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Explanation of Equation of time for nautical students

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TIME

DAY - INTERVAL BETWEEN TWO SUCCESSIVE

OVER SAME MERIDIAN.

SIDEREAL DAY INTERVAL BETWEEN TWO

SUCCESSIVE MERIDIAN PASSAGE OF FIRST

POINT OF ARIES OVER SAME MERIDIAN.

= 23 HOURS 56 MIN 04.1 OF MEAN SOLAR

TIME.

TIME

APPARENT SOLAR DAY INTERVAL

TRUE SUN ACROSS SAME MERIDIAN.

NOT CONSTANT DURATION DUE TO

ECCENTRICITY OF EARTH ORBIT.

AND OBLIQUITY OF ECLIPTIC.

An imaginary body (SUN), which moves along

throughout the year.

This is called the DYNAMIC MEAN SUN.

The DMS would move ahead of the True sun

from perihelion to aphelion and slower from

aphelion to perihelion.

At perihelion and aphelion they are assumed

to coincide.

ASTRONOMICAL MEAN

SUN

Even though the DYNAMIC MEAN SUN would

be variation in the suns movement due to the

obliquity of the ecliptic.

To smoothen out this deformity the sun should be

made to travel along the EQUINOCTIAL so that all

hour angles and longitudes correspond to each other.

This imaginary sun that moves at a constant speed

corresponding to that of the DMS is known as the

ASTRONOMICAL MEAN SUN (AMS) or just THE MEAN

SUN.

The Mean Sun is an imaginary body that is

velocity along the equinoctial.

Mean solar day is the interval of time

between two successive meridian passages of

the Mean Sun across the same meridian.

SIDEREAL TIME

MEAN SUN

LMT Local mean Time.

Sun measured

from the observers inferior

SMT Ships Mean Time } or anti meridian.

GMT Greenwich Mean Time : Is the westerly

hour angle of the mean sun measured from the

inferior or anti

meridian of Greenwich.

TRUE SUN

LAT Local apparent Time }

Is the

westerly

hour angle of

the True sun

measured from the

Observers

ATS Apparent Time Ship }

inferior

meridian.

GAT -- Greenwich Apparent Time. Is the westerly

hour

angle of the True sun

from the

inferior or anti

meridian of Greenwich.

measured

LST Local

Sidereal Time: Is the westerly hour angle of the FPA

measured from the Observers meridian.

GST Greenwich Sidereal Time:

Is the Westerly hour angle of the FPA measured

from the Greenwich meridian.

As has been seen earlier the sidereal day

gains 3 56 against the each solar day.

AND TIME

ARC & TIME : The mean sun completes one apparent

The Mean Sun, in effect, would move at a uniform rate of 15 0 of

arc per hour or 15 of arc in one minute of time or 1 of arc in 4

seconds of time.

ARC

TIME

150

10

15 minutes

1 minute

1 hour

4 minutes

1 minute or 60 seconds

4 seconds

converted to time.

Expressing longitude in to time is called Longitude in-Time (LIT)

&TIME

The DLong between any two meridians will be the

the same reference....LMT or LAT or LST.

Local Mean Time

LHA Mean Sun +/- 12

hours

Local Apparent Time

LHA True Sun +/- 12

hours

Greenwich Mean Time

GHA Mean Sun +/- 12

hours

Greenwich Apparent Time GHA True Sun +/- 12

hours

Comparing the time at any place with that of Greenwich its longitude

can be obtained.

Since time is always a westerly measurement (being Hour Angle) time

in the eastern longitudes will precede the Greenwich and in the west

will follow the Greenwich by 15 0each hour.

The local time can be obtained by converting the longitude in to time

and adding to the GMT in the east longitudes or subtracting in the west

longitudes.

LMT

=

GMT + east longitude-in-time

LMT

=

GMT west longitude-in-time

LAT

=

GAT+ east longitude-in-time

LAT

=

GAT- west longitude-in-time

STANDARD TIME

It is not possible for the observer at any given point to calculate his

If this is done every place on the earth would have different time,

more so with in a country, state, city and street.

Also it is not possible to have a single time reference

So STANDARD TIME system has been adopted by each country of

the world.

Each land mass and oceans are divided in to various local areas and a

meridian passing through a place (nearly its centre) is taken as the

standard reference for that area.

Each such area is called a TIME ZONE.

Each time zone maintains its STANDARD TIME with respect to the

chosen longitude for that area.

A place ahead of GMT is listed as +T hours and that follows GMT is

listed as -T hours.

ZONE TIME

There are 24 zones of 150 each around the globe. The meridian passing through

the zone number. The zone number is always a whole number.

