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. STEPHENS PUBLISHING 1909 COMPANY D . W. MISSOURI THE E.

HANLEY SEARES .BY FREDERICK.

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

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. 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. 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. H. For these the reader is referred to the list The of errata on page 132. 1909. S. it is hoped that these sections 6f scientific results. SEARfS. F. purpose the "Constellation Charts" published by the editor of Popular Astronomy. use of the text should be supplemented by a study of the prominent constellations. E. LAWS OBSERVATORY.vi PREFACE helpful and stimulating in a consideration of the development of astronomical instruments. Minnesota. material from scientific instruction toward wider excursions into this most fascinating field. and far less expensive than the average. are as serviceable as any. in checking the calculations. Haynes and Mr. and in reading the proofs. . UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI. for My much valuable assistance in preparing the manuscript. but a considerable number of errors have already been noted. Care has been taken to may incline the reader numerical solutions for secure accuracy in the text as well as in the examples. Northfield. Harlow Shapley. of the Department of Astronomy of the University of Missouri. methods. this For acknowledgments are due to Mr. June.

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

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

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

includand planetoids. is incredibly small as compared with that occupied by the stellar system. and the space containing the entire solar system. is but an insignificant of the latter. To obtain a more definite notion dreds of millions ing sun. 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. . not very different on the portion average from the other stars whose total number is to be counted by hun- The universe. The corresponding diameters of the remaining spheres and their distances from the central body are shown by the following table. planets. We shall thus have a rough model of the universe. satellites. and stars. of the relative size of the : OBJECT . planets. the former. for the sun is but a star.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY solar and stellar systems are by no means coordinate parts of the On the contrary. 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. vast as it is.

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. The brightest are barely visible to the unaided eye. 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. while relatively to each other the -stars are apparently fixed. sist of by the fre- They conwidely extended masses of luminous gas. their relative positions remain sensibly unchanged. while the faintest tax the powers of the largest modern telescopes. and present the greatest imaginable diversity of form. produce rapid changes in their positions as seen from the earth. With minor exceptions. and of the satellites relative to their primaries. however. amounting occasionally to a hundred miles or more per second of time. and voluminous masses of extraordinarily complex structure. but to the observer on the earth. structure. some of which resemble closely the delicate high-lying clouds of our own atmosphere. indeed. In fact the word planet means literally. The preceding paragraphs givo the barest outline of the interpretation' which astronomers have been led to place upon the phenomena of the heavens. systems constitutes one of the most. Their distances are of the same order of magnitude as those of the stars.IXTKODUCTION 3 We do know. double branched spirals. and they were distinguished only by the fact that the planets change their positions. there appears to be an intimate relation connecting these two classes of objects. and. 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- . a moving or wandering star. are to be found among them. They are irregularly distributed throughout the heavens. 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. while what appeared to the early observers as the distinguishing characteristic of the stars is shown quent use of the expression fixed stars. that any shift in position can be detected even for those which move most rapidly. The greater size and luminosity of the former is offset by their greater distance. Minute disc like objects. The nebulae are to be counted by the hundreds of thousand's. 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. apparently of simple chemical composition. and brightness. 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. rings. The stars are also in motion and the velocities involved are very large. The distances of these obit is only when the utmost refinement of observation employed and the measures are continued for months and years.interesting and important lines of modern astronomical investigation. In ancient times the fundamental difference between them was not known.

rising in the east. 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. are the only bodies to be seen in the celestial vault. daylight appearance of the heavens is not unlike that of the night except that the sun. Those of different brightness. 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. but occurs some entire circuit is . 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. Their distances from each other remain unchanged. and occasionally Venus. and disappearing beneath the horizon only to rise again in the east. and. descending toward the west. but is never more than two or three thousand. a fact most easily verified in the case of the moon. we shall now turn to a consideration of these motions and the simple. elementary devices which can be used for significant features are their description. there is another conception of the universe. This theory bears the name of the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy. one far earlier in its historical origin. A few hours observation shows that the positions of the points are slowly shifting in a peculiar and definite manner. which also accounts for the more striking phenomena. Those in the east are rising from the horizon while those in the west are setting. Its period of rotation is one day. Although the scheme outlined above is the only theory thus far formulated which satisfactorily accounts for the celestial phenomena in their more intricate relations. 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. Kepler. 2. as its central idea is immediately suggested by the most casual examination of the motions of the celestial bodies. 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. Observations upon successive nights show A conthat the position of this object changes with respect to the stars. but due to Copernicus. its Many have contributed toward the elaboration of its details. tached is called the Celestial Sphere. The system moves as a whole. They too seem to be carried along with the celestial sphere in its rotation. in the northern heavens describe arcs of circles in a counter-clockwise di- about a common central point some distance above the horizon. Its radius is indefinitely great. 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. and Newton. moon.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY turies. and the resulting motion of the celestial bodies is called the Diurnal Motion or Diurnal Rotation.

They have a general progressive motion toward the east. It supposes the sun. lation of the apparent phenomena to the conception of Ptolemy is obvious. rotates from east to west. which. With careful attention it will be found that a few of the star-like points of light. Relation of the apparent phenomena to their interpretation. 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 . and party to selective absorption of the light rays by the atmosphere surrounding the earth. l h night. the planets. completing a revolution in one day. These elementary facts are the basis upon which the theory of Ptolemy was developed.INTRODUCTION earlier for each successive night. l h 4&m . Its motion in one day is approximately one degree. 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. The direction of motion is opposite. and regards the stars as attached to the surface of a sphere. and planets move over the surface of the sphere. January and least in July. are exceptions to the general rule which These are rigidly fixes these objects to the surface of the celestial sphere. and their connection with the scheme outlined in Section 1 is not difficult to trace. and the planets therefore appear to move over the surface of the celestial sphere with respect to the stars. The celestial sphere rs existence. Two of them. The various motions proceed quite independently. to be the central body of the universe. 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. concentric with the earth and enclosing the remaining members of the system. but the planets themselves are not confined to the neighborhood of the sun. in general. due partly to reflection. Mercury and Venus. This motion is called the Annual Motion of the Sun. While the sun. 44 . moon. m etc. The re3. Their motions with respect to the stars are complex. half a dozen more or less. As already explained.. but its average is such that a circuit of the sphere is completed in one year. fixed in position. the wandering stars of the ancients. Its path is a great circle called the Ecliptic. respectively. moon. moon. to that of the diurnal rotation. the sphere itself rotates on its axis with a uniform angular velocity. The paths of the others also lie near the ecliptic. oscillating from one side to the other in paths which deviate but little from the ecliptic. That the stars rise earlier on successive nights shows A that the motion of the sun over the sphere is toward the east. being greatest in of rising of the stars. It assumes the earth. the stars . and planets to revolve about the earth in paths which are either circular or the result of a combination of uniform circular motions. never depart far from the sun. but their paths are looped so that there are frequent changes in di- rection and temporary reversals of motion. The sun.

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

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

therefore. We a sphere is most conveniently accomplished by a reference to two great circles that intersect at right angles. 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. or the Direction due to Gravity. the Meridian.8 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT A word more. Since our observations and measurements must be upon things which have visible existence. 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. either explicitly or implicitly. or simply. The Direction of the Plumb Line. Since the radius of the celestial sphere is indefinitely great as compared with the radius of the earth. 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. pierces the celestial sphere above in the Zenith. or more briefly. Their planes are perpendicular to the horizon plane. We must make our measurements upon the various celestial bodies and then. Produced indefinitely in all directions. cannot specify the position of any object without referring it. longitude and latitude. 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. perpendicular to the direction of the plumb line. Great circles through the zenith and nadir are called Vertical Circles. the stars for example. we are forced to an indirect method of procedure. produced indefinitely in both directions. is called the Horizon Plane. respectively. It is evident from the the North Pole and the South Pole. and below. Coordinates and Coordinate Systems. Our first step. 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. derive the position of the sphere and its axis. The called the celestial sphere is North Celestial Pole pierced by its axis of rotation in two points and the South Celestial Pole. Its plane coincides with the plane of the terrestrial meridian through the point of observation. 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. The plane through the point of observation. is the definition of the points and circles of reference which will form the foundation for the various systems. from the known location of these objects on the sphere. For example. to some other object whose location is assumed to be known. We meet at the outset a difficulty in that the sphere and its axis have no objective existence. . The vertical circle passing through the celestial poles is called the Celestial Meridian. Position is a relative term. from the circles of reference are its coordinates in this case. poses it is more convenient to consider this plane as the horizon plane. in the Nadir.

