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Adam Schall (?±¤e‹???› [???e‹???›], TA?ng RA?owA ng, 1591-1666), Imperial Astronomer in Beijing. After taking this course you will become conscious of the motion of the Sun and the Moon and notice and question things you have earlier taken for granted.
I'm only supposed to give three hours of lectures so on Thursday I will use the last hour (9 to 10) as a tutorial starting in Week 3. If you cannot agree, then come and see me with your individual schemes and I will average and adjust. I used to have two homework, but many students complained that it was too much work and too dependent on good weather, so I have simplified into one homework. If you are confused about something, chances are that a lot of other people in class are confused about the same.
If the question involves geometrical arguments (as most of the material in this class does), it might be easier for both you and me if you ask me after class or come by my office some time. When people ask me about X, the problem is very often not that they don't understand X, but that there is something more basic they don't understand. What does the waxing or waning Moon look like in different parts of the world in the course of the year?
The last two applets are related to What Does the Waxing or Waning Moon Look Like in Different Parts of the World? Together with Keith Phua Kuan Wee of CITA (Centre for Information Technology and Applications), I have recorded video clips to help you understand the material. Nick Strobel of Bakersfield College has written a wonderful set of Astronomy Notes for his introductory astronomy course.
Here is the table of content for the first chapter of Strobel's Astronomy Notes with links to my video clips. How can we use the celestial sphere to understand the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars across the sky?
The Rotating Sky Lab with Rotating Sky Explorer, Bands in the Sky, Paths of the Stars and Two Systems: Celestial, Horizon. Motions of the Sun Lab with Paths of the Sun Simulator, Paths of the Sun, Meridional Altitude and Seasons and the Zodiac. Demonstrations and Animations for Teaching Astronomy - D A T A at Department of Astronomy - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
For general astronomy info, my favorite is the web site of the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Starry Messenger by David Chart of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science of the University of Cambridge. How is the date for Chinese New Year, Eid ul-Fitr (Hari Raya Puasa) and Deepavali determined? You will also see why both Eid ul-Fitrs (Hari Raya Puasas) in 2000 were celebrated one day earlier than they would have been if MUIS had relied on sightings or scientific criteria. The most authoritative reference on calendars is the book Calendrical Calculations by Nachum Dershowitz and Edward M. Undergraduate research project on The Chinese Calendar of the Later Han Period by my students Kuan Shau Hong and Teng Keat Huat.
Undergraduate research project on Calendars, Interpolation, Gnomons and Armillary Spheres in the Work of Guo Shoujing (1231-1314) by my student Ng Say Tiong.
Undergraduate research project on Strings of Long Months and Short Months in the Chinese Calendar by my student Zhang Jieping. The Lunar Calendar in Japan by Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara is the best source for information about the Japanese calendar.
Vietnamese lunar calendar conversion by Ho Ngoc Duc of Institute of Informatics, University of Leipzig.
Undergraduate research project on Lunar Visibility and the Islamic Calendar by my student Leong Wen Xin.
Notes for lecture on How Does the Islamic Calendar Really Work in Different Parts of the World?
The web page of the Islamic Crescents' Observation Project (ICOP) has a number of interesting articles. Islamic calendar for Singapore by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
Crescent Moon Visibility and the Islamic Calendar from the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Crescent-Sighting and Islamic Calendars and Islamic Astronomy: Questions, Comments and Correspondence by David McNaughton. Predicting the First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent, The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia, Islamic-Western Calendar Converter (Based on the Arithmetical or Tabular Calendar) and Internet sites over de islamitische tijdrekening (in Dutch) by Robert H.
Determining the direction to Mecca was together with determining the first visibility of the lunar crescent and computing prayer times one of the central problems in Islamic astronomy. All the famous Muslim astronomers and mathematicians in the past, like al-Khwarizmi (780-850), al-Battani (858-929) and al-Tusi (1201-1274) agreed that qibla should be measured by great circle. Undergraduate research project by my student Daphne CHIA on Indian Calendars: Comparing the Surya Siddhanta and the Astronomical Ephemeris, 2001. Undergraduate research project by my student Akshay REGULAGEDDA on Panchanga-Tantra: The Magic of the Indian Calendar System, 2002.
Undergraduate research project by my students Akhil DOEGAR and Akshay PRASAD on Indian Calendars, 2002.
If you look at a map with time zones, you will see that Singapore and West Malaysia are in the “wrong” time zone!
