AS may be inferred from the title of this work, the astronomical reader will not find it to be a general treatise on the practical branches of the science, but one confined to the theory and uses of instruments, and explanation of methods employed at the present day in the determinations of geographical positions. As such the name of its author, Dr. A. Sawitsch, the well-known Professor of Astronomy in the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, will give the work high recommendation in the estimation of the student. The two volumes of the original edition are now incorporated in one, and such modifications as have been rendered necessary by the introduction of new or improved forms of instruments, and refinements of observation and reduction have been introduced in a great measure by the author himself. In the opening chapter we have explanations of the various methods of reckoning time, and the transformation of one into another; the reduction of mean into apparent places, the calculation of refraction and parallax, and the influence of the earth's compression upon the geocentric co-ordinates of points upon the surface, with remarks upon angular measures in general, and upon the astronomical telescope and its adjustment, the microscopes, verniers, level, &c. In the first section, the author treats of the transit instrument, and enters into the various adjustments to which it is subjected, and also describes in some detail the universal instrument of Piston and Martins, and the errors of division to which instruments for angular measures may be liable. The second section is devoted to the determination of latitude and time by measure of zenith distance, of time from corresponding altitudes, &c. The third section enters more fully into the uses and theory of the transit instrument, and likewise describes Bessel's method for the determination of latitude thereby, supplying practical rules and an example. The next section treats of the determination of azimuth, and of the influence of diurnal aberration on the polar co-ordinates of a star. The fifth section contains a valuable outline of the various methods applicable to the determination of terrestrial longitude, including the telegraphic method, the transportation of chronometers, and longitude by observations of eclipses, especially those of the sun, and by lunar occultations.
Abriss der praktischen Astronomie, vorzüglich in ihrer Anwendung auf geographische Ortsbestimmung.
Dr. A. Sawitsch, nach der zweiten russischen Original-Ausgabe. Neu herausgegeben von Dr. C. F. W. Peters. (Leipzig, 1879.)
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