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

10 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY COORDINATE SYSTEMS. SYSTEM .

COORD1XA TES 11 Point .

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

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

In the case of the stars. Parallactic displacement is usually called Parallax. The change thus produced . signifies specifically. expressed in years. The displacement due to the earth's rotation is in : of course altogether inappreciable. depends only upon except as position may determine the direction and magnitude of the motion. it is possible to assume that the motion is uniform and along the arc of a great circle. in the same way that the direction of the wind. /. 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. a shift in the position of the earth from one side of its orbit to the other. on the contrary. appears different from that when the observer is at rest. and motion for any other instant f. We have already seen how Their motions over the sphere are so slight as to be entirely inappreciable in the vast majority of cases. and is Aberration carefully to be distinguished from the parallactic displacement. For the stars the matter is much and that of the observer. Second. a distance of more than 180. for . it is only necessary to add to the given coordinates the products of the proper motion in right ascension and declinasimpler.14 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Polaris. The variation arising from the rotation of the earth on its axis is far smaller. and is included with the effect of the object's own motion in the ephemeris which expresses its positions. of. The motion of the observer may affect the position of a celestial object tion into the interval/ initial /' epoch and its two ways First. it is desired to find their values as affected by proper any instant.000 miles. in so far as the position is dependent upon the star's own motion. and not at all upon his position. Parallactic displacement. For all but a few. The change in one year is called the If the right ascension and declination are given for star's Proper Motion. reveals no measurable change in the coordinates. depends on the distance over which the observer actually moves. and. 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. and for those in which the change cannot be disregarded. 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. to about <W relatively small.000. and does not exceed 20" for any of the the case of stars. is e The annual precession example. For the nearer bodies the parallactic displacement due to the earth's annual motion is large. when so spoken the correction which must be applied to the observed . 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. the observer's velocity. and the planets can be expressed by means of an ephemeris giving the right ascension and declination for equi-distant intervals of time. as noted from a moving boat or train. moon. 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.is called Aberration. and can always be treated as a correction.

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

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

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

the coefficient values for b and /. respectively. . the circle represents a section of the earth C is the center of coinciding with the vertical plane through the object. 9. (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. In this expression. i. the error will seldom exceed a tenth of a minute of arc. 1 can be used for the calculation of the refraction. 60. . the earth.5 inches. r. the zenith. For rough work the matter can be still further simplified by using mean Fahr. The refraction is given in seconds of arc. b is the barometer reading in inches. z. the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. Science p. Bulletin of the Series. For altitudes greater than 20 and normal atmospheric conditions. angles z' 'This form was derived by Comstock.18 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 983* tan 2'. For 6=%9. Parallax. in Fig. the observed or apparent zenith distance. (3) derived empirically from the results given by the theoretical development. /. whence = 57" tan z'. which is equal to the angle /. is the parallax of B. Thus. the point of observation. Their difference. The Z and z are the apparent and geocentric zenith distances. 2. 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. 2 of observation. and / =50 will rarely of (3) is 57". and B the object.when the altitude is not than 15. University of Wisconsin. The error of the result less exceed one second. v.

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

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

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

y. and apply to all spherical triangles. that in which the given parts are two sides of a spherical triangle. mental formulae of spherical trigonometry. 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. and are independent of the rectangular coordinate axes introduced for their derivation. Equation (16) affords a theoretically accurate solution of the problem. the ordinary logarithmic tables. y. 2. and z from (to) common factor r. pp.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. and that in which the three sides are given. 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. and an angle opposite one of them. (16) Similar expressions for the angles B and Ccan be derived by a simple permu- tation of the letters in (16). they should be transformed so as to reduce the addition and subtraction terms in the right terms (Num. Thus. the application of expressions of this form is limited on account of the necessity of determining the angles from . These equations express relations between five of the six parts of the spherical triangle ABC. provided the algebraic sign of the sine of the required side. c. members of (13) and (14) to single Aside from the case covered by equations (i3)-(i5). . cos A = cos asin bcos bc cos c r-T sin . and dropping the Substituting into equations (12) the values of x. Cal. be known. From them all other spherical trigonometry formulae can be derived. Equations (i3)-(is) are conveniently arranged as they stand if addition- For use with subtraction logarithms are to be employed for their calculation. x = x'cos c y sin c. The first of these can be solved for those cases which arise in astronomical practice by a simple transformation of (13).. 13 and 14). x'. to find the third side. (13) (14) (15) A. to find one or more of the angles. A solution for the third case can also be found by a rearrange- ment of the terms of (13). Otherwise there will be two solutions. two others occur in connection with the problems of practical astronomy. but. the method of development and the results are These relations are the fundageneral. (12) and (n). Although the parts of the triangle in Fig. practically. the details of which will be considered in connection with the determination of latitude. 3 are all less than 90. or of the sine or cosine of the required angle. viz. A.

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

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

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

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

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

that for equations (29). although the majority of the numbers appearing Its omission saves time and produces no confusion. Otherwise. 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. The arguments tor the check quantities. using addition-subtraction logarithms. is smaller than log cos d. is in the second column. sin 5 and cos 5. 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). 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. the azimuth of an its zenith distance 62 37' 49". in the computation are logarithms. For a place of observation whose latitude is 38 56' 51". They are inserted here In order to illustrate the application of the control. . made with the ordinary tables. need not ordinarily be written down. Example object is 97 14' 12" and and declination. of the two groups of equations. appears column. which. 3 is determined from log tan 3. in this case. an erroneous computation may check. For the first. In the calculation of (29). The check quantities must agree both in absolute magniapparently tude and algebraic sign. The abbreviation /o^-is not prefixed to the arguments. <5 is derived from log sin 3.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

Its length is 365. thus for 1909. D. for the variations in the motion of the equinox take place so slowly that. send out daily over the wires of the various tele- graph companies. and does not. The most important are the tropical and the Julian. in a direction opposite to that of the rotation of the follows that during a tropical year the equinox must complete 366. (40) In accordance with a suggestion due to Bessel. all The importance sidereal days are of the same length. origin in The fractional parts of a For chronological purposes the use of a year involving day would be inconvenient. D. The Tropical Year. S. therefore have the important relation: whence it We One Tropical Year=365-2422 M. although the difference between the two never exceeds a fractional part of a day. and vice versa. coincide with the beginning of the calendar year. 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. but practically it may be considered as such. series of time signals which indicate accurately the instant of mean noon. sidereal time is not. for sidereal time is more easily determined than either apparent or mean solar time. a uniformly varying quantity. 22. 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"'. 23.38 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The instant of transit of the true vernal equinox is called Sidereal Noon=S. The true sidereal time thus obtained is transformed into mean solar time by calculation.2422 revolutions with respect to the observer's meridian. in general. and used for the correction of the mean solar timepieces of the observatory.0. for the purposes of observational astron- omy. The Tropical Year is the interval between two successive passages of the mean sun through the mean vernal equinox. Several different kinds of years are employed astronomy. and the Lick Observatory at Mt. has already been shown in Sections 11 and 14. Certain observatories. in particular the United States Naval Observatory at Washington. of sidereal time in the transformation of the coordinates of the second system into those of the third. C. During this interval the mean sun makes one circuit of the celestial sphere from in equinox to equinox again. These signals reach every part of the country. D. strictly speaking. the beginning of the tropical year is indicated by This epoch is independent of the position of the observer on the earth 1909.2422 S. The symbol for this instant is formed by affixing a decimal point and a zero to the corresponding at the instant year number. which ordered that Calendar. and serve for the regulation of watches and clocks generally. .2422 M. Since the precessional and nutational motions of the true equinox are not uniform. It also plays an important role in the determination of time generally.=366. sphere itself. That actually used has its a decree promulgated by Julius Caesar in 45 B. Hamilton in California. N. S.

