3' 8 =+7 ^ = 38 30 56 29 19 '5 54 56 2. If therefore the difference between the apparent zenith distances of two stars be measured. of Col. the fact that the quantity to be observed methods of uated 7 small. The reduction of the observation for the determination of the latitude is in the second column.

Examples Since the correction for refraction will always be small. an instrument of the altazimuth type fitted with an accurately constructed micrometer eyepiece and a very sensitive altitude level. which expresses the rate of change of r per i of change in z'. the correction for refraction in seconds of arc becomes this %( r in ')"=&(%' z')C (143) The which the difference of the zenith distances must be expressed in degrees. . o i . Copenhagen and was given extensive practical application in the work of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey about a century later by Captain Talcott. It reaches its highest precision when used in connection with the zenith telescope.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMr zenith distance may be measured more discussion was accurately with the gradienter screw than with the vertical circle. Denoting quantity by C. first proposed by Horrebow. from which circumstance it is commonly known as Talcott's method. the director about the middle of the eighteenth century. we may assume tions should be screw will be revealed. The level enables the observer to give the line of sight the same inclination to the vertical during both observations.s sin . the angular value of one revolution of the gradienter screw should first be determined by measuring a small angle whose value is known. value of C may be taken from Table V with the mean zenith distance of the two stars as argument. If the method is to be used in connection with the engineer's transit. while the micrometer affords a very precise determination The method under of the Observatory of of the required difference in zenith distance of the two stars. TABLE *' V . From (4) we find dr j~ 00 = 57 sec'. The observa- made and reduced in a way such that any irregularity in the To this end a process analogous to that used in 26 and 29 may be employed.

Theory. If o and e (o. its declination In case the northern star in is ob- (142) must be replaced by 3..) If the engineer's transit is employed. <J S 180 . CIKCUMMERIDIAN ALTITUDES The zenith distance to be used in equations (138) and (139) when on the meridian. the correction to be added algebraically to the result given by (146) will be (146). an error will be introduced into the result. bring the second star to the intersection of the threads at the instant of transit by means of the screw. the value of C being derived from Table V. measure the double altitudes of the two stars at the Let Rs and RM be the corresponding sextant readings.CIRCUMMERIDIAN ALTITUDES 99 and calculate the clock time of meridian transit by (140) or (141). s') = G(m. respectively. Yi(z'.' *. instants of transit. (146) in which the upper sign is to be used when the screw readings increase with should be given to the altitude level. Read the gradienter screw. the Ephemeris for the instant of observation. The bubble readings should be taken as near the times of transit as possible. The vertical circle should be firmly clamped when the setting on the first star is made. relevel. it will be better to omit the levelling after reversal and apply a correction to the result given increasing zenith distance. The change in the zenith distance during an interval immediately preceding or following the instant of transit is small and its value is easily and . special attention by bubble.-*. In levelling. /). it is desirable for the sake of precision to modify the method described tinder No. is that of the object plication of the settings. The declinations are to be taken from the list of apparent places in D served at lower culmination. If the level is a sensitive one. If a sextant is used. and be the readings of the object and eye ends of the if readings increasing toward the north be recorded as positive while those increasing toward the south are entered as negative. Unless the bubble has the same position for both observations.+e. and note the reading as before. I so as to permit a multi61. denoted by m s and m a and if G be the value of one-half a revolution of the screw. and must not be disturbed thereafter If the two screw readings be until the second star has been observed. we shall have .)=#(*..+ in e n )D. Since only a single determination of this quantity can be made at any given transit. reverse. The second term of (142) will then be given by (145) #(*. The last term of (142) is given by (143). level carefully and bring the star culminating first to the intersection of'the threads at the instant of its transit.+o. (147) is one-fourth the which angular value of one division of the level.

m = 2sin'%t. (153) reduction to the meridian. (152) we have to the same degree of approximation Z Substituting into (152). Z A = cos in <p cos d cosec z . # the meridian value.100 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The meridian is accurately calculated. by observing when the object A It is of altitude. 055) . course immaterial whether the quantity measured be zenith distance or The method is commonly knqwn as that of circummeridian altitudes. Since the observations may be arranged so that the error in (154) will be insensible. (149) we find cos (za Z) =cos sa 2 cos ip cos 8 sin* Yz t. (149). (151) and neglecting terms Z 3 we find Z= Squaring. the expression for the latitude <p = 8 z^Am n. (154) Z will not exceed 15' or 20'. Let z be the observed value of the coordinate. t t. Z= Am+n. (150) To express Z explicitly we may sion by Taylor's theorem. Am+^Z'cots. Since Introducing at the same time replace the left member of (150) by its expanis small the convergence will be rapid. and (154). such measures reduced to the meridian gives a precise value of z which can then be substituted into (138) or (139) for the determination of the latitude. zenith distance may therefore be found near the meridian and applying to the measured value of the coordinate the amount of the change during the interval series of separating the instant of observation from that of culmination. Combining equations becomes (138). of the formulae reduction to the meridian as follows: Equation 2 cos (31) may be written in the form cos = cos ((f> 8) y cos d sin' ^ /. to be used for the calculation of the is The development. and writing 3 = A'm*. n=y nf=2s\n*y 2 B=A*cots we have finally for the Q.. and We then have Zthe z+Z=z Substituting into (148) a. (148) reduction to the meridian.

for those culminating between the zenith and the pole. TABLE VI t TABLE VII . A observed nearest the time of transit. The resulting value of the reduction to the meridian substituted i8o + into (139) gives <p = 180 3 z Am Bn. / in (31) must be replaced /.C1RCUMMERIDIAN ALTITUDES in 101 by which the upper sign is to be used for southern stars. in which the last terms are to be calculated by For observations with (151) and (153). express the solution of the problem. Since and The factors they depend only upon the hour angle. Tables VI and VII may be used for all ordinary observations with m . It will be noted further that A and B are constant for any given series of observations and need be calculated but once. the transit or sextant. their values may be tabulated with t as argument. are different for each setting. For an object observed near lower culmination. these coefficients may be obtained by (138) or (139) from the value of z less . on the other hand. (156) Equations (155) and (156). and the lower. the engineer's transit the term Bn will usually be insensible when the hour angle is m than 15'" or 20 the quantity It will be observed that A and B depend upon the latitude value of if sufficiently accurate for the calculation of to be determined.

The final result may also be obtained by applying the mean of all the . at least. 93. p. 96. 5th and 6th. rection found in Ex. and it is better to reduce the results the means of not more than two separately. however. is as ist follows: Example 37. gives no indication as to the consistency of the observations. values of and of Bn to the mean of all the zenith distances in accordance with equations (155) or (156). 35.102 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY zenith distance observed nearest the time of transit for za and for the determination of an approximate value of <p both of which are required for the commeans of Finally. The reduction of the circummeridian altitudes given To eliminate the semidiameter the means are formed for the and 2nd. or. The declination to be used is that corresponding to the instant (155) of observation. or (156). calculate the latitude for each observation by putation. in which Z s and ZN are to be calculated by (154). 36. and the yth and Sth observations. p. This method. 3rd and These results are in the first and sixth 4th. The index corlines of the calculation below. When this is done there will be given a series of derived from observations made near the meridian.i". In Ex. Am The method of circummeridian altitudes may advantageously be combined with that of Talcott. to reduce separately or three consecutive measures. the clock time of transit was found to be / (sidereal) t (solar) m . in Ex. values of % (z' s Each of these must be reduced to the meridian by adding to (142) the term O 2 y (Z s ZN ). The eccentricity corrections are unknown. is -j. 35 jh fjm js.

