Re: [LEAPSECS] the tail wags the dog

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 16:58:44 -0500

Rob Seaman scripsit:

> >The legal time in the US is the mean solar time at a given
> >meridian, as determined by the secretary of commerce
> ...and many may have seen Mr. Gutierrez shooting the sun with his
> sextant out on the Mall in front of the A&S Museum :-)
> With all the words that have flowed over the spillway, I'm not sure
> the point has been made that a feature of solar time is precisely
> that it can be reliably recovered from observations whenever and
> wherever needed (once you are located with respect to a meridian, of
> course).

I don't understand this. You can't shoot the mean sun with a sextant,
only the friendly ("apparent", whatever) sun. So at the very least
you need an analemma.

In any case, the majority of the world has managed to live with the fact
that the day-of-month can no longer be recovered by examining the moon,
although if we were still hunter-gatherers a purely lunar calendar would
make a lot of sense.

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Received on Mon Jan 23 2006 - 13:59:42 PST

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