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

mean solar. sponding mean solar time. 10 astronomical / j ^^ 25. 6 3 h I4 m 21". astronomical astronomical 600 18 18 18 o Oct. Oct. Oct.40 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Equations (41) are true whether the times be apparent solar. The equation of time varies irregularly m It is somethe year. Oct. and vice versa.A.. S. S. . 12 Oct. A. 1907.M. 12 o o o o \ / P. Given. and sometimes negative. T. Example 9.M. Example 8. t and the definitions of mean solar and apparent solar time.M. E is = S. 12 6 i8 o A. central standard time 1907. From equation (36). S. A. of A. of M. Oct. Greenwich mean sponding Washington mean solar time. II 6 h 18 18 o" A. =d = = M.74 Ans. civil and astronomical.85 57. R. to find the corred a. Oct. n oh 3 i6i8 P. A. L Example 10. Oct. T. Given. its maximum absolute value being about i6 throughout times positive.M. central standard time 1907. R. (42) Equation of Time. civil Oct. ii 57.85 A. h h s Given.M. find the corresponding Greenwich mean 7V= i2 h H m L Te = 6 = 18 16141 9 23 18. The ascension of the apparent sun is calculated from the known orbital motion right of the earth. The difference S. Given. we find = M.M. S. T. A. corresponding Columbia mean solar lime. T. find the Te L = 1907. civil Example 11. The right ascension of the mean sun is known from its manner is . R. since the right ascension of the apparent called the . solar time 1907. T. Given the apparent solar time at any place. TV = L Te = = 1907. astronomical and civil. A. = II oh ii 3 m i6'i8 18. sun sometimes smaller and sometimes greater than that of the mean sun. Oct.. Oct. 12 Oct. find the corresponding Greenwich mean solar time. of M. find the corre- Te = 1907. S. S. S. Columbia solar time. S. 3 5 h I4 m 21" 8 6 16 5 5 22 Ans. T. or sidereal. of A.33 P. R. 6 = TV = 1907. mean solar time I2 h I4 m 16:41. whence M. A. 9 53 53 23 7\v= 1907.33 34.

N. S. corresponding Columbia apparent solar time. 20 Example Given. T.9 Ans. E during M.M.T.2 18 14 E for Gr. Given. Oct. but the column is headed by a precept which indicates whether it is to be added to or subtracted from the given time. 1907. Oct. . 165) in E (to be added to M. E for Gr. S. Oct.001. Change Gr. The former page is used when apparent time is converted into the corresponding mean solar time. 20 18. 1907. If the time to be converted refers to a meridian other than that of Greenwich.S. 19 23 23 2. h standard time 1907. Oct. Oct.15 52 Ans. T. A. T.95 12. Oct. Oct. definition. and the right ascension of the mean sun in the last column of the same page. and for Greenwich mean noon. Gr. S. N. or true.S. A. astronomical L Columbia M." which immediately folprinted low those containing the equation of time. in the columns headed "Difference for i Hour.95 14. M. and the lated in the various astronomical ephemerides. latter when apparent solar time is to be found from a given mean solar time. S. the corresponding Greenwich time must be calculated before the interpolation is made. T. T. 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. central n i8 m 1252 A. 15 26 i 13 Gr.11 12.. 41 This data suffices for the calculation of . find the m ' E Change in E during 2h 6m 12' -f- 56*75 1.11 (Eph. 1907.06 1907.M. 1907. on page II.39 i.07 (Eph. in accordance with the Example 12.) 15 S.3 53. S. T. Note that for each date the difference of the right ascension of the apparent. be added to Columbia M. is equal to the corresponding value of E. 1907. 15 I3 2h 6 m 12506. 1907. 164) (to be subtracted from A. h 52"" 14" S. S. S. T. Oct. sun in column two of page II. T. Oct. 165) E (to + Columbia A. Oct. not given in the American Ephemeris. 15 52 6 Ana. p. T. 15 1907. Given. find the corresponding Greenwich apparant solar time. p.20 57. M. 15 h 52"" 14511. 15 i 13 -)- 56588 1. Oct.63 (Eph. M.) Gr.) i 13 2 57. whose values are tabu- In the American Ephemeris they are given for instants of Greenwich apparent noon on page I for each month. N. 1907. 19 9 8 1907.9 12. Greenwich mean solar time 1907.06 14. find the C. i Example 13. Greenwich apparent solar time 1907. 14. 15 corresponding Greenwich mean solar time. Change in M. A. p. 20 nh 23 5 i8 m I2!2 A. Oct. T.o 54.TIME TRANSFORMATION of definition. 20 E during 5 h i8 m 12* 58. Gr. for Gr. 1907. Oct.

2 A.o 1907. mean Relation between the values of a time interval expressed in and sidereal units. S. Oct.) Columbia M. T. T. S. S.2422 (43) IT _ 366.42 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Example 15.2422 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. 1907. S.2 E Gr. Change in JE during 5 33 h m 13' +2. Ans. T. = 24" h m 3 565555 Sid. from Columbia A. S. Columbia A. A. in S. 20 23 II 8 9 18 53. 19 23 h L 69 33 14 15 23 5459 18. 1907.50 i. Equation (40) is the fundamental relation If we let the units of mean solar and sidereal time. S. S.M. S. connecting f 26. Oct. T. A. 19 1907. m M. 20 for Gr. D. T. 56"" 45091 M. = 1124 = 235. Gain of 6 on M.909 h . = 23 S. = IIl24 = 2365555 D.2422 (43) /m = Ia - (44) Writing ' 11T= 365. S. in i i M. Oct. solar = the value of any interval / in mean 7m = the value of /in sidereal units. Oct.3 13. Hence Gain of on M. Oct. T. 19 23 h 23 m f4"9. find the corresponding central standard time. Given Columbia apparent solar time 1907.9 i8. N.. from (40) /s = =/m + 365^422 366. by supposing 7S 24 o h = 24 h we obtain from (46) m O5ooo Sid.52 E (to be sub. 20 5 58. T. A we find solar units. Oct. 12.3 L C. 1907.

92 is III/m = 16 21 (Eph. Table Table III gives those of III/m. respectively. provided the highest precision required.ini For many purposes these expressions imate relations: IIl24 h hour hour = IIIi" = 918565 = III =9. Example By Eq.8296 may be replaced by the following approx- 1124 IIIi III = = 4 4 m (i (l (i 1/70). 1/60). as follows: = 20*478 io*/s = 204*78 = 3.T. II) The calculation of II/S by the last of (49) /.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.0006 Error = 0.41 1/60X10*78= II/s 201. II by Tables II and III printed at the" end of the American Ephemeris. the contains the numerical values of II/s. l/6o).081 Error Error = 0. Gainof0onM. 17. and vice versa. = 2O = 11 28 m 42*17 3 25 is II/S /m = 2O 21. Table Ans.37 = 3 m 2 "37 . and the second the argu- ment which to be used for the interpolation.S. value thus found differs onlyo'oi from that derived from Table III of the Ephemeris.88 (Eph. find the equivalent sidereal By Eq. upon (49). In case tables are not available the conversion can be based upon equations is (47) or (48). 16. Table Ans. or more simply.29 2O. S. 1/70). S. =10. It will be observed that factors of is H/ and III/m indicate the table. the equivalent mean solar (46) /. =10 (i = 0*016 = 0. Given the sidereal interval 20" 28 m 42*17.33 Ill/m = 160. not Example interval. while arguments being the values of the first /s and 7m. T. S. (45) /m fs = = I6"1 18 2 21*20 40.72 1. III) The calculation of III/m by the third of (49) as follows: /m = 16*306 I/7oXio*/m = 163106 = 2.73 = 2 m 40!73 IO"/m find The Interval. in I M.RELATION OF SIDEREAL AND SOLAR INTERVALS and further Gain of 43 on M. Given the mean solar interval toMS" 1 21*20.

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. oa o h Gr. in connection with equation sidereal time is not a uniformly varying quantity. right ascension of the mean sun and its determination. it follows that the increase in the right ascension of the mean sun one mean solar day is sensibly 236. and angle. Relation between mean solar time and the corresponding sidereal time. The transformation requires a knowledge of R. at the instant to which the given time refers.25)' + osooooo93* + nutation in right ascension. shows that s which are approximately-}. . M. a (51) in It reckoned in Julian years from the epoch 1900. is equal by definition to the mean solar time. the right ascension of the mean sun. The nutation in right ascension oscillates between limits strictly (50).44 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT 27.I s and I with a period of about 19 years. a fact already indicated in Section 21. Applying this equation mean sun. as given by equation (51). This. indeed. T. 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. From this it follows that the methods given in Section 26. Jan. Its change in one day is therefore very small. however. which can be made the basis for the conversion of the one into the other. B 555. is The shown in RG = 18" 38 m 45 ! 836 + (236:555 X 365. Equation (50) therefore expresses a relation between mean solar time and the cor- M responding sidereal time. as the same is true of the term involving 2 t in (51). and the gain of the former during the same period as shown by the in R first of (47).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. and. can equally well be applied to the determination of the increase in R. The latter. we have exact numerical agreement between the change in the latter for one mean solar day. 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. we find M=6 R R (50) in which its hour represents the right ascension of the mean sun. 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. and. including Tables II and III of the Ephemeris and the approximate relations (49). now turn our attention to a consideration of the methods which are avail- We able for the determination of this quantity.

