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Digging deep in the Edmund artifact box.

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#1 terraclarke

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:35 PM

Who else has seen or has one of these? It's a sort of "celestial slide rule" used to determine sidereal time. Mine dates from 1965 or 66? You can see that I was living in Southern California at the time, from the longitude penned in the box in the lower right of the "calculator", not a bad place to grow up in astronomy at the time I might add :) .

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#2 terraclarke

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

Here's the flip side. It contains a table of RA and Dec for 39 of the best and brightest Messier objects and a few salient definitions.

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#3 terraclarke

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

And if you had the "Edmund Star Time Calculator" you had to have this as well :)

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#4 rdandrea

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 04:45 PM

See pages 36 and 37 of this catalog, which I believe is from 1962 (before your time, I know).

http://geogdata.csun...dmundnodate.pdf

#5 apfever

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

I have the book but not the slide rule. Nice accessory.

#6 cloudmagnet

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:08 PM

WOW!!! Does that catalog bring back memories! On page 28, is item #30,202 - a 42 mm objective. I was 12 or 13 at the time, and managed to scrape together the $5 (plus postage) to purchase one. That, along with some water pipe, wood scraps, and an eyepiece from a found pair of binoculars, and I had my first telescope. I'll never forget my first look at- what else- the moon. I was hooked.

#7 rdandrea

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

I think those catalogs came out quarterly. I used to wear them thin.

#8 amicus sidera

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:41 PM

Very nice, Terra! I've never seen one of those before, but it has Sam Brown's handiwork all over it. Is it used to determine a star's meridian passage at a given longitude?

Here's a little something from my own Edmund vault: the Planetimer Solar System Analog - "A graphic working model of the solar system". 10 discs held by a brass rivet in the center, one for each of the planets and the Sun (sorry, Pluto will always be a planet to me!). The back contains tables of the heliocentric longitude of the planets for the years 1971 to 2001 inclusive; if one took the time to calculate the h.l. of the planets into the future, this item would still function. Since it's snowing here tonight, I just may do so later on... :grin:

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#9 TOM KIEHL

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:05 PM

Got the slide rule, But not the book .

#10 Bonco

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 09:09 PM

See pages 36 and 37 of this catalog, which I believe is from 1962 (before your time, I know).

http://geogdata.csun...dmundnodate.pdf

Thanks, That's the catalog of my memories. Bill

#11 Masvingo

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:22 AM

(sorry, Pluto will always be a planet to me!)


:waytogo:

#12 Dave M

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:27 AM

Thats pretty cool Terra, first time i ever seen one.

#13 terraclarke

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:27 AM

Yes Fred. You can input any longitude, use the calculator to determine the sidereal time for that longitude, and compare it to the RA of the particular star or other body in question. It's RA is the sidereal time at that longitude when it transits the meridian.

BTW, for those interested in sidereal transit timing, our observatory here in Cincinnati once housed large transit refractor (meridian telescope). We have our club meetings in the room where the the transit telescope was operated. There is a large slit that is now a skylight running across the longest diameter of the room which coincides with the astronomical (and geographic) meridian. Part of the observatory's original charter was for accurate time keeping west of the Alleghenies. The very accurate pendulum clock still ticks in that room. It's very cool.

#14 BigC

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

Neat stuff!

I like those old publications and tools.Amateur radio had many "slide-rule" calculators and nomographs for calculating in the days when there were no or only a half-dozen electrical computers.

Pluto's demotion is like daylight savings time ;I can't ignore the official announcements but in my mind and heart I know Pluto is a planet and it is only truly noon when the Sun crosses the meridian!

#15 dgreyson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

I'm still sulking over "Before Common Era" (BCE) instead of BC and AD. They even took one of the double bars off of the dollar sign $. So I wasnt surprised they went after Pluto.

Im just sitting complacently with my Edmund Star Finder chart I bought in 1970, still using imperial units and ignoring them all.

#16 BigC

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:02 AM

The B.C.E. change was political and a discussion of why it was done probably violates this site's TOS.

I'm not thrilled about pictographs of turtle and rabbit replacing "FAST" and "Slow",or any of the other similar signs.26 letters are easier to learn than 4000 little pictures.

#17 terraclarke

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:00 PM

I'm with ya on those two BigC. Pluto will always be the 9th planet! End of argument! And I too hate daylight savings time. I hate changing clocks twice a year. I have a sundial in my garden :)
I used to say that when I retired I'd set all the clocks in the house to Civil (Local) Mean Time for my longitude and leave them at that from then on. Then I realized I had to live in the rest of the world so there I am, changing clocks. I do hate it though!

#18 terraclarke

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:03 PM

I can't agree with you on the Imperial units. I hate them. I love the metric system. Its so much easier and it's Earth based. (1 meter ~/= 10,000,000 of the meridian between the pole and the equator.)

Terra

#19 terraclarke

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:08 PM

That Planetimer is so cool. I don't remember seeing that one. I did have the planisphere but it's some how long gone. I think I gave it to my little brother long ago? The Edmund Star Time Calculator looks like Sam Brown but it says Copyright by Daniel J. Tomcek, "sold exclusively by Edmund Scientific Co., Barrington, New Jersey.