is readily accomplished by using the fundamental equation (31) in the form cos z = cos (<p A7 ).8034 50 30'. C. 31. Find the latitude by equations (158) -(161). t. at watch time 8 h 35 m n P.3150 9-6498 7. Having determined object.S.S. (157) Equation (157) is the last of equations (34). 64.) A sufficient number of decimal places must be employed to offset A7 is determined from its cosine. but care should be taken to observe as near the meridian as possible in order that errors in z and d may not appear multiplied in the result.o wsinA tan " 7 ' 296 50 5 A " 7 z' 30.0 larger o'.6 cosz cos(y> The calculated ^ <p A^) A^ than the true value by if Ant. (161) Equations (i58)-(i6i) are rigorous and apply to all values of the hour angle.2 i. (See Ex.) The error of the watch on C.8.LATITUDE FROM ZENITH DISTANCE 103 This formulae for circummeridian altitudes no longer give convergent results. On 1908.5 3i-3 ij 88 is 49.M.3 o. the fact that the angle <p Example 38. p.oooo 9-9999 9-8033 9. in (158) which is the true sidereal time of observation. 0351 89 a8'. the altitude of Polaris was found to be 39 2g'. 79. calculate the hour angle by the true and A7 being zenith distance of the t=0-a. A <p = (tp N) + N.T. Then determine n and A7 by fica\ n sin n cos A7 = cos d cos cos 2 N= sin d. 8 h 36 m 56" 21 i cos.T. .$ 38 57.i A 7 r sin A^ lo g 8. the auxiliaries defined by the first and second of this group. Procedure. Oct.i m 45*. (See Section 56. This together with the sign of cos(^ 7 A The latitude is then given by (159) determines the quadrant of <p .) Columbia a t t 13 14 cos* cos AT 27 10 19 46 4 3i'.9648 9-9999 a. 2. and tp N from (160) A7) must have the reference to the fourth of (34) shows that sin (^ A7) from same algebraic sign as cos A. was -).

Since cos N} is positive.) Replacing z and d in (31) by the altitude. A (tf 5. ft. with an error same time we may write ! = with errors which are still smaller.T. Since the latitude is by definition equal to the 65. -7z-cos/ + ^7r a 2 tan^sin /. thus obtaining H= -ncost + yztanyfr* Neglecting terms involving n3 . respectively. the required difference will is due the possibility of a simplification of equation (31). Comp. consequently.in (164) not exceeding o"3.104 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The C. The value of t shows that Polaris was east of the merand sin (y> idian at the time of the observation. respectively. (See Num. 14 and 16. sin tpH sin in (162). and expanding and solving for sins. pp. (165) H' = Tf cos and substituting H' into (165) we have 3 /. The polar always be a small angle. To this fact n'. we find sin h = cos n sin + sin <p TT cos ip cos /. IT. (166) by (163) . the problem may be solved by finding an in altitude of the pole and Polaris. Since at a maximum we may replace sin Hand At cos sins. it expression for the difference distance of Polaris is about i altitude of the north celestial pole.cos t -\- H (164) H= tan ^(cos// cos/r). y> ^V is in the fourth quadrant. H= Finally. whence cos IV) are negative. Theory.S. ALTITUDE OF POLARIS makes The peculiar location of Polaris with respect to the pole possible to simplify the fundamental latitude equation for use in connection with this object. a and J are from p. (162) shall If ffbe the difference in altitude of Polaris and the pole. the by //and TT. we have (163) <p=h Writing h + H. is converted into the corresponding Columbia by (41) and (58). 321 from the Ephemeris. H'). and the north polar distance.

(168) error in the latitude calculated from (167) due to the approximate of the equation will usually be less than 2" form the quantity to be The calculation of requires a knowledge of <p since the coefficient J^/r* is only about 0. (167) in which " K%x' tan tp sin*/.02. but. The table is based on the value it K TABLE VIII t K= tan a sin* t . i 1 i' o". a rough approxdetermined. The K imation for the latitude will answer. The values of may be derived from Table VIII with an approximate latitude and the hour angle as arguments.LATITUDE FROM POLARIS <p 105 =h K cos / + A!".

38 gives the formula of Section 64.02. Influence of an error in time. with 24" / as Ex. 595. Consequently. i h' 39 54'.7 -31-2 38 57-S 3953'-S 57-0 38 56.-9 * TTCOS. in which the upper sign refers to southern stars. We then find H is to be interpolated from Table IV. (173) Equations (172) and (173) may be obtained directly from (153) and (157) by differentiating with respect to t and introducing rf/ dO. i- 1 38 -9 13 16 logr cos ' 1. p. exactly with the result obtained by = ^ 38S7'. 323 34- than the true value by The application of equations (169) to the data of Ex. argument. = = 0. 9 jrw C. S.7562 calcu i ate d ^ <f o'.39 2h / 4 h i39 2577 H <f 3928'.02 sin tdO. 9 23 i -32 41 i * 70. all of the preceding methods but No. (170) becomes sin tdO. (172) For Polaris we have with sufficient approximation COS <? = 90 whence <p. 38 and 39. S 88 49'. Its value in both cases is h greater than I2 . which agrees Example 40. is (p We more closely The change produced by a small change d(f in is by (136) = A tanAcosydO. of Exs.8 may now examine 67. 38 24 h // p. Find the latitude by means of Table IV of the Ephemeris from the data is The hour angle to be calculated as before. sin in and we may write accuracy for the present purpose. 81. the influence of an error in the time upon the calculated latitude. be small.S. For circummeridian altitudes (171) reduces by (151) to d<p = A sin t dO. TV Find the latitude by equations (169) from the data of Ex. 9" 42 10" 33. 57.0 - 2 27 log ^ cosi 3s 57- ^*- 21 34 The 9 is larger I. T. the small terms = Bn and' AT being disregarded.8506 Columbia a * t 9-95 6 1. 4.106 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Example 39. (170) will For at most. a few degrees (170) with sufficient Substituting for sin A its value from (33). Ex. and writing z equal to the meridian zenith distance. place of tan A A in . . Ephemeris. 7T d<p= 0.

012 Ans. be very slight indeed. Polaris given How In Ex. p.4771 Example 42. and if t be near oh or I2 h it pole.5334 <fys='S" 2. What is the error in the latitude calculated meridian altitudes of Ex. i? By 073) the data in Ex. and that an error in the time has the least influence upon the calculated latitude for stars near the For Polaris the effect of dO is always small. This fact taken in connection with the simplicity of the reductions renders the last of the above methods the most useful of all the various processes that will be employed for the determination of latitude. ar) d accurately must the time be known in order that the altitude of may yield a value of the latitude uncertain by not more than o'. 105.INFLUENCE OF ERROR IN TIME 107 Equations (170) -(173) may be used for the calculation of dtp when dO is known. The greatest precision. p.33=33" 0. is attained only by the method of a Talcott when used in connection with the zenith telescope. 81. incorrect by 20"? 37. from the first of the circump 101. 39. 37 i do = Kf = 300" log^l sin/ log 300 = 7>"39 = 54'45" 0. however. ' we find <fy o. . it also depends upon the zenith distance and declination of the star. aside from the dependence of dtp upon t. . It is evident that.595 rf0 = 8'. even though dO be large.1849 8. the factor 15 must be introduced into the right members of the various equations in order that dtp may be expressed in seconds of arc. or for the determination of the accuracy with which the time must be known in order to obtain <p with a given degree of precision. on the assumption that the watch correction used was By (172) we find. taking the values of A and / t from Ex.i 3 23 34' sine 0. 33. If dO is expressed in seconds of time. may Example 41.1744' log dy 1. 02 sin/ o'.

