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THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY
RELATING TO THE

MOTIONS OF THE HEAVENLY BODIES


REVOLVING AROUND THE SUN IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE LAW OF UNIVERSAL GRAVITATION

EMBRACING
A SYSTEMATIC DERIVATION OF THE FORMULA FOR THE CALCULATION OF THE GEOCENTRIC AND
CENTRIC PLACES, FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE ORBITS OF PLANETS AND COMETS, FOB
THE CORRECTION OF APPROXIMATE ELEMENTS, AND FOR THE COMPUTATION OF
SPECIAL PERTURBATIONS; TOGETHER WITH THE THEORY OF THE COMBINATION OF OBSERVATIONS AND THE METHOD OF LEAST SQUARES.

Wtiili

Uunwwtl feunjjte

mul ^uriliarg

BY

JAMES

C.

WATSON

DIRECTOR OF THE OBSERVATORY AT ANN ARBOR, AND PROFESSOR OF ASTRONOMY IN THE


UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

PHILADELPHIA
J.

B.

LIPPINCOTT &

LONDON: TRUBNER &


1868

CO.

CO.

ASTRONOMY UBRAR*

/
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year
J.

B.

LIPPINCOTT &

1868,

by

CO.,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District

of Pennsylvania.

W3

PREFACE.
THE

discovery of the great law of nature, the law of gravitation, by

NEWTON, prepared

the

way

for the brilliant

achievements which have

A first essential, how-

distinguished the history of astronomical science.


ever, to the solution of those recondite

the effect of the mutual

problems which were

to exhibit

attraction of the bodies of our system, was the

development of the infinitesimal calculus and the labors of those who


devoted themselves to pure analysis have contributed a most important
part in the attainment of the high degree of perfection which character;

izes the results

of astronomical investigations.

Of

the earlier efforts to

develop the great results following from the law of gravitation, those of

EULER
in

stand pre-eminent, and the memoirs which he published have,

reality,

celestial

furnished

mechanics.

the

In

germ of

all

subsequent investigations

this connection also the

in

names of BERNOUILLI,

CLAIRAUT, and D'ALEMBERT deserve the most honorable mention

as

having contributed also, in a high degree, to give direction to the investigations

which were

to unfold so

many

mysteries of nature.

By means

of the researches thus inaugurated, the great problems of mechanics

were successfully solved, many beautiful theorems relating to the planetary motions demonstrated, and many useful formulae developed.
It is true,

however, that in the early stage of the science methods

were developed which have since been found to be impracticable, even


if not erroneous; still, enough was effected to direct attention in the
proper channel, and to prepare the

way

for the

LAGRANGE and LAPLACE. The genius and


extraordinary men gave to the progress of
most rapid

strides

and the

intricate investigations

fully performed, served constantly to educe


all

more complete labors of

the analytical skill of these


Theoretical Astronomy the

new

which they success-

discoveries, so that of

the problems relating to the mutual attraction of the several planets

PREFACE.

more remained to be accomplished by their successors than to


and
develop
simplify the methods which they made known, and to introbut

little

duce such modifications as should be indicated by experience or rendered

by the latest discoveries in the domain of pure anatysis.


The problem of determining the elements of the orbit of a comet
moving in a parabola, by means of observed places, which had been

possible

considered by
received from

NEWTON, EULER, BOSCOVICH, LAMBERT, and

LAGRANGE and LAPLACE

in the light of all that

by the former

is

others,

the most careful consideration

had been previously done.

The

solution given

analytically complete, but far from being practically

complete; that given by the latter


far as regards the labor of

is

especially simple

and practical

so

computation; but the results obtained by

it

are so affected by the unavoidable errors of observation as to be often


little

more than rude approximations.

The method which was found

to

answer best in actual practice, was that proposed by OLBERS in his


work entitled Leichteste und bequemste Methode die Bakn eines Cometen
zu berechnen, in which, by
bolic motion demonstrated

adopting a method of
certain equations, he

making use of a beautiful theorem of paraby EULER and also by LAMBERT, and by

trial

and error

was enabled

in the numerical

to effect

solution of

a solution which could be

performed with remarkable ease. The accuracy of the results obtained


by OLBERS'S method, and the facility of its application, directed the
attention of

LEGENDRE, IVORY, GAUSS, and ENCKE

to this subject,

by them the method was extended and generalized, and rendered


cable in the exceptional cases in which the other methods failed.
It should

and

appli-

be observed, however, that the knowledge of one element,

the eccentricity, greatly facilitated the solution

and, although elliptic

elements had been computed for some of the comets, the

was that of parabolic motion,

first

hypothesis

so that the subsequent process


required

simply the determination of the corrections to be applied to these


ments in order to satisfy the observations. The more difficult

ele-

problem

of determining all the elements of planetary motion


directly from three
observed places, remained unsolved until the discovery of Ceres

by

PIAZZI in 1801, by which the attention of GAUSS was directed to this


result of which was the subsequent
publication of his
Theoria Motus Corporum Ccelestium, a most able work, in which he
gave
to the world, in a finished form, the results of
of
attention
many

subject, the

years

PREFACE.
to the subject of

which

it

His method

treats.

for determining all the

elements directly from given observed places, as given in the Theoria


Motus, and as subsequently given in a revised form by ENCKE, leaves
scarcely any thing to be desired on this topic.

In the same work he

gave the first explanation of the method of least squares, a method


which has been of inestimable service in investigations depending on
observed data.

The discovery of the minor

planets directed attention also to the

methods of determining their perturbations, since those applied in the


For a long
case of the major planets were found to be inapplicable.
time astronomers were content simply to compute the special perturbations of these bodies

mencement

from epoch

to epoch,

and

of the brilliant researches by

it

was not until the com-

HANSEN

that serious hopes


were entertained of being able to compute successfully the general perturbations of these bodies. By devising an entirely new mode of considering the perturbations, namely,

by determining what may be

called

the perturbations of the time, and thus passing from the undisturbed

place to the disturbed place, and by other ingenious analytical and

mechanical devices, he succeeded in effecting a solution of


difficult

problem, and his latest works contain

required for the cases actually occurring.


analysis

all the

The

this

most

formulae which are

refined

and

and the laborious calculations involved were such

difficult

that,

even

HANSEN'S methods were made known, astronomers still adhered


the method of special perturbations by the variation of constants
after

to

as

developed by LAGRANGE.

The discovery of

Astrcea

by HENCKE was speedily followed by the

discovery of other planets, and fortunately indeed

it

the subject of special perturbations was to receive a

so

happened that

new improvement.

The discovery by BOND and ENCKE of a method by which we determine


at once the variations of the rectangular co-ordinates of the disturbed

body by integrating the fundamental equations of motion by means of


mechanical quadrature, directed the attention of HANSEN to this phase
of the problem, and soon after he gave formula for the determination
of the perturbations of the latitude, the

mean anomaly, and

the loga-

rithm of the radius-vector, which are exceedingly convenient in the


process of integration, and which have been found to give the most
satisfactory results.

The formulse

for the perturbations of the latitude,

PREFACE.

6
true longitude,

and

radius-vector, to be integrated in the

same manner,

were afterwards given by BRUNNOW.


Having thus stated briefly a few historical facts relating to the
problems of theoretical astronomy, I proceed to a statement of the

The discovery of

object of this work.

so

planets and comets has

many

furnished a wide field for exercise in the calculations relating to their


motions, and

it

has occurred to

me

that a

work which should contain a

development of all the formulae required in determining the orbits of the


heavenly bodies directly from given observed places, and in correcting
these orbits by means of more extended discussions of series of observations, including also the

determination of the perturbations, together

with a complete collection of auxiliary tables, and also such practical


directions as might guide the inexperienced computer, might add very

by attracting the attention of a


number
of
competent computers. Having carefully read the
greater
works of the great masters, my plan was to prepare a complete work on
materially to the progress of the science

commencing with the fundamental principles of dynamics,


and systematically treating, from one point of view, all the problems
The scope and the arrangement of the work will be best
presented.
this subject,

understood after an examination of

its

contents

and

let it suffice to

add

that I have endeavored to keep constantly in view the wants of the

computer, providing for the exceptional cases as they occur, and giving
all the formulae which appeared to me to be best adapted to the
problems

under consideration.

have not thought

geometrical signification of

many

worth while to trace out the

of the auxiliary quantities introduced.

Those who are curious in such matters


tiful

it

may

readily derive

many

beau-

theorems from a consideration of the relations of some of these

For convenience, the formula) are numbered consecutively


each
through
chapter, and the references to those of a preceding chapter
are defined by adding a subscript figure denoting the number of the
auxiliaries.

chapter.

Besides having read the works of those

who have given

special atten-

have consulted the Astronomische Nachrichten,


the Astronomical Journal, and other astronomical
periodicals, in which
tion to these problems, I

is

to

be found much valuable information


resulting from the experiwho have been or are now actively engaged in astro-

ence of those

nomical pursuits.

must

also express

my

obligations to the publishers,

PREFACE.
Messrs. J. B.

LIPPINCOTT

&

Co., for the generous interest

which they

have manifested in the publication of the work, and also to Dr. B. A.


GOULD, of Cambridge, Mass., and to Dr. OPPOLZER, of Vienna, for
valuable suggestions.

For the determination of the time from the perihelion and of the true
anomaly in very eccentric orbits I have given the method proposed by

BESSEL

in the Monatliche Correspondenz, vol.

were subsequently given

by BRUNNOW

xii.,

the tables for which

in his Astronomical Notices,

and

method proposed by GAUSS, but in a more convenient form.


For obvious reasons, I have given the solution for the special case of
also the

parabolic motion before completing the solution of the general problem


of finding all of the elements of the orbit by
places.

The

differential formulae

means of three observed

and the other formulae

for correcting

approximate elements are given in a form convenient for application,


for finding the chord or the time of describing the

and the formulae

subtended arc of the orbit, in the case of very eccentric

orbits, will

be

found very convenient in practice.


I have given a pretty full development of the application of the
theory of probabilities to the combination of observations, endeavoring
to direct the attention of the reader, as far as possible, to the sources of

ing the problem so

and

most advantageous method of treatas to eliminate the effects of these errors.


For the

error to be apprehended

to the

rejection of doubtful observations, according to theoretical considerations,

I have given the simple formula, suggested

by CHAUVENET, which

fol-

lows directly from the fundamental equations for the probability of


errors,

the

and which

will

more complete

answer for the purposes here required as well as


In the chapter
proposed by PEIRCE.

criterion

devoted to the theory of special perturbations I have taken particular


pains to develop the whole subject in a complete and practical form,

keeping constantly in view the requirements for accurate and convenient

numerical application. The time is adopted as the independent variable


in the determination of the perturbations of the elements directly, since
experience has established the convenience of this form and should it
;

be desired to change the independent variable and to use the differential


coefficients with respect to the eccentric anomaly, the equations between
this function

and the mean motion

required transformation.

will enable us to effect readily the

PREFACE.

The numerical examples involve data derived from actual observations, and care has been taken to make them complete in every respect,
so as to serve as a guide to the efforts of those not familiar with these

calculations;

and when

different

presumed that the reader


astronomy, so that

is

it

centre of the sphere

is

fundamental planes are spoken

of, it is

familiar with the elements of spherical

is

state, in all cases,

unnecessary to

whether the

taken at the centre of the earth, or at any other

point in space.

The preparation of the Tables has

me

cost

logarithms of ten decimals being employed


last

decimal given.

Several of those in previous use have been recom-

puted and extended, and others here given


prepared with special care.
solar attraction

is

a great amount of labor,

in order to be sure of the

for the first

time have been

The adopted value of the constant of the

that given

by GAUSS, which,

as will appear,

accurately in accordance with the adoption of the

mean

is

not

distance of the

earth from the sun as the unit of space; but until the absolute value of
the earth's

mean motion

and accuracy,

is

known,

it is

best, for the

sake of uniformity

to retain GAUSS'S constant.

The preparation of

this

work has been

effected

amid many interrup-

and with other labors constantly pressing me, by which the progress
of its publication has been somewhat delayed, even since the stereo-

tions,

typing was commenced, so that in some cases I have been anticipated


in the publication of formulae which would have here appeared for the
first

time.

I have, however, endeavored to perform conscientiously the

self-imposed task, seeking always to secure a logical sequence in the development of the formulae, to preserve uniformity and elegance in the
notation, and to elucidate the successive steps in the analysis, so that the

work may be read by those who,

possessing a respectable mathematical

education, desire to be informed of the

enabled to arrive at so

means by which astronomers are

results connected with the motions

many grand

of the heavenly bodies, and by which the grandeur and


sublimity of
creation are unveiled.
The labor of the preparation of the work will

have been fully repaid

if it shall

be the means of directing a more

general attention to the study of the wonderful


vens, the contemplation of

mind the

mechanism of the hea-

which must ever serve

to impress upon the


of
the
of
the
reality
perfection
OMNIPOTENT, the LIVING

OBSERVATORY, ANN ARBOR,

GOD

June, 1867.

CONTENTS.
THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

CHAPTER

I.

INVESTIGATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL EQUATIONS OF MOTION, AND OF THE FORMULAE FOR DETERMINING, FROM KNOWN ELEMENTS, THE HELIOCENTRIC AND
GEOCENTRIC PLACES OF A HEAVENLY BODY, ADAPTED TO NUMERICAL COMPUTATION FOR CASES OF ANY ECCENTRICITY WHATEVER.
PAGE

Fundamental Principles..

15

Attraction of Spheres
Motions of a System of Bodies

23

19

Invariable Plane of the System


Motion of a Solid Body
The Units of Space, Time, and Mass
Motion of a Body relative to the Sun

29
31

36
38

Equations for Undisturbed Motion


Determination of the Attractive Force of the Sun
Determination of the Place in an Elliptic Orbit

42

Determination of the Place in a Parabolic Orbit


Determination of the Place in a Hyperbolic Orbit

59

Methods

for finding the

True Anomaly and the Time from the Perihelion

49
53
65
in the

case of Orbits of Great Eccentricity

70

Determination of the Position in Space


Heliocentric Longitude and Latitude
Eeduction to the Ecliptic

81

Geocentric Longitude and Latitude


Transformation of Spherical Co-ordinates
Direct Determination of the Geocentric Eight Ascension and Declination
Reduction of the Elements from one Epoch to another

86

83
85
87
90

99

Numerical Examples
Interpolation
Time of Opposition

103
112

114
9

CONTENTS.

10

CHAPTEE

II.

FORMULA WHICH EXPRESS THE RELATION


BETWEEN THE GEOCENTRIC OR HELIOCENTRIC PLACES OF A HEAVENLY BODY
AND THE VARIATIONS OF THE ELEMENTS OF ITS ORBIT.

INVESTIGATION OF THE DIFFERENTIAL

PAGE

Variation of the Right Ascension and Declination


Case of Parabolic Motion

118

Case of Hyperbolic Motion


Case of Orbits differing but little from the Parabola

128

125
130

Numerical Examples
Variation of the Longitude and Latitude
The Elements referred to the same Fundamental Plane as the Geocentric Places
Numerical Example
Plane of the Orbit taken as the Fundamental Plane to which the Geocentric
Places are referred

135

143
149
150
153

Numerical Example

159

Variation of the Auxiliaries for the Equator

163

CHAPTER

III.

INVESTIGATION OF FORMULA FOR COMPUTING THE ORBIT OF A COMET MOVING


IN A PARABOLA, AND FOR CORRECTING APPROXIMATE ELEMENTS BY THE
VARIATION OF THE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.
Correction of the Observations for Parallax

167

Fundamental Equations

169

Particular Cases

172

Ratio of

Two

Curtate Distances

178
Determination of the Curtate Distances
181
Relation between Two Radii-Vectores, the Chord joining their Extremities, and
the Time of describing the Parabolic Arc
184
Determination of the Node and Inclination
192
Perihelion Distance and Longitude of the Perihelion
194
Time of Perihelion Passage
195
'.

Numerical Example
Correction of Approximate Elements by varying the Geocentric Distance
Numerical Example

CHAPTER

199

208
213

IV.

DETERMINATION, FROM THREE COMPLETE OBSERVATIONS, OF THE ELEMENTS OF


THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY, INCLUDING THE ECCENTRICITY OR FORM
OF THE CONIC SECTION.
Reduction of the Data
Corrections for Parallax

220
..

223

CONTENTS.

11
PAGE

Fundamental Equations

225

Formulae for the Curtate Distances


Modification of the Formulae in Particular Cases
..-

-.

228
231

Determination of the Curtate Distance for the Middle Observation


Case of a Double Solution
Position indicated by the Curvature of the Observed Path of the Body
Formulae for a Second Approximation

Formulae for finding the Ratio of the Sector to the Triangle


Final Correction for Aberration
Determination of the Elements of the Orbit

236

239

242
243
247

257
259

Numerical Example

264

Correction of the First Hypothesis


Approximate Method of finding the Katio of the Sector to the Triangle

278

CHAPTER

279

V.