My mum have been telling me since I was a kid that for half of the year that she will have to hang the clothes out in the kitchen and the other half of the year in the corridor for them to dry. The National Environment Agency on Singapore has a number of interesting pages, like Sunrise and Sunset Times, Moonrise and Moonset Times and Tide Times for Singapore. If you need to do computations, there is a handy table of the equation of time and the Sun's declination on the Daily Sun Data at Tony Helyar's Home Page.
National Environment Agency on Singapore has a number of interesting pages, like WeatherWise Singapore, Climatology of Singapore, FAQs-Meteorological Service and Sunrise and Sunset Times, Moonrise and Moonset Times and Tide Times for Singapore.
The famous picture by Sky & Telescope's Dennis di Cicco records the Sun's position in the sky at the same time of day on 45 different dates throughout the year.


Equinoxes, The Dark Days of Winter and Comparative Lengths of Days and Nights from the Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. In the past you could order a copy of Dennis di Cicco's famous analemma picture from Sky & Telescope. Four common types of sundials are the equatorial, armillary, horizontal and vertical sundials.
The astrolabe was made famous by Arab astronomers, and can be thought of as an analog astronomical computer. There's a lovely Persian astrolabe from 17th century at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. Geoffrey Chaucer, the author of Canterbury Tales wrote a Treatise on the Astrolabe in 1391. We will compare the relative advantages of the quadrant, mariner's astrolabe and cross-staff. The reason why I include this painting on this page, is because it contains an incredible collection of astronomical and mathematical instruments! Undergraduate research project on The Mathematics of Sundials by my students Liew Huay Ling and Lim Siew Yee.
Jantar Mantar: The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh II by Barry Perlus, Department of Art at Cornell University, is an absolutely stunning spherical VR imaging project. Undergraduate research project on The Mathematics of Astrology: Does House Division Make Sense? We will watch the movie Longitude, starring Jeremy Irons, which is based on the best-selling book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel. Determination of Latitude by Francis Drake on the Coast of California in 1579 by Bob Graham. Most capital cities have a geographical origin of coordinates, which is used when making maps for the country. In London the origin of coordinates is at Greenwich, while the zero point for road distances is at Trafalgar Square. You will appreciate mankind's struggle through the ages and throughout the world to understand the mathematics of the heavens.
The goal of the webcast if to give you a chance to take another look at things you didn't catch, or to help you if arrive a couple of minutes late. Don't worry if the printed copy doesn't look nice, if for instance you don't have a color printer or if you have to do a printout of a web page you created.
Each group can either choose to have everybody get the same grade (the default), or you can choose to grade the others in your group, by saying how many percent of the final mark the others deserve. Post a message on the discussion forum and you'll probably find other people in the same situation who you can form a group with. When you're submitting homework, you can use the workbin, burn a CD or bring a thumb drive along.
In addition to the books by Kaler and Kuhn, I've also placed The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy by James Evans and Calendrical Calculations: The Millennium Edition by Nachum Dershowitz and Edward M. Willeboordse of CITA (Centre for Information Technology and Applications), I have developed interactive Java applets that I hope will help you understand the motion of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon.
They show the same thing, but we're trying to emphasis different aspects or points of view in each one. One of the points of this applets, is to make you understand why you shouldn't make a vertical sundial.
The quality and file size of the clip is determined by the preference settings in your RealPlayer. Many people whose main interest is philosophy of science, but with little knowledge of astronomy or history of science, have written extensively about it. Their Websurf contains a wealth of information, including Global First Sighting of New Crescent Moon information for the last couple of years. Singapore is unique in that we use four different calendars for determining the date of the public holidays.
Reingold of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You will see why both Eid ul-Fitrs (Hari Raya Puasas) in 2000 were celebrated one day earlier than they would have been if MUIS had relied on sightings or scientific criteria. Monzur Ahmed is the author of MoonCalc, which for many years was the leading lunar visibility and Islamic calendar software.
The article on Policies Adopted in Britain by Muslims in Celebrating Islamic Festivals is essential reading! It requires a clear understanding of spherical trigonometry and knowing how to find longitude. For more details, please see my page Why is Singapore in the “wrong” time zone? We are at one degree north, so most people think the Sun will rise the same time every day.
Singapore lies almost on the equator, so most people would expect the Sun to rise at more or less the same time each day of the year. As you can see from the map, Singapore and West Malaysia are in the “wrong” time zone! We study the theory behind sundials and show how to construct an accurate sundial for any latitude.