CHAPTER 68. however. and substitute for dz its value dd we find after simplification. of dd will still further be minimized. uncertainties. dA may be small or 180. at the same time. and if. we differentiate (33). the time. it may 108 . of the process have been discussed in detail in Chapter IV. any hour angle satisfies these conditions with render the influence of any ordinary errors in ip and Should the clock correction be very uncertain. under purposes of calculation it is desirable to investigate the conditions which it may most advantageously be employed. but the last are likely to be affected by relatively large To determine the influence of these upon the calculated azimuth. 075) be near the zenith. The first two and thus derive a precept for the choice of objects to be observed. and t being considered variable. star. the expression in parenthesis reduces by the second of the fundamental formulae of spherical trigonometry to cos d cos q. A close circnmpolar star at sufficient closeness to quite insensible. it be near cos q will also be small. produce but little effect the calculated azimuth. be near o will it is necessary that the object should not the factors cots and cosec s will produce a multiOtherwise. and the quantities may be assumed to be known with precision. and the effect elongation. it is desirable that the azimuth should dip and dd. Writing at the same time dt = dA If in = cot 2 sin A dip + (sin z sin y + cos z cos tp cos A) cosec z dd. z. A. from page 95. for when this is the case an error in the assumed latitude When the object is upon near the pole. 6 we denote the angle at by q. cos d will be small and the influence of dd will be slight. examine the means by which the azimuth of the celestial body puted. VI THE DETERMINATION OF AZIMUTH Methods. The calculated azimuth will depend upon the right ascension and declination of the latitude of the place of observation. Further. whence dA In order that plication of both cot z sin A dp + cos d cos q cosec zdO. The azimuth of a terrestrial mark may be found by ob- the mark and a celestial object and applying serving the difference in azimuth of to the into this difference the calculated azimuth of the object corresponding The methods to be employed for the observational part stant of observation. Fig. We have now to may be com- A to the fundamental rigorous and general method of procedure leading equation _ _ cos d sin t sin d cos tp cos d sin if cos t was outlined on page to the Before proceeding to the adaptation of this equation 34.

The first four equations of (34) are the equivalent of (32) and (33) from which the fundamental equation (174) was derived. Far less satisfactory will be the result in the case of observations on the sun. ('76) and <p will have the least influence this it appears that errors in and q are as near 90 or 270 as possible. which in all cases is most to be feared.. whence the azimuth of the mark can be found as before. by noting that A have the same algebraic signs as sin and sin respectively. These conditions cannot both be fulfilled at the same time. and A as variables. the azimuth of the body may be calculated by this equation. (26).AZIMUTH OF THE SUN 109 be desirable to observe for the determination of the azimuth difference of the mark and the star at or near the time of elongation in order that the coefficient of dd in (175). of a circumpolar star at any hour angle. 2. To determine the conditions under which this method (26) considering <p.. If the zenith distance of the celestial body be measured simultaneously with the determination of the azimuth difference. but the time does not enter into the problem except as it may be required for the interpolation of the declination of the object for the instant of observation. By their combination we find the following group which for the purposes of calculation replaces (174)- tan AT tan = -cos r (J -.. provided care be taken this precaution the coefficients in (175) depending on s and q will With sible. differentiate find after simplification cos s. From t when consideration of the preceding results indicates that we shall need adaptations of the fundamental azimuth equations designed for the calculation of The 1. 3. may be made still smaller by the introduction of a value of q near 90. Azimuth from an observed zenith I. / (177) . have the values best adapted for a minimization of the errors in <p and d. Theory. especially that of the latter. already small through the presence of cos 3. We thus if dA = cos q cosec / dz cottd<p. may be used with advantage. namely. With this method of procedure the latitude of the place must be known. AZIMUTH OF THE SUN 69. Besides the fundamental equation (174) there is another which is some- times useful. (tp tan/. . although this object may be used when the latitude is known with some to observe as far from the meridian as posprecision. sin . But for circumpolar stars observed near elongation the magnitude of cosq and cotf in (176) will be such that errors in z and <p will have only an insignificant influence on the calculated azimuth. distance. N) sin JV (178) and sin The quadrants of TV and /J A are determined t. The azimuth The azimuth of the sun.

sin d cos <f Theory and denominator of (174) by and writing d tan^ =i tans. is arranged with = tan tan = gs\n c^ h cos tan A = gG sin h 7i g = tan TT sec <p. For this purpose we use the addition logarithmic table.HO 70. 10).. d. calculate t from in which is the true sidereal time of observation. 1897-8. This is disolar time for which the azimuth difference has been measured. and the values of logG may be tabulated with log h cos t as argument. we must find the logarithms of one or more factors of the form (i+fc). and a when required for the the hour Interpolate rectly for the instant of observation. we find 90 71. its S. t (179) This equation may be replaced by the following group which reference to the requirements of calculation. AZIMUTH OF A CIRCUMPOLAR STAR AT ANY HOUR ANGLE Dividing the numerator IT. p. of A is determined by the fact that sin A must have the same algebraic The factors g and h are constant for any given night. unity. calculate the apparent right ascension. In case tables for follows as cost : logG are not accessible values may be calculated as t. sufficient for all practical requirements is given in Rept.sec <p sin/ <p tan n tan cos . of the sun. G is has the form i/ (i +v) The or i/ (i v). 399-407. calculation of t.. Moreover h is small because of the factor tan. in the form G=i/(iv) = (i+v)(i+V)(i+V). . and in approximate work they may be considered as such for a series of nights. If a sidereal timepiece is used. The quadrant sign as sin t.r. (181) Since v is small. the formula a= are (Num. PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Procedure. therefore. Finally compute A from (177) Azimuth determinations from solar observations should be made and (178). Comp. Such a table. Coast and Geodetic Survey. angle 2. only when the sun is far from the meridian. and the sun's apparent If a mean solar timepiece is employed. U. pp. i (180) i /' t. Supt. in which v = h cos according negative or positive. the parentheses after the second or third in the last member of (181) will sensibly be equal to To find the value of logG. ip <f. G therefore differs but little from unity. latter expression may be written . Since i.

its azimuth object JT at the present time is i We may therefore write will always differ from 180 by less than 2 3'. A For cost positive. = log (A cos A. B is to be interpolated from the table with A as argument. Hence For cost negative. and for latitudes less than 60. For this n'. however. log (h cost). and for approximate results they may be simplified. A For =jrGsec^sin 45 t (183) latitudes of or less the error will always TABLE IX t . A = log (A cos /) ---- (182) Equations (180) used in connection with tables for logC. logG = 3 B. = log (k cos /)". A. (182) /). pp. Equations (180) are rigorous. 180 with an error not exceeding 2".AZIMUTH OF A CIRCUMPOLAR STAR 111 A = ldgb. be less than i". where log(l+&)=B. especially if the circumpolar observed is Polaris. or with formulae afford a convenient and precise method of calculating the azimuth of stars any of the close circumpolar whose apparent places are given in the Ephemeris. 312-323.

or it may be calculated by means of (182). term of (184) be Example 43. Then For a precise azimuth. Coast and Geodetic Survey. taken from p.38 A o'. or log G sec <f>.24 The 72. the corresponding local azimuth determinations value of log sec <p may conveniently be combined with the mean values of One can then interpolate log G sec f directly from the table. however. 1897-8. refer to the lati- tude of the Laws Observatory. pp. culate where d the true sidereal time of observation for which the azimuth difference and the mark has been measured. and that the value of the coefficient n appearing In case a number of of observation. 312-323. with the argument log h cost. and The values of log G in Table IX are based upon <p which is the mean north polar distance for 1910. as these quantities are affected by instrumental errors whose influence is not eliminated until the mean is formed. i 10'. S. The difference of the two values of is not to be taken as an indication of the precision of the result. arc. pp. Then calculate A from is of the star : A= If JT i8o TrGsecysint. Ephcweris. from the calculated azimuth of Polaris. It is to value of sec^ must be used. calculate A from (180). 40 12 o'.112 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY tp between the value of assumed for the calculation of the table and that cor- have only a slight influence on the responding to the place of observation will be understood. Supt. or from some similar table. interpolate log G. p. The azimuth of the mark is found by subtracting the difference 5 M. the list values of log G sec f in the third is column of Table IX 57'. that the local azimuth derived from (183). Equations (180) are used for the calculation. latitude of the place of observation 38 56' 52". 399-407. log G. M . which Interpolate 38 Procedure. The maximum the latter of in = n= absolute errors in the azimuth resulting latitudes are from the u?e of this table for various Latitude Error in 30 35 o'. U. the results for the two positions of the instrument being reduced separately. from table IX with t as argument.0. 85. 85. 34.oo 45 o'. For an approximate azimuth from Polaris. and d for the instant of observation from Cal- of apparent places of circumpolar stars. the last (184) will also given in be expressed in minutes of minutes of arc. The value of logG may be taken from Kept. 40. 50 15 o'. (183) must correspond to the date are to be made at a given station. The Determine the azimuth of the mark from the data given is in Ex.