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

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

Find the right ascension of the mean sun for the epoch S.00 = R=5 III 36 (Eph. precise value given by (54) 29. Table III) Ans. 47 This requires that for 183* the negative value of Table III be employed. with the value of Roo for l\\z following Jan. ^? = i8 h = 10 5 36 i 0-5 0. Table III) (Eph. p. i8 h 37 i 5-1 (Table II) 0. and seconds that have elapsed and by (45) M+IIIAf . the corresponding error will not exceed 3". = 6h ^?o = Sh = (54) 34 i i m 25*'0 0. (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. 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. T. to the sidereal time of the preceding mean noon at the is the mean time interval since preceding mean noon. The right member of (58) therefore expresses the sum of the sidereal time of the preceding mean noon and the number of sidereal hours. (59) Equations (59) and (58) solve the problem. 21 6m 2<ji Columbia M. = -ioi = = = The +o li 8io(Table8lIIandIV)^?oo (1910) IIl(Z is I2 h loodtgo 4oo-?76o S-725 = = + M) = III/. Columbia M..7 (Table II) lllL III(Z> -f- M) = R= 59 3 49. (58) RL = Ro + lllL.TRANSFORMATION OF MEAN SOLAR INTO SIDEREAL TIME 0-4. o. By Equation /. 93) (Eph. Now Greenwich.7 5' 19. minutes.e.34 48. together D> somewhat greater uncertainty is permissible.67 22. Given the mean solar time at any instant to sponding sidereal time. If D be reckoned from the expeditiously found by using 4 (i o as above. the result may be more m 1/70) for III. <1 1909. Find the right ascension of the mean sun for the epoch 1907.1 6 12 35 Jf= m 3 5'2i. June 16 S. 1 1 9 21 m i8'33 ll\L lllAf Af=8 14. Sept. It is M is the equivalent sidereal interval. T. If a Example 8 h 2i m 14-00 18. place considered. at that instant. From equation (50) we find corre- = M+R Introducing the value of (57) R from (53) we have = M+i + where UIM. nearest Jan.7 2. 34 find the Ans.

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. Example 20. as indicated R may R be obtained from (56) and substituted into (57) for the determination of 0. is the sidereal time corresponding to the mean time. (61) .05 10 Aas.532 = IIIL = lll(D + M) = = Koo M= i6 h 27"" 32:2 18 37 5. designed for use at the meridian of Columbia. m 7. 5 8 Ans. We make use of equation (50).4 55 Ans. Oftentimes a rough approximation for 6 is all that is required. 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. By equation m (60) i8 h 4 (i 1/70) (Z> + . In case the Ephemeris is not at hand.23 55. The maximum error in the value of (60) is i. is useful : 0= The J?oo first i8"37'?7 + M + 4m (i i//o) (D + M). mean Given the sidereal time at any instant to find the corresponding solar time. (60) term in the right member of this formula is the average value of . by the equation. By equations M= Xo III/. 30. M=6 Substituting as in Section 29 R we have RL M=O or IUM X I. m plus the constant term IIIL. find the corresponding sidereal time. 16.7 2 8 54 10 43.W) = # = M= 16 2 37T7 27.67 111M= 2 42.1 i 0. = IS = = 8 39 i 39-98 0. M. Nov.48 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT In other words it since noon. The uncertainty in the sidereal time thus found will be the same as that of derived from (56). viz. In such cases the following. Given Columbia mean solar time i6 h 27 (58) and (59) i6 h 27"" 32517 32517 on 1909.5 54-7 10.

and dropping the (I + III)(I II) = I Combining this with (61) we find M= d where. May 12. RL 11(0 RL). find the corre- By equations 9 = RL = RL = RL) = (62) and (63) 25. the mean Given. as before. and RL the sidereal Since time of the preceding mean noon. factor 7m ft we find 49 member by member.72 18.82 M= 34-o 19. Equation (62) is susceptible of an interpretation similar to that given (58) in the preceding section.05 A. i. T. Columbia sidereal time i h 7 m 19*27. sponding central standard time. Example 21. is the given sidereal time.M. minutes. and seconds that have elapsed since the preceding mean. solar time corresponding to the given 0.33 (Eph. S. in accordance with equation (46).46 jii jm 19*28 20 46 3 3 21 53. . 6 RL is the sidereal interval that has elapsed since noon. noon.TRANSFORMATION OF SIDEREAL INTO MEAN SOLAR TIME common Multiplying equations (45) and (46). (62) RL =R + III/. Table II) 21 L= 43 9 52 C.e. (63) Equations (63) and (62) solve the problem. subtract from d ^L the quantity 11(0 RL). = 9 38. Ans. May 13. 1908. The right member of (62) therefore expresses the number of mean solar hours. To find the equivalent mean time interval we must.

IV INSTRUMENTS AND THEIR USE Instruments used by the engineer. and it 1637. blind and enfeebled. and it does not. though it is not certain that the principle employed was that involved in the modern method of regulation. the Dutch physicist and astronomer. Historical. fulfill all the requirements that may be demanded of a timepiece. however. to rediscover the principle. and the tude. 50 With an accurate portable timepiece. and the engineer's transit or the sextant. was not until some years later that his idea found material realization in a clock ever this constructed by his son Vincenzio. Some sixty years later Harrison and Graham devised methods of pendulum compensation for changes of temperature. 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. By the beginning of the eighteenth century the need of accurate portable timepieces had become pressing. Netherlands established large money prizes for a successful solution. The use of both the engineer's transit and the sextant presupposes an under- standing of the vernier. tachment is is treated separately before the discussion of the transit In consequence. 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. the method now used was certainly suggested by Galileo about but Galileo was then near the end of his life. It remained for Huygens. Since then its develin design and construction has kept pace with that of other forms of astronomical apparatus. made the clock an instrument of precision. the artificial horizon. TIMEPIECES 32. 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. the construction and theory of this atand sextant undertaken. and in 1657 give it an application that attracted general attention. It can not be transported from place to place. with important modifications in the escapement mechanism introduced by in 1713. and in 1714 that of Great Britain offered a reward of 20. How- means may be.000 for a method which would give the longitude of a ship within half a degree. Graham opment which. France. Contrivances for the measurement of time have been used since the beginning of civilization. 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. time and azimuth are the watch or engineer chronometer. . The instruments employed by the for the determination of latitude.CHAPTER 31. although the question had been attacked The by the most capable minds of the two centuries immediately preceding. The pendulum clock must be mounted in a fixed position. matter was of such importance that the governments of Spain. therefore. not so much for the work of the astronomer as for that of the navigator.

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 .

Example 26.n present a satisfactory agreement. 2 and 17. Any irregularity in the rate will therefore reveal itself in the form of a progressive change in the separate values of /?. 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. chronometer made Given thirty comparisons of a Wallham watch and a Bond sidereal intervals of one minute. 3 and and 30. Thus. to calculate the separate values of the relative rate. The two values of J7"c. and it is important to arrange the calculation so that any irregularity in the relative rate will be revealed. The quotient of the loss by the interval in minutes is a value of the relative rate per minute. consider the resultant error of observation in when derived from equation (a). in general. to find the rate per minute of the watch referred to the chronometer. The solution of the first part of the problem may therefore be accomplished by grouping the comparisons in pairs and applying equation (a). the ath comparison is paired with the(is The )th.. 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. while the intermediate values of /. chronometer time. It is not necessary. and soon. upon those obtained during the last 15 minutes. the second. therefore. but at the same time will throw light upon the reliability of the instruments employed. 15 We + T second from the seventeenth. together with the constant value 7C 15. 23. whence the mean relative rate of the watch referred to the chronometer is 05157 per minute of . or. 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. are omitted. The 15 values of 7 substituted into equation (a).. R are thus led to the following grouping of the comparisons: i and 16. if /c 7w then = interval between two chronometer 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. would give 15 separate values for R. The first of these would depend upon data secured during the first 15 minutes of the observing period. To obtain a criterion for the most advantageous arrangement.' would correspond to various intermediate 15-minute intervals. and for the derivation of the final result of 7W which . 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. The first of these is derived by subtracting the first from the sixteenth. by subtracting the 18 . and the average uncertainty of a single comparison. R = relative rate of watch per minute. from (b) that the precision of R increases with the length of this interval.. T. But.. 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. = interval between two watch times. The into C. The mean of the resulting values of will then be the final result.. since 7C is assumed to be constant throughout. S.CLOCK COMPARISONS The second and details of the conversion of 55 third comparisons are reduced by the method used for Ex. . The reduction will then give not only the quantitative value of the final result. 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..