DETERMINATION OF THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS, OF WHICH THE SECOND AND THIRD MUST BE COMPLETE.
Fundamental Equations

282

Determination of the Curtate Distances

289

Successive Approximations
Determination of the Elements of the Orbit

293
294

Numerical Example

294

Method

for the Final

307

Approximation

CHAPTER

3TL

FORMULA FOR THE CORRECTION OF THE APPROXIMATE ELEMENTS OF THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY.

INVESTIGATION OF VARIOUS

311

Determination of the Elements of a Circular Orbit


Variation of
Differential

Two

313

Geocentric Distances

Formula

318

Plane of the Orbit taken as the Fundamental Plane


Variation of the Node and Inclination

320

One Geocentric Distance

328

Variation of

324

Determination of the Elements of the Orbit by means of the Co-ordinates and


332

Velocities

335

Correction of the Ephemeris


Final Correction of the Elements

Relation between
Modification

Two

when

338

339

Places in the Orbit

the Semi-Transverse Axis

is

very large

Modification for Hyperbolic Motion


Variation of the Semi-Transverse Axis and Katio of

341
346

Two

Curtate Distances

349

CONTENTS.

12

PAGE

Variation of the Geocentric Distance and of the Reciprocal of the Semi-Trans-

352

verse Axis

Equations of Condition

353

Orbit of a Comet

355

Variation of

Two

357

Eadii-Vectores

CHAPTER

VII.

METHOD OF LEAST SQUARES, THEORY OF THE COMBINATION OF OBSERVATIONS,


AND DETERMINATION OF THE MOST PROBABLE SYSTEM OF ELEMENTS FROM
A SERIES OF OBSERVATIONS.
Statement of the Problem
Fundamental Equations for the Probability of Errors
Determination of the Form of the Function which expresses the Probability
The Measure of Precision, and the Probable Error

360

362
...

363
366

Distribution of the Errors

367

The Mean Error, and the Mean of the Errors


The Probable Error of the Arithmetical Mean

368

Determination of the

Mean and Probable

370

Errors of Observations

Weights of Observed Values

371

372

376

Equations of Condition
Normal Equations
Method of Elimination

378

380

Determination of the Weights of the Resulting Values of the

Unknown

Quanti-

386

ties

Separate Determination of the Unknown Quantities and of their Weights


Relation between the Weights and the Determinants

Case in which the Problem

nearly Indeterminate
and Probable Errors of the Results

392
396

is

398

Combination of Observations

399
401

Mean

Errors peculiar to certain Observations


Rejection of Doubtful Observations
Correction of the Elements

408

410
412
415
418
423

Arrangement of the Numerical Operations


Numerical Example
Case of very Eccentric Orbits

CHAPTER

VIII.

INVESTIGATION OF VARIOUS FORMULAE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF THE SPECIAL


PERTURBATIONS OF A HEAVENLY BODY.

Fundamental Equations
Statement of the Problem

426
428

Variation of Co-ordinates

429

CONTENTS.

13
PAGE

Mechanical Quadrature
The Interval for Quadrature

433
443
445

Mode

of effecting the Integration


Perturbations depending on the Squares and Higher Powers of the Masses

446

Numerical Example
Change of the Equinox and Ecliptic
Determination of New Osculating Elements

448
455

459
462

Variation of Polar Co-ordinates

Determination of the Components of the Disturbing Force


Determination of the Heliocentric or Geocentric Place

467

Numerical Example
Change of the Osculating Elements
Variation of the Mean Anomaly, the Kadius- Vector, and the Co-ordinate
Fundamental Equations
Determination of the Components of the Disturbing Force

474
477
480
483
489
493
495
502
505
510
516
523
526

471

z......

Case of very Eccentric Orbits


Determination of the Place of the Disturbed Body
Variation of the Node and Inclination

Numerical Example
Change of the Osculating Elements

'.

Variation of Constants

Case of very Eccentric Orbits


Variation of the Periodic Time

Numerical Example

529

Formulae to be used when the Eccentricity or the Inclination


Correction of the

Assumed Value

of the Disturbing

is

533

small

Mass

535

Perturbations of Comets

536

Motion about the Common Centre of Gravity of the Sun and Planet
537
Reduction of the Elements to the Common Centre of Gravity of the Sun and
Planet
Reduction by means of Differential Formulae
Near Approach of a Comet to a Planet
The Sun may be regarded as the Disturbing Body

540
546

Determination of the Elements of the Orbit about the Planet

550

Subsequent Motion of the Comet

551

538

548

Effect of a Resisting Medium in Space


Variation of the Elements on account of the Resisting

Method

to be applied

the Ether

when no Assumption

is

made

552

Medium

554

in regard to the Density of


..

556

CONTENTS.

14

TABLES.
PAGE
I.

II.

561
Angle of the Vertical and Logarithm of the Earth's Radius
For converting Intervals of Mean Solar Time into Equivalent Intervals
of Sidereal

III.

563

Time

For converting Intervals of Sidereal Time

into Equivalent Intervals

564
of Mean Solar Time
IV. For converting Hours, Minutes, and Seconds into Decimals of a Day... 565
565
V. For finding the Number of Days from the Beginning of the Year
VI. For finding the True Anomaly or the Time from the Perihelion in a
566
Parabolic Orbit

VII. For finding the True Anomaly in a Parabolic Orbit when v is nearly 180 611
612
VIII. For finding the Time from the Perihelion in a Parabolic Orbit
IX. For finding the True Anomaly or the Time from the Perihelion in Orbits
614
of Great Eccentricity

X. For finding the True Anomaly or the Time from the Perihelion in Elliptic and Hyperbolic Orbits
XL For the Motion in a Parabolic Orbit
m sin 4 z' ...
XII. For the Limits of the Eoots of the Equation sin (z'
)
XIII. For finding the Ratio of the Sector to the Triangle
XIV. For finding the Ratio of the Sector to the Triangle
XV. For Elliptic Orbits of Great Eccentricity
XVI. For Hyperbolic Orbits
XVII. For Special Perturbations
XVIII. Elements of the Orbits of the Comets which have been observed
XIX. Elements of the Orbits of the Minor Planets
XX. Elements of the Orbits of the Major Planets

XXL

Constants,

&c

618

619
622

624
629
632

632
633
638

646
648

649

EXPLANATION OF THE TABLES

651

APPENDIX.

657

Precession

Nutation

658

Aberration

659
660

Intensity of Light
Numerical Calculations

662

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

CHAPTER

I.

INVESTIGATION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL, EQUATIONS OF MOTION, AND OF THE FORMULAE FOB DETERMINING, FROM KNOWN ELEMENTS, THE HELIOCENTRIC AND
GEOCENTRIC PLACES OF A HEAVENLY BODY, ADAPTED TO NUMERICAL COMPUTATION FOR CASES OF ANY ECCENTRICITY WHATEVER.

THE

1.

study of the motions of the heavenly bodies does not re-

quire that we should know the ultimate limit of divisibility of the


matter of which they are composed, whether it may be subdivided
indefinitely, or

Nor

are

whether the limit

we concerned with

is an indivisible, impenetrable atom.


the relations which exist between the

separate atoms or molecules, except so far as they form, in the aggregate, a definite body whose relation to other bodies of the system it
is
On the contrary, in considering the operequired to investigate.
ration of the laws in obedience to which matter is aggregated into

single bodies

of

its

and systems of

bodies,

it is

sufficient to conceive

simply

which may be regarded as infinitesimal


volume of the body, and to regard the mag-

divisibility to a limit

compared with the

finite

nitude of the element of matter thus arrived at as a mathematical


point.

An

element of matter, or a material body, cannot give itself


motion; neither can it alter, in any manner whatever, any motion
which may have been communicated to it. This tendency of matter
to resist all changes of its existing state of rest or

as inertia,

and

is

motion

is

known
Ex-

the fundamental law of the motion of bodies.

perience invariably confirms it as a law of nature; the continuance of


motion as resistances are removed, as well as the sensibly unchanged

motion of the heavenly bodies during

many

centuries, affording the


15

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

16

most convincing proof of

its

universality.

Whenever,

therefore, a

material point experiences any change of its state as respects rest or


motion, the cause must be attributed to the operation of something
external to the element itself, and which we designate by the word
forces is generally unknown, and we estimate
which
the
effects
them by
they produce. They are thus rendered comand
may be expressed by abstract numbers.
parable with some unit,
2. If a material point, free to move, receives an impulse by virtue

The nature of

force.

of the action of any force, or

at

if,

any

instant, the force

by which

shall cease to act, the subsequent motion of


the point, according to the law of inertia, must be rectilinear and
being described in equal times. Thus, if s, v,

motion

is

communicated

uniform, equal spaces

and

represent, respectively, the space, the velocity,

and the

time, the

measure of v being the space described in a unit of time, we shall


have, in this case,
s

vt.

evident, however, that the space described in a unit of time will


vary with the intensity of the force to which the motion is due, and,
the nature of the force being unknown, we must necessarily compare
It

is

the velocities communicated to the point by different forces, in order


are thus led to regard
to arrive at the relation of their effects.

We

the force as proportional to the velocity; and this also has received
the most indubitable proof as being a law of nature.
Hence, the
principles of the composition and resolution of forces
also to the composition and resolution of velocities.

If the force

acts incessantly, the velocity will

may

be applied

be accelerated, and

the force which produces this motion is called an accelerating force.


In regard to the mode of operation of the force, however, we may
consider
it

it

as acting absolutely without cessation, or

we may

regard

as acting instantaneously at successive infinitesimal intervals repre-

sented by

dt,

and hence the motion

as

uniform during each of these


that which is best adapted to

The latter supposition is


the requirements of the infinitesimal calculus; and, according to the
fundamental principles of this calculus, the finite result will be the
intervals.

same as in the

case of a force whose action is absolutely incessant.


Therefore, if we represent the element of space by ds, and the element of time by dt, the instantaneous velocity will be

which will vary from one instant

to another.

FUNDAMENTAL
Since the force

3.

17

proportional to the velocity, its measure at


by the corresponding velocity. If
constant, the motion will be uniformly accele-

instant will be determined

any

the accelerating force


rated; and

unit

is

PRINCIPLES.

of/

is

we

designate the acceleration due to the force by/, the


the
velocity generated in a unit of time, we shall have
being
if

however, the force be variable,

If,

we

shall have, at

any

instant,

the relation

/=

dt

the force being regarded as constant in its action during the element
The instantaneous value of v gives, by differentiation,
of time dt.

dv
~dt

_
==

d*s
~di?

and hence we derive


d*s

so that, in varied motion, the acceleration

due

to the force is

mea-

sured by the second differential of the space divided by the square


of the element of time.
4.

By

ter.

entire
is

the mass of the body we mean its absolute


quantity of matis
the
mass
of
a
unit
of
density
volume, and hence the

The

mass

is

required to

If
equal to the volume multiplied by the density.
the
forces
which
act
different
compare
bodies,
upon

it
it

must be considered. If equal masses


the
action of instantaneous forces, the forces
impulses by
acting on each will be to each other as the velocities imparted ; and
if we consider as the unit of force that which
gives to a unit of mass
is

evident that the masses

receive

the unit of velocity,


the mass by M,

This

is

we have

for the

measure of a force F, denoting

F = Mo.

called the quantity of motion of the body, and expresses its


overcome inertia. By virtue of the inert state of matter,

capacity to

there can be no action of a force without an


equal and contrary reaction ; for, if the body to which the force is applied is fixed, the

equilibrium between the resistance and the force necessarily implies


the development of an equal and contrary force ; and, if the body be
free to move, in the
change of state, its inertia will oppose equal and

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

18

Hence, as a necessary consequence of inertia, it


contrary resistance.
reaction are simultaneous, equal, and contrary.
and
action
follows that
If the body is acted upon by a force such that the motion is varied,
the accelerating force upon each element of
-7-,

and the entire motive force

is

its

mass

is

represented by

expressed by

clt

M being the sum of

all

the elements, or the mass of the body.


V

Since

ds
=W

this gives

is the expression for the intensity of the motive force, or of


For the unit of mass, the measure
the force of inertia developed.
of the force is

which

and

part of the intensity of the motive


the
unit of mass, and is what is usually
impressed upon

this, therefore, expresses that

force

which

is

called the accelerating force.


5.

The

force in obedience to

which the heavenly bodies perform

through space, is known as the attraction of gravitation ;


and the law of the operation of this force, in itself simple and unique,
has been confirmed and generalized by the accumulated researches of
modern science. Not only do we find that it controls the motions of
the bodies of our own solar system, but that the revolutions of binary
their journey

systems of stars in the remotest regions of space proclaim the universality of its operation. It unfailingly explains all the phenomena
observed, and, outstripping observation, it has furnished the means
of predicting

many phenomena

particle by a force which varies

The law of

subsequently observed.

this force is that every particle of matter is attracted


directly as the mass

by every other
inversely as

and

the square of the distance of the attracting particle.

This reciprocal action

is instantaneous, and is not


modified, in any
the
of
other
or
bodies of matter. It
degree, by
interposition
particles
is also absolutely independent of the nature of the molecules them-

selves,

and of

their aggregation.

ATTRACTION OF SPHERES.
If we consider two bodies the masses of which are

19

and m', and


so
are
to
their
mutual
distance />,
whose magnitudes
small, relatively
that we may regard them as material points, according to the law of

of
gravitation, the action
in
,

and the

total force

on each molecule or unit of m' will be

on m! will be

m,m

f>'

The

action of m' on each molecule of

its total

action

will be expressed

by

-,

and

by
m'

which the masses m and m f tend


toward each other is, therefore, the same on each body, which result
is a
necessary consequence of the equality of action and reaction.
The velocities, however, with which these bodies would approach
each other must be different, the velocity of the smaller mass exceeding that of the greater, and in the ratio of the masses moved. The
expression for the velocity of m', which would be generated in a unit
of time if the force remained constant, is obtained by dividing the
absolute force exerted by m by the mass moved, which gives

The

absolute or

moving

force with

m
and

this

action of
action of

6.

is,

measure of the acceleration due to the


For the acceleration due to the
at the distance p.

therefore, the

m! we derive, in a similar manner,

Observation shows that the heavenly bodies are nearly spherical

and we shall therefore, preparatory to finding the equations


which express the relative motions of the bodies of the system, determine the attraction of a spherical mass of uniform density, or
in form,

varying from the centre to the surface according to any law, for a
point exterior to it.
If we suppose a straight line to be

drawn through the

centre of the

on the
attracted, the total action of the sphere
mass
of the
the
since
this
will
be
a
force
line,
point
acting along
element
an
denote
dm
Let
to
it.
is
with
sphere
symmetrical
respect
sphere and the point

THEOEETICAL ASTEONOMY.

20

of the mass of the sphere, and p

distance from the point attracted ;

its

then will

dm

on the point attracted. If we supexpress the action of this element


and equal to unity, the
pose the density of the sphere to be constant,
and
will be expressed by
element dm becomes an element of volume,

dm = dx dy dz

being the co-ordinates of the element referred to a system


of rectangular co-ordinates. If we take the origin of co-ordinates
at the centre of the sphere, and introduce polar co-ordinates, so that

and

x, y,

= r cos
=
r cos
y
x
z

the expression for

dm

=r sin

its

we suppose

0,
&,

?>,

cos

<p

action on the point attracted


r2 cos

, ,

If

<f>

becomes

dm = r
and

cos
sin

(p

<p

dr dy dO

is

dr

dO

d<p

the axis of z to be directed to the point attracted,

the co-ordinates of this point will be

a being the

distance of the point from the centre of the sphere, and,

since

P*=(x- xy +
we

shall

have
z

The component of

a?

(y

I/)

2ar sin

+ (z - zj,

<p -j-

r2

the force df in the direction of the line a, join-

ing the point attracted and the centre of the sphere,

is

dfcosr,

where f is the angle at the point attracted between the element dm


and the centre of the sphere. It is evident that the sum of all the
components which act in the direction of the line a will express the
total action of the sphere, since the

sum

of those which act perpen-

ATTRACTION OF SPHERES.

21

dicular to this line, taken so as to include the entire mass of the


sphere,

is

zero.

But we have
a

z -j-

and hence
cos Y

=a

r sin

<p
.

The

differentiation of the expression for

dp
-f-

da

Therefore, if

we denote

=a

r sin

<p

= cos

with respect to

a, gives

Y.

the attraction of the sphere by A,

have, by means of the values of df and

a A.

2
/>

=r

cos

dr dy do

<p

we

shall

cos f,

dp
.

=-,

da

or

dA
The

polar co-ordinates

r, <p y

r2 cos

<p

dr dy do

--r-.

aa

and 6 are independent of

a,

and hence

d
da

Let us now put


(2)

and we

shall

have
~~da'

Consequently, to find the total action of the sphere on the given


we have only to find
by means of equation (2), the limits

point,

of the integration being taken so as to include the entire mass of the


sphere, and then find its differential coefficient with respect to a.

