Previous abstract Next abstract

Session 2 - Applied History of Astronomy II.
Oral session, Sunday, January 14
Salon del Rey Central, Hilton

[2.03] Using Older Observations to Improve Ephemerides

E. M. Standish (JPL/Caltech)

There is a wild variety of older planetary observations, each with its own set of circumstances, techniques and characters. Galileo, in 1612, observed Neptune and knew there was something unusual about that observation: he almost ... Lalande, in 1795, also observed Neptune and also noted something unusual about his observations; he, too, almost ... Both of these Neptune observations are useful in refining our presently determined orbit for Neptune.

There are other observations, however, which can not be trusted, and the reasons for these sometimes border upon the sinister. Two sets, in particular, are examined here: the too-good-to-be-true transit observations of Abram Robertson in 1811 and the suspicious eclipse measurements of Samuel Williams in 1780.

Program listing for Sunday