Terra

#20 chuck52

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

Hi Terra,
I have one of those slide rules, and also my Edmund planisphere from the mid 60's. Got these when I ordered my "Mounting Your Telescope" booklet.

#21 starman876

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:59 PM

I dont have any of these wonderful toys :bawling: :bawling:

#22 kansas skies

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:12 PM

(sorry, Pluto will always be a planet to me!)


:waytogo:


:waytogo: :waytogo:

Bill

#23 dgreyson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:29 PM

I can't agree with you on the Imperial units. I hate them. I love the metric system. Its so much easier and it's Earth based. (1 meter ~/= 10,000,000 of the meridian between the pole and the equator.)

Terra


Ive often heard that Metric is the better, more logical system and how unfortunate it is that everyone is not using Metric units Terra. I beleive this misperception is based on the fact that metric is a tens based system while imperial is a twelves base system. I do feely admit that I myself often practice counting by tens, and when I run out of toes, have to resort to higher math and count fingers as well.

Unfortunately, Metric is not always the best system. The assumption is that since metric is decimal based, one can simply move the decimal to convert between centimeter, meter, kilometer etc.

The problem with base 10 is that it can't be cut in thirds. 1/3 of a mile is 5,280 ft/3 = 1,760 feet - an integer. 1/3 of a kilometer is 333.3333333.... Meters, that is neither an integer nor a trivially representable decimal. Metrics are really more for those who dislike adding fractions I suppose. Similarly Base 12 units are the smallest units cleanly divisible by 2, 3, and 4. I use thirds quite often.

For that matter Geometry uses a power of base 12 as it's foundation with 360 degrees, Time uses a base divisible in 12 as 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in a hour, 24 hours in a day.

So I find it quite odd that a people who espouse metrics would use the familiar imperial 12 base system of min and sec and degrees to find their way about the night sky. :crazy:

Now Terra, how can you say that a system based on nature and living things: Three barleycorns to the inch, three inches to the palm, three palms to the foot, three feet- well, you get the idea - isn’t Earth based ?? But never mind, I am too Confucian and old fashioned perhaps, and value old ways and things made long ago more than I should. I value my metric Unitron and Tasco just as much as I value my Imperial Edmund and Cave telescope and suchlike so who am I to talk indeed.

As to Edmund loot in my box, I have my 10” Edmund kit mirror, the Edmund focuser, diagonal and finder w brackets as well as various other Edmund scientific loot, charts and books. I think my edmund GEM is still behind the horse barn somewhere.

#24 terraclarke

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

Actually the 360 degree circle stems from the old Sumerian sexagesimal system of counting to 12 on one hand (three finger bones of four fingers not counting the thumb) which in turn was also related to the crude approximation of the number of days in the year, less the five Sumerian holy days (holidays) at the beginning of the year which coincided with the beginning of the year at the time of the vernal equinox when the ritual of the sacred wedding was performed by the King signifying the holy union of the wedding of the Goddess Inanna and her consort Dumuzi who died and went to the underworld bringing winter and whom she retrieved to bring back Spring. However, I for one would like something a bit more convenient and modern :)

Anyway, there is also a metric system for arc measure, the gradian (aka grad or gon) of which there are 400 in a full circle, 100 corresponding to 90 degrees or the arc distance from equator to pole. These are then divided into increasingly smaller units of 10, which again is way more convenient than degrees, minutes, and seconds. Gradian measure is more common in Europe and the former Soviet Union than in the states. Of course, the purest unit of arc measure geometrically is the radian: 2 pi r / r which is the S.I. Unit.

There was also a metric system of time keeping devised in France as an extension of the metric system in the 19 th century whereby there are 20 metric hours in a mean solar day, 100 metric minutes in an hour, and 100 metric seconds in a metric minute. This never caught on, I guess because watches and clocks were expensive and commonplace and they would have all had to be thrown away or re-geared.

I think the metric system is the way to go. We are the only country in the world that hasn't gone that way (at least not entirely).

As far as my Edmund goodies, alas, not much remains. The sidereal calculator escaped death by hiding out at the bottom of the wooden case of my Mayflower refractor. The books, because they were flat and were touched amongst the star atlases. Gone for good is my 6inch RFT made from an Edmund mirror grinding kit, its Edmund focuser, the Edmund equatorial mount and wooden tripod it rode on, and various and sundry lenses, filters, and prisms which long ago went by the wayside. :confused:

#25 dgreyson

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:57 AM

Interesting, I wonder why not the thumb? Have you ever read Mr. Frazier’s most excellent book “The Golden Bough” per chance? It is a little more tedious than Bullfinch, who but amuses, but well worth the read.

Oh Well, I suppose you’re right, it is much like Hip-Hop music, here to stay and one just must deal with it.

I’ve used radians in some Electrical Engineering problems as rad/s but do not recall having encountered the Gon before.






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