If

is

we

integrate equation (2) first with reference to 6, for


and d
constant, between the limits 6
2x, we get

cos y dr

which p

dy

This must be integrated between the limits

<p

= -\-%n and =
<p

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

22

but since p is a function of ^>,


2
p with respect to <p, we have
r cos

we

if

dtp

<p

differentiate the expression for

dp,

and hence

V=

ffr
a JJ

dr dp.

a
a-\-r;
r, and p
Corresponding to the limits of <p we have p
these limits, we
to
between
with
and taking the integral
respect
p
obtain

Integrating, finally, between the limits r

being the radius of the sphere, and,


m, this becomes

r,

F=

if

and r

we denote

=r

its

f,

we

entire

get

mass by

-.
a*

Therefore,

A=

-=a4

da

'

from which it appears that the action of a homogeneous spherical


mass on a point exterior to it, is the same as if the entire mass were
concentrated at

we

its

centre.

r
take the limits r and r",

and, denoting by

and

r' y this

If, in

we

the integration with respect to

r,

obtain

the mass of a spherical shell whose radii are r"

becomes
A
A

m
;.

a2

Consequently, the attraction of a homogeneous spherical shell on a


point exterior to it, is the same as if the entire mass were concentrated
at its centre.

The

supposition that the point attracted is situated within a


spherical shell of uniform density, does not change the form of the

FUNDAMENTAL

PRINCIPLES.

23

general equation; but, in the integration with reference to p, the


r
r
limits will be p
a, and p
a, which give

= +

and

this being

independent of

a,

we have

Jt=if=u
da
Whence

it

follows that a point placed in the interior of a spherical


and that, if not subject to

shell is equally attracted in all directions,

the action of any extraneous force,

it

will be in equilibrium in every

position.
7. Whatever may be the law of the change of the density of the
heavenly bodies from the surface to the centre, we may regard them
as composed of homogeneous, concentric layers, the density varying
only from one layer to another, and the number of the layers may

be indefinite.

The

mass were united

same as if its
and hence the total action
the entire mass were concentrated

action of each of these will be the

at the centre of the shell

of the body will be the same as if


The planets are indeed not exactly spheres,
at its centre of gravity.
but oblate spheroids differing but little from spheres ; and the error
of the assumption of an exact spherical form, so far as relates to
upon each other, is extremely small, and is in fact com-

their action

pensated by the magnitude of their distances from each other for,


whatever may be the form of the body, if its dimensions are small
;

in

body which
action will be sensibly the same as if

comparison with

evident that

its

its

distance from the

If

it attracts, it is

its

entire

mass

we

suppose a system
of bodies to be composed of spherical masses, each unattended with
any satellite, and if we suppose that the dimensions of the bodies
are small in comparison with their mutual distances, the formation

were concentrated at

its

centre of gravity.

of the equations for the motion of the bodies of the system will be
reduced to the consideration of the motions of simple points endowed
with forces of attraction corresponding to the respective masses. Our
the several systems
is, in reality, a compound system,
of primary and satellites corresponding nearly to the case supposed ;
and, before proceeding with the formation of the equations which are
solar system

applicable to the general case, we will consider, at first, those for a


their
simple system of bodies, considered as points and subject to
the
to
mutual actions and the action of the forces which correspond

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

24

actual velocities of the different parts of the system for any instant.
It is evident that we cannot consider the motion of any single body
as free, and subject only to the action of the primitive impulsion

which

it

has received and the accelerating forces which act upon

it

but, on the contrary, the motion of each body will depend on the
force

which

acts

it

upon

and

directly,

also

on the reaction due

to the

The consideration, however, of the variaother bodies of the system.


tions of the motion of the several bodies of the system is reduced to
the simple case of equilibrium by means of the general principle that,
if we assign to the different bodies of the system motions which are

modified by their mutual action, we may regard these motions as


composed of those which the bodies actually have and of other

motions which are destroyed, and which must therefore necessarily


be such that, if they alone existed, the system would be in equilibrium.
We are thus enabled to form at once the equations for the

Let m, m r m", &c. be the masses of


the several bodies of the system, and x, y, z, x', y 2', &c. their comotion of a system of bodies.

',

any system of rectangular axes. Further, let


the components of the total force acting upon a unit of the mass of
m, or of the accelerating force, resolved in directions parallel to the
ordinates referred to

co-ordinate axes, be denoted by X,

and

m Yj

mX,

Z, respectively, then will

mZ,

be the forces which act upon the body in the same directions. The
velocities of the body m at any instant, in directions
parallel to the
co-ordinate axes, will be

dx

and the corresponding


dx

By

dz

forces are

-dy

dz

virtue of the action of the accelerating force, these forces for the

next instant become

m -jj + mXdt

>

m-jt+mYdt,

which may be written respectively:

-f

mZdt

MOTION OF A SYSTEM OF BODIES.


dx

The

dx

25

dx

actual velocities for this instant are

5+4

1+4-

and the corresponding


dx

+4>

forces are

jdx

dy

dz

jdy

dz

Comparing these with the preceding expressions for the forces, it


appears that the forces which are destroyed, in directions parallel to
the co-ordinate axes, are

md -=-md^jL

md
In the same manner we find
in the case of the body m!

r-

-\-

mXdt,

+ mYdt,

(3)

-f mZdt.

for the forces

which will be destroyed

fJr'

-m'd^ + m'X'dt,
-m'd^jt

+ m'Y'dt,

m'd^+m'Z'dt;
dt
and similarly

According to the
the action of
under
general principle above enunciated, the system
for the other bodies of the system.

these forces alone, will be in equilibrium.


The conditions of equilibrium for a system of points of invariable but arbitrary form, and
subject to the action of forces directed in any manner whatever, are

IX,

2Y

0,

Q,

in

which X,,

Y,, Z,,

SZ,

0,

Z(X,z-Zp) =

0,

0,

Z (Z ,y -

Y,z~)

denote the components, resolved parallel to the

THEORETICAL ASTEONOMY.

26

co-ordinate axes, of the forces acting on any point, and x 9 y, z, the


These equations are equally applicable to
co-ordinates of the point.

the case of the equilibrium at any instant of a system of variable


form ; and substituting in them the expressions (3) for the forces destroyed in the case of a system of bodies,

we

shall

have

2mX= 0,

^m ~jr

(4)

which are the general equations


8.

Let x y h
t)

z t)

for the motions of a system of bodies.

be the co-ordinates of the centre of gravity of the

differentiation of the equations for the co-ordinates

system, and, by
of the centre of gravity, which are

Xf

we

= 2mx
~Zm'

'

2my
= ~Zm~'

*'

2mz
^ ~Ym'

get
v

2m

df

"v

ffix

dt

d*y

Sm

Introducing these values into the

first

d*z

2m

dp

three of equations

(4),

they

become
fe, ~
__

ImX

tfy,

Zm'

~di?

'

~dP

from which

it

_ZmY

tfz,

2m'

~dP

'

__
~~

ImZ

'

~2m

appears that the centre of gravity of the system moves

in space as if the masses of the different bodies of which it is composed, were united in that point, and the forces directly applied to it.
If we suppose that the only accelerating forces which act on the

bodies of the system, are those which result from their mutual action,
we have the obvious relation
:

ro'JT,

mY=

m'Y',

mZ=

m'Z',

MOTION OF A SYSTEM OF BODIES.


and similarly

for

any two bodies

2mX = 0,
so that equations (5)

27

and, consequently,

SmY= 0,

ZmZ=

become

= o,
^t
dff

*5 = o,
dt*

**'

o.

d?

Integrating these once, and denoting the constants of integration by


the results,
c, c', c"', we find, by combining

and hence the absolute motion of the centre of gravity of the system,
when subject only to the mutual action of the bodies which compose
be uniform and rectilinear. Whatever, therefore, may be
it, must
the relative motions of the different bodies of the system, the motion
of its centre of gravity is not thereby affected.
9. Let us now consider the last three of equations (4), and suppose
the system to be submitted only to the mutual action of the bodies
which compose it, and to a force directed toward the origin of co-

The

ordinates.
tion, is

action of m' on m, according to the law of gravita-

expressed by

in

which p denotes the distance of m from m'.

To

resolve this force in directions parallel to the three rectangular


axes, we must multiply it by the cosine of the angle which the line

joining the two bodies

makes with the co-ordinate axes

which gives

--

A = m'(af

x)

=
3

--

v = m'tf
JL

-- -

A = m'(z'-z)
3

y)

p*

respectively,

Further, for the components of the accelerating force of

on

m we
r

have
,

m (x

m(y
~~

of)

m(z
~

)
'

'

Hence we derive

m(Yx

Xy)

+ m' (FV

Xy) = 0,

and generally
Q.

(6)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

28

In a similar manner, we

find

2m (Xz
2m (Zy

Zx)
Yz)

These relations will not be altered

if,

=
=

(7)

0,
0.

in addition to their reciprocal

action, the bodies of the system are acted upon by forces directed to
the origin of co-ordinates.
Thus, in the case of a force acting upon

m, and directed to the origin of co-ordinates,


alone,

Yx

= Xy,

Xz

= Zx,

we

have, for

its

action

Zy=Yz,

and similarly for the other bodies. Hence these forces disappear
from the equations, and, therefore, when the several bodies of the
system are subject only to their reciprocal action and to forces directed
to the origin of co-ordinates, the last three of equations (4) become

the integration of which gives

2m (xdy
2m (zdx
2m (ydz
c,

is

=
xdz) =

cdt,

zdy}

c"dtj

ydx]

c'dt,

(8)

c', and c" being the constants of integration.


Now, xdy ydx
double the area described about the origin of co-ordinates by the

m with the origin of


on the plane of xy during the element of time dt; and,
zdx
xdz and ydz
zdy are respectively double the areas

projection of the radius-vector, or line joining


co-ordinates,
further,

described, during the same time, by the projection of the radius-vector


on the planes of xz and yz. The constant c, therefore, expresses the
sum of the products formed by multiplying the areal velocity of each

body, in the direction of the co-ordinate plane xy, by its mass; and
r/
c', c , express the same sum with reference to the co-ordinate planes
xz and yz respectively.
Hence the sum of the areal velocities of the
several bodies of the system about the
origin of co-ordinates, each
multiplied by the corresponding mass, is constant; and the sum of

the areas traced, each multiplied by the


corresponding mass, is proIf the only forces which operate, are those
portional to the time.

INVAKIABLE PLANE.

from the mutual action of the bodies which compose the

resulting

system, this result is correct whatever


taken as the origin of co-ordinates.

The

29

areas described

may

be the point in space

by the projection of the radius-vector of each

body on the co-ordinate planes, are the projections, on these planes, of


the areas actually described in space. We may, therefore, conceive of
a resultant, or principal plane of projection, such that the sum of the

by the projection of each radius-vector on this plane,


projected on the three co-ordinate planes, each being multiplied

areas traced

when

by the corresponding mass, will be respectively equal to the first


members of the equations (8). Let
and y be the angles which
/9,
makes
with
the
this principal plane
co-ordinate planes xy, xz, and yz
respectively; and let 8 denote the sum of the areas traced on this
,

plane, in a unit of time,

by the projection of the radius-vector of


each of the bodies of the system, each area being multiplied by the
corresponding mass. The sum S will be found to be a maximum,
and

its

projections on the co-ordinate planes, corresponding to the


dt, are

element of time

S cos a dt,
Therefore,
c

S cos

/?

by means of equations

= S cos
2

and, since cos a

+ cos

(8),

= S cos
=
-f cos

we have

a,

S cos Y dt.

dt,

c"

/?,

= S cos

Y,

/5

7-

1,

Hence we derive
cos a

_ /

'21

cos Y

cos

'/2

/5

c"

These angles, being therefore constant and independent of the time,


this principal plane of projection remains constantly par-

show that
allel

to itself

during the motion of the system in space, whatever

the relative positions of the several bodies; and for this


Its position
reason it is called the invariable plane of the system.
with reference to any known plane is easily determined when the

may be

velocities, in directions

parallel to the

co-ordinate axes, and the

masses and co-ordinates of the several bodies of the system, are


known. The values of c, c r , c" are given by equations (8), and

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

30
hence the values of

a,

/9,

and

7-,

which determine the position of the

invariable plane.
Since the positions of the co-ordinate planes are arbitrary, we may
suppose that of xy to coincide with the invariable plane, which gives
cos

/?

and

cos f

= 0, and, therefore, =
c'

and c"

0.

Further,

since the positions of the axes of x and y in this plane are arbitrary,
it follows that for every plane perpendicular to the invariable plane,

the

sum

of the areas traced by the projections of the radii- vector es

of the several bodies of the system, each multiplied by the corresponding mass, is zero. It may also be observed that the value of S
is

constant whatever

and that

its

value

is

be the position of the co-ordinate planes,


necessarily greater than that of either of the

may

quantities in the second

member of

the equatity.

when two of them are each equal to zero. It is, therefore, a


maximum, and the invariable plane is also the plane of maximum
except
areas.

10. If we suppose the origin of co-ordinates itself to move with


uniform and rectilinear motion in space, the relations expressed by
Thus, let xn yn z, be the coequations (8) will remain unchanged.

ordinates of the movable origin of co-ordinates, referred to a fixed


'
point in space taken as the origin ; and let XQ , yQ9 z , a? ', y 9 z/, &c.
be the co-ordinates of the several bodies referred to the movable
origin.

Then, since the co-ordinate planes in one system remain

always parallel to those of the other system of co-ordinates, we shall


have
J
x
XQ
*
z
x,
*,
y
y, ryQ

= +

and similarly for the other bodies of the system. Introducing these
values of x y and z into the first three of equations (4), they become
9

The
gives

condition of uniform rectilinear motion of the movable


origin

MOTION OF A SOLID BODY.

33

and the preceding equations become

o,

(9)

ZmZ =0.
Substituting the same values in the last three of equations (4), observing that the co-ordinates x h y,, z, are the same for all the bodies

of the system, and reducing the resulting equations by means of


equations

(9),

we

get

rf

^W~ x
(r7
*,

Hence

~ 2m (** - 2O =

0,

(10)

appears that the form of the equations for the motion of the
of
bodies, remains unchanged when we suppose the origin of
system
co-ordinates to move in space with a uniform and rectilinear motion.
it

The

equations already derived for the motions of a system of


considered
as reduced to material points, enable us to form at
bodies,
once those for the motion of a solid body. The mutual distances of
11.

the parts of the system are, in this case, invariable, and the masses
of the several bodies become the elements of the mass of the solid

we

denote an element of the mass by dm, the equations (5)


for the motion of the centre of gravity of the body become

body.

If

(11)

the summation, or integration with reference to dm, being taken so as


to include the entire mass of the body, from which it appears that
the centre of gravity of the body moves in space as if the entire mass

were concentrated in that point, and the forces applied to it directly.


If we take the origin of co-ordinates at the centre of gravity of
the body, and suppose it to have a rectilinear, uniform motion in

and denote the co-ordinates of the element dm, in reference


of the equations (10),
origin, by XQ , y Q ZQ we have, by means

space,
this

to

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

32

y.

*,

dm -f ( Yx

~ x%) dm =

dm - (Xz

- Zx

dm

dm

-(% - K ^ =
O)

o,

the integration with respect to dm being taken so as to include the


These equations, therefore, determine the
entire mass of the body.

motion of rotation of the body around

its

centre of gravity regarded

as fixed, or as having a uniform rectilinear motion in space.


Equations (11) determine the position of the centre of gravity for any
instant, and hence for the successive instants at intervals equal to dt;
and we may consider the motion of the body during the element of
time dt as rectilinear and uniform, whatever may be the form of its
Hence, equations (11) and (12) completely determine the
trajectory.

the former relating to the motion of


position of the body in space,
translation of the centre of gravity, and the latter to the motion of
It follows, therefore, that for any forces
rotation about this point.
act upon a body we can always decompose the actual motion

which

into those of the translation of the centre of gravity in space, and of


the motion of rotation around this point ; and these two motions may

be considered independently of each other, the motion of the centre


of gravity being independent of the form and position of the body
about this point.

If the only forces which act upon the body are the reciprocal action
of the elements of its mass and forces directed to the origin of coordinates, the second terms of equations (12) become each equal to
zero, and the results indicated by equations (8) apply in this case
also.

of

The

parts of the system being invariably connected, the plane


areas, or invariable plane, is evidently that which is

maximum

perpendicular to the axis of rotation passing through the centre of


gravity, and therefore, in the motion of translation of the centre of
gravity in space, the axis of rotation remains constantly parallel to
itself.
Any extraneous force which tends to disturb this relation
will necessarily develop a contrary reaction,

any change of

and hence a rotating body

We

plane of rotation not parallel to itself.


that
on
account of the invariability of the mutual
may observe, also,
distances of the elements of the mass, according to equations (8), the
resists

its

motion of rotation must be uniform.