31362 log// 9.AZIMUTH FROM ZENITH DISTANCE i i 113 h 25 10' 19" 46" 5i if 3 56 sec/p tan?r 0.10918 8.42280 8.22118 .90756 8.

39. that by (186). the declination for the instant of observation. the azimuth of the object by some one of the above methods mark. 33. and the latitude of the place of observation constitute the data necessary for the calculation of the azimuth. however. the second. by M=A (SM\ (i86a) Example 44. which are best adapted for circumpolar In any case. The first column contains the calculaThe value of t required for the first part is taken tion by (184). Azimuth of a mark.Having measured 5 and having determined the azimuth of the ence of the object and the mark. we may calculate A by this equation. p. 106. it stars. Since both the time and the altitude of Polaris corresponding to the instant of measurement of the azimuth difference of the star and the mark are known. (185) will be desirable to derive A by means of (186).. Find the azimuth of the mark from the data given in Ex. the azimuth differ75. use with the method in question. t . M.114 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The zenith distance determined simultaneously with the measurement of the azimuth difference. the reduction may be made by the third as well as by the second method. p. from Ex. and (186) will serve as a mutual control for testing the accuracy of the calculated azimuth. 81. we calculate M. For objects whose azimuths are not so near o or 180 as to render the error But for of calculation for (185) large.

/ 5 a c 52 32. (192) of these can i.9 3. m The results were 7\v 4 h I" n'o.6 3 3 8. The computation of the solar azimuth by (177) and (178) is in the first column.7. 5 359 tan^l A 0. Usually z and tion of t may dA. The parallactic angle q be estimated with sufficient precision for the derivamay be calculated from sin sec (f g= sin A sec S sin /cosec z. Find the azimuth of the mark. E A. calculating the azimuth of the sun both by method i and method 3. C.S. that for In the latter instance the time is required only with such precision as (186). (188) Equations (187) and (188) may be used to estimate the uncertainty in A and z.T.r 1.2 =z = * p 56 76 51 .78268 80 38'.9 9.81604 cost tan N N 9-7"55 9. ( l ^9) For circumpolar stars (187) and (188) may be simplified as follows: Since the azimuth of such an object is always a small angle. 9.. April 27.3 41.56498 0.). page 26. Fig. is small and we shall have approximately q= 1 80 t.J Si-' 91 tan 9-39196 sin(i 56. whence cos^ = cost. Substituting we find dA The first = (191) sec^cot/dfc.S.9 54. J7\y = i = 33 i<)'.7 13.2 24. the spherical excess of the triangle PZO.S.7 58 = oo-y.9 8'. as may be necessary for the interpolation of declination from the Ephemeris for the instant of observation. = 1 ' S Af=8i24'.00025 0. <p.20651 0.r.! . P. The altitude of the sun and the difference of its azimuth and that of a mark were measured with an engineer's transit at the Laws Observatory on 1909.. 44'S (referred to C.(>. 81 -W <p *) 38 13 56.T.61902 M M 24.INFLUENCE OF ERROR IN TIME dA 115 = cos q sec <p cosec / dz. in the second.7 y cosec cot%A A S cos TV tan/ ((f>JV) 9-9S7I5 0.T.76132 0.7 r = Co\. M.T.M. Col. c) 8. +13 .66941 25 2'.2 sin(s a) cosec s cosec (. or they may be used to corresponding to a given uncertainty in determine the accuracy with which the time or the zenith distance must be known in order to secure a given degree of precision in A. 6.07130 80 38:2 Ck. t 3 59" 26:5 50 i /*' 33 I9'. also writing G= be derived from (184) by differentiating and Example 45.S. we have with sufficient approximation z these results into (187) and (188) and writing cos<J = = go . (190) Further.

practically. For this case the ' 6 = a. The modifications necessary in be considered for the removal of these limitations will connection with the discussion of the details presented in the 116 following sections. 6' sidereal or mean and T' being the clock is values of the time of observation. (198) it will be assumed that the object methods that may be employed for the determination of is a star and that the timepiece used is sidereal. The fundamental equation for the determination of time = +7. finding 77. from transform- angle t is object. the T=t + E. the hour the apparent solar time. (195) Applied to any celestial object this equation gives the sidereal which the mean solar or apparent solar time may be derived by the ation processes of Chapter III. (197) and J6 In outlining the ' =a d a '. For the sun. As indicated on page 34 this may be accomplished by measuring the zenith distance of the object at a place of known latitude and using equation (38) or (39)- The problem can also be solved instant for which the hour angle of fundamental equation reduces to of the by determining the clock time the object is zero.CHAPTER VII THE DETERMINATION OF TIME Methods. the problem is reduced to the determination of the hour angle of the object for the instant of observation. in case of observations on this directly mean solar time may be found from (42) written in the form time. however. according as the timepiece is (194) solar. The determination of time means. the error of a timepiece. . The required 0' t error is given by (193) J0=0 or jT=rr. To accomplish this the true time 6 or T\s calculated from observations on a star or the sun and compared with the clock time at which the observations were made. and. Since a and E may be regarded as known. When (196) the timepiece is solar the use of (196) is simpler than that of (195).

Finally. From (136) we dd = cosec A sec <p cot A sec <p d<p. The a. resultant error of observation will z. In practice the deviation of the instrument is such that the line of sight lies in the plane of the vertical circle passing through Polaris at a definite instant. we shall have 0: = x(o. 78. the time 0. may also be determined by noting the instant of passage of an object across the vertical thread of a transit instrument mounted so that the line of sight of the telescope lies in the plane of the meridian. to select for observation only those objects which are near the prime vertical. fore proceed to a detailed consideration of We 1. It is of special interest on account of the fact that it is readily adapted to a simultaneous determination of time and = azimuth. The application of a small correction to the observed time depending upon the displacement of the instrument from the meridian gives the clock time for which f o. <p. 2. The formulae necessary for the calculation of / from S. The zenith distance method. error of observation in 0. There are other methods of determining the true time. 3. Care should be taken. when a star has a certain zenith distance. but those outlined afford a sufficient variety to meet the conditions arising in therepractice. east of the meridian. and. or altitudes. or altitude. depend upon the errors affecting and Those find in a and 8 we may dz disregard as relatively insignificant. THE ZENITH DISTANCE METHOD and Theory. (199) The method is known as that of equal altitudes. The process is accordingly known as the Polaris vertical circle method of time determination. when it has the same zenith distance west of the meridian. The clock time of meridian transit. may be found by observing the transit of an object across the vertical thread of an instrument nearly in the plane of the meridian. were developed in connection with the discussion of coordinate transformations and are given in (38) and (39). 3. Since the celestial sphere rotates uniformly. . again. 4.METHODS To determine #' we 117 may note the time 6. + '. o. therefore. z.). The method of equal zenith distances The meridian method. (200) Assuming that dz and dtp represent the errors in z and and dO the resultant tp. it that for a given latitude the time will be appears least affected by uncertainties in z and when the azimuth of the object is <p near 90 or 270. <p. The Polaris vertical circle method. I. ' This is the meridian method of time determination.