56 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT WATCH AND CHRONOMETER COMPARISON No. .

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

in order.58 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Denote the true value of this interval by I. i" in 358*. To ex0:5 as compared with the chronometer. No. The numerical values of the corrections are from the readings. in column six. if. used for 7 is one-fifth of the average of the intervals between the th and the (-j-5)th clock readings. The average residual for the reduced clock readings is 2*94. . . 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. The value to be in column five. The individual values of these intervals are in column four. Their mean is n m I4' 55!2. g7. o7. which . 2/. 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. may loses be accepted as the average uncertainty of the time of a coincidence. whence 7= 2 59!O4. and the reduced clock readings themselves. COMPARISON BY COINCIDENT BEATS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and C. R. ?' sin/. c. C. but if there is any deviation from the condition expressed in No. The formation of the mean for the two value. (95) o z = 90 = go is r 1\ + / + /sin /. since c 2. residual error of adjustment in No. however. i. respectively. 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'} . L. (96) (97) /-fz'sin/. Substituting (94) and (95) into (92) and (93) . C.-/. L. the subscripts being assigned so that <i8o*. or the component of / parallel to the horizontal axis.) + / si n /. The component of i in the direction of the line of sight.)-Hsin/. are combined. and / the reading izontal. is the instrumental zenith distance for C. C. '. 7.68 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY' b. C. (93) in which s. R. the readings will not be the true altitudes.e. (92) A similar investigation gives for the reversed position of the instrument = + . for they will include the effect of the index error. It therefore appears that the vertical circle readings are not sensibly affected by /.. the To free the results from z'sin/ reflected. positions of the instrument does eliminate the index error. 7. R. (94) ^=90-r. R. L.. L. and C. are not read directly from the circles.. using the mercurial horizon. C. R. The mean of (96) and (97) s = 90 iX(r + r. viz. and i are very small. (99) which v 1 t and v 3 are the circle readings. z = z + /sin /. i sin/ enters with i"ts full and (98) and (99) show that it cannot be eliminated even when readings taken C. L. L. be the vertical circle readings when the line of sight is hor- we have z = 90 r + /. . Considering the triangle defined. If r The and rt for C. or. The ordinary angles s and engineer's transit reads altitudes. (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. C.

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

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

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

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

must equal r" which 6' represents the sum of the four readings. the length of the bubble. respectively. /'. \ 6 = Sd. The right end of the bubble should always be read first. r' Mistakes in may be is avoided by noting that The following. for both r' and I" and r" and /' will be opposite in sign and approximately equal in absolute magnitude. The instrument should be protected from changes in temperature. . even though he depends entirely upon a simple centering of the bubble If the striding level is to be used. which is adjustable in the more sensitive forms. and. made with a level whose zero point is in the middle of the tube.THE LEVEL The length 73 of the bubble. 15'" T=9 b 9. The The observation was D 0=6 h + 14.8 35.0 The ob44.7 I2 m - +31-0 20.1 + io. and from the heat of the reading lamp and the person of the observer. gular The investigation of levels is most easily carried out with the aid of a level trier. in /".'i6 and 0*032. most easily found by forming first the diagonal sums of the four readings written as above. should be about one-third the length of the tube. the are 8'. it should be shielded from the rays of the sun. server should be familiar with the sensitiveness of all the levels of his instrument. value of one division of its scale is an essential. 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. Determination of the value of one division of a level. The values of Example first 28. The entire transit may be mounted on the arm. or the various levels may be attached separately for the investigation. a convenient form for the record: Time r' r r" r' r>' r" +/" 4/' "I -S. and the time of reading reversal for each observation should be noted. is S following illustrates the record and reduction of level observations". with one whose zero is at the end. to this end. second. careful attention being given to the algebraic sign.\ + . 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.4 13. and ample time should be allowed for the bubble to come to rest before reading. a knowledge of the anfor the adjustment.3 + 16.

for both level direct and reversed. A glance at the results in this variable. and column six. 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 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 differences between the th and the (6-f)th readings column five.74 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY Example 29. The bubble was run from the left to the right end of the tube and back again. column sufficient to show that the curvature of the level tube is ONE DIVISION OF A LEVEL LEVEL TRIER No. The following shows part of the reduction of observations made with a determination of the value of one division of a level. 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. The fifth column contains the means of the quantities in the two preceding columns. . the corresponding bubble for level direct. 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. and columns three and four. Column two of the table gives the micrometer means of the end readings of the settings. Each of the displacements of the bubble in column six therefore corresponds to a in in inclination of 24". the micrometer head through four divisions at a time.

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

axis may be accomplished as follows: Level the instrument and center the The angle i telescope bubble. taking care at the same time that the transverse plate Then change In the absence of a telescope level. in both positions of the instrument. and bring the object back to the intersection of the threads by means of the levelling screws. The bubble should be run from one end of the tube to the other and then back again. 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. and observing the variations in the position of the bubble. 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. by means of the middle of its bubble is also centered after the deflection. level the instrument. levelling screws. the deflection of the vertical instrument be provided with a telescope level. sight on a distant object. 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. Such a series of readings constitutes a set. bring the telescope bubble back to the tube. tubes with only a few graduations the former method is more convenient. For very sensitive levels it should be less. while the latter is to be preferred for the long finely graduated tubes of sensitive levels. The graduations of the tube are in two groups of three each. For short say 10'. the groups being separated ONE DIVISION OF A LEVEL DEFLECTED Axis Level Divisions . or by changing the circle readings by a definite amount. as rigidly mounted as possible. The deflection was 3. 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. the vertical circle reading by the angle i and. preferably on a desirable to check the constancy of i by deflecting through masonry pier. tion of the value of one division of the striding level of a Berger transit.

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

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

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

The quantities in the fifth line are the means.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. M. To correction for refraction. The angles are the apparent altitudes obtain the true altitudes a corresponding to the watch times immediately preceding.. October 15. Example 32. The transits were observed over the middle horizontal thread. The measures were all direct and were made by projecting the image of the sun on a card.80 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY POLARIS Vertical Circle ALCYONE Vertical Circle Watch 19" Ver. for the determination of the altitude of the sun. B 20 40' Clrcle Rate 33 25 26 33 34 39 26 33 36 50 36 ii 8" 35-1 1- 34 29'. The following observations were made with a Berger engineer's transit on 1908. which may be obtained from Table J. must be applied. Thursday P. Fauth . page 20. 8 R R L L m 2i!4 1. The timepiece was the Fauth sidereal clock of the Laws Observatory. 39 A 26' Ver. the telescope being shifted after each transit. A 40' Ver. 39 B 26' Clrcle Watch 9>>3s Ver.2 i-4 20 20 21 37 4i 59 38 i 20 21 59 38 I L R 43 91139"' 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Care should be taken always to enter the table with the R' corresponding to the given R as argument. S be required Owing the value calculated . respectively. (127) two objects whose is the sextant reading for coincidence of the distance is A.90 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The readings thus obtained will also give the value of 5. the form A=R + f+E. the results may be plotted as From the plot a ordinates with the corresponding values of R' as abscissas. Since. in the 53. and E and E. Should the value for the reduction of observations on the sun (see Section 55). Each sextant must be investigated specially for the determination of the eccentricity errors affecting the readings for different parts of the scale. the index correction. R. the sextant reading. table may be constructed giving the values of s for equidistant values of R'. nearly in A . Denoting its value by e. ' The chief difficulty in investigating the eccentricity of a sextant consists securing a suitable series of known angles. in order that the influence of irradiation may be eliminated. (128) dis- from (128) for a considerable number of angles tributed as uniformly as possible over the scale. I.. A. The mean result for each angle. Any defect condition introduces an eccentricity error into the readings. freed from index correction. where E. in order to obtain the true value of the angle. for if the index correction changes by any considerable amount. simple method is to measure with a good theodolite the angles between a series of distant objects. this cannot be eliminated. Since the center of the reflected image moves over from the first position to the second. respectively. gives by (71) an equation of. with fifth the usual form of the instrument there is but a single vernier. the sun's semia distance of diameter. These may be found by measuring a series of known angles of different magnitudes. its diameter appears larger of than it really is a phenomenon known as irradiation. can then be derived. from which the value of s for any other reading.from equation (126) should be used rather than that derived from the Ephemeris. Ra may change sufficiently to render the tabular values of e no longer applicable. The readings of the graduations for the readings R R coinciding graduations when the vernier reads R a and R may R ' R'. It should be noted that the usefulness of the table depends upon / remaining sensibly constant. (127) may be written and E is the correction which be denoted by must be applied to e=A Having determined e (R + f). we have four semi-diameters in shifting to the brilliancy of the solar image. Determination of eccentricity corrections. the eccentricity angular corrections for those graduations of the scale which coincide with vernier and R.