12.

We

shall

now

consider the action of a system of bodies on a

MOTION OF A SOLID BODY.

33

Let xw yQ , ZQ , x f , y ', z ',


distant mass, which we will denote by M.
&c. be the co-ordinates of the several bodies of the system referred
its centre of gravity as the origin of co-ordinates; xn
y, 9 and z,
the co-ordinates of the centre of gravity of the system referred to

to

The co-ordinates of the body


the centre of gravity of the body M.
m, of the system, referred to this origin, will therefore be
x

= +
x,

a?

-f y

y,

fl ,

z,-\- z

and similarly for the other bodies of the system. If we denote by


r the distance of the centre of gravity of
from that of M, the
force
of
the
former
on
an
element
of mass at the centre
accelerating

of gravity of the

latter,

resolved parallel to the axis of xy will be

mx

and, therefore, that of the entire system on the element of


in the same direction, will be

We

have also
r

and, if

+xY+

(x,

we denote by

(y,

2
2/

(*/

+z

M resolved
9

the distance of the centre of gravity of the

r,

system from M,

= + +
*,

r,

y,

i,,

Therefore

-x

We

shall

+X

Q}

(X,

+ 2(^ + Mo + z,z + r

now suppose

system to be so small in

S
2

(r;

the mutual distances of the bodies of the

comparison with the distance

r,

of

its

centre

of gravity from that of


that terms of the order r 2 -may be neglected
9
a condition which is actually satisfied in the case of the secondary
systems belonging to the solar system. Hence, developing the second
factor of the second

of the order r

2
,

we

member
shall

of the last equation, and neglecting terms

have

~~
r3

r/

r,

and

=x

rf

-~

L,
3

r,

(x,ZmxQ

+ y,Zmy

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

34

But, since o? , y , zw are the co-ordinates in reference to the centre of


gravity of the system as origin, we have

SmyQ

and the preceding equation reduces

to

ImxQ

0,

mx

^=

Sm&

0,

0,

2m

'^-

In a similar manner, we find

Sm

my

mz

'

q~~

r3

The second members

M resolved
9

q
3

r3

r,

total accelerating force

on

\J 9

Zm

r,

of these equations are the expressions for the


due to the action of the bodies of the system

parallel to the co-ordinate axes respectively,

when we

consider the several masses to be collected at the centre of gravity


of the system. Hence we conclude that when an element of mass
is

attracted

by a system of bodies so remote from

it

that terms of the

order of the squares of the co-ordinates of the several bodies, referred


to the centre of gravity of the system as the origin of co-ordinates,
may be neglected in comparison with the distance of the system from
the point attracted, the action of the system will be the same as if
the masses were all united at its centre of gravity.

If we suppose the masses w, m', m", &c. to be the elements of the


mass of a single body, the form of the equations remains unchanged;
and hence it follows that the mass
is acted upon
by another mass,

or by a system of bodies, as if the entire mass of the body, or of the


It is evident, also,
system, were collected at its centre of gravity.
that reciprocally in the case of two systems of bodies, in which the

mutual distances of the bodies are small in comparison with the


distance between the centres of gravity of the two systems, their
mutual action is the same as if all the several masses in each system

were collected at the

common

centre of gravity of that system ; and


move as if the masses were thus

the two centres of gravity will


united.

13. The results already obtained are sufficient to enable us to form


the equations for the motions of the several bodies which
compose the
solar system.
If these bodies were exact spheres, which could be

considered as composed of homogeneous concentric


spherical shells,
the density varying only from one layer to
another, the action of

MOTION OF A SYSTEM OF BODIES.

35

each on an element of the mass of another would be the same as if


the entire mass of the attracting body were concentrated at its centre

The slight deviation from this law, arising from the


form of the heavenly bodies, is compensated
by the magnitude of their mutual distances; and, besides, these mutual distances
of gravity.
ellipsoidal

are so great that the action of the attracting


body on the entire mass
of the body attracted, is the same as if the latter were concentrated
at its centre of gravity.
Hence the consideration of the reciprocal
action of the single bodies of the system, is reduced to that of material

points corresponding to their respective centres of gravity, the masses


of which, however, are equivalent to those of the
corresponding
bodies.
The mutual distances of the bodies composing the secondary
systems of planets attended with satellites are so small, in comparison
with the distances of the different systems from each other and from

the other planets, that they act upon these, and are
reciprocally acted
upon, in .nearly the same manner as if the masses of the secondary
systems were united at their common centres of gravity, respectively.

The motion of
planet and

the centre of gravity of a system


consisting of a
not affected by the reciprocal action of the

its satellites is

bodies of that system, and hence it may be considered


independently
of this action.
The difference of the action of the other planets on
a planet and its satellites will simply produce
inequalities in the
relative motions of the latter bodies as determined

action alone,

and

will not affect the motion of their

by

their

common

mutual
centre

of gravity.
Hence, in the formation of the equations for the motion
of translation of the centres of gravity of the several planets or

secondary systems which compose the solar system, we have simply


them as points endowed with attractive forces correspond-

to consider

ing to the several single or aggregated masses. The investigation


of the motion of the satellites of each of the planets thus attended,

forms a problem entirely distinct from that of the motion of the


centre of gravity of such a system.
The consideration of
the motion of rotation of the several bodies of the solar system about
their respective centres of gravity, is also independent of the motion

common

the forces which act upon a


planet passed through the centre of gravity, the motion of rotation
would be undisturbed; and, since this resultant in all cases very

of translation.

If the resultant of

all

nearly satisfies this condition, the disturbance of the motion of rotais


very slight. The inequalities thus produced in the motion

tion

fact, sensible, and capable of being indicated by


It has, indeed,
in
the case of the earth and moon.
observation, only

of rotation are, in

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

36

been rigidly demonstrated that the axis of rotation of the earth relative to the body itself is fixed, so that the poles of rotation and the

same position in reference


also the velocity of rotation is constant.

terrestrial equator preserve constantly the

and that

to the surface;

This assures us of the permanency of geographical positions, and,


in connection with the fact that the change of the length of the

day arising from the variation of the obliquity of the


of the tropical year, due to the action of
ecliptic and in the length
the sun, moon, and planets upon the earth, is absolutely insensible,

mean

solar

amounting
years,

to only a small fraction of a second in a million of

assures us also of the

permanence of the interval which we

adopt as the unit of time in astronomical investigations.

we

on one of the bodies of the system, it is


only possible to deduce from observation the relative motions of the
These relative motions in the case of the
different heavenly bodies.
14. Placed, as

are,

comets and primary planets are referred to the centre of the sun,
since the centre of gravity of this body is near the centre of gravity
of the system, and its preponderant mass facilitates the integration
of the equations thus obtained. In the case, however, of the secondary
systems, the motions of the satellites are considered in reference to

We

the centre of gravity of their primaries.


shall, therefore, form
the equations for the motion of the planets relative to the centre of

gravity of the sun; for which it becomes necessary to consider more


particularly the relation between the heterogeneous quantities, space,
Each denomination,
time, and mass, which are involved in them.

being divided by the unit of its kind, is expressed by an abstract


number ; and hence it offers no difficulty by its presence in an equa-

For the unit of space we may arbitrarily take the mean distance of the earth from the sun, and the mean solar day may be
taken as the unit of time. But, in order that when the space is

tion.

expressed by

1,

and the time by

1,

the force or velocity

may

also be

of space is first adopted, the relation of


which determines the measure of the force

1, if the unit

expressed by
the time and the mass

will be such that the units of both


if

we denote by /

cannot be arbitrarily chosen.

the acceleration due to the action of the

Thus,
mass m on a material point at the distance a, and by/' the acceleration corresponding to another mass m!
acting at the same distance,

we have

the relation

MOTION KELATIVE TO THE SUN.

37

and hence, since the acceleration is proportional to the mass, it may


But we have, for the measure
be taken as the measure of the latter.
of/,

^
dV

Integrating this, regarding /as constant, and the point to


a state of rest, we get
s

The

move from
(13)

$fi*.

acceleration in the case of a variable force

is, at any instant,


measured by the velocity which the force acting at that instant would
generate, if supposed to remain constant in its action, during a unit

of time.

The

last

equation gives,

when

1,

/=2;
and hence the acceleration is also measured by double the space which
would be described by a material point, from a state of rest, during
a unit of time, the force being supposed constant in its action during
this time.
In each case the duration of the unit of time is involved

measure of the acceleration, and hence in that of the mass on


which the acceleration depends and the unit of mass, or of the force,
will depend on the duration which is chosen for the unit of time. In
in the

general, therefore, we regard as the unit of mass that which, acting


constantly at a distance equal to unity on a material point free to

move, will give to

this point, in a unit of time, a velocity which,

the force ceased to act, would cause


tance in the unit of time.
if

it

to describe the unit of dis-

Let the unit of time be a mean solar day; ]& the acceleration due
by the mass of the sun at the unit of distance;
and /the acceleration corresponding to the distance T; then will
to the force exerted

becomes the measure of the mass of the sun. The unit of


mass is, therefore, equal to the mass of the sun taken as many times

and

contained in unity.
Hence, when we take the mean solar
day as the unit of time, the mass of the sun is measured by F; by
which we are to understand that if the sun acted during a mean solar
as 1&

is

day, on a material point free to move, at a distance constantly equal


to the mean distance of the earth from the sun, it would, at the end

of that time, have communicated to the point a velocity which, if

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

38

the force did not thereafter act, would cause


2
of time, the space expressed by /v

it

to describe, in a unit

The

acceleration

due

to the action of the sun at the unit of distance

the square root of this quantity appears


designated by
formulae
will be derived.
in
the
which
frequently
k? } since

is

If

we take

arbitrarily the

mass of the sun as the unit of mass, the


Let t denote the number of mean

unit of time must be determined.

solar days which must be taken for the unit of time when the unit
The space which the force due to
of mass is the mass of the sun.

on a material point at a distance equal to


the mean distance of the earth from the sun, would cause the point
this mass, acting constantly

to describe in the time

t,

is,

according to equation (13),

But, since t expresses the number of mean solar days in the unit of
time, the measure of the acceleration corresponding to this unit is 2s,
and this being the unit of force, we have

W=

and hence

-=!
Therefore, if the mass of the sun is regarded as the unit of mass, the
solar days in the unit of time will be equal to unity

number of mean

divided by the square root of the acceleration due to the force exerted
this mass at the unit of distance.
The numerical value of k will

by

be subsequently found to be 0.0172021, which gives 58.13244 mean


solar days for the unit of time, when the mass of the sun is taken as
the unit of mass.
15.

Let

x, y, z

be the co-ordinates of a heavenly body referred to

the centre of gravity of the sun as the origin of co-ordinates; r its


denote the
radius-vector, or distance from this origin; and let
quotient obtained by dividing its mass by that of the sun; then,
taking the mean solar day as the unit of time, the mass of the sun is

z
For a
expressed by F, and that of the planet or comet by mk
r
second body let the co-ordinates be a/, y , z' ; the distance from the
.

2
sun, r' ; and the mass, m'k ; and similarly for the other bodies of the
Let the co-ordinates of the centre of gravity of the sun
system.
referred to any fixed point in
space be , 57, , the co-ordinate planes

being parallel to those of

x, y,

and

2,

respectively;

then will the

MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SUN.


acceleration

due to the action of

and the three components of

39

on the sun be expressed by ^~,

this force in directions


parallel to the

co-ordinate axes, respectively, will be

mtf-,

mtf-V-,
r3

r3

The

action of

mJc2

r3

on the sun will be expressed by

and hence the acceleration due

to the

combined and simultaneous

action of the several bodies of the system on the sun, resolved parallel to the co-ordinate axes, will be

mx

" my

"73"'

The motion of

>

mz
^*'

the centre of gravity of the sun, relative to the fixed


be determined by the equations

origin, will, therefore,

Let p denote the distance of in from m r p f its distance from m" y


adding an accent for each successive body considered; then will the
action of the bodies m', m", &c. on m be

of which the three components parallel to the co-ordinate axes, respectively, are

The

action of the sun

on m, resolved in the same manner,

is

expressed

by

Vx

tf

tfz

which are negative, since the force tends to diminish the co-ordinates
The three components of the total action of the other
Xj y, and z.
bodies of the system on

are, therefore,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

40

&x

_j_

7. 2

v ra'<y

a)

"7

-~F'

'

i./jX^-y)
3

,..
,

"jr-

m referred to the fixed origin

and, since the co-ordinates of

+ a,

>?

c -f

y,

are

the equations which determine the absolute motion are


<*

dt*

cfcc

"

F*

_
"

7<2V

mV

x)
'

r3

"

'

the symbol of summation in the second members relating simply to


the masses and co-ordinates of the several bodies which act on m,
exclusive of the sun.

Substituting for -j^,


O/t

given by equations (14),

we

and

-~

their values

ut

(Mi

get

Since x, y y z are the co-ordinates of m relative to the centre of gravity


of the sun, these equations determine the motion of m relative to that
The second members may be put in another form, which
point.
greatly facilitates the solution of some of the problems relating to
the motion of m.
Thus, let us put

t\

m'

m"

xx'+yy' +z^\

II

xx"+yy"+2z"
(17)

and we

shall

have for the partial

differential coefficient of this

with

respect to x,

^\_L/_
i*_^.\ +j5L/_ i*:_^.\ 4
m\
dxl
l

p*

dx

r'

!^l + m\

p'*

dx

r" 3

&c

MOTION EELATIVE TO THE SUN.

41

But, since

we have
dp _
dx

dp' _

x"

dx

f>

and hence we derive

(d^\_

m'

Ix'

x'

m"

lx"x

x"

or

We

same manner,
with respect to y and z,

find, also, in the

cients

The

for the partial differential coeffi-

equations (16), therefore, become

members of equations (16) exthe


difference
between
action
of the bodies m', m", &c. on
the
press
and on the sun, resolved parallel to the co-ordinate axes respectIt will be observed that the second

The mutual distances of the planets are such that these quanare generally very small, and we may, therefore, in a first
relative to the sun, neglect the
approximation to the motion of
second members of these equations; and the integrals which may
ively.

tities

then be derived, express what is called the undisturbed motion of m.


By means of the results thus obtained for the several bodies successively, the

approximate values of the second members of equations


and hence a still closer approximation to the
The force whose components are expressed by

(16) may be found,


actual motion of m.

the second

members of

these equations

is

called the disturbing force ;

THEOEETICAL ASTKONOMY.

42

which
,
and, using the second form of the equations, the function
determines these components, is called the perturbing function. The
complete solution of the problem is facilitated by an artifice of the
infinitesimal calculus,

known

constants, according to

which the complete integrals of equations (16)

are of the

same form

as the variation of parameters, or of

as those obtained

by putting the second mem-

arbitrary constants, however, of the latter


These constants of integraintegration being regarded as variables.
of
relative to the
the
motion
determine
tion are the elements which

bers equal to zero, the

neglected the elements are pure


sun, and when the disturbing force
The variations of these, or of the co-ordinates, arising
constants.
from the action of the disturbing force are, in almost all cases, very
is

The problem which first


small, and are called the perturbations.
presents itself is, therefore, the determination of all the circumstances
of the undisturbed motion of the heavenly bodies, after which the
action of the disturbing forces may be considered.

may be further remarked that, in the formation


equations, we have supposed the different bodies to
It

of the preceding
be free to move,

There are, inand, therefore, subject only to their mutual action.


facts
derived
from
the
of
the
motion
of
the
comets which
deed,
study
to indicate that there exists in space a resisting medium which
If such a
opposes the free motion of all the bodies of the system.

seem

medium

actually exists, its effect is very small, so that it can be senonly in the case of rare and attenuated bodies like the comets,
since the accumulated observations of the different planets do not
sible

exhibit

any

effect

of such resistance.

But, if

we assume

its

existence,

evidently necessary only to add to the second members of equations (16) a force which shall represent the effect of this resistance,
which, therefore, becomes a part of the disturbing force, and the
it is

motion of

will be completely determined.

16. When we consider the undisturbed motion of a


planet or
comet relative to the sun, or simply the motion of the body relative
to the sun as subject only to the reciprocal action of the two
bodies,

the equations (16) become

g + *(!+ *) =
g + *(! + 1 =
)

<),

0,

(19)

MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SUN.

43

The

equations for the undisturbed motion of a satellite relative to its


2
primary are of the same form, the value of k , however, being in this
case the acceleration

primary

due to the

at the unit of distance,

force exerted

and

by the mass of the

the ratio of the mass of the

of the primary.
integrals of these equations introduce six arbitrary constants
of integration, which, when known, will completely determine the

satellite to that

The

undisturbed motion of
If
a?,

we multiply

the

and subtract the

m relative

of these equations by yy and the second by

first

last

to the sun.

product from the

first,

we

shall find,

by

inte-

grating the result,

ydx

xdy
~~

_~

being an arbitrary constant.