The Antikythera Mechanism is the name given to an astronomical calculating device, measuring about 32 by 16 by 10 cm, which was discovered in 1900 in a sunken ship just off the coast of Antikythera, an island between Crete and the Greek mainland. They also make nice sundials, but notice that their Explorer model does not adjust for the season, only for the latitude. We study how ancient sailors in different parts of the world navigated in different ways, and how technological advances opened up new possibilities for discoveries and trade. In 1714 the British Parliament offered 20,000 pound to anybody who could come up with a practical method to determine the longitude at sea. The movie is very interesting, and includes famous names like Jeremy Irons, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Ian Hart and Gemma Jones. In Oslo the origin of coordinates is at the Observatory, while the zero point for road distances is at Stortorvet.


It will be Thursday 9-10, but is probably because it can't be listed at time because the lecture is listed at that time. There will also be a homework that counts 20% and is done in groups of four to six students. But pay attention to how you can determine the equinoxes and solstices by looking at the position of the Earth's axis, and how the declination changes. A simplified model of the tilt of the waxing or waning Moon in different parts of the world ignores the tilt of the ecliptic, and assumes that the Sun and the Moon both move along the celestial equator. I have recorded video clips with annotations to some of the sections of the first chapter of Strobel's notes. Their Data Services and Astronomical Information Center contain a lot of useful information. Seven of our eleven public holidays move, and we study the rules for Chinese New Year, the two Eid's (Hari Raya's), Deepavali, Vesak Day and Good Friday. You can use the last one to print out a table of rising and setting times for the Sun and the Moon in Singapore.
As part of their Science is everywhere program, The Singapore Science Centre together with the National Parks Board recently put up a series of sundials representing the planets. Close your left eye, put your face close to the computer screen near the right side of the picture.
In the past, however, there was a close relationship between astronomy and astrology, and astronomy has great historical interest. In Singapore we use the Gregorian, Chinese, Islamic and Indian calendars for determining the public holidays and you will learn the rules for these calendars. The last week there will be small tutorial and I will use all four hours for lectures and review. One of my students, Viduranga Yashasui Waisundara, has written a beautiful poem about this, called If I were God.
This paper won a fourth prize in the Fifth Annual Boeing Writing Contest, which is organized by the Griffith Observatory.
I was therefore quite surprised when I started to receive e-mails from Muslims in the US and Canada asking me about it. For examples of this, see Direction of Al-Qiblah, Determining the direction of the Qibla and Qiblah.us. With Science Centre representing the sun, unique sculptures are placed at various locations around Singapore. We look at the mathematical foundation of some of the key concepts in both Western and Chinese astrology. The Astronomer Royal was only paid 100 pounds a year, and had to pay for his own instruments. In the past, finding coordinates, especially the longitude, was so hard that the best way was to pick a local origin, do astronomical observations at that point, and then do triangulation for the rest of the country.
After a bit of detective work, and a lot of help from various people, I found that the origin of coordinates is at Empress Place and the zero point for road distances is at the old General Post Office, now the Fullerton Hotel.
Most people expect the time of sunrise and sunset in Singapore to stay fixed throughout the year, but we will study the equation of time and the analemma to see why there is a half hour variation. I move around a lot, and I rely on physical demonstrations that probably will not show up in the webcast.
If you cannot agree, come and see me (separately, if necessary), and I will take the average. If you want to understand this, get the book Making Sense of Astrology by Ronny Martens, Tim Trachet and study this applet.
We give two simple rules of thumb that determine the date for Chinese New Year with a margin of error of one day. But it is based on a dubious method, so you will often not be able to see the Moon on the day when MUIS claims that you will. And so for half of the year, the sun be in the South-east and the other half in the North-east. The relative distance of these sculptures from the Science Centre represents the distances of each planet from the Sun. For more details, see my page on Where is the Geographical Origin of Coordinates of Singapore?
Navigation has been important to people all over the world throughout history, and people at different latitudes developed fundamentally different methods. The module is very lecture intensive, so please do not take the module if you do not plan to attend lectures at 8 am.
Webcast is great for lecturers who read aloud from their lecture notes, which is not my style. The level of astronomy I expect you to learn is comparable to the first chapter and the appendix of The Copernican Revolution, Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought by Thomas S. I have written a set of lecture notes on The Mathematics of the Public Holidays of Singapore. If we have time, we will look at ancient astronomical instruments, astrology, cartography, archaeoastronomy (the use of astronomy in archaeology), cultural astronomy and astronomy in nature. The difference between the earliest and latest sunrise in 30 minutes, but the difference between the longest and shortest day is only 8 minutes. For convenience, the main reference for the first part will be Strobel's Astronomy Notes on the web. I have also written a set of lecture notes on The Mathematics of the Public Holidays of Singapore. The key to understanding this is the analemma, which is a graphical representation of the equation of time.
I encourage you to discuss this in a polite, friendly, reasonable, generous and compassionate way, and make every effort to reach a unanimous decision.




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