the visible horizon lies below the astronomical horizon. Make the adjustments in the order in which they are given above. and refraction is the required altitude. dip of horizon. The correction for dip is field. The measurement of the angular distance between the object and its mercury image gives the value of the double altitude of the object. since. use. 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 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. 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 all coincidences and contacts in the center of the field.MEASUREMENT OF ALTITUDES in the horizon. carefully be noted in using the sextant: The image of a star should be a sharply defined point. Practically. If the use of the mirror shade glasses cannot be avoided. horizon. whenever possible. Some practice is required in order to be able to bring the object and its mercury image into . the instrument should be handled with great care. expressed in feet. If a roof is used to protect the surface of the mercury from wind. and reverse them through 180 at the middle of the observing program to eliminate the effect of any non-parallelism of their surfaces. and the correction for eccentricity may be disregarded as relatively unimportant. necessary. 54. Precepts for the use of the sextant. 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. Although the sextant may be used for the measurement of angles lying in any plane. that of the sun must show the limb clearly defined and free from all blurring. for a slight shock may disturb 'the adjustment of the mirrors and change the value of the index correction. 55. shade glasses attached to the eyepiece rather than those in front of the mirrors. owing to the elevation of the observer. The observations are not susceptible of high precision. The measurement of altitudes. For observations on land the artificial horizon must be used. it also should be reversed at the middle of the program. In all cases make the direct and reflected images of the same intensity by regulating the distance of the telescope from the frame. To obtain the true reading the plane of the arc must be vertical. and always test them before beginning observations. it finds its widest application in practical astronomy in the determination of the altitude of a celestial body. The square root of the altitude of the observer above the level of the sea. Finally. For solar observations. will be the numerical value of the correction in minutes of arc. and reduce the intensity of the images as much as is consistent with clear definition. select those which will make the direct and reflected images of the same color. The index correction should be determined both before and after each series of settings.

The index is then moved 20' so that the images will again be approaching coincidence. the plane of the arc being held vertical. are really those of the object and its reflectaken that the images coinciding tion in the mercury. reflection can be seen. the constancy of the time intervals between the successive settings will be a sufficient test. bringing after reading. reflected image and if the observer is careful to stand so that the the sextant is kept vertical. If however. the mercury image. 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. The consistency of the measures should always be tested. 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. images are approaching and clamped. The ing the index near zero the Stand in a position such then turned slowly downward toward the mercury. the observations have been made by noting the times of coincidence for equidistant readings of the vernier. 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. a series of such settings in quick succession. been sufficiently The altitude of the object will cause them to change their relative positions.92 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY In case the object is a star. If R denote the mean of the vernier readings. 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. The time of coincidence and the vernier reading are noted. care must be coincidence quickly and accurately. 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 slight rotation about the axis of the telescope will bring it into view. 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 varying lowered. When they The instant of is noted and the vernier read. The time and the reading are noted as before and the process is repeated until a sufficient number of measures has been secured. reflected image will appear in the field. 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. By bringcenter of the horizon. To should be taken obtain an accurate value of the altitude. for if. unless too long an interval has elapsed. the index be left clamped and the telescope be directed toward noted for each. If it is not at once seen. the apparent double altitude of the object will be given by (129) . the reflected image will also be in the field.

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

94 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Readings on Sun .

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

p.. For = 180 d s. for objects between the zenith and the lower culmination the fundamental relation becomes ^ pole. 4. The The zenith distance of an object at any hour angle. The error of the clock. altitude of Polaris at any hour angle. Theory. T. properly corrected. If Ad be the error of the timepiece. the observer will bring the image to the intersection of the threads. =a Jd. I. On 1909. or (139) will then give the required value of the latitude. For = cos za <f> (if d). mean time. it is be derived geometrically by means of Fig. or the direct and reflected images into coincidence if the sextant is used. The reading on the upper limb at the calculated time of transit was 118 29' 10". 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. T'=TAT. an observation was made at the Laws Observatory with a sextant for the determination of the latitude by a meridian altitude of the sun. 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'. 4. then gives the altitude as before. is of observation. This instant marks the time of meridian passage. along with 8. 5. (140) where a. If a mean timepiece is used. The corresponding reading. A zenith distance of an object when on the meridian. the clock time of transit will be O' = a. April 10. (141) In case the error of the timepiece is uncertain. 2. the sidereal time of transit must be converted into the corresponding respectively. The hour angle of an object this case equation (31) reduces to cos za zero. Procedure. (139) For the instant of observation we have by (35) 58. series of zenith distances when the object is near the meridian. . The clock time of obervation is then given by pp. The The 3. difference of the meridian zenith distances of two stars. 24 seen that the upper sign must be used for objects south of the may also and the lower. or <p = dev (138) Equation (138) whence zenith. Example 36. 49 and 39.96 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 1. by equations (62) and (41). MERIDIAN ZENITH DISTANCE is on the meridian 57. (137) whence d.

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

from which circumstance it is commonly known as Talcott's method. Denoting quantity by C. the director about the middle of the eighteenth century. an instrument of the altazimuth type fitted with an accurately constructed micrometer eyepiece and a very sensitive altitude level. The level enables the observer to give the line of sight the same inclination to the vertical during both observations. 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. TABLE *' V . which expresses the rate of change of r per i of change in z'. If the method is to be used in connection with the engineer's transit. the angular value of one revolution of the gradienter screw should first be determined by measuring a small angle whose value is known. From (4) we find dr j~ 00 = 57 sec'. 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. we may assume tions should be screw will be revealed.PRACTICAL ASTRONOMr zenith distance may be measured more discussion was accurately with the gradienter screw than with the vertical circle. . value of C may be taken from Table V with the mean zenith distance of the two stars as argument. first proposed by Horrebow.s sin . 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. 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. o i . Examples Since the correction for refraction will always be small.

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

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

Tables VI and VII may be used for all ordinary observations with m . / in (31) must be replaced /. A observed nearest the time of transit. and the lower. (156) Equations (155) and (156). are different for each setting. express the solution of the problem. these coefficients may be obtained by (138) or (139) from the value of z less . TABLE VI t TABLE VII . Since and The factors they depend only upon the hour angle.C1RCUMMERIDIAN ALTITUDES in 101 by which the upper sign is to be used for southern stars. It will be noted further that A and B are constant for any given series of observations and need be calculated but once. in which the last terms are to be calculated by For observations with (151) and (153). their values may be tabulated with t as argument. on the other hand. the transit or sextant. For an object observed near lower culmination. for those culminating between the zenith and the pole. 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 resulting value of the reduction to the meridian substituted i8o + into (139) gives <p = 180 3 z Am Bn.

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

is readily accomplished by using the fundamental equation (31) in the form cos z = cos (<p A7 ). Having determined object. 64. 79.9648 9-9999 a.8. Procedure. Oct.) A sufficient number of decimal places must be employed to offset A7 is determined from its cosine. the fact that the angle <p Example 38. Then determine n and A7 by fica\ n sin n cos A7 = cos d cos cos 2 N= sin d. (161) Equations (i58)-(i6i) are rigorous and apply to all values of the hour angle. A <p = (tp N) + N. (157) Equation (157) is the last of equations (34).i m 45*. at watch time 8 h 35 m n P.2 i.M. . 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. in (158) which is the true sidereal time of observation.oooo 9-9999 9-8033 9. (See Ex.8034 50 30'. calculate the hour angle by the true and A7 being zenith distance of the t=0-a. 2. the auxiliaries defined by the first and second of this group. On 1908. t. the altitude of Polaris was found to be 39 2g'.S.3150 9-6498 7. was -).o wsinA tan " 7 ' 296 50 5 A " 7 z' 30.LATITUDE FROM ZENITH DISTANCE 103 This formulae for circummeridian altitudes no longer give convergent results.S. Find the latitude by equations (158) -(161).) The error of the watch on C.T. (See Section 56. 8 h 36 m 56" 21 i cos. 0351 89 a8'.i A 7 r sin A^ lo g 8.5 3i-3 ij 88 is 49. p. This together with the sign of cos(^ 7 A The latitude is then given by (159) determines the quadrant of <p . 31.0 larger o'.) Columbia a t t 13 14 cos* cos AT 27 10 19 46 4 3i'. C. 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.T.6 cosz cos(y> The calculated ^ <p A^) A^ than the true value by if Ant.$ 38 57.3 o.