In a similar manner, we obtain

xdz

zdx

~~

ydz

:c

>

zdy

'

If we multiply these three equations respectively by

z,

y,

and

x,

and add the products, we obtain


ez

c'y

-f c"x

0.

This, being the equation of a plane passing through the origin of


shows that the path of the body relative to the sun is a

co-ordinates,

plane curve, and that the plane of the orbit passes through the centre
of the sun.

Again,

if

we multiply

of equations (19) by 2dx, the second


take
the sum and integrate, we shall
2dz,

the

by 2dy, and the third by

first

find

2
But, since r

= x + y*
2

-\-

rdr

we

shall have,

= xdx

-j-

ydy

-f-

by

differentiation,

zdz.

Therefore, introducing this value into the preceding equation,

m)
ft
j

Civ

h being an arbitrary constant.

=^

we obtain

44
If

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

we add

and put

for
together the squares of the expressions

+ c' + c
2

//2

4/

we

shall

c, c',

and c",

have
'

df

df

4f2 '

or

-^=

4^-

If we represent by dv the infinitely small angle contained between


2
2
2
radii- vectores r and r
dr, since doc -\- dy -f- dz is
the square of the element of path described by the body, we shall

two consecutive

have
da?

+ dy

-f dz

= dr + r dv\

Substituting this value in the preceding equation,


2

r dv

it

becomes
(22)

2fdt.

2
quantity r dv is double the area included by the element of path
in
the
element of time dt, and by the radii-vectores r and
described

The

-f- dr; and/, therefore, represents the areal velocity, which, being a
constant, shows that the radius-vector of a planet or comet describes
equal areas in equal intervals of time.

From

the equations (20) and (21)


dt

we

find,

by elimination,

rdr

+ m)

l/SwF (1

hr2

Substituting this value of dt in equation (22),

^
2

(1 -f

which

gives, in order to find the

dr

_ rVZrk (1

we

get

m)

(24)

/tr

4/

maximum and minimum values of r,

-f-

(23)

4/

hr 2

m)

4/

>

"IT"

eft;

or

Therefore

ff(l+m)
and
m)
JT T

are, respectively, the

2
/

-Vy

4/

*(!

m)

maximum and minimum

values of

r.

The

MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SUN.

45

points of the orbit, or trajectory of the body relative to the sun, corr, are called the apsides; the former,
the aphelion, and the latter, the perihelion.
If we represent these

responding to these values of

values, respectively,

which
a
it becomes
(24),
in

>

by a (I

(1

and a(l

e)

we

e),

shall

have

Introducing these values into the equation

).

tg.

j/jp dr

the integral of which gives


v

to

-1
CD

-f cos

being an arbitrary constant.

Therefore

1
I(^_
r
e
\

e\ r

1,

we

=cog(,_

fl,

shall

have

),

from which we derive

r= 1
which

P
,

-f-

e cos (v

>)

the polar equation of a conic section, the pole being at the


to the
focus, p being the semi-parameter, e the eccentricity, and v
angle at the focus between the radius-vector and a fixed line, in the
plane of the orbit, making the angle to with the semi-transverse
is

axis a.

If the angle v

CD is

counted from the perihelion,

we have

0,

and
1

-f-

e cos v

The angle v is called


Hence we conclude
around

the

sun

is

the true anomaly.


that the orbit of a heavenly body revolving
a conic section with the sun in one of the foci.

Observation shows that the planets revolve around the sun in ellipses,
usually of small eccentricity, while the comets revolve either in
ellipses of great eccentricity, in parabolas, or in hyperbolas,

cir-

cumstance which, as we shall have occasion to notice hereafter, greatly

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

46

amount of labor

lessens the

in

many computations

respecting their

motion.
2
Introducing into equation (23) the values of h and 4/ already

we

found,

obtain

rdr

I/a

_l-<-V
l^r)

the integration of which gives

t=~

/
...

-i/a-

cos

^1/1 +7^\

e\\

-|
/

la
i\

rV\
ae

TV.

ff)fi

(26)

'

and the integral reduces to t


we denote the time from the perihelion by tQJ we

In the perihelion, r
therefore, if

=a

r\

ae

(1

g),

= C;
shall

have

-f

m\

ae

ae

(27)

an d therefore we shall have, for the


a (1
In the aphelion, r
&)
time in which the body passes from the perihelion to the aphelion,
t

\r,

',

or
^

_ a
ky'l -\-m

r being the periodic time, or time of one revolution of the planet


around the sun, a the semi-transverse axis of the orbit, or mean distance from the sun, and n the semi-circumference of a circle whose
radius

is

unity.

Therefore

we

shall

have

MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SUN.


For a second

planet,

we

shall

47

have

and, consequently, between the mean distances and periodic times of


any two planets, we have the relation

m')r'

If the masses of the two planets m and m' are very nearly the
1 -j- m' and hence, in this case, it follows
same, we may take 1 -f m

that the squares of the periodic times are to each other as the cubes of
mean distances from the sun. The same result may be stated in

the

another form, which is sometimes more convenient. Thus, since nab


is the area of the
ellipse, a and 6 representing the semi-axes, we
shall

have

-=/= areal velocity;


2
and, since b

=a

(1

),

we have

TO'g'(l-^)'

which becomes, by substituting the value of r already found,


(30)

F1S).

In

like

manner, for a second planet, we have

+m

and, if the masses are such that we may take 1


sensibly equal
to 1 -f- m', it follows that, in this case, the areas described in equal
times, in different orbits, are proportional to the square roots of their

parameters.

We

17.
shall now consider the signification of some of the constants of integration already introduced.
Let i denote the inclination
of the orbit of
to the plane of xy, which is thus taken as the plane

&

of reference, and let


be the angle formed by the axis of x and the
line of intersection of the plane of the orbit with the plane of xy;
then will the angles i and & determine the position of the plane of

48

the orbit in space.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

The

constants

equation
cz

c'y -\-

c"x

and

c',

c,

c", involved in the

0,

double the projections, on the co-ordinate planes,


of the areal velocity /; and hence we shall have

are, respectively,

xy

xz,

and

yz,

cos

the intersection of
projection of 2/ on a plane passing through
the plane of the orbit with the plane of xy, and perpendicular to the

The

latter, is

2/sini;

and the projection of this on the plane of


at an angle equal to &, gives
c'

Its projection

= 2/ sin

cos

xz, to

which

sin

inclined

it is

&.

on the plane of yz gives


c"

= 2/sin

sin

&

Hence we derive
z cos i

y sin i cos

1 -\-

x sin

(31)

0,

the equation of the plane of the orbit; and, by means of


the value of / in terms of p, and the values of c, c', c", we derive,

"which

is

also,

+ m) cos a

sin

(82)

*'

sn
These equations will enable us to determine &, i, and p, when, for
any instant, the mass and co-ordinates of m, and the components of
its velocity, in directions parallel to the co-ordinate axes, are known.
The constants a and e are involved in the value of p, and hence four
constants, or elements, are introduced into these equations,

two of

which, a and e, relate to the form of the orbit, and two, 1 and i, to
co
If we measure the angle v
the position of its plane in space.
from the point in which the orbit intersects the plane of xy, the conwill determine the position of the orbit in its
Finally, the constant of integration C, in equation (26),

stant

co

own
is

plane.

the time

MOTION EELATIVE TO THE SUN.

49

of passage through the perihelion ; and this determines the position


of the body in its orbit.
When these six constants are known, the

undisturbed orbit of the body is completely determined.


Let
denote the velocity of the body in its orbit; then will

equation (20) become

At

the perihelion, r is a minimum, and hence, according to this


is a maximum.
At the
equation, the corresponding value of

F is

minimum.
aphelion,
In the parabola, a
oo,
a

and hence

which

will determine the velocity at any instant, when r is known.


It will be observed that the velocity, corresponding to the same value
of r, in an elliptic orbit is less than in a parabolic orbit, and that,

negative in the hyperbola, the velocity in a hyperbolic


greater than in the case of the parabola.
Further, since
the velocity is thus found to be independent of the eccentricity, the
since
orbit

is

is still

no influence on the

direction of the motion has

species of conic section

described.

If the position of a heavenly body at any instant, and the direction


velocity, are given, the relations already derived

and magnitude of its

will enable us to determine the six constant elements of its orbit.

But

since

we cannot know

in

advance the magnitude and direction

of the primitive impulse communicated to the body, it is only by


the aid of observation that these elements can be derived; and
therefore, before considering the formula necessary to determine

unknown elements by means of observed

positions,

we

will investi-

gate those which are necessary for the determination of the heliocentric and geocentric places of the body, assuming the elements to

be known.

The

results thus obtained will facilitate the solution of

the problem of finding the


by observation.

unknown elements from

To determine the value of &, which


system, we have, from equation (28),
18.

VI
4

is

the data furnished

a constant for the solar

THEORETICAL ASTEONOMY.

50

In the case of the earth, a

l,

and therefore

rl/1

+m

In reducing this formula to numbers we should properly use, for r,


The
the absolute length of the sidereal year, which is invariable.
eifect of the action of the other bodies of the system on the earth is
to produce a very small secular change in its mean longitude correthe elements; and
sponding to any fixed date taken as the epoch of

a correction corresponding to this secular variation should be applied


The eifect of this corto the value of r derived from observation.
rection

is

to slightly increase the observed value of r; but to deter-

with precision requires an exact knowledge of the masses of


all the bodies of the system, and a complete theory of their relative
a problem which is yet incompletely solved. Astronomical
motions,

mine

it

usage has, therefore, sanctioned the employment of the value of k


found by means of the length of the sidereal year derived directly

from observation. This is virtually adopting as the unit of space a


distance which is very little less than the absolute, invariable mean
distance of the earth from the sun; but, since this unit may be arbitrarily chosen, the accuracy of the results is not thereby aifected.

The value of

r from which the adopted value of k has been commean solar days; and the value of the com365.2563835
puted,
bined mass of the earth and moon is
is

m=
Hence we have log r
log

271

354710

= 2.5625978148;

= 0.7981798684;

log j/1

+m = 0.0000006 122;

and, consequently,

log k

= 8.2355814414.

If we multiply this value of k by 206264.81, the number of seconds


of arc corresponding to the radius of a circle, we shall obtain its
value expressed in seconds of arc in a circle whose radius is unity, or

on the orbit of the earth supposed


seconds

is,

therefore,

log k

The
in a

quantity

mean

therefore,

and

The value of k

in

= 3.5500065746.

expresses the

solar day,

have

to be circular.

is

mean angular motion of a

usually designated by p.

We

planet
shall,

MOTION RELATIVE TO THE SUN.


*

4- m
= &1/1 f,

for the expression for the

51

mean

(33)

daily motion of a planet.

V\

differs very little from


-fSince, in the case of the earth,
1,
will be observed that k very nearly expresses the mean angular
motion of the earth in a mean solar day.
it

In the
that

case of a small planet or of a comet, the


may, without sensible error, be neglected;

it

mass m is so small
and then we shall

have

= 4a

For the old planets whose masses


pression (33) must be used.

(34)

are considerable, the rigorous ex-

Let us now resume the polar equation of the


which is

19.

ellipse,

the pole

being at the focus,

a(l-e )

"

e cos v

If

we

shall

by <p the angle included between the conjugate axis


drawn from the extremity of this axis to the focus, we

represent

and a

line

have
sin
2

and, since a(l

is

tp

e;

half the parameter of the transverse axis,

which we have designated by p, we have

P
1

The angle

(p

is

-f-

sin

<f>

cos v

called the angle of eccentricity.


2
e )
a (1
a cos2 <p, we have

Again, since p

=1

a cos
-f-

sin

<f>

<p

cos v

(35)

r in an
evident, from this equation, that the maximum value of
value
minimum
the
that
and
orbit
v
to
180,
elliptic
corresponds
It

is

of r corresponds to v
It therefore increases from the perihelion
0.
to the aphelion, and then decreases as the planet approaches the perihelion.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

52

In the

case of the parabola,

<p

= 90,

and sin

<p

conse-

quently,
ff

But, since 1

+ cos v = 2 cos

2
Jt>,

-j-

COS

V*

we put 5

if

we

|_p,

shall

have
(36)

in

which q

course

In this case, therefore, when


the perihelion distance.
r will be infinite, and the comet will never return, but

is

180,
way

its

The angle

to other systems.

cannot be applied to the case of the hyperbola, since


in a hyperbolic orbit e is greater than 1 ; and, therefore, the eccen<f>

cannot be expressed by the sine of an arc. If, however, we


designate by ^ the angle which the asymptote to the hyperbola makes
with the transverse axis, we shall have

tricity

e cos

Introducing this value of


becomes

e into

1.

the polar equation of the hyperbola,

it

p
cost;

But, since cos v

cos
-j-

^
cos 4*

_ _

+ cos ^ = 2 cos } (v + ^) cos \(v


=

ff

$), this gives

cos4

'

It appears from this formula that r increases with v, and becomes in180
finite when 1
e cosv
cos^, in which case v
0, or cosv

J/
consequently, the maximum positive value of v is represented
180
^, and the maximum negative value by
by
(180--^).
it
is evident that the orbit will be that branch of the hyperFurther,
:

bola which corresponds to the focus in which the sun is placed, since,
under the operation of an attractive force, the path of the body must

A body subject to a
and
intensity,
varying according to
the same law, would describe the other branch of the curve.
be concave toward the centre of attraction.
force of repulsion of the

same

The problem of finding the position of a heavenly body as seen


from any point of reference, consists of two parts: first, the determination of the place of the body in its orbit; and then, by means
of this and of the elements which fix the position of the plane of the

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

53

and that of the orbit in its own plane, the determination of


the position in space.
In deriving the formulae for finding the place of the body in its
orbit, we will consider each species of conic section separately, comorbit,

mencing with the

ellipse.

20. Since the value of

+ ae,

we may

r can never exceed the limits

introduce an auxiliary angle such that

-=

we

ae and

have

shall

cos E.

ae

This auxiliary angle


metrical signification
true anomaly.

called the eccentric

is

may

be easily

anomaly; and

known from

its

Introducing this value of

geo-

into the equation

ctC'

its

relation to the

and writing t
in place of tw
being the time of perihelion
passage, and t the time for which the place of the planet in its orbit
is to be computed, we obtain
(27)

-- = mean daily motion of the planet =

But -

//

therefore

The quantity

(t
T) represents what would be the angular distance
from the perihelion if the planet had moved uniformly in a circular
orbit whose radius is a, its mean distance from the sun.
It is called

the

fjt

mean anomaly, and

fore,

is

usually designated by

M.

We shall,

there-

have

M=v(t-T),

M=EesinE.
When

the planet or comet

mean anomaly, and

eccentric

is

in

its

anomaly

(39)

perihelion, the true anomaly,


All
are each equal to zero.

three of these increase from the perihelion to the aphelion, where


they are each equal to 180, and decrease from the aphelion to the peri-

provided that they are considered negative. From the periis greater than M.
is greater than E, and
The same relation holds true from the aphelion to the perihelion, if
helion,

helion to the aphelion v

we regard,
As soon

in this case, the values of v, E,

and

as negative.

obtained by means of the


motion and eccentricity, the values of r and v may be derived.
as the auxiliary angle

is

mean
For

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

54

which may be applied in

this purpose there are various formulae


will now develop.
practice, and which we

The

equation

= cos E,^

ae

gives

This also gives


ae

or

= a cos E

P
E

a cos

ae,

T^

ae,

which, by means of equation (25), reduces to


r cos v

= a cos E

ae.

(41)

If we square both members of equations (40) and (41), and subtract


the latter result from the former, we get

or
r sin v

E = b sin E.

a-j/1

e sin

(42)

By means of the equations (41) and (42) it may be easily shown


that the auxiliary angle
or eccentric anomaly, is the angle at the
y
centre of the ellipse between the semi-transverse axis, and a line

drawn from the

centre to the point where the prolongation of the


ordinate perpendicular to this axis, and drawn through the place of
the body, meets the circumference of the circumscribed circle.

Equations (40) and (41) give


r (1 HH cos v)

By

using

first

= a(l

e) (1 q= cos

E).

the upper sign, and then the lower sign,

we

obtain,

by

reduction,

1/r sin ^v

Vr cos
which are convenient

when

<y

= l/a(l
= Va(l

-f-

e} sin

for the calculation of r

several places are required.

tan %o

=^

By
-

\E,

e) cos \E,

and

(43)
v,

and

especially so

division, these equations give

tan

E.

(44)

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


Since e

= sin ^, we have
~ = ~ Sm ? _
e

..

tan (450

sm <p

55

Consequently,
tan

Again,
1/1

tan (45

\E

+ e = 1/1

sin

-j-

\<p)

1/1

<p

-f-

tan

(45)

\v.

2 sin

\<?

cos jp,

which may be written


1/1

+ e = I/sin

or

1/1

cos

-J$p -|-

-^-

= sin

\<p

|?> -f-

+ 2 sin \y cos |^,


cos

^9?.

