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By Ingalis A.G. (ed.)

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Averaging over time gives us a specified value for a mean tropical year. 53 second per century. 19 seconds. 11) where T is in Julian centuries of 36 525 days measured from 2000 January 1 Terrestrial Time (TT). Different ephemerides will give different values for the expression for the length of the tropical year. 11 Besselian Year The Besselian Solar Year is measured from the instant when the right ascension of the fictitious mean Sun, affected by aberration and measured from the mean equinox, is 18 h 40 m.

The accuracy of the tables was limited by the accuracy of the orbital elements and the number of trigonometric terms included. The observations were then compared to the predicted positions of the ephemerides to determine improvements to the general theories and tables and to the values of the orbital elements. In this process the masses of the planets and values of astronomical constants were also determined. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ephemerides were computed by a small number of astronomers or astrologers.

From 1780 to 1833, GMT in the British Nautical Almanac was based on apparent solar time. Starting in 1834 mean solar time was the basis of the tabulations in the Nautical Almanac. The International Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 gave special significance to GMT, as the meridian of Greenwich was designated as the zero meridian and the origin of time zones around the world. In 1928 the IAU recommended that GMT not be used and that GCT and UT be used instead (IAU, 1928). The name Greenwich Mean Astronomical Time (GMAT) was recommended when reckoning time from noon for any dates after 1925.

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Amateur telescope making by Ingalis A.G. (ed.)


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