Re: [LEAPSECS] Be thankful for John Flamstead

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:30:04 -0700

> The decision stemmed from the work 200 years previously of the
> first English Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, who calculated that
> the Earth rotated on its axis once every 24 hours.

Google saves the day again. Appears to have something to do with
tying together implications of the still young Copernican world view,
the analemma/equation of time, and the orbital and axial components
of sidereal motion. If you think we've been having an overheated
discussion, take a look at:

An excerpt:

        "the description of the components of the Equation of Time as
expressed by the 17th century cataloguers is bogus, harmful and
ultimately the greatest form of intellectual vandalism ever known."

(I might reserve the latter accusation for so-called "intelligent

My history of astronomy professor, Fr. Edward Jenkins, was fond of
the fourth Astronomer Royal, Nathaniel Bliss. He recalled (often)
having seen a beer mug with the gent's face on it and the motto,
"This is Bliss, if bliss on Earth there be."

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Received on Thu Nov 10 2005 - 08:31:09 PST

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