In a similar manner we find


1/1

From

these

sin \<p -f cos

\<p.

two equations we obtain


1/1 -f

-p/rqr;

-f 1/1

._

|/i~=7

= 2 cos J^,
= 2 sin I?,

(46)

which are convenient in many transformations of equations involving


e or

Equation (42) gives


r,
=
sm 1?

r sin v
j

rp
(

but

a cos2 <p, and 6

= a cos

b (1

<p y

-sin v

-|-

r
e cos v)

hence

rsinv

cos^sinv

+6

,.->.

(47)

cosv

Equation (41) gives


cos

_,
J5J

= r cos va +

ae

cos v

a (1

e cos v )

or

cos^=^

cos v

-4-

a(l
2
and, putting a cos

2
ae 4- ae cos v

instead of p,

-}-

e cos v)

and

sin

cosv

-f-e

1 4- e cos

If

we multiply

the

first

for

e,

we

get
S AQ ^
(48)

i;

of equations (43) by

cos^, and

the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

56

second by sin|22, successively add and subtract the products, and


reduce by means of the preceding equations, we obtain

The

sin J (v -f

E}

sin J (v

J)

\<p sin

The

difference

E,

= -J- sin J? sin E.

perihelion distance, in an elliptic orbit,

tion

21.

-J- cos

= a(l

(49)

given by the equa-

is

e).

between the true and the mean anomaly, or

called the equation of the centre, and is positive from the


M,
perihelion to the aphelion, and negative from the aphelion to the
When the body is in either apsis, the equation of the
perihelion.

is

centre will be equal to zero.

We have,
Expanding

from equation

this

(39),

by Lagrange's theorem, we get


d

Bin

--

21.,dF(M)

fKn .

Let us now take, equation

(40),

dnd, consequently,

Therefore

we

shall

= (1

= (l

e cos

if)".

have
e cos

M)~

- 2e

sin

M(l

e cos

M)~

Expanding

these terms,

cosM)~

....

and performing the operations indicated, we

get

= 1 -f 2e cos M -f | (6 cos M
2

-f-

3
(16 cos

36 sin 2

4 sin 2

M cos M) +

M
.

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

57

which reduces to

....

(51)

Equation (22) gives

and, since /=i&|/p(l

+ m),

we have
-

3a,

(52 )

or

_.

-f-

But

m=

-,
z

e dt.

U and therefore

ss

By expanding

a2

1/f^l*

tidt

the factor }/l

e*=l

I/I

= Vle*

we

dM.

obtain

|e*

...,

and hence

Substituting for

=
get, since v
v

-- its

when

value from equation (51), and integrating,

M=

we

0,

3f=2esmif+je sm2Jf+^-(13sm3Jf
1Z

3sinJf)+...

(53)

which is the expression for the equation of the centre to terms involving
3
e
In the same manner, this series may be extended to higher powers
.

of

e.

When

the eccentricity

is

and the value of v

very small, this

series

converges very

rapidly ;
any planet may be arranged in
a table with the argument M.
For the purpose, however, of computing the places of a heavenly
body from the elements of its orbit, it is preferable to solve the

equations which give v and

for

E directly

and when the

eccentricity is

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

58

very great, this mode

indispensable, since the series will not in

is

that case be sufficiently convergent.


It will be observed that the formula which

must be used

in obtain-

the mean anomaly is transcendental,


ing the eccentric anomaly from
and hence it can only be solved either by series or by trial. But
it so happens that the circumstances of the celesmotions render these approximations very rapid, the orbits being

fortunately, indeed,
tial

eccentric.
usually either nearly circular, or else very

in equation (50), we put F(E) = E, and consequently F(M)


= M, we shall have, performing the operations indicated and reducing,
(54)
E=M+esmM+ ^ sin 2M + &c.
If,

Let us now denote the approximate value of


equation by

Ew then will
77*

Q -f-

which

&EQ is the correction


AJEj,

and, denoting by
also

have

T71
./!/,

to be applied to the

Substituting this in equation (39),

M = E -f

~I7V

AJ!/

L/

in

E computed from this

we

e sin

assumed value of E.

get

e cos

E &E

M the value of M corresponding


M=E

e sin

to

Ew

we

shall

Subtracting this equation from the preceding one,

we

obtain

= &Ef

It remains, therefore, only to add the value of AjE7 found from this
formula to the first assumed value of E, or to
w and then, using
this for a new value of
w to proceed in precisely the same manner

for a second approximation,

When

and so on, until the correct value of

the values of

is

E for

a succession of dates, at equal


be obintervals, are to be computed, the assumed values of
Q may
tained so closely by interpolation that the first approximation, in the
manner just explained, will give the correct value; and in nearly
obtained.

every case two or three approximations in this manner will suffice.


for any
Having thus obtained the value of
corresponding to
instant of time, we may readily deduce from it, by the formulae

already investigated, the corresponding values of r and v.


In the case of an ellipse of very great eccentricity, corresponding
to the orbits of many of the comets, the most convenient method of

PLACE IN THE CEBIT.

59

computing r and

The
v, for any instant, is somewhat different.
manner of proceeding in the computation in such cases we shall consider hereafter; and we will now proceed to
investigate the formula
for determining r and v, when the orbit is a parabola, the formulae
for elliptic

and

motion not being applicable,

since, in the parabola,

<x>
,

\.

shows that the masses of the comets are insensible

22. Observation

in comparison with that of the sun ; and, consequently, in this


case,

and equation

putting for

(52),

dt

kV2q

value 2g, becomes

its

or

which may be written

JO*L =4(1

+ tan

t>)

sec %vdv

= (1 + tan

d tan

fr.

1/2 2*
Integrating this expression between the limits

= tan +
it;

T and

t,

we

obtain

tan3 >,

(55)

which is the expression for the relation between the true anomaly
and the time from the perihelion, in a parabolic orbit.
Let us now represent by r the time of describing the arc of a
parabola corresponding to v

= 90

then we shall have

Jcr

or

-- is
constant,

Now,
take

<?

1,

which

is

and

its

logarithm

is

8.5621876983; and

if

we

equivalent to supposing the comet to move in


is equal to the semi-transverse

a parabola whose
perihelion distance
axis of the earth's orbit, we find
days

log r

that

is,

= 2.03987229, or r = 109.61558 days

a comet moving in a parabola whose perihelion distance

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

60

distance of the earth from the sun, requires

mean

equal to the

is

90.
109.61558 days to describe an arc corresponding to v
as
are
such
contains
comparable with
quantities
only
Equation (55)
from
the
time
t
the
it
and
each other,
perihelion, may be
T,
by
are known ; but, in order
readily found when the remaining terms
be
to find v from this formula, it will
necessary to solve the equation
of the third degree, tan \v being the unknown quantity. If we put

= tan

\v, this

equation becomes
a?

+ 3x

0,

is the known quantity, and is negative before, and positive


the perihelion passage.
According to the general principle in
the theory of equations that in every equation, whether complete or

in

which a

after,

incomplete, the number of positive roots cannot exceed the number


of variations of sign, and that the number of negative roots cannot

exceed the number of variations of sign, when the signs of the terms
containing the odd powers of the unknown quantity are changed, it

when a

is one positive root and no


is one
there
negative,
negative root and
and
no positive root;
hence we conclude that equation (55) can have

follows that

negative root.

is

When

positive, there
is

but one real root.

We

may

dispense with the direct solution of this equation by

T
forming a table of the values of v corresponding to those of t
in a parabola whose perihelion distance is equal to the mean distance
of the earth from the sun. This table will give the time corresponding to the anomaly v in any parabola, whose perihelion distance

is

q, by multiplying by q* the time which corresponds to the same


anomaly in the table. We shall have the anomaly v corresponding
to the time t
T by dividing t T by f, and seeking in the table
the anomaly corresponding to the time resulting from this division.
A more convenient method, however, of finding the true anomaly
from the time, and the reverse, is to use a table of the form gene9

rally known as Barker's Table.


struction

The

following will explain

Multiplying equation (55) by 75,


75k

Let us now put

we

obtain

(tT) = 75 tan Jv + 25 tan

M = 75 tan %v -f 25 tan

v,

$v.

its

con-

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


and

75k
=,

which

The value of

is

a constant quantity ; then will

is

log
let

Again,

61

= 9.9601277069.

us take

~|
which

is

called the

mean

daily motion in the parabola; then will


5

now compute

If we

values of v from v

tan iv

the values of
to v

+ 25

M corresponding

= 180, and

we may derive at once, from this


when v is known, or v when
also
be observed that when t
T is
may

with the argument v,


time (t
T) either

known.

is

It

to successive

arrange them

in a table

table, for the

M= m

T)

(t

negative, the
hence it is not neces-

is considered as
being negative, and
T than
pay any further attention to the algebraic sign of t
give the same sign to the value of v obtained from the table.
Table VI. gives the values of
for values of v from
to 180,

value of v
sary to
to

with differences for interpolation, the application of which will be


easily understood.
23.

When

v approaches near to

180,

this table will

be extremely

inconvenient, since, in this case, the differences between the values of


for a difference of one minute in the value of v increase very

rapidly and it will be very troublesome to obtain the value of v


from the table with the requisite degree of accuracy. To obviate
;

the necessity of extending this table,

manner

we proceed

in the following

Equation (55) may be written


k

^~P =

tanit> (1

+ 3 cot

and, multiplying and dividing the second

we

shall

(t

P=

1/2 g*

I tan

& (1 + cot

member by

have
k

4t>)

^) JJ

(1

-f-

cot |v)

3
,

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

62

But

1 -f cot iv

and consequently

sin v tan %v

k(tT}_
1/2 gt

Now, when

+ cot ^)
2

(1

'

180, cot^v will be very small, and


member of this equation will nearly

v approaches near to

the second factor of the second

~~3snr

the value of v on the supposition


that this factor is equal to unity, which will be strictly true when
v
180, and we shall have, for the correct value of v, the following
1.

Let us therefore denote by

equation

=W+ A

We shall therefore have

A O being a very small quantity.

and, putting tan

%w

and tan|A

0,

"I

03

Multiplying this through by

= 30 (1 -f 40

-fs

Dividing through by the

30 (1 4-

'

we

0#)

(1

)
2

=x

this equation,

expanding and reducing,

30 2 (1

4 30* 4-

coefficient

of x,

W-{-

40^+20* ~+0)

from

20* -f

get,

(l-ex)

(2 4- 60

4-

x,

to

there results the following equation


1 4- 30 2

we

+ 40 + 20
2

4-

x2

) a?.

obtain

_|_

402

_j_

2^4

_|_

^)

Let us now put

14-30
2
30(l-f 40

20*

)~~

then, substituting this in the preceding equation, inverting the series


and reducing, we obtain finally

But tan |A O

x, therefore

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

63

Substituting in this the value of x above found, and reducing,


obtain

For

the cases in which

all

this equation

is

we

to be applied, the third

term of the second member will be insensible, and we shall have, to


a sufficient degree of approximation,

Table VII. gives the values of A O expressed in seconds of arc,


155 to w
180.
corresponding to consecutive values of w from w
In the application of this table, we have only to compute the value
,

of

which Table VI.

precisely as for the case in

namely,

M=m(t

then will

is

to be used,

T~);

be given by the formula


3

w = \|

sin

since

200
,

we have already found


8

3sm

i(/

or

200
r

Having computed the value of w from


will furnish the corresponding value of A
for the correct value of the true anomaly,

=W

-f-

this equation,
;

and then we

Table VII.
shall have,

which will be precisely the same as that obtained directly from Table
VI., when the second and higher orders of differences are taken into
account.

If v

is

given and the time

T is

by inspection, an approximate value of


then

is

given by

w=v

An

required, the table will give,


A, using v as argument, and

THEOBETICAL ASTRONOMY.

64

The

exact value of A O

then found from the table, and hence we

is

derive that of w; and finally

T from

a
24.
is

The problem of

given,

small,

may also

finding the time

by the following process

Equation (55)

T when

the true anomaly


when v is

be solved conveniently, and especially so

is

easily transformed into

_-.

= cos V
iv

2q?

from which we obtain, since q

,Q

2 sm'itr).

(3

= r cos

Jv,

1/2

= sin

3,

Let us now put

sm # =

sin 4 -y

r=,

1/2
and we have
3&

= 3 sm x

T}

(i

4 sin3 re

Consequently,

which admits of an accurate and convenient numerical


facilitate

the calculation

solution.

To

we put

sin-o

the values of which


v

= 0, we

shall

from which

it

may

have

be tabulated with the argument

N= fv'2,

and when v

90,

v.

When

we have

N=l;

appears that the value of

^changes slowly for values


180, we shall have ^V oo;

to 90.
But when v
and hence, when v exceeds 90, it becomes
necessary
We shall, therefore, put
auxiliary different from N.

of v from

N'

= N sin v

sin 3z;

to introduce
in this case,

an

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


from which

it

N'=\

appears that
Therefore

when v = 180.

when

which log

in

is

greater than

OA/

= 90, and that N' = $\/2

have, finally,

when

is less

than

90,

T=-JN

and,

we

when

65

90,

= 1.5883272995, from which

T is

easily derived

known.
when
Table VIII. gives the values of N, with differences for interpolaf
to v
tion, for values of v from v
90, and the values of
for those of v from v
90 to v
180.
v

is

We

now

consider the case of the hyperbola, which differs


ellipse only that e is greater than 1 ; and, consequently, the
formulae for elliptic and hyperbolic motion will differ from each other
25.

shall

from the

only that certain quantities which are positive in the ellipse are negative or imaginary in the hyperbola.
may, however, introduce
auxiliary quantities which will serve to preserve the analogy between

We

the two, and yet to

For

mark

the necessary distinctions.


resume the equation

this purpose, let us

p
2 cos

When v = 0, the

vanish

(v

-f-

factors cos^fv

nominator will be equal


180
^ and (180
for the

~i

and

cos

4) cos \ (v

a]/)

and cos(v

40

in the de-

since the limits of the values of v are

follows that the

first

factor will vanish

maximum positive value of v, and that the


for the maximum negative value of v, and,

second factor will

either case, r

-J/),

it

quently,

we

therefore, that, in

oo.

In the hyperbola, the semi-transverse axis

is

negative, and, conse-

have, in this case,

We

4)'

= a(e

or a

1),

have, also, for the perihelion distance,


q

a(e

Let us now put


tan

F = tan

1).

=p cot

4.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

66

which

is

analogous to the formula for the eccentric anomaly

ellipse: and. since e

= --cos

~~

and, consequently,

now

shall

have

cos

4~

^F = tan %v tan

tan

We shall

we

E in an

*.

(57)

introduce an auxiliary quantity

<r,

such that

whence we derive

tan^=^=i
and

(58)

also

= COBJfr-*)

cosK^

+ 4)

= 1 when the comet


equation shows that
=
oo
when
lion;
^=180^; and 0=0 when v
2 tan ijP
Since tan F=
TT^T' we shall have
1
tan F

This

last

is

<r

in

its

perihe-

(180

if/).

(60)

Squaring this equation, adding 1 to both members, and reducing we


obtain

Keplacing a in this equation by

_ cos

COS jP

its

value from equation (59),

cos %(v
4Q
-^ (v
2 COS ^ (V -f 4) COS (v

we

get

4)
'

4)

or
1
cos

~~
2 cos 2

which reduces

+ cos v cos 4
+ 4) cos 2

(e -f cos v) cos

~~
-

4)

4
'

2 cos

(v -f 4) cos

(v

to

_J

__r(e

cos^-

+ cost;)
'

(b2)

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


If we add =p

1 to

both members of this equation,

l=Fcos^_r(eq=l)
cosF
Taking

we

first

67

we

shall

have

+ CQSV)

(1

~~p

the upper sign, and then the lower


sign, and reducing,

get
,

VcosF

Vr cos

/~

<

VcoaF
These equations

for finding r

and

v, it

to those previously investigated for

give,

by

(63)

will be observed, are


analogous

= \ ^L tan
G

identical with the equation (56),

is

F,

JL

and may be employed

verify the computation of r and v.


Multiplying the last of equations (63) by the
2
2
e
1 its value tan ^, and
reducing, we obtain
r sin v

Further,

These equations

elliptic orbit.

division,

tan %o

which

an

cos \F.

= a tan 4 tan F= ^a tan

4>

ff

first,

I.

to

putting for

(64)

we have
p
T

-f-

cos v
e cos v

ar (e 4- cos v)

which, combined with equation (62), gives

(65)

If we square these values of r sin v and r cos v, add the results together, reduce, and extract the square root, we find
(66)

We

might

also introduce the auxiliary quantity

ff

into the equations

(63); but such a transformation is hardly necessary, and, if at all


desirable, it can be easily effected by means of the formulae which we
have already derived.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

68
26.