and calculate JT'from (194).S.4 <f 52 Watch J7\v +1 45. The latter equation should not / be used when the object is so near the meridian that the interpolation of its cosine is rendered uncertain. 79. or may be made with the Greenwich mean time corresponding to . east JO If a solar = a#(0 + O I m ). Theory. taking care and JO by that T is reduced to the meridian to which the clock time If refers. in Ex.6'7 3 22 h '5 21 17 30 o 23 a 42 17 3. same be the sidereal clock times when a star has the and west of the meridian. 31. 9 9 40 39 51. Owing to the change in the right ascension and declination of the sun. If the timepiece is solar. If 0. (201) timepiece is used we shall have JT= T. reduce its value to the meridian to which the clock time refers. repetition of the calculation then gives the final value of the clock correction. p. Procedure. 2. Observations on the sun: in the timepiece is sidereal. the object observed is the sun.X (T. in general. whence by (198) 80. as a control. the interpolation of a and 3. we may proceed as the case of a star using (195) and (193). Find the error of the watch from the measured altitude of Alcyone given We have h' 21 19' 30" 2 / i8 h 35"> j. will be resulting data will give an approximation sufficient for a precise interpolation of the coordinates of the sun.2 19. the clock time of meridian transit will be given by (199). The conversion of into the corresponding accomplished by (62) and (41). The for the error of the clock which. A Example 46. (193). corresponding mean solar time T. value used for / is the mean of these. where If (202) T is the mean solar time corresponding to 0=a.T. the clock time of observation. calculate T from (196). calculate by (195).). the above equations are not applicable on account of the change in the declination during the interval separating the . altitude. Observations on a star: if from If the timepiece is sidereal. convert the sidereal time derived from (195) into the solar. and determine AT from (194). respectively. calculate t Having found the true zenith distance corresponding by (38) or (39). + T. THE METHOD OF EQUAL ALTITUDES and d. The The C.0 Ans.9 +23 38 49 56 C. we find i8 h 35 m 16-6.T. solution of (38) gives / 18*35 l6 !8. to the clock time. Should the error of the timepiece be unknown.S. a knowledge of the approximate time is necessary for the reduction of solar observations.118 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 79.4 6. or we may convert the value of T derived from (196) into the corresponding sidereal time and then use (193). or zenith distance. is = From (39).

one-half the interval between the two observations expressed in the declination for apparent noon. the required corrections may be found from the differential relation connecting changes in d with corresponding changes in t. Both the observed times will be too late by the quantity dt. most conveniently an exact degree or half degree. or t and T. t M=a If (204) (202). which / is <? Hence. For the sun.) s dt. but in the reverse order.) tf (0. Repeat a number of times. Denote the means of the two series of times by 0. since / the timepiece is solar. (206) (207) in which the values of a and 81.) + dt. but d must be interpolated from the Ephemeris for the instant of the sun's lower transit. (205) It is sometimes convenient to combine afternoon observations with others made on the following morning. calculate dt by (203). Since the change in d is small.. and d. note the times of contact of the direct and reflected images for the same series of equidistant readings of the vernier before and after meridian passage. for solar observations made with a sidereal timepiece. 2 0. and dd the change in 8 during the interval /. When Procedure. After meridian passage observe the times of transit over the horizontal thread for the same readings of the vertical circle as before. we have from (196) and = for the instant of meridian transit. AT=E#(T + TJ + l dt. If the sextant is used. Change the reading by 10' or 20' and note the time of transit as before. For a star the error of the clock will be given by (201) or (202). (203) solar units. / in (203) is one-half the interval between the observations expressed in solar units as before. In this case the mean of the observed times corrected for the change in declination is the clock time of lower culmination. according T as the timepiece is sidereal or mean solar. three or four hours east of the meridian note the time of transit across the horizontal thread of the transit for a definite reading of the vertical circle. and the resulting value of dt must be added to the clock times of observation. 2 y (0 + 6. dt. by reducing the observed times to what they would have been had the declination been constant and equal to its value at the instant of meridian transit. and the clock error by (204) or (205) in case the observations are made in the morning and after- . however. From (31) This influence may dfr=(tany>cosec/ in tan 3cott)dd. The object observed should be near the prime vertical.TIME FROM EQUAL ALTITUDES measures.. always changing the reading by the same amount. The expressions for the The quantity clock correction are J0=l2 h + jr=i2 + h + y (T + T. 119 be included. E refer to the instant of lower culmination.

eccentricity. and c are known as the azimuth. b. to the serious the chief advantage of the method. and collimation constants. on the assumption that the clock error is zero. however. Further. To obtain the clock time of meridian transit 6'. final value. the horizontal axis of the telescope. we must subtract t from the clock time of observation. and whose altitude we may denote by a and t>. will not be on the meridian at the instant of its transit across the vertical thread. as may be required. with the danger that clouds may interfere with the program second series of measures. when perfectly adjusted. the sight lies constantly in the plane of the meridian. the case of the zenith distance method of time determination.120 PRACTICAL ASTKONOMT noon of the same day. Theory. whence . or by (206) and (207) when they are secured in the afternoon and on the following morning. therefore. all the measures should -be made in the same position of the verticle circle. respectively. The instant of a star's transit across the vertical thread will then be the same as that of its meridian passage. a transit instrument The meridian method of time determination mounted so that. In general. nor will it be truly horizontal. (208) general. an observed is approximate knowledge of the time is necessary when the object the sun. and c and the position of the star. but will form with it an angle 90 The quantities a. parallax This fact taken in connection with the simplicity of the reductions constitutes It is subject. This approximate result will lead to an approximation for the error of the timepiece with which the calculation the observations themselves as before. Fig. the conditions of perfect adjustment will not be The horizontal axis will not lie exactly in the plane of the prime vertical. must coincide with the intersection of the planes of the prime vertical and the horizon. the line of sight will not be exactly perpendicular to the horizontal axis. respectively. d. If the clock correction is quite unknown. +. and the line of sight must be perpendicular to the horizontal axis. whatever the elevation In order that this may be the case. applied for index error. If these remain unchanged no correction need be or semidiameter. '. When produced it will cut the celestial whose azimuth referred to the east point sphere page 65. this may be derived from As in only necessary to interpolate the sun's right ascension. however. Care must be taken not to disturb the instrumental adjustments between the two sets of measures. the star level. but will have a small hour angle t whose value will depend upon the magnitude of the instrumental constants a. the engineer's transit is used for the observations. THE MERIDIAN METHOD requires line of 82. and the angles When all should be set from the same vernier. or the equation of time. It is may be repeated for the determination of the 3. in a point A. hours must elapse before the observing objection that an interval of several can be completed. Denoting the clock time of this instant by 6 the error of the timepiece will be given by ' J0= In satisfied. refraction. 8.

W. (215) . E. when on the The last two terms of (89) express the corresvertical thread.s stars very near the pole. b and c. A. (210) The values of a. which we may do since both are very small angles. or. (89). assuming that a.. L. however. R. (209) and by (208) J6 =a 0'-\-t. exceeds 90. C=secS. o. These results may be applied directly to the meridian transit to determine the azimuth of the star at the instant of its transit across the vertical thread. the positions of the instrument are less ambiguously expressed by circle west (C. observation. For this purpose we make use of equations (82). we have A at referred to the east point. (213) 0.THE MERIDIAN METHOD e. and becomes inapplicable only for Equation (213) is therefore valid for. . and the lower to C. on account of the Equations (211) and (212) become indeterminate for . R. For. and The last two terms of (82) express the influence of the level and colli(33). L. Consequently J0 can be determined by (210) when / has been mental constants. Since the star is near the meridian at the instant of i>. what amounts to the same thing. i>. respectively.. is once z. (214) for t in (210) we -bBcC.' 121 = B' t. but the conditions of the problem show that there can be no such discontinuity in the expression which gives / as a function of a. b. ponding quantity for C. t we s\nz find (212) whence by (211) /cos d = asin z -f-cos2 c. and c can always be found. Replacing A in (33) by A s and writing A A s and / instead of their sines.) and circle east (C. We may now use (33) to determine the hour angle of the star when its azimuth is equal to^ s which the upper sign case.). in = a + b cot z c cosec (211) In the present refers to C. and c. the amount by which the azimuth difference of the point A and the object 0. the azimuth of the point measured positive toward the south.3 presence of A. upon the reading of the horizontal circle of the engineer's transit for C. denoting this azimuth by A s and expressed as a function of the instru. B = cos(<p find 3) sec 8. mation constants. z in (213) may be replaced by the meridian zenith distance <p = = Writing A = s\n(<p and substituting d)sec3.