EAST

0 to 7

7 to 22

22 to 37

172 to 180

EAST

0

-1

-2

-12

WEST

0 to 7

7 to 22

22 to 37

172 to 180

WEST

0

+1

+2

+12

NOTE: ZONE TIME at any position will differ from GMT by a whole number whereas

the TIME ZONE may differ by a fraction of the hour because it is based on a

conveniently chosen longitude.

INTERNATIONAL DATE

LINE

The anti-meridian of the Greenwich meridian.

If a ship crosses IDL from east to west it retards

If a ship crosses from west to east then it

advances the clock by one day or gains one day.

It has been broken conveniently to accommodate

side of the line.

As the ship travels east or west at sea and passes

adjust the ships clocks to the zone where you are

actually located.

As you pass from one zone to the next, Zone Time

changes by 1 hour.

The rule is:

If travelling towardsthe west, the new Zone Time will be

RETARD.

If traveling towards the east, the new Zone Time will

be 1 hour later ; set the ships clocks ahead 1 hour or

ADVANCE.

When travelling east and crossing the

byretardingthe date 1 day.

When travelling west and crossing the

International Date Line you compensate by

advancing the date 1 day.

Changing the date should take place at a

convenient time that is least disruptive to the

operation of your ship.

earlier each day?

Sidereal day is 23h 56m04s and the earth has to rotate an

i.e., for zero LHA.

In other words the sun has to rotate 3610 to complete a

day or 24h.

Thus the solar day is 04m longer than the sidereal day.

The FPA and all other stars follow the sidereal clock for

their rise, culmination and setting being at infinite distance.

Since our reference for calculation of time is SUN, our

clocks show the rise , culmination or set of the FPA or any

other star appears to be 4 minutes earlier from the

previous day.

Equation of time

Is defined as the difference between the MEAN

measured from same meridian.

OR the angle (dlong) between the meridian of

mean sun and the meridian of true sun.

OR Mean Time Apparent time

OR GHA(MS) - GHA(TS)

OR LHA(MS) - LHA(TS)

OR SHA(MS) - SHA(TS)

OR RA(TS )

- RA(MS ) As RA is measured

Easterly.

1. Rate of change of speed of the true sun on

ecliptic (decreases from perihelion to aphelion

and increases from aphelion to perihelion)

whereas the mean sun moves at a constant

speed throughout the year on the equinoctial.

( E 1)

2. The obliquity of the ecliptic, because the true

sun moves along the ecliptic and the mean sun

moves along the equinoctial. (E 2)

E1

We know that the DMS moves on the ecliptic at a

through the year.

The difference between their meridians, at any instant,

would be

RA (TS) RA (DMS) -------------------- E 1

At perihelion the rate of TS is the highest and the DMS

is constant. Therefore, RA of TS increases faster than

the DMS.

The E1 will be +ve till both reach aphelion, when it

becomes NIL, because both suns coincide.

Here the movement of the TS is least.

E1

After this both suns separate and TS starts lagging

rate.

Thus the RA(DMS) is greater than RA(TS) till they

once again coincide at perihelion, hence E 1 will be

ve.

At perihelion E1 becomes NIL as both sun coincide.

The E1 remains +ve for the first half year with a

maximum value of 07m in early April and ve for

the second half year attaining the same maximum

value of 07m in early October.

E2

The DMS moves on the ecliptic at a constant speed and AMS

They would coincide at both equinoxes and solstices.

RA (DMS) RA (MS) -------------------- E 2

At vernal equinox they coincide after which they move at their

rates on their own path till summer solstice but their meridians

will not match.

RA (DMS) will be behind the RA (MS) and E 2 will be ve.

On reaching summer solstice their meridian are same as they

have moved by 900.

From summer solstice to autumnal equinox RA(DMS) is greater

than RA(MS) and E2 is + ve.

At autumnal equinox the suns coincide once again.

E2

For the next two quarters they are again ve

Thus the values of E2 would be NIL at equinoxes

and solstices and maximum ve and + ve, up to

about 10m mid way between these points.

Algebraic sum of E1 + E2 = RA (TS) RA(DMS ) +

RA(DMS)-RA(MS) = RA(TS)-RA(MS)

If values of E1 and E2 are plotted in a graph

against months of the year they appear to be a

sinusoidal curve.

NIL value during mid April, June, early

The maximum values as below :

Mid February

+ 14m 21s

Mid May

- 3m 45s

End July

+ 6m 22s

Early November

- 16m 22s

day. Interpolate for intermediate time.

2) SIGN: +ve if merpass time is more than

1200h and - ve if merpass time is less than

1200h

3) Merpass - 12 gives equation of time

nearest to the minute.

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