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# CHAPTER 18

TIME

1800. Solar Time Sun will be on the observer’s meridian again when the Earth
has moved to point C in its orbit. Thus, during the course of
The Earth’s rotation on its axis causes the Sun and a day the Sun appears to move eastward with respect to the
other celestial bodies to appear to move across the sky from stars.
east to west each day. If a person located on the Earth’s The apparent positions of the stars are commonly
equator measured the time interval between two successive reckoned with reference to an imaginary point called the
transits overhead of a very distant star, he would be vernal equinox, the intersection of the celestial equator and
measuring the period of the Earth’s rotation. If he then the ecliptic. The period of the Earth’s rotation measured
made a similar measurement of the Sun, the resulting time
with respect to the vernal equinox is called a sidereal day.
would be about 4 minutes longer. This is due to the Earth’s
The period with respect to the Sun is called an apparent
motion around the Sun, which continuously changes the
solar day.
apparent place of the Sun among the stars. Thus, during the
course of a day the Sun appears to move a little to the east When measuring time by the Earth’s rotation, using the
among the stars, so that the Earth must rotate on its axis actual position of the Sun, or the apparent Sun, results in
through more than 360° in order to bring the Sun overhead apparent solar time. Use of the apparent Sun as a time ref-
again. erence results in time of non-constant rate for at least three
See Figure 1800. If the Sun is on the observer’s meridian reasons. First, revolution of the Earth in its orbit is not con-
when the Earth is at point A in its orbit around the Sun, it will stant. Second, time is measured along the celestial equator
not be on the observer’s meridian after the Earth has rotated and the path of the real Sun is not along the celestial equa-
through 360° because the Earth will have moved along its tor. Rather, its path is along the ecliptic, which is tilted at an
orbit to point B. Before the Sun is again on the observer’s angle of 23° 27' with respect to the celestial equator. Third,
meridian, the Earth must turn a little more on its axis. The rotation of the Earth on its axis is not constant.

Figure 1800. Apparent eastward movement of the Sun with respect to the stars.

275

631. 1995 is (+) 00m05s. proceed as follows. correction to 1200 to obtain the exact time of meridian UT0 is the rotational time of a particular place of passage. daily pages. the apparent noon.192. 1995. add the 37 second out minor variations in the rotation of the Earth. and varies 16m22s in November. hour of mean solar time. use the time listed under equation of time is listed in the bottom right hand corner of the “Mer. The time of the Sun at meridian passage 1802. Equation of Time line between the values for upper and lower meridian passage on April 16th indicates that the sign of the equation Mean solar time. therefore. upper meridian passage is given as 1159. 1994. Example 1: Determine the time of the Sun’s meridian passage (Local Apparent Noon) on June 16. 1994. apparent solar time of upper meridian passage. 1994. If the Almanac lists the time of meridian passage as Coordinated Universal Time. Atomic time is defined by the Systeme International To determine the exact time of meridian passage. listed in the Almanac to find the dividing line marking where ent Sun with a fictitious mean Sun. Figure 1801. The navigator most often deals with the equation of time indicating that on April 18. All values for the equation of time on the same side Sun. used as a 1200. is listed on the right hand Day Eqn. is sometimes ahead of and sometimes behind meridian passage on this date. the equation of time is when determining the time of upper meridian passage of the positive. meridian when the mean Sun indicated 1200 local time. 1995. The value of meridian passage Universal time (UT) is counted from 0 hours at from the “Mer. Were it not for the difference in rate between equation of time for upper meridian passage of the Sun on the mean and apparent Sun. observed as the diurnal motion of stars or 1994. SUN MOON the equation of time at meridian transit. averaging passage occurs after 1200. with a duration of 9. apparent solar time. This mean Sun moves the equation of time changes between positive and negative eastward along the celestial equator at a uniform speed equal values. There are two ways to solve the problem. This difference. Examine the equations of time standard reference worldwide for certain purposes.276 TIME To obtain a constant rate of time. provides a uniform measure of time which approximates the average apparent time. Upper meridian passage. is 12h00m37s. because of irregularities in the Earth’s rotation. Therefore. To calculate latitude and longitude at LAN. This value is listed radiation corresponding to the transition between two immediately to the left of the “Mer. The equation of time for April 16. Pass. 1994. to determine the correct sign for the equation of time.4 minutes. 17. The therefore. Examine the trend of the values near this dividing line to the average speed of the apparent Sun along the ecliptic.”column. with a duration of one mean solar day. April 18. or UTC. the value is given as 00m37s.” column indicates that meridian midnight. Mer. Determine the time of the speed of the mean Sun along the celestial equator is 15° per upper meridian passage of the Sun on April 16. Pass. Upper Lower Age Phase The sign of the equation of time is negative if the time m s m s h m h m h m d of Sun’s meridian passage is earlier than 1200 and positive 16 00 02 00 05 12 00 00 26 12 55 16 17 00 13 00 20 12 00 01 25 13 54 17 if later than 1200.” column to estimate LAN unless extraordinary the page. is kept . therefore. this value is 1201. Pass. of Time Mer. use (SI) second. daily pages of the Nautical Almanac. is called the equation of time. observation. depending on the accuracy required for the value of meridian passage.770 cycles of the value given for the equation of time. Therefore. International Atomic Time (TAI) is an international time Use the “12h” column because the problem asked for scale based on the average of a number of atomic clocks. For June 16. The dividing 1801. the Nautical seldom requires the time of meridian passage to accuracies Almanac’s right hand daily page for June 16. Therefore: Apparent Time = Mean Time 18 00 27 00 33 11 59 02 25 14 55 18 + (equation of time). Solution: From Figure 1801. This mean Sun. therefore. Pass. is offset from exactly 1200 mean solar time. The Sun transits the observer’s upper meridian at local of the dividing line as April 18th are positive. extraterrestrial radio sources. is given as 1200. the navigator Solution: See Figure 2008 in Chapter 20. upper meridian passage of the Sun on April 16. The exact time of meridian passage for June 16. or mean time as it is commonly of time changes between lower meridian passage and upper called. This time difference. 00h 12h Pass. The Example 2: See Figure 1801. For June 16. we replace the appar. UT1 is computed by correcting UT0 for the effect of The equation of time’s maximum value approaches polar motion on the longitude of the observer. 18.” column on the hyperfine levels of the ground state of cesium 133. however. 1995. 1995. the Sun would be on the observer’s April 16. which never exceeds becomes: does it become positive or negative? Note that on about 16. Pass. takes place at 11h59m55s. The greater than one minute. accuracy is required. Fundamental Systems of Time is given to the nearest minute in the “Mer. the question. 1995. meridian passage at LAN.