Coast and Geodetic Survey 1897-8. Assuming that b has been made equal to zero. There remains still the determination of the constants.122 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY the time of transit 6' Equations (214) and (215) give the value of J0 when across the vertical thread has been observed. the same position of the instrument One of these should be a star. pp. and c are known.. (216) we have from (215) zld M = M'. pose Aw = AR assumed that the two declinations are nearly equal. however. the solution is simplified and rendered more precise by proceeding as follows: Suppose that the transits of a number of stars of various declinations have been observed. They may also be tabulated with the double argument d and z. provided the instrumental conThe quantities A. U. a widely circumpolar preferably. E. The mean of Next. a southern differ as as possible. 308-319. transit factors. Ad. we may supwhence we find . a. The second of these can be made equal to zero by a careful adjustment and levellevel is ling of the instrument. Since it is = M' w + aA + cCw v . Practically. Consider the results for two of these having the same declination as nearly as possible. may be tabulated with d as argument. C. and C are called the stants a. or that its value has been determined.. (217) may be applied to each. Their values depend only upon the position of the star and. Supt. B. b. the other. W. the observations themselves. The observation of any three stars will afford three equations of condition involving these quantities from which. Writing to be J0' = 0' + 5. the instrument having been used in both positions. S. the resulting values of c will then be accepted as the final value. for any given latitude. a. and c. their values may be determined. b. Writing (218) Jd"=J6'cC we find for these objects from (215) . one observed C. theoretically. Should there be more than one pair of stars of equal declination. or its value may be measured in case a striding The azimuth and collimation constants are best determined from available. These are applicable for all points of observation.+aA. there remain in (215) only three unknowns. the other. and c. Tables of the latter sort are found in Kept. J0' '= J0' E +r w r L-E ' (2I7) ~r **w which determines the collimation constant. consider two stars observed in whose declinations northern star.cC.

To place the instrument in the meridian we may make use of a distant object of known azimuth. When carried out with a large and stable instrument mounted permanently in the plane of the meridian. a should instrument. but (191) shows that if 6 be known within two or three minutes. either reductions. Then rotate the telescope on the horizontal axis and observe the transit across the vertical the plane of the meridian._45=j. Denoting the sidereal clock time of transit by 0'. in precision or in the amount of labor involved in the 83. The line of sight will then be approximately is available. In case no object of known azimuth In this case the star is stead. Set off the value of the azimuth on the horizontal circle and bring the object on the vertical thread by rotating on the lower motion. it affords results not surpassed by those of any other method. danger of a change in the azimuth constant during be determined by (219) for both positions of the The value of Jd is then to be calculated by Jd = Jd" + aA. paving clamped the lower motion. Procedure. an approximation may be derived as follows: Set on Polaris and clamp in azimuth. which is sufficiently accurate. thread of a southern star of small zenith distance. the azimuth will not be in error by more than one or two minutes of arc. high. (220) The mean of all such values is the final value of the clock correction. the procedure is ception the same as that for a distant terrestrial object. rotate on the upper motion in until the reading is zero.THE MERIDIAN METHOD 123 = M\ + aA M = J0" + aA 40 s H s whence . The determination of the azimuth of Polaris requires a knowledge of the approximate time. "N -"S (2I9) Inasmuch as there is the reversal. Since the uncertainty of an observed transit is considerably less than that of an angle measured with a graduated circle. The chief advantage of the meridian method of time determination is to be found in the fact that the results do not depend upon a reading of the circles. With the exthat the setting must be made at a definite instant. the approximate error of the timepiece will be given by (221) . the precision is relatively It is the standard method of determining time in observatories. Polaris may be used inon the vertical thread at an instant for brought which its azimuth has previously been calculated by (184). with the inclusion of certain refinements not considered in the preceding sections. In case the clock correction is entirely unknown.

This having been done. E. or better still. is sufficient for the calculation of the instrument. C. one observed C. the values of b are to be computed by The value of Ad' is then to be calculated for each star by (216). determination of the group should contain one northern star to be used for the azimuth constant. Observations with the striding level for the determination of b should be made at frequent intervals throughout the observing program. should be very carefully adjusted before beginning the observations and the bubbles should be kept centered during the measures. The coordinates are to be interpolated for the instant of observation from the list of apparent places in the Ephemeris. Compute as many such values of c as there are pairs of stars of equal declination.124 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Since the azimuth of Polaris differs but little from 180. With the mean value of c calculate Jd" for each star by (218). especially the transverse level. Level readings increasing toward the east should be recorded as positive. and as the star the horizontal thread. For an instrument whose vertical circle reads altitudes. Then determine a for . W. sufficient data for the determination of the collimation constant.. the instrument is to be levelled and adjusted Three or four minutes before the transit of the first star. comes Note the time of 46. (222) which the upper sign refers to northern stars. of Polaris with the precision necessary for the orientation The will include the observation of four or five stars in each posi- program Each tion of the instrument. will occur at the clock time a ing.) If the inclination of transit factors for the horizontal axis has been measured. care should be taken to observe at least one pair of stars. which in azimuth. exceed two or three of the azimuth minutes. the other. as negative. the other C. The remaining objects should be southern stars culminating In order that there may be preferably between the zenith and the equator.. whose declinations are equal or nearly so. especially when directed toward points near the zenith. the settings which will give the telescope the proper elevation to bring the stars into the field at the time of culmination are to be calculated by. and calculate c by (217). If the zenith distance of the time star is not more than 25 or 30 the error in d will not... The reduction and the is begun by collecting the right ascension. reversal being made at the middle of the series. they may be interpolated from the transit factor tables. E. and form the mean of all. select two stars of equal or nearly equal declination. The transit factors may be computed by (214). the declination. Setting in = 90 (<p d). Then (113). (See page 122. set the vertical circle at the proper readinto the field adjust in altitude until it moves along its transit across the vertical thread to the nearest tenth of a second. the plate levels. If a striding level is not available. The star list with the setting for each object should be prepared in advance. and this. W. reverse the instrument about the vertical axis through 180 and proceed with the observation of the remaining stars. the line of sight will not deviate greatly from the plane of the meridian. in this After one-half the stars have been observed manner. one C. ordinarily. as stated above. each star. toward the west.

approximate values of the azimuth constant are derived by (219) from stars i and 4. magnitude or brightness.6 i. the upper motion was released and vernier was made to read o. and the bubbles were kept centered The first of the tables gives the observing program and the data of observation. The instrument having thus been placed in the A meridian. the corrections being applied in such a way that each 0' becomes what it would have been had all the observations been made at the same instant. The error of the clock was known be approximately -f- 7 m o'. respectively. and at the clock time indicated Polaris was brought to the inter- n A section of the threads by means of the lower motion. In case the rate of the timepiece is large. P.. after which four more stars were observed. and 2 and 8 we find J0 = + 7 m 4M+J-4c J0 = -t-7 4. The various columns contain. 4-0*19. The epoch to which the values of 0' are reduced is usually the exact hour or half-hour nearest the middle of the series. The second from each star. The combination of these with the value of J0' gives the quantities in the column headed J#".ooc sets of equations give for c. The azimuth of Polaris h m 1 Vernier of the horizontal calculated by (184) for the clock time 5i o was 179 26'5circle was set at this value. =+ . the transits of four stars were observed. the error of the Fauth sidereal clock of the Laws Observatory was determined by the meridian method.ooc These two J0 = + 7 m 4!4 J0 = -f 7 5-o + i-5c i. the the observed clock time of transit. To avoid this difficulty. Finally calculate Ad for each is the final value of the object by (220). The mean of all such values of clock correction corresponding to the mean of the observed clock times of M transit. each observed 6' should be cor- rected for rate before forming the values of JO'. give J0. 47. For northern stars this sum must be subtracted from 180. From these we find the added to the values of J#" in and 6 and 8. and the position of the circle. the clock correction for each star. The results are w 2*38 values of the azimuth corrections a A. Example On 1909. J0" being replaced by J0' for this purpose. Multiplying this by the value of C for each star gives the corrections for collimation contained in the fifth column. and C into (2i6a) for stars 3 and 5. accordance with (220). The azimuth constant is now redetermined and 4. using for this purpose the value of JW" for stars I and a e -f4i6. 8. for each position of the circle. +0:10 and +0*27. After clamping. table contains the reduction The values of jy are obtained ing a in accordance with (216). respectively. The results are \T -f-2!2 and These values are uncertain owing to the fact that the influence of the collimation = c has been neglected in deriving them. which. the number. name. using for this purpose the stars of extreme northern and southern declination. A. The settings were obtained by adding the colatitude 51 3' to the values of the declination. It should be noted that the algebraic sign of the collimation correction changes with the reversal of the instrument. is accepted as the value of the collimation constant.THE MERIDIAN METHOD 125 each position of the instrument by (219). the instrument used being a Buff to & Buff engineer's transit. May 19. The mean. and the apparent right ascension and declination of the stars. None of the pairs of stars observed are suitable for the determination of the collimation by (217). Substituting the numerical values of a. provided we use for this calculation stars whose declinations differ as little as possible. M. Wed. but they are sufficiently accurate for a determination of by (n6a). and the value of the clock correction derived by subtracting each #' from the correspondThe third and fourth columns contain the values of the transit factors interpolated from the tables of the Laws Observatory. the setting of the vertical circle. The plate levels were carefully adjusted throughout the observations. The reversal was then made by changing the reading of vernier A from o to 180. and 6 and <ie = + 4H. at the beginning.