A (tf 5. with an error same time we may write ! = with errors which are still smaller. IT. 14 and 16.S. 321 from the Ephemeris.in (164) not exceeding o"3. y> ^V is in the fourth quadrant.T. pp. The value of t shows that Polaris was east of the merand sin (y> idian at the time of the observation. a and J are from p. sin tpH sin in (162). the by //and TT. respectively. we find sin h = cos n sin + sin <p TT cos ip cos /. is converted into the corresponding Columbia by (41) and (58). (See Num. 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. Since at a maximum we may replace sin Hand At cos sins. (166) by (163) . respectively. H'). (162) shall If ffbe the difference in altitude of Polaris and the pole. thus obtaining H= -ncost + yztanyfr* Neglecting terms involving n3 . The polar always be a small angle. ft. Since the latitude is by definition equal to the 65.) Replacing z and d in (31) by the altitude. the problem may be solved by finding an in altitude of the pole and Polaris. (165) H' = Tf cos and substituting H' into (165) we have 3 /. we have (163) <p=h Writing h + H. and the north polar distance. -7z-cos/ + ^7r a 2 tan^sin /. H= Finally. the required difference will is due the possibility of a simplification of equation (31). Theory. consequently. whence cos IV) are negative. and expanding and solving for sins. it expression for the difference distance of Polaris is about i altitude of the north celestial pole.104 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The C. Since cos N} is positive.cos t -\- H (164) H= tan ^(cos// cos/r). To this fact n'. Comp.

i 1 i' o". (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 0.02.LATITUDE FROM POLARIS <p 105 =h K cos / + A!". The table is based on the value it K TABLE VIII t K= tan a sin* t . (167) in which " K%x' tan tp sin*/. but. 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.

TV Find the latitude by equations (169) from the data of Ex. 4. the small terms = Bn and' AT being disregarded. 9 23 i -32 41 i * 70. S 88 49'. sin in and we may write accuracy for the present purpose. Find the latitude by means of Table IV of the Ephemeris from the data is The hour angle to be calculated as before. For circummeridian altitudes (171) reduces by (151) to d<p = A sin t dO.S. and writing z equal to the meridian zenith distance. which agrees Example 40. is (p We more closely The change produced by a small change d(f in is by (136) = A tanAcosydO. 9 jrw C. 38 and 39. 38 24 h // p. of Exs. Ephemeris. 595. (170) will For at most.02. p. T. be small.0 - 2 27 log ^ cosi 3s 57- ^*- 21 34 The 9 is larger I. Influence of an error in time. Its value in both cases is h greater than I2 . Ex.39 2h / 4 h i39 2577 H <f 3928'. i h' 39 54'. i- 1 38 -9 13 16 logr cos ' 1.106 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMT Example 39. exactly with the result obtained by = ^ 38S7'. in which the upper sign refers to southern stars. 38 gives the formula of Section 64. = = 0. all of the preceding methods but No. Consequently. 323 34- than the true value by The application of equations (169) to the data of Ex.-9 * TTCOS. (170) becomes sin tdO.8506 Columbia a * t 9-95 6 1. with 24" / as Ex. argument. place of tan A A in . (172) For Polaris we have with sufficient approximation COS <? = 90 whence <p. S.8 may now examine 67. 57. 7T d<p= 0. We then find H is to be interpolated from Table IV. .02 sin tdO. (173) Equations (172) and (173) may be obtained directly from (153) and (157) by differentiating with respect to t and introducing rf/ dO. 9" 42 10" 33. 81.7 -31-2 38 57-S 3953'-S 57-0 38 56. the influence of an error in the time upon the calculated latitude.7562 calcu i ate d ^ <f o'. a few degrees (170) with sufficient Substituting for sin A its value from (33).

33=33" 0. is attained only by the method of a Talcott when used in connection with the zenith telescope.4771 Example 42. Polaris given How In Ex.012 Ans. 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. on the assumption that the watch correction used was By (172) we find. incorrect by 20"? 37.1849 8. p. The greatest precision. 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. may Example 41. 33. 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. . however. even though dO be large. 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. taking the values of A and / t from Ex.1744' log dy 1. be very slight indeed.i 3 23 34' sine 0.595 rf0 = 8'. from the first of the circump 101. 39. 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'. it also depends upon the zenith distance and declination of the star.INFLUENCE OF ERROR IN TIME 107 Equations (170) -(173) may be used for the calculation of dtp when dO is known. 105. It is evident that. aside from the dependence of dtp upon t. If dO is expressed in seconds of time. 02 sin/ o'. What is the error in the latitude calculated meridian altitudes of Ex. and if t be near oh or I2 h it pole. i? By 073) the data in Ex. 37 i do = Kf = 300" log^l sin/ log 300 = 7>"39 = 54'45" 0. 81. .5334 <fys='S" 2. ' we find <fy o. p.

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

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

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

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

and d for the instant of observation from Cal- of apparent places of circumpolar stars. latitude of the place of observation 38 56' 52". i 10'. interpolate log G.38 A o'. pp. Equations (180) are used for the calculation. (183) must correspond to the date are to be made at a given station. from the calculated azimuth of Polaris. 50 15 o'. or log G sec <f>. 85. Ephcweris. the list values of log G sec f in the third is column of Table IX 57'.24 The 72. and that the value of the coefficient n appearing In case a number of of observation. or from some similar table. pp. as these quantities are affected by instrumental errors whose influence is not eliminated until the mean is formed. For an approximate azimuth from Polaris. 85. Coast and Geodetic Survey. refer to the lati- tude of the Laws Observatory. the results for the two positions of the instrument being reduced separately. Then calculate A from is of the star : A= If JT i8o TrGsecysint. Supt. from table IX with t as argument. 1897-8. or it may be calculated by means of (182). the last (184) will also given in be expressed in minutes of minutes of arc. The azimuth of the mark is found by subtracting the difference 5 M.0. 399-407.112 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. 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. arc. 34. U. It is to value of sec^ must be used. The difference of the two values of is not to be taken as an indication of the precision of the result. that the local azimuth derived from (183). and The values of log G in Table IX are based upon <p which is the mean north polar distance for 1910. S. The value of logG may be taken from Kept. with the argument log h cost. The Determine the azimuth of the mark from the data given is in Ex. log G. taken from p. calculate A from (180). which Interpolate 38 Procedure. term of (184) be Example 43. Then For a precise azimuth. 40 12 o'. M . however. 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'.oo 45 o'. culate where d the true sidereal time of observation for which the azimuth difference and the mark has been measured. p. 312-323. 40.

90756 8.42280 8.AZIMUTH FROM ZENITH DISTANCE i i 113 h 25 10' 19" 46" 5i if 3 56 sec/p tan?r 0.10918 8.31362 log// 9.22118 .

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

also writing G= be derived from (184) by differentiating and Example 45. J7\y = i = 33 i<)'.J Si-' 91 tan 9-39196 sin(i 56. is small and we shall have approximately q= 1 80 t.2 24..61902 M M 24.20651 0.76132 0.6 3 3 8. we have with sufficient approximation z these results into (187) and (188) and writing cos<J = = go . t 3 59" 26:5 50 i /*' 33 I9'. Col. 9.S. whence cos^ = cost. 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.M.T. Find the azimuth of the mark.(>. (192) of these can i. (188) Equations (187) and (188) may be used to estimate the uncertainty in A and z. (190) Further.r.2 sin(s a) cosec s cosec (.66941 25 2'.T. 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 1909.00025 0.7 13. 44'S (referred to C. 81 -W <p *) 38 13 56. the spherical excess of the triangle PZO.7. Usually z and tion of t may dA.9 8'. in the second.78268 80 38'.7 58 = oo-y. Substituting we find dA The first = (191) sec^cot/dfc. 6.T. +13 . page 26.INFLUENCE OF ERROR IN TIME dA 115 = cos q sec <p cosec / dz. <p.81604 cost tan N N 9-7"55 9. / 5 a c 52 32.07130 80 38:2 Ck. April 27.7 r = Co\. 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.9 54. Fig. E A. 5 359 tan^l A 0. ( 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.! . = 1 ' S Af=8i24'.S. calculating the azimuth of the sun both by method i and method 3. P.S.56498 0.T. The computation of the solar azimuth by (177) and (178) is in the first column.. C. as may be necessary for the interpolation of declination from the Ephemeris for the instant of observation.2 =z = * p 56 76 51 . M.9 3.S.). that for In the latter instance the time is required only with such precision as (186).r 1. m The results were 7\v 4 h I" n'o.3 41. c) 8.9 9.7 y cosec cot%A A S cos TV tan/ ((f>JV) 9-9S7I5 0.

according as the timepiece is (194) solar. finding 77. however. (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. For the sun. the error of a timepiece. from transform- angle t is object. 6' sidereal or mean and T' being the clock is values of the time of observation. in case of observations on this directly mean solar time may be found from (42) written in the form time.CHAPTER VII THE DETERMINATION OF TIME Methods. When (196) the timepiece is solar the use of (196) is simpler than that of (195). practically. 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. the problem is reduced to the determination of the hour angle of the object for the instant of observation. the hour the apparent solar time. and. (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 determination of time means. (197) and J6 In outlining the ' =a d a '. Since a and E may be regarded as known. The required 0' t error is given by (193) J0=0 or jT=rr. For this case the ' 6 = a. . The fundamental equation for the determination of time = +7. 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. the T=t + E. 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.

