This well-established textbook gives a general but comprehensive introduction to positional astronomy. Originally based on the author's lecture courses at Cambridge University, it is intended primarily for undergraduates, but, due to its comprehensive nature, it is a very useful reference text for research workers in many branches of astronomy and space physics. The author considers the night sky as the celestial sphere and powerfully exploits the methods of spherical geometry. Most problems in which the precise determination of a heavenly body's position in the sky is important are considered in theoretical detail, and the necessary formulae are derived to a precision that is sufficient for all but the most specialist purposes. The present revision has ensured that the terminology and treatment correspond precisely to current astronomical practice. A guiding principle has been to re-establish compatibility with the Astronomical Ephemeris and, to a lesser extent, with the fuller explanations of the Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. Fairly frequent comments added to the text indicate the sometimes modified relevance of the subject matter to modern astronomy. A number of additional exercises help to illustrate the new material.
Table of Contents
1. Spherical trigonometry
2. The celestial sphere
4. The meridian circle
5. Planetary motions
7. Planetary phenomena and heliographic
10. Precession and nutation
11. The proper motions of the stars
12. Astronomical photography
13. Determination of position at sea
14. Binary star orbits
15. Occulations and eclipses
Appendix 1. The method of dependences
Appendix 2. Stellar magnitudes
Appendix 3. The coelostat
Appendix A. Astronomical constants
Appendix B. Dimensions of the sun, moon and
Appendix C. Mean elements of the planetary
orbits for the epoch 1975 January 0.5 E.T.
Appendix D. Elements and dimensions of the
Appendix E. Ephemeris and universal time.