. In the present case the agreement is exact for both pairs. that the values of 40 for each pair of azimuth stars must agree within one unit of the last place of decimals. It should be noted. as a control upon the calculation of the azimuth constant. which shows that the influence of the collimation has been satisfactorily eliminated.126 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The last the clock correction. column contains the weight assigned to each result in forming the mean value of The mean J0 for the southern stars is the same for each position of the instrument. No.

owing to the presence of the instru- known mental constants b and c. E. z being the zenith distance of Polaris. . but not exactly. za may be replaced by 90 <p. 48 C = Asec<p + C. (215) is insufficient. J0 and c. Since b and c are very small. the other. (227) We then find from (225) whence f Jg-. but its solution is slightly different. we have by (82) and (89) a = a + b cot z a c cosec . W. but a is to be calculated from the The azimuth constant will nearly equal the position of Polaris. C. for (184) gives # = it Gsecip sin/ . whence a = a + b tan <pc sec Q (p. To determine c write J0' = 6' + a A+&B'. the upper sign refers to C. as before. W. 127 but for those cases in which an uncertainty of one or two tenths of a second is permissible.THE VERTICAL CIRCLE METHOD final result. f. ( 22 3) Substituting (223) into (215) and writing B' = Atan<p+B. the approximation is ample. For the sake of precision one of these should be observed C. If a represent the azimuth of Polaris defined as above. (224) we have =a 0' + a^ + WcC. (226) which may be used for the calculation of This leaves in (225) only two unknowns. Here we determine c as before. azimuth of Polaris measured from the north point positive toward the east at the instant of setting. E * i \ (~.-Jg'. (225) where. and the observation of any two time stars therefore affords the data necessary for a complete solution of the problem. Equation (225) is the same in form as (215). for the influence of the azimuth is in this .. W W (22S) in There is here no necessity for an equality in declination of the two stars as the case of the meridian method. In the meridian method both a and care determined from the observations themselves.

setting on Polaris. Since aa measured from the north point positive toward the east. vertical circle is method of time determination. but it must be more accurately known than The the meridian method. for the azimuth of Polaris is calculated in the course of the reduction of the observations for time. (229) in factor A in (227) is the in same as that (215). the azimuth of the mark measured in the conventional manner will be circle readings give the is Am = in MS + a i&o (232) which S and are the means of the horizontal circle readings on the star and the mark. on account of the magnitude are easily reduced by (214) to B' and quantities C B' in sec <p. readings be taken on a mark. yields results of a relatively high degree of precision. written in the form from (228) we calculate Ad from (225) M=WcC. like that of the meridian not dependent upon the reading of graduated circles. The of a . The third column of Table X contains may such a series of values for the latitude of the Laws Observatory. b.. for the constancy of the quantities a. It is especially valuable for use with unstable instruments. much less than in the meridian method. The C The vertical circle method in is easily adapted to a simultaneous determibe read at nation of time and azimuth. and c is assumed for only a very short interval. <p.128 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Having found c case included in Ad'. C = E + tan seed tan d. Moreover. whence C' may itself be found by the simple addition of tan^>. For any given latitude be tabulated with d as argument. each set of two time stars is complete in itself and gives a complete determination of the error of the timepiece. respectively. and this need not exceed two or three minutes. and in conse- quence. viz. (230) which ( 2 30 values of E may be taken from Table X with d as argument. If the horizontal circle the instant of addition. 38 57'. carefully constructed. It possesses the further advantage that no preliminary adjustment in the plane of the meridian is necessary. and am the mean of the calculated azimuths of Polaris. that the azimuth and level constants remain unchanged It is necessary only during the interval separating the setting on Polaris and the transit of the time star immediately following. The instrument used should be irregularity in the form of the pivots results. however. and the horizontal if and azimuth difference of the star and the mark. M The method. the azimuth of the mark will be given at once. for any is likely to produce serious errors in the .

Set on the mark and read the 11. and read the H. To determ aaA we combine equation (226) with the value of A from (214).// Since a a A need be known only very roughly. Observe the transit of the time star. The instrument is carefully levelled. Procedure. V C. \ C. the instrument should be relevelled. respectively. E. C. The data thus of the time star obtained constitute a set and permit a determination of the error of the timepiece. in order to save time in observing and to avoid errors in the identification of the stars. clamped is then rotated about the horizontal axis until its position is such that scope . and if there is any evidence of creeping. C. and C. should be carefully watched. It is also desirable. choosing for this purpose the sidereal mately to the middle of the observing program. i h 3O m ). W. Set on Polaris. note the time. are to be interpreted as meaning that if the instruto the north by rotating about the vertical the vertical circle will then be west or east. C. Disregarding the errors in level and collimation we have from (225) in ment be turned from the mark d' = a + a A-JO (233) which JO represents an approximate value of the clock correction. The telein azimuth and the sidereal time of setting. the southern or time star will pass through the field of view. and the entire process is then repeated second time star. and write in rive a value for the We in thus find aaA=P(tand tan <p). 9 we may use a constant value time corresponding approxi- . and Polaris itself is brought to The instrument is the intersection of the vertical and horizontal threads. note the time. is noted. ) Set on the is required^ the W. (234) which > =47 sin \o ^ r r (f). The observing list with the settings for the time stars should be prepared in advance. the telescope is turned to the north. which C. and read the H. for #. The transit for a is observed. Observe the transit of the time star. Set on Polaris. If a program for a set will simultaneous determination of time and azimuth be mark and read the H. The plate levels axis. C. E. with the instrument in the reversed position. / w> (23?) \ J .' to calculate in advance the approximate times of transit. and three or four minutes before the transit of a southern star across the vertical circle through Polaris.THE VERTICAL CIRCLE METHOD 129 85.

respectively. The values of A are needed to four places of decimals. and d'. One or two star from (234) by introducing the corresponding for the calculation. The subscripts w and ^ refer to observations made circle west and or log tp Log G G sec is to . and a. S and M. they may be used unchanged . places of decimals are ample been secured. Finally. 0' = tan + E. should be preserved. + Mm (S OJ 180. TT. the sidereal clock times. a should be expressed in seconds of time. respectively. the error of the timepiece. and when once obtained. respectively. (238) where the subscripts attached to refer to settings made with the instrument such a position that if turned toward the north by rotation about the vertical axis. (S a. respectively. A m the azimuth of the mark rqeasured from the south. accuracy for the level and collimation we have from (225) M. Ad. of their observation. M For the determination of the error of the clock. with the argument ta E or C\ from Table X with the argument d. <p + a A+bsec<f> e ~i L- (237) C w be taken from Table IX. according to the subscript. /= +^0 A = sin 4d' = a C (<p (?) . for a given latitude. Collecting results we have the lated by (234) in preparing the observing list. the first step in the reduction is The observations having of sufficient the determination of an approximation for the clock correction Neglecting errors in calculation of the azimuth of Polaris. circle east. for the determination of the azimuth. in minutes of arc. the readings of the horizontal circle for settings on Polaris and the mark. calculate Am = in Y-z \M. (236) which applied to the time star transiting nearest the zenith will give the For the term a A we may introduce the value calcurequired approximation. following notation and formulae: . .130 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY /having been calculated ^01^(235)' we find the value of a A for each time value of d. 8 are the coordinates of Polaris and the time star. positive toward the west. and J0 an approximation for this . the circle would then be west or east.). since. quantity. respectively. which is reprinted here for convenience. = C' sec d. = ad'+aaA.