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

solution of (38) gives / 18*35 l6 !8.4 6. or we may convert the value of T derived from (196) into the corresponding sidereal time and then use (193). convert the sidereal time derived from (195) into the solar. where If (202) T is the mean solar time corresponding to 0=a. will be resulting data will give an approximation sufficient for a precise interpolation of the coordinates of the sun. Observations on the sun: in the timepiece is sidereal. calculate by (195). Procedure. in general. 9 9 40 39 51. Owing to the change in the right ascension and declination of the sun. value used for / is the mean of these. and determine AT from (194). to the clock time.6'7 3 22 h '5 21 17 30 o 23 a 42 17 3.T. The The C. reduce its value to the meridian to which the clock time refers.S. we may proceed as the case of a star using (195) and (193). corresponding mean solar time T. A Example 46.S. 79. + T. calculate T from (196). The for the error of the clock which. p. THE METHOD OF EQUAL ALTITUDES and d. 31. If 0. a knowledge of the approximate time is necessary for the reduction of solar observations. in Ex. taking care and JO by that T is reduced to the meridian to which the clock time If refers. respectively.X (T.9 +23 38 49 56 C.4 <f 52 Watch J7\v +1 45. the clock time of observation. same be the sidereal clock times when a star has the and west of the meridian. or zenith distance. or may be made with the Greenwich mean time corresponding to . the object observed is the sun. calculate t Having found the true zenith distance corresponding by (38) or (39). The latter equation should not / be used when the object is so near the meridian that the interpolation of its cosine is rendered uncertain. If the timepiece is solar.118 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY 79. and calculate JT'from (194).). Theory. altitude. repetition of the calculation then gives the final value of the clock correction. Should the error of the timepiece be unknown. Observations on a star: if from If the timepiece is sidereal.0 Ans. the clock time of meridian transit will be given by (199). (193). whence by (198) 80. 2. as a control.T. is = From (39). The conversion of into the corresponding accomplished by (62) and (41). the interpolation of a and 3. east JO If a solar = a#(0 + O I m ). the above equations are not applicable on account of the change in the declination during the interval separating the . (201) timepiece is used we shall have JT= T. we find i8 h 35 m 16-6. Find the error of the watch from the measured altitude of Alcyone given We have h' 21 19' 30" 2 / i8 h 35"> j.2 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No. It should be noted. which shows that the influence of the collimation has been satisfactorily eliminated.126 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The last the clock correction. . that the values of 40 for each pair of azimuth stars must agree within one unit of the last place of decimals. In the present case the agreement is exact for both pairs. 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. as a control upon the calculation of the azimuth constant.

To determine c write J0' = 6' + a A+&B'. but not exactly.-Jg'. but a is to be calculated from the The azimuth constant will nearly equal the position of Polaris. (215) is insufficient. 127 but for those cases in which an uncertainty of one or two tenths of a second is permissible. and the observation of any two time stars therefore affords the data necessary for a complete solution of the problem. (225) where. (227) We then find from (225) whence f Jg-. If a represent the azimuth of Polaris defined as above. Since b and c are very small. 48 C = Asec<p + C. In the meridian method both a and care determined from the observations themselves.. za may be replaced by 90 <p. azimuth of Polaris measured from the north point positive toward the east at the instant of setting. for (184) gives # = it Gsecip sin/ . Equation (225) is the same in form as (215). the approximation is ample. For the sake of precision one of these should be observed C. the upper sign refers to C. whence a = a + b tan <pc sec Q (p. owing to the presence of the instru- known mental constants b and c. z being the zenith distance of Polaris. C. the other. ( 22 3) Substituting (223) into (215) and writing B' = Atan<p+B. E * i \ (~. (226) which may be used for the calculation of This leaves in (225) only two unknowns. E. as before. W. W. J0 and c. for the influence of the azimuth is in this . Here we determine c as before. f. (224) we have =a 0' + a^ + WcC.THE VERTICAL CIRCLE METHOD final result. . we have by (82) and (89) a = a + b cot z a c cosec . but its solution is slightly different. 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.

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

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

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

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

0. The final value of the clock correction found in Ex.W sin/ . 1 sec <S a 0' JO' C' cC' AO "o M Am . a whose logarithm is given in the fourth line is expressed of time the logarithm of 4. C. 47.. 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. a Virginis. viz. Since the correction a..132 PRACTICAL ASTRONOMY The azimuth in minutes of arc.6020.

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

differential. 1. 89. Mean equinox. 117. units. transit. 118-120. Tropical year. 18-20. Sidereal day.^of time determination. from equal altitudes. 10. Polar distance. Sidereal noon. 59-60. 8. Semidiameter. 10. 8. 8. adjustments. 1. Mean noon: defined. 48-49. Meridian: defined. 38. Method of repetitions. distribution of. 36. 12. 37. 4. 48. Julian. 13. comparison Prime vertical. 110-114. 13. 20.134 INDEX 37. 14. relation be- and tween real. Mean Mean Mean place. 37. tropical. of. 77. 10. Year: Zenith. 97-99. 113. Rate of timepiece. Nadir. 13. Refraction: Repetitions: defined. 40. 38. mean. of. Standard time. 21-23. 120-126. measurement. Polaris vertical circle method of time de- determining. 3. 8. theory. of. 42. of with en- Right ascension: defined. 126. 38. reduction to. 47-48. 126-132. 36. True solar time: see apparent solar time. 3. 50-51. converted solar day. 14. 39. sidereal time of. 36. Zenith distance: defined. Zero reading. Precession. Parallactic angle. Vertical angles: gineer's 91-94. 90. 8. azimuth from. 100. 37. leap and common. right ascension of. Sidereal time: defined. 2. historical. Polaris: 47. into apparent solar time. Nebulae. from zenith distance. fundamental formulae for. 31. 91. relative distances solar and vice versa. 39. 116-117. 40. Parallax: 14. 51. latitude from. 36. 5. 15. Planets: names. 117. 120. 85. discussion True place. difference in two local times. Transit: see engineer's transit. 93. Meridian zenith distance: 96. Timepieces: of. 1. into sidereal time. defined. Residuals. 81-85. 7. theory. of. 32-34. Stars: motions Stellar system. 16. 47. 60-61. Right ascension and declination transformed into azimuth and zenith distance. sidereal mean into solar into side- mean solar. 15. Ptolemaic system. Rotation: Sextant: diurnal. . eccentricity. Proper motion. Spherical trigonometry: mulae. fundamental for- Mean sun: 44-46. sults. index correction. 16. 37. latitude from. transformed into hour angle. converted converted into mean solar time. 117-118. 31. 58. 37. Meridian method. Vernier: theory. 120circle Polaris vertical method. Transit factors. Solar system: parts. precepts for use of. model Solstices. 16-18. Successive approximations. 29-30. of mean sun. 104-105. 122. 15. 117-118. from. sidereal. 57. 34. 38. solar time: defined. methods of termination. error 52-58. uncertainty of re- method of. 126-132. 9. Time: relation to celestial sphere. azimuth from. 102-103. Nutation. 2. historical. with sextant. table. 98. parallax of Sun: 19-20. Talcott's method. 81-85. 39. 89. Vertical circles. time 96. 4. 88-89. 100. defined. 6. 51. 9. Poles of celestial sphere. 118. 38. latitude from. 44-46. different kinds. apparent solar into mean Noon: apparent. annual motion of. diameters. 25. basis of 36. 86-87. meridian method. Reduction to the meridian. and care rate of. measurement 77-80.

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