minutes. it indicates how much of a day has 4. each obtain minutes of time. . minutes. That is. 3. 4. 6. 1 Example 2: Convert 215° 24' 45" to time units.25' = 15" Solution: of arc. Multiply the hours by 15 to obtain degrees of arc. In the Nautical Almanac. Divide the minutes of arc by 15 to obtain minutes Time of day is an indication of the phase of rotation of of time.S. permitting Therefore any time interval can be expressed as an separate entries with degrees. of arc. Multiply the remainder of step 2 by 15 to obtain theoretical usage. and seconds. One day represents one complete rotation of the Earth. Time and Arc 1. indicated above. Dynamical time has replaced ephemeris time in 3.9 seconds of TAI. minute has 60 seconds. Divide the minutes of time by four to obtain seconds. minutes. Intercon. seconds. (6) 14h21m39s = 215° 24' 45" To convert arc to time: 1803. or 360° ÷ of time. Moon. obtain seconds of time. It differs from TAI by an integral number of 2. This table is arranged in this manner because the version of these units can be made by the relationships navigator converts arc to time more often than the reverse. and GPS (2) 21m ÷ 4 = 005° 00' 00" (remainder 1) signals have a time reference encoded in the data message. and is based on the orbital motions of the minutes of arc. Multiply the remainder from step 3 by four to elapsed. 24 = 15° 6. is defined as 86. The U. 2. also known as Terrestrial minutes of arc Dynamical Time (TDT). and vice versa. One hour later. but is always kept within 0. (1) 215° ÷ 15 = 14h00m00s remainder 5 Summarizing in table form: (2) 5×4 = 00h20m00s (3) 24' ÷ 15 = 00h01m00s remainder 9 (4) 9×4 = 00h00m36s 1d =24h =360° (5) 45" ÷ 15 = 00h00m03s 60m =1h =15° 4m = 1° =60' (6) 215° 24' 45" = 14h21m39s 60s = 1m = 15' 4s = 1' = 60" Solutions can also be made using arc to time conversion 1s = 15" = 0. Naval Observatory Master Clock is used to coordinate Loran signals. and seconds. One nanosecond (one (5) 3 × 15 = 000° 00' 45" one-billionth of a second) of time is roughly equivalent to one foot on the Earth for the GPS system. the table given near the back of the volume is in two parts. Multiply the remainder by 15 to obtain seconds of arc. (3) 1 × 15 = 000° 15' 00" GPS time is normally within 15 nanoseconds with SA off. the Earth 5. Divide the seconds of arc by 15 to obtain seconds has turned through 1/24 of a day. minute of time is equivalent to 15° ÷ 60 = 0. Solution: Dissemination of time is an inherent part of various (1) 14h × 15 = 210° 00' 00" electronic navigation systems. the geoid.25' tables in the almanacs. since 1 hour or 60 minutes is equivalent to 15° of arc. Thus. rotation with respect to the stars. at zero hours the day begins. and quarter minutes equivalent amount of rotation. and has a unit of duration related to the period of the Earth’s Example 1: Convert 14h21m39s to arc. or what part of a rotation has been completed. or 1/24 of 360°. Earth. Delta T is the difference between UT1 and TDT. (4) 39s ÷ 4 = 000° 09' 00" (remainder 3) about 70 nanoseconds with SA on. using the To convert time to arc: Nautical Almanac arc to time conversion table. and planets.400 seconds on 5. the Earth. Divide the seconds of time by four to obtain Terrestrial time (TT). degrees. Smaller intervals can also be stated in angular units. Add the resulting hours. Sidereal time is the hour angle of the vernal equinox. Add the resulting degrees. Divide the degrees by 15 to obtain hours. and 1 second of time is equivalent to 15' ÷ 60 = 0. Example 3: Convert 334°18'22" to time units. TIME 277 within one second of TAI by the introduction of leap 1. Multiply the remainder from step 1 by four to Each day is divided into 24 hours of 60 minutes.25° = 15' of arc.