W. it will be sufficient to take the mean of the values of Jd' for C. TABLE IX. and C.0 TABLE X <0 .THE VERTICAL CIRCLE METHOD for several 131 months. E. 1910. If the coHimation is known to be small and the declinations of the two time stars do not differ too greatly. as the error of the timepiece.

. a Virginis. C.W sin/ . The final value of the clock correction found in Ex. 0. viz.132 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The azimuth in minutes of arc. Since the correction a. A must be expressed in seconds added to and the two logarithms immediately following it are is also included when log a is in satisfactory agreement with that form log a o A. 47. a whose logarithm is given in the fourth line is expressed of time the logarithm of 4. 1 sec <S a 0' JO' C' cC' AO "o M Am ..6020.

9S-102. sidereal. transformations of. 36. 109-110. 4. 108. 16. Date: calendar and civil. 81-85. 37. 9. 9. 7. sphere. Index error: of engineer's transit.INDEX (THE NUMBERS REFEB TO PAGES. influence of an error in time upon. Hour Azimuth and zenith distance transformed into hour angle and declination. constant. measurement of with 77-80. of mark. Julian year. of horizontal angles. Arguments: arrangement Artificial horizon. Level: error of. 29-30. Azimuth: relation to axis of celestial precession of. mean. 14. 91. Collimation: error. 4. Ecliptic. Coincident beats. 31-34. value of one division. calculation of from latitude. 4. 7. 40. Mean 133 equator. precepts for use of. defined. 51. 31-32. 68. from from measured star. 89. Diurnal motion. Coordinates: necessity for. 25-31. Chronometer: see timepieces. of spherical trigo- from the sun. 31. 59. condi- Altitude circles. 40. 9. 80-85. 10. measurement of vertical angles. Latitude: relation to sphere. 7. of. simultaneously 126-132. 61. conditions for precise determina- Error of timepiece. 96. tion of. Circummeridian altitudes: latitude from. 9. clrcumpolar nometry. 1. 39. 10. 90. mulae for. 62-63. 73-76. Altitude: defined. theory of. 64. 27. 9. Equinox: vernal and autumnal. systems of. 104-105. Equator: celestial. Calendar: Julian and Gregorian. 118-120. 12. 53. Eccentricity: defined. 113-114. artificial. 9. 13. 13. 95. 23-25. 110. Horizon: defined. Julian calendar. Hour circles. 72. transformed into ascension. 13. mean solar. 8. 77-80. 71-72. 59-60. Ephemeris. diurnal. 39. 120. 10. into mean solar time. 80-81 . Equal altitudes: time from. and zenith Hour angle and into azimuth declination transformed 29. theory of. 24. Asteroids. relative position of reference circles. by repetitions. Copernican system. 37. Dip of horizon. axis of celestial for- fundamental Clock: see timepieces. calculated from meridian zenith distance. 10. Declination: circles defined. 117. 63. 9. converted Apparent place. Almucanters. 97-99. from zenith distance at any hour angle. of. Apparent solar time: defined. by Talcott's method. 64-71. determined with time. Engineer's transit: historical. of. relation of its position to latitude. with sextant. defined. Least reading of vernier. dip 91. Day: apparent solar. 39. calculation of declination from latitude. 114. 39. 25-28. 37. 9. 39. right angle: defined. into right ascension and declination. Common year. mean. 5. declination and zenith distance. 32-34. 9. influence of error in time on. 15. 21-23. zenith distance. 106. tions satisfied by. Longitude. 10. 9. Cardinal points. constant. from circummeridian altitudes. Fundamental formula. conditions for precise determination of. 99-102. 64. Celestial equator. 59. 91-94. Leap year. 114-115. azimuth and time. engineer's transit. 7. from altitude of Polaris. 13. 102-103. Horizontal angles : measurement of. 6. . 38-39. and zenith distance. 120. I Aberration: defined. determination of for sextant. primary and secondary. Gregorian calendar. 36. distance. Equation of time. of sextant. Celestial sphere: defined. 8.

117-118. Julian. 13.^of time determination. annual motion of. 15. Mean Mean Mean place. difference in two local times. uncertainty of re- method of. 15. 126. 36. latitude from. into apparent solar time. 15. 118-120. 117-118. True solar time: see apparent solar time. diameters. Vertical angles: gineer's 91-94. mean. 36. converted converted into mean solar time. 7. from zenith distance. model Solstices. theory. 3. 37. measurement. 2. theory. tropical. Nebulae. 47-48. 39. 81-85. Tropical year. 16. 39. 118. 10. Spherical trigonometry: mulae. 47. 37. Successive approximations. 50-51. discussion True place. fundamental for- Mean sun: 44-46. 39. measurement 77-80. 8. Zenith distance: defined. 12. 37. sidereal. azimuth from. 34. 8. Meridian method. Residuals. Method of repetitions. 5. Nutation. of with en- Right ascension: defined. 57. 8. defined. 89. apparent solar into mean Noon: apparent. 81-85. Semidiameter. 38. adjustments. Right ascension and declination transformed into azimuth and zenith distance. into sidereal time. 13. 44-46. 37. 110-114. 8. transformed into hour angle. Meridian: defined. 77. 122. 120. methods of termination. Refraction: Repetitions: defined. relation be- and tween real. 16-18. 9. 59-60. from. precepts for use of. 6. Vertical circles. Transit factors. Solar system: parts. 31. of. 85. Vernier: theory. azimuth from. 10. defined. 1. 25. 100. 116-117. 18-20. 2. 98. 32-34. eccentricity. 4. comparison Prime vertical. Rate of timepiece. relative distances solar and vice versa. 97-99.134 INDEX 37. converted solar day. differential. of. 93. historical. Talcott's method. Timepieces: of. 104-105. 40. of. . 16. 89. reduction to. solar time: defined. 38. Reduction to the meridian. 40. 31. 42. 1. 37. 51. 29-30. from equal altitudes. 10. 38. sults. leap and common. 117. 3. Polaris: 47. 86-87. Precession. 4. Sidereal time: defined. Polaris vertical circle method of time de- determining. distribution of. 8. Stars: motions Stellar system. Polar distance. sidereal mean into solar into side- mean solar. Standard time. Parallax: 14. 100. Poles of celestial sphere. sidereal time of. 51. 120circle Polaris vertical method. historical. Parallactic angle. Mean noon: defined. Proper motion. 36. meridian method. 20. Meridian zenith distance: 96. table. Sidereal noon. 36. 60-61. basis of 36. Rotation: Sextant: diurnal. transit. Mean equinox. 1. 126-132. 38. index correction. 91. 48. Transit: see engineer's transit. time 96. fundamental formulae for. 120-126. 13. 38. Planets: names. 48-49. 58. Zero reading. and care rate of. 90. 21-23. with sextant. latitude from. 102-103. Time: relation to celestial sphere. Ptolemaic system. Sidereal day. units. 126-132. 88-89. 14. 14. 9. error 52-58. latitude from. Nadir. different kinds. Year: Zenith. 117. 113. right ascension of. of mean sun. of. parallax of Sun: 19-20.

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