Let us now resume the equation

_ cos %(v

4)

~~

cos

-J

(v

4)*

-j-

we have

Differentiating this, regarding fy as constant,


dff

=~

sin

r dv,

-p

j-y-r

and, dividing this equation by the preceding one,

~
dff

sin

~~
2 cos ^(v

we

get

+ 4) cos

4)

(v

But
7*

cos

r tan

consequently,
_

dv,

ff

which gives
tan 4
z
instead
Substituting this value of r dv in equation (22), and putting

of 2/

its

value

feVjpj

from equation

mass being considered as

(30), the

we

insensible in comparison with that of the sun,

get

ff

tan 4

Then, substituting for r its value from equation


2
value a tan ^, we have

Ue
Integrating this between the limits

k\/p

in

which loge o

Vp = Va tan

T)

(t

is
oj/,

a?

tan 4
(

(l

+-3}

T and
\e ( ff

(66),

and

we put

its

---Jc?(r.

we

^\

obtain

(67)

log e <r\,

the Naperian or hyperbolic logarithm of


if

for

ff.

Since

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


which

in

v is the

mean

which

in

shall have,

we

daily motion; and if


v

(t-T)=N

corresponds to the

from equation

69
also

put

mean anomaly

in an ellipse,

we

(67),

'

(68)

)-log.'.

If we multiply both members of this equation by X


0.434294482,
the modulus of the common system of logarithms, and put

we

shall

have

= \eX

ff

log

<r,

wherein logJ
7.8733657527.
9.6377843113, and log^
Let us now introduce jPinto this formula; and for this purpose we
have

and also
log

Therefore

we

ff

= log tan (45 +

obtain

JV= eX tan F

log tan (45

This equation will give, directly, the time t


a, e, and .Fare knoAvn; but, since it

when

+ %F).

(69)

T from
is

the perihelion,
transcendental, in the

solution of the inverse problem, that of finding the true

and radius-vector from the time, the value of

anomaly

F can only be found by

successive approximations.

If
able,

we
we

differentiate the last equation, regarding

F as

vari-

get

dN= -^=,(e
coslF
Hence,

^Vand

if

cosF) dF.

we denote an approximate value of

F by Fn

and the cor-

responding value of j!V by n the correction A.F, to the assumed value


of
may be computed by the formula

(N-N,)c<**F,
'

'

'

A(e

cos* ,)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

70

This correction being applied to F,, a nearer approximation to the


will be obtained; and by repeating the operation
This process may be conthere results a still closer approximation.
true value of

is found, and, when several suctinued until the exact value of


value may be estimated,
assumed
first
the
are
cessive places
required,

In practice,
in advance, so closely that a very few trials will suffice.
be applied,
will
this
formula
in
which
occur
cases will rarely
however,

since the probability of hyperbolic motion is small, and, whenever


than 1 has been
any positive indication of an eccentricity greater

has only been after a very accurate series of observaFor a


tions has been introduced as the basis of the calculation.
and
accurate
the most
majority of the cases which do really occur,
convenient method of finding r and v will be explained hereafter.

found to

exist, it

27. If

we

consider the equation


/

M=E
we

shall see that,

the error which

e&mE,

when logarithms of

may

six or seven decimals are used,

exist in the determination of

are given, will increase as e increases, but in a

E when M and e

much

greater ratio;
the eccentricity becomes nearly equal to that of the paraIn the case of hyperbolic motion,
bola, the error may be very great.
1 is very
also, the numerical solution of equation (69), when e

and,

when

tables, becomes very unThis can only be remedied, when equations (39) and (69)
are employed, by using more extended logarithmic tables; and when
the orbit differs only in an extremely slight degree from a parabola,

small,

and with the ordinary logarithmic

certain.

even with the most extended logarithmic tables which have been
For this reason we have
constructed, the error may be very large.
recourse to other methods, which will give the required accuracy
without introducing inconveniences which are proportionally great.
shall, therefore, now proceed to develop the formula for find-

We

ing the true anomaly in ellipses and hyperbolas which differ but
little from the parabola, such that they will furnish the required
accuracy,

when

the exact solution of equations (39) or (69) with the


common use is impossible.

logarithmic tables in

For this purpose, let us resume equation (22), which, by substituting for 2/ its value k\/ p, the mass of the comet being neglected
in comparison with that of the sun, becomes
k i/p dt

r"*dv,

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

71

or

(1

-f-

e cos v) 2

= tan|v, and we shall have

Let us now put u

2du

u*

1-fw

'

1-fl*

'

Substituting these values in the preceding equation, and putting

or, since

+ e\

q (1

~e

dt(l + u^ du

Let us now develop the second member into a

series.

This

may be

written thus:

and developing the

+ m )" =
1

(1

last factor into


2

2m

series,

we

+ 3iV

obtain

4iV +

&c.

Consequently,

Multiplying this equation through by du, and integrating between


the limits

T and

the result

is

j tt )

In the case of the parabola,


identical with (55).

Let us now put

+ &c

(70)

= 1 and = 0, and this equation becomes


i

--

6==

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

72

and

also

Z7=tan7;

will not be the true anomaly in the parabola, but


then the angle
the solution of a cubic equation of the same
from
an angle derived
form as that for finding the parabolic anomaly; and its value may

be found by means of Table VI.,

we

if

use for

M the

value com-

puted from
_ _
M

i^riv

-L

\v

7?J
T/2?
Let

which

U" be

is

expanded into a

independent

<if

i.

It remains

of the form

series

evidently admissible, a,

J.

/?,

being functions of u and

ft

now

to determine the values of the

&c., and, in doing so, it will only be necessary to


3
consider terms of the third order, or those involving i , since, for

coefficients a,

^,

/9,

nearly all of those cases in which the eccentricity is such that terms
of the order i* will sensibly affect the result, the general formula

already derived, with the ordinary means of solution, will give the
required accuracy.

tf+
or,

We

have

shall, therefore,

= U + ai -f P# -f rf + \ (u -f ai +

again neglecting terms of the order

But we have already found,

ffi

+ ri

4
,

(70),

k(t-

Since the first members of these equations are identical, it follows, by


the principle of indeterminate coefficients, that the coefficients of the
like powers of i are equal, and we shall, therefore, have

= 2 Qw
+ <) = + 3 (> +
+ + O r = 4 (>' 42

(1 -f

u**
3

|a

From

the

first

+ 2wa

-f-

ii )

(1

-j-

/?

(1

of these equations

we

find

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

1-f-w

The second equation

or, substituting for

We

73

gives

its

value just found, and reducing,

have also

and hence, substituting the values of a and


reducing,

we

/?

already found, and

obtain finally

r~

"(1

+ u'V"

Again, we have
1

tan

Developing

Now,

since

this,

U = tan

TT

1 x

(u

-\-

ai

-f-

.
,

pi* -f- ^i ).

and neglecting terms of the order

= tan Jv and

Z7= tan | F, we

shall

we

get

have

or

2a

U
,

Substituting in this equation the values of a,


and reducing, we obtain finally

/?,

and f already found,

(i

^+ttft^+j^^^

(73)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

74

This equation can be used whenever the true anomaly in the


the time from the perihelion is to
ellipse or hyperbola is given, and
with the argument
and then we derive

Fand

we

enter Table

VI.

take out the corresponding value of

M;

Having found the value of

be determined.

V,

T from

Mq*

~CT\T
C

which log

in

== 9.96012771.

For the converse of

difference v

which the time from the perihelion

this, in

given and the true anomaly

it is

Let

coefficients are functions of U.

= U+

Substituting this value of

multiplied by

+ G3'(l +
2

Z7 )

U*)

+ JV +

shall have,

'

r (1

first

+ /3V + r + &c.
'i*

i,

we

get

member of

+i +2
a'

and neglecting terms

in equation (70),

^_

f/9)

Z7d'/5'

+3

C7*a' (1

these equations,

we

%U3 we
,

coefficients,

C7 )

4J7

From

this equation is equal to U-\-

by the principle of indeterminate

?7 )

put

ffV (1 + U 2 ) + | U5 -f | J7 ) i2
2pU2 (l + C7 2)
2Ua'/S'-f- 3C7V(1 -f U^

Ua'

4 C7 3 a' 2
But, since the

o!i

us, therefore,

and higher powers of

i*

is

necessary to express the


required,
in a series of ascending powers of i, in which the
is

2/5'

==0<

C7 (1

C7 )

find

.^

_ If! ^ + 3111
T

(i

If

we
'

/?',

interchange v and
for a, ft r,

V in

-f-

c/" )

equation (72),

it

becomes, writing a',

PLAOE IN THE ORBIT.

~ VJr

75

i+u* ~^U+

U*

4.^17

(1

(1 -f C7

2(t7'-j)
-j)

*7 )

(1

)
\

IP)

Substituting in this equation the above values of a/,


reducing,

we

=v

/3',

and f, and

obtain, finally,

iu* +

1 rp

i fi^ + iHt/'+^^+T^ ""

_l_tii^
(1

+ C7

by means of which v may be determined, the angle F being taken


from Table VI., so as to correspond with the value of
derived
from

Equations (73) and (74) are applicable, without any modification,


to the case of a hyperbolic orbit which differs but little from the
In this case, however, e is greater than unity, and, conseparabola.
quently,
28.

i is

negative.

In order

to render these formulae convenient in practice, tables

be constructed in the following manner


Let x
v or F, and tan \x
6, and let us put

may

100(1 -f

'

10000 (1

10000 (1-M 2 ) 4

1000000 (1

?|0 + If l^
r _ ^ + iill^ + flf
1000000 (1 +
9

^ )6
2

13

4-

4IIF

15

jjfrV"

s expresses the number of seconds corresponding to the


5.31442513.
of
arc equal to the radius of a circle, or logs
length

wherein

We

shall,

therefore, have:

WhenzF,

v=V+A (1000

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

76
and,

when x

=
V=v-A (lOOi) + S (10(K)
v,

Table IX. gives the values of


to x
tive values of x from #

J.,

B,

C" (lOOi)

and

C,

= 149, with

3
.

for consecu-

differences for inter-

polation.

When

the value of v has been found, that of r

may

be derived*

from the formula


_

\-\-e

cos

v"

Similar expressions arranged in reference to the ascending powers

of (1

e)

or of

11 may be derived, but they do not con-

verge with sufficient rapidity ;

for,

although

is less

than ij yet the coefficients are, in each case, so much greater than
those of the corresponding powers of i, that three terms will not

same degree of accuracy as the same


the expressions involving i.
afford the

number of terms

in

29. Equations (73) and (74) will serve to determine v or t


in
all
cases
in
with
the
the
nearly
which,
ordinary logarithmic tables,

general methods

fail.

However, when the

orbit differs considerably

from a parabola, and when v is of considerable magnitude, the results


obtained by means of these equations will not be sufficiently exact,
and we must employ other methods of approximation in the case that
the accurate numerical solution of the general formula is still impossible.
It may be observed that when
or
exceeds 50 or 60, the

equations (39) and (69) will furnish accurate results, even when e
differs but little from
Still, a case may occur in which the
unity.
perihelion distance is very small and in which v may be very great
before the disappearance of the comet, such that neither the
general

method, nor the special method already given, will enable us to determine v or t
T with accuracy ; and we shall, therefore, investigate
another method, which will, in all cases, be
exact when
sufficiently

the general formulae are inapplicable


directly.
us resume the equation

For

this purpose, let

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.


which, since q
Ic

= a(l

T) l/l

(t

we put

If

we

shall

may

e),

77

be written
1

ft

1 -f 9e

E
A- 15 9E

have

^~e
2

20T/2

"9^+sm^~

+ 9e

.f
'

3*5(1

e)

Let us now put

201/A
and
4-<-% -w-1.2

then

..

__

we have

-Htan

When B

is

known, the value of

be derived directly from Table

-|w.

may, according to

(75)

this equation,

VI. with the argument

75k(t-r)
~
and then from

w we may

to find the value of IB ;

find the value of

and then that of

A. It remains, therefore,
from the resulting value

of A.

Now, we have

Sm
and

if

we put

tan

s in

We

r,

2 tan -\E

^=l + tanV

we

get

E = j^- = 2ri (1

have, also,

E= 2 tan"

2r*(l

r -f r

JT

+ ^r

r3

+ &c.).
3

4T

-f-

&c.).

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

78
Therefore,

15

(E- Sin E) = 2r^(10r - ^r +


2

- if^r* + &c.),

yi*

and

9E +

= 2r* (10 - V + VT
r

sin

Hence, by division,

and, inverting this series,

we

get

which converges rapidly, and from which the value of

A
may

be

found.

Let us now put

1
A
T-<?

then the values of

C may

be tabulated with the argument A; and,


2
is small C will not diifer

besides, it is evident that as long as

much from

-f-

'

A.

Next, to find B, we have

and hence

from which we

easily find

5=1+ T f
If

we compare

equations (44) and (56),


tan

\E = T

we

get

tan J ^.

2
r r , we
Hence, in the case of a hyperbolic orbit, if we put tan \F
must write
r' in place of r in the formulae already derived ; and,

from the

series

which gives

this case negative.

Therefore,

in terms of r,
if

we

is in
appears that
the
equations for
distinguish
it

PLACE IN THE ORBIT.

79

hyperbolic motion from those for elliptic motion by writing


and C f in place of A, B, and (7, respectively, we shall have

S=1 +

"

A" - &c.

f
,

B' y

*+ &c,

Table X. contains the values of log B and log C for the ellipse
and the hyperbola, with the argument A, from A
Q to A
0.3.
For every case in which A exceeds 0.3, the general formulae (39)
and (69) may be conveniently applied, as already stated.

The equation

gives

or,

substituting the value of

in terms of w,

(76)

'<

The

last

of equations (43) gives

^=2

r COS

cos '

^=

Hence we derive

The equation

for v in a hyperbolic orbit is of


precisely the

as (76), the accents


being omitted,

same form
and the value of A being computed

from

^=

For the radius-vector in a hyperbolic


last

(78)

^gtaa<>.
orbit,

we

find,

by means of the

of equations (63),
T

(79)

^'

t
T is given and r and v are required, we
and enter Table VI. with the argument

When

B = 1,

^0 )cos
2

(1

first

assume

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

80
in

which log

Then we

of w.

and take out the corresponding value


from the equation

9. 96012771,

derive

5(1

e)

and from (78) in the case of a hyperbolic


orbit.
With the resulting value of A, we find from Table X. the
corresponding value of log B, and then, using this in the expression

in the case of the ellipse,

will not
for
we repeat the operation. The second result for
9
require any further correction, since the error of the first assumption
1 is very small ; and, with this as argument, we derive the
of J5
value of log C from the table, and then v and r by means of the

equations (76) and (77) or (79).


When the true anomaly is given, and the time

we

first

compute

T is

required,

from

in the case of the ellipse, or

from

_eJ

21

in the case of the hyperbola.


Then, with the value of r as argument, we enter the second part of Table X. and take out an approxi-

mate value of A 9 and, with

The

argument, we find log-B and log C.

equation

show whether the approximate value of

will

log

this as

C is

sufficiently exact, and, hence,

used in finding

latter requires

any

Next, to find w, we have

correction.

and, with

whether the

as argument,

we

derive

M from Table VI.

Finally,

we

have
(80)

by means of which the time from the perihelion may be accurately


determined.

POSITION IN SPACE.
30.

We

81

far treated of the motion of the heavenly bodies,


without considering the positions of their orbits
and the elements which we have employed are the eccen-

have thus

relative to the sun,


in space

and semi-transverse axis of the orbit, and the mean anomaly


at a given epoch, or, what is equivalent, the time of passing the
These are the elements which determine the position of
perihelion.
tricity

the body in

its

orbit at

It remains

any given time.

now

to fix its

position in space in reference to some other point in space from which


we conceive it to be seen. To accomplish this, the position of its

known plane must be given and the elements


which determine this position are the longitude of the perihelion, the
longitude of the ascending node, and the inclination of the plane of
orbit in reference to a

known plane, for which the plane of the ecliptic is


taken.
These three elements will enable us to determine the
usually
co-ordinates of the body in space, when its position in its orbit has
the orbit to the

been found by means of the formulae already investigated.


The longitude of the ascending node, or longitude of the point
through which the body passes from the south to the north side of

which we will denote by &, is the angular distance of


from the vernal equinox. The line of intersection of the
plane of the orbit with the fundamental plane is called the line of

the ecliptic,
this point

nodes.

The angle which the plane of

the orbit

makes with the plane of

the ecliptic, which we will denote by i, is called the inclination of.


It will readily be seen that, if we suppose the plane of
the orbit.
the orbit to revolve about the line of nodes, when the angle i exceeds

& will no longer be the longitude of the ascending node, but


become the longitude of the descending node, or of the point
through which the planet passes from the north to the south side of
180,

will

the ecliptic, which is denoted by 5 , and


case of
from the vernal equinox.
,

which

is

measured, as in the

&

It will easily be understood that, when seen from the sun, so long
as the inclination of the orbit is less than 90, the motion of the

body will be in the same direction


said to be direct.

