Practical Work in Elementary Astronomy by M.G.J. Minnaert

By M.G.J. Minnaert


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LST clock, clock correction. Demonstration Passage of a star, observed by a meridian instrument. Al2. REDUCTION TO THE MERIDIAN The Problem Any meridian instrument deviates a little from the theoretical position however small the deviation may be. We want to find the three main constants by which this deviation is determined: the azimuth constant, the level constant, and the collimation constant. Procedure 1L, 2S. Follow the programme, described in A sections 3 and 4, and determine the transit time of a star.

For each pair: altimeter or experimental telescope; flashlight; Star Atlas; Astronomical Ephemeris. Astronomical clock, giving UT. Note. If we wish to measure the elevation of the sun, we can apply a much more precise method. We set up an artificial horizon: a piece of dark glass, minimum size 10 cm x 10 cm. Adjust it by means of a water-level and small wooden wedges or pieces of paper till it is horizontal. With the sextant we measure the angle between the sun and its reflection in the glass, which is twice the altitude above the horizon.

3. Draw again the path of the star in the course of the year. You find a curve which is roughly circular. Determine approximately the radius. 4. Bradley hoped to discover the parallax of the star. Consider whether the path 0 p 21Sept. Fig. 26. 47 PRECESSION, ABERRATION, NUTATION which we found might be explained by this effect. Assume very roughly that y Dra is located near the pole E of the ecliptic (a=lS h ,b=66°); because of the parallax it would describe a small circle, corresponding to the circular motion of the earth (Figure 26).

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