The time is changed as convenient. Since a chronometer is set approximately to from being in error and to provide a starting place for each GMT and not reset until it is overhauled and cleaned about new day. called the zone 334° 00. either fast (F) or slow (S). At any instant the date approximately 18m. 156°24.) Since time grows later toward the east and earlier toward ZT 18h27m09s the west of an observer. day later than the date immediately to the east of the line. Each time zone is identified by the number solution to the nearest second of time. 039°04. The mean Sun is the 334° 18' 22" = 22h17m13s celestial reference point for zone time. a positive ZD is subtracted. a positive ZT is added and a 1804.4' W. is it the same date around the earth. the time meridian or zone meridian. This line every 3 years. when crossing the boundary Convert the 22" to the nearest quarter minute of arc for between zones. normally set to some form of zone time (ZT). and a negative one added. and designated gaining or losing. traveling eastward from east longitude to west longitude. The Date Line ZD –03 h (rev. any difference of Required: (1) ZT at long. (2) GMT 15h27m09s 1805. To prevent the date chronometer. usually at a whole hour. Interpolate if more of times the longitude of its zone meridian is divisible by precise results are required. and time in consecutive zones differs by 4. Time and Longitude negative one subtracted. or daily rate. converting GMT to ZT.8' E. This number and its sign. watches and clocks are 12h04m21s. An hour later the Earth would Example: The GMT is 15h27m09s.1 second. have turned through 15°. time is the same. expressed in time units. is the number of whole hours that are 000° 18. If a person is error in 24 hours is called chronometer rate. Since chronometer error is subject to immediately to the west of the date line (east longitude) is 1 change. See Figure 1806. places east of an observer have later time. Therefore.5° on each side of the time meridian the 3. it should be determined from time to time. Chronometer rate is recorded to the nearest 0. there is nearly always a chronometer error coincides with the 180th meridian over most of its length. Zone Time Example: At GMT 1200 on May 12 the chronometer reads At sea.00m = 22h16m00s description (ZD). depending upon the direction of reckoning. expressed ZT 05h27m09s in units of time instead of arc. within a time 2. preferably daily at sea. . Thus. May 27. at precisely Greenwich Chronometer time (C) is time indicated by a noon. longitude between two points is a measure of the angle (2) ZT at long.) The difference in time between two places is equal to the difference of longitude between their meridians. It is recorded to the nearest whole or half second.25m = 00h01m13s added to or subtracted from the zone time to obtain Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Chronometer error at GMT 0530. and when the date line is crossed the per day for three years. and the difference is exactly (1) GMT 15h27m09s equal to the difference in longitude. In (CE). zone extending 7. 1806. A traveler circling the Earth gains or 1807. Chronometer error is found by radio When solving celestial problems. as well as ashore. Suppose the Sun were directly over a certain point on the Earth at a given time. 1. we convert local time to time signal. The change in chronometer crossing this line. With a consistent rate of 1s time is becoming later. the chronometer error would total date becomes 1 day earlier. Converting ZT to GMT. the same instrument. by comparison with another timepiece of known Greenwich time and then convert this to local time on the error. Chronometer error at 1200 GMT May 12. and the Sun would then be directly over a meridian 15° farther west. 15°. At GMT 1600 on May 18 it reads 4h04m25s. Chronometer Time loses an entire day depending on the direction of travel. Chronometer error at 1600 GMT May 18. or by applying chronometer rate to previous readings of opposite side of the date line. and only for a single instant of time. At sea the nearest meridian exactly divisible by 15° is usually used as Required: . time at the lower branch of one’s meridian is 12 hours earlier or later. Chronometer rate. ZD +10h (rev. and Solutions: those west have earlier time. a date line is fixed by informal agreement. Thus. the date is altered by one day. through which the Earth must rotate to separate them.278 TIME Solution: exactly one hour. positive in west longitude and negative in east longitude.

TIME 279 Figure 1806. Time Zone Chart. .