When

as that of the earth,

the inclination

is

90,

and

it is

then

the motion will be at

right angles to that of the earth ; and when i exceeds 90, the motion
in longitude will be in a direction
opposite to that of the earth, and

then called retrograde.


It
inclination of the orbit only to

it is

customary, therefore, to extend the


90, and if this angle exceeds a right
is

angle, to regard its supplement as the inclination of the orbit, noting


simply the distinction that the motion is retrograde.

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

82

longitude of the perihelion, which is denoted by TT, fixes the


in the case of direct
position of the orbit in its own plane, and is,

The

motion, the

sum of

the longitude of the ascending node and the

angular distance, measured in the direction of the motion, of the


It is, therefore, the angular distance of
perihelion from this node.
in
the orbit whose angular distance back
a
the perihelion from
point

from the ascending node is equal to the longitude of this node; or


it may be measured on the ecliptic from the vernal equinox to the
ascending node, then on the plane of the orbit from the node to the
place of the perihelion.
In the case of retrograde motion, the longitudes of the successive
points in the orbit, in the direction of the motion, decrease, and the
point in the orbit from which these longitudes in the orbit are

measured

is

taken at an angular distance from the ascending node

equal to the longitude of that node, but taken, from the node, in the
same direction as the motion. Hence, in this case, the longitude of
the perihelion is equal to the longitude of the ascending node diminished by the angular distance of the perihelion from this node.
It may, perhaps, seem desirable that the distinctions, direct and
retrograde motion, should be abandoned, and that the inclination of
to 180, since in this case
the orbit should be measured from

of formula would be sufficient, while in the common form


However, the custom of astronomers

one

set

two

sets are in part required.

seems to have sanctioned these distinctions, and they

may

be per-

may seem advantageous.


we
Further,
may remark that in the case of direct motion the sum
of the true anomaly and longitude of the perihelion is called the
true longitude in the orbit; and that the sum of the mean anomaly
and longitude of the perihelion is called the mean longitude^ an expression which can occur only in the case of elliptic orbits.
In the case of retrograde motion the longitude in the orbit is equal
to the longitude of the perihelion minus the true anomaly.
petuated or not, as

We

31.
will now proceed to derive the formulae for determining
the co-ordinates of a heavenly body in space, when its position in its
is known.
For the co-ordinates of the

orbit

position of the

have
x
y

= r cos v
r sin

v,

body

at the

time

we

POSITION IN SPACE.

83

the line of apsides being taken as the axis of x, and the origin being
taken at the centre of the sun.

we take

If

the line of nodes as the axis of x,

= r cos (v
y = r sin (y
x

-f~

>),

-f-

0,

we

shall

have

being the arc of the orbit intercepted between the place of the
perihelion and of the node, or the angular distance of the perihelion
a)

from the node.

we have

Ntfw,
it

ft

a)

rc

in the case of direct motion,

ft

and hence the

in the case of retrograde motion ;

become

last

and

co

equations

= r cos (v =b qz ft)
=
K ^
r sin
y

TT

(v

the upper
the motion

ft)

and lower signs being taken,


is

The

direct or retrograde.

respectively, according as
TT ip ft
uis called

arc v

the argument of the latitude.


Let us now refer the position of the

body

to three co-ordinate

planes, the origin being at the centre of the sun, the ecliptic being
taken as the plane of xy, and the axis of x, in the line of nodes.

Then we

shall

have
x'
y'

= r cos u
= r sin u cos
t

r sin

If

i,

u sin i.

we denote

the time

the heliocentric latitude and longitude of the body, at


by 6 and I, respectively, we shall have

= r cos b cos
=
r cos b sin
y
= r sin
cos u = cos b cos
sin
cos = cos b sin
sin u sin = sin
x

(I

ft ),

(I

ft

z'

and, consequently,
rfc

),

6,

it

(I

ft),

(i

ft),

(81)

6.

From

these

we

derive
tan

(I

ft )

tan b

which serve

to

determine

== db tan u cos i,

= =b tan

and

6,

sin ( J

when

ft, ^,

(82)

ft ),

and

are given.

Since

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

84
cos b

is

it

always positive,

same quadrant when


or the motion

is

follows that

&

retrograde,

&

than 90

i is less

but

and u must

if i is greater

and 360

lie in

than

the

90,

will belong to the

same quadrant. Hence the ambiguity which the determination of


I
& by means of its tangent involves, is wholly avoided.
If we use the distinction of retrograde motion, and consider i
& and u will lie in the same quadrant.
always less than 90, I
of the equations (81) by sin u, and
the second by cos u, and combining the results, considering only the
upper sign, we derive
32.

By

multiplying the

first

cos b sin (u

cos b sin (u

I -f-

&)

or

In a similar manner, we

= 2 sin u cos u sin


= sin 2u sin

i,

^i.

find

cos b cos (u

I -j-

& ) = cos

it -j-

sin

it

cos

i,

which may be written


cos b cos (u

1-\-

Q ) = J (1

cos b cos (u

l-\-

& ) = ^ (1 + cos i) + 2 (1

or

and hence
cos 5 cos (u

If

we

-f-

cos 2it)

& ) = cos

-f

-j-

cos 2u) cos

(1

cos i) cos 2w;

2
^i -f sin \i cos 2w.

divide this equation by the value of cos b sin (u

already found,

we

shall

tan(M

1-\-

&

+&

have

_ +
f

n
= 1 J'^f!
*U
tan h cos

-f-

The angle w

i,

is

2tt

called the reduction to the ecliptic;

(83)

and the

may be arranged in a series which converges rapidly


when i is small, as in the case of the planets. In order to effect this
development, let us first take the equation
expression for it

tan y

=1

Differentiating this, regarding y


find

sin

-j-

and n

dy

dn

?i

-f-

cos x

as variables,

sin x
2n cos x

-f- ri*

and reducing, we

POSITION IN SPACE.

which

gives,

by division, or by the method of indeterminate

Cfl/

an

= sin x

n sin 2x

Integrating this expression,


y

85

= n sin x

^?i sin

we
2x

-j-

nz

3#

sin

get, since
3

-j-

^n

sin

4x

n* sin

3x

^n

4"

sin

&c.

-4-

when x
4#

coefficients,

= 0,

-f~

(84)

is the general form of the development of the above


expression
The assumed expression for tan y corresponds exactly with
tan
for
y.
2
the formula for the reduction to the ecliptic by making n
tan \i

which

and x = 2u;

I -j-

and hence we obtain

&

= tan

-1

When

tan

the value of

2u
sin Su

tan 4 ^i sin 4u -j- | tan6


10
i sin lOw
&c.
J tan

%i sin
i

does not exceed 10

or

the

12,

first

sin

6u
(85)

two terms

of this development will be sufficient.


To express u
1-\- & .in
seconds of arc, the value derived from the second member of this
equation must be multiplied by 206264.81J the
corresponding to the radius of a circle.

If

we denote by

But we have v

the reduction to the ecliptic,

= u -f

= v -f

TT

J2 e

= M-\- the equation of the centre

l=M-}-'K-\- equation of the centre


and, putting

L = M-}-n = mean

=L

-f-

number of seconds
shall

have

hence

reduction to the ecliptic,

longitude,

equation of centre

we

we

get

reduction to ecliptic.

(86)

In the tables of the motion of the planets, the equation of the


centre (53) is given in a table with
as the argument and the
reduction to the ecliptic is given in a table in which i and u are the

arguments.

In determining the place of a heavenly body directly from


its orbit, there will be no
necessity for computing the
reduction to the ecliptic, since the heliocentric longitude and latitude
may be readily found by the formulae (82). When the heliocentric
place has been found, we can easily deduce the corresponding geo33.

the elements of

centric place.

Let

x, y, z

be the rectangular co-ordinates of the planet or comet

referred to the centre of the sun, the plane of

xy being in the

ecliptic,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

86

the positive axis of x being directed to the vernal equinox, and the
Then we shall
north pole of the ecliptic.
positive axis of z to the

have

= r cos b cos
= r cos b sin
= r sin

x
y

b.

Again,

let

X, F,

Z be

I,
/,

the co-ordinates of the centre of the sun re-

XY

ferred to the centre of the earth, the plane of


being in the eclipand the axis of
being directed to the vernal equinox ; and let

tic,

denote the geocentric longitude of the sun,


the earth, and

its latitude.

= E sin

Z
Let

x'j y', z'

Then we

shall

its

distance from

have

I.

be the co-ordinates of the body referred to the centre of

the earth ; and let X and ft denote, respectively, the geocentric longitude and latitude, and J, the distance of the planet or comet from the
earth.

Then we

obtain
a/
if
z'

But, evidently,

we

also

= A cos
= A cos
= A sin

/?

cos

^,

/5

sin

A,

(87)

/?.

have

and, consequently,

= r cos cos
= r cos sin
= r sin b

A cos /? cos A
A cos /5 sin A
A sin /5

/ -f-

-f
-\-

R cos 2 cos Q
E cos S sin O
R sin

(88)

I".

first of these equations by cos Q, and the second


and
add
the products; then multiply the first by sin O,
Q?
by
and the second by cos Q and subtract the first product from the

If we multiply the
sin

second,

we

get

A cos /?
A cos /?
A sin /5

cos (A
sin (A

O ) f cos b cos (I O ) + R cos ^,


Q = r cos b sin (7 O
= r sin b R sin
),

-\-

It will be observed that this transformation

(89)

I*.

is

equivalent to the sup-

position that the axis of x, in each of the co-ordinate systems,

is

POSITION IN SPACE.

87

or that the system has been


directed to a point whose longitude is
>
revolved about the axis of z to a new position for which the axis of
with that of the primitive system.
abscissas makes the angle

We

therefore, in general, in order to effect such a transformation in

may,

systems of equations thus derived, simply diminish the longitudes by


the given angle.

equations (89) will determine A, /9, and A when r, 6, and


been derived from the elements of the orbit, the quantities R,

The

have
,

and

being furnished by the solar tables ; or, when J, /?, and / are given,
The latitude 2 of the sun
these equations determine
6, and r.
,

never exceeds

lected, so that cos

A cos /5 cos
A cos ft sin
A sin ft

If
tude

and

sin 2'

may

it

0".9, and, therefore,

Q = r cos b cos (I
Q ) = r cos b sin (I

(A

==r

sin b.

we suppose the axis of x to be directed to a


&, or to the ascending node of the planet

A cos
sin

point whose longior comet, the equa-

become
ft

= r cos u R cos S cos (O &)>


=
r sin u cos
R cos S sin (O
^)

cos (A

A cos /? sin
/J

(90)

),

is

tions (88)

cases be neg-

O + R,
Q

(A

most

in

= 0, and the last equations become

-j-

&)

i -\-

(A

==

/?

by means of which

/9

and

r sin w sin

may

i -\-

R sin

(91)

2",

be found directly from

&

i,

r,

and

u.

be required to determine the geocentric right ascension and


declination, denoted respectively by a and d, we may convert the
If

it

values of
tion,

/?

and

X into those of

a and

denoting by

cos d cos a

cos

ft

cos

cos d sin a

cos

ft

sin A cos

/?

sin A sin

sin

To

d.

eifect this

the obliquity of the ecliptic,

<5

= cos

A,

e -f-

sin

ft

sin

e,

sin

ft

cos

e.

Let us now take

and we

shall

sin

ra

cos

N = sin

N= cos

/5,

/5

sin

A,

have
COS d COS a
cos d sin a
sin

<S

we have

= COS COS
= w cos (JV+ 0>
= n sin (JV
ft

A,

-j- e).

transforma-

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

88
Therefore,

we

obtain

cos

sin A

tan 5

We also

= tan (JV +

have
cos

_~ cos

(N -fcos

which

) sin

(92)

<5

sin a
'

cos /5 sin A

a and 3. Since cos d and


must have the same sign,

will serve to check the calculation of

cos ft are always positive, cos a


and thus the quadrant in which

and cos

a is to be taken, is determined.
the
inverse
For the solution of
problem, in which a and d are
given and the values of A and /9 are required, it is only necessary to
e in
interchange, in these equations, a and A, d and /9, and to write
place of

s.

34. Instead of pursuing the tedious process, when several places


are required, of computing first the heliocentric place, then the geocentric place referred to the ecliptic, and, finally, the geocentric right
ascension and declination, we may derive formulae which, when certain constant auxiliaries

have once been computed, enable us to derive

the geocentric place directly, referred either to the ecliptic or to the


equator.
will

We

first

consider the case in which the ecliptic is taken as the


Let us, therefore, resume the equations

fundamental plane.

x'
y'
z'

= r cos u,
= r sin u cos
= r sin u sin

i,

i,

which the axis of x is supposed to be directed to the ascending node


If we now pass to a new system x, y, z,
of the orbit of the body.
the origin and the axis of z remaining the same,
in which the axis

in

directed to the vernal equinox, we shall move it back, in a


negative direction, equal to the angle &, and, consequently,

of x

is

=
y=

Therefore,

we

x'

cos

x'

sm

&

y'

sin

-f- y'

cos

obtain

x
y
z

= r (cos u cos & q= sin u cos sin &


= r (=h sin u cos cos & + cos u sin &
= r sin u sin
i

i,

),

),

(93)

POSITION IN SPACE.

89

which are the expressions for the heliocentric co-ordinates of a planet


or comet referred to the ecliptic, the positive axis of x being directed
equinox. The upper sign is to be used
and the lower sign when it is retrograde.

to the vernal

motion

when

the

is direct,

Let us now put

& sin a sin A,


& = sin a cos A,
sin & = sin b sin B,
cos & = sin b cos B,
cos

which

in

a and
become

sin

ordinates

qp cos

cos

sin

sin b are positive,

x
y
z

r sin a sin

and the expressions

(A

= rsmb sin (B
= r sin sin
i

-f-

u),

-f-

u),

for the co-

(95)

tt.

The auxiliary quantities a, 6, ^L, and J5, it will be observed, are


functions of
and i, and, in computing an ephemeris, are constant

&

so long as these elements are regarded as constant.


the constants for the ecliptie.

To determine them, we
cot

A = q=

tan

&

cos

sin a

sin

&

sin

B and

The quadrants

signs.

in

cot

sin

the motion

sin 6 are
sin

&

which

&

cos

i,

sin

when

sign when it is retrograde.


The auxiliaries sin a and
cos

cot

i,

&
A

the upper sign being used

A and

are called

have, from equations (94),

cos

sin

They

is direct,

and the lower

always positive, and, therefore,

respectively, must have the same


and
are situated, are thus deter-

mined.

From

the equations (94)

we

cos a
cos b

If

we add

easily find

= sin
=

&

sin

sin i cos

&

(96)

to the heliocentric co-ordinates of the

nates of the sun referred to the earth, for


already been given, we shall have

-|-

2/4z -j-

X= A cos

Y= J cos

sin

body the co-ordiwhich the equations have

/?

cos

A,

/^

sin

A,

(97)

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

90

which

suffice to

determine

),,

and

ft,

The

J.

a and

values of

may

be derived from these by means of the equations (92).


35.

We

shall

For

directly.

now

derive the formulae for determining

a and

this purpose, let x, y, z be the heliocentric co-ordinates

of the body referred to the equator, the positive axis of x being


To pass from the system of codirected to the vernal equinox.
ordinates referred to the ecliptic to those referred to the equator as
the fundamental plane, we must revolve the system negatively around
the axis of x, so that the axes of z and y in the new system make

the angle e with those of the primitive system,


of the ecliptic. In this case, we have

=
y" = y COS
z" = y sin
x"

x,

Z SHI

cos

e -j- z

Substituting for x, y, and z their values from


omitting the accents, we get

= r cos u cos rp r sin u cos


=
r sin u
r cos u sin & cos
y
= r cos u sin sin r sin u
x

-f-

e -f-

Q>

being the obliquity

sin

cos i cos

cos i cos

(=fc

equations (93), and

^ cos e
& sin

sin i sin e),


-j-

sin

cos

(98)

e).

These are the expressions for the heliocentric co-ordinates of the


To reduce them to a conplanet or comet referred to the equator.
venient form for numerical calculation, let us put
cos

qp cos
sin
zfc

cos

&

cos

cos

and the expressions

&

cos

-}-

&

sin

= sin a sin A,
= sin a cos

J.,

cos

sin

cos

sin b sin

B,

= sin b cos 5,
= sin sin
= sin cos C;
c

(7,

for the co-ordinates reduce to

x
y
2

The

sin

&

&
&

sin i sin

sin

rb cos

sin

r sin a sin

(A

= r sin 6 sin (5
= r sin sin C
c

-j-

w)>

-f-

u),

-j-

(100)

w).

6, c, J., J2, and (7, are constant so long


remain unchanged, and are called constants for the equator.
It will be observed that the equations involving a and J.,
regard-

as Q>

auxiliary quantities, a,

and

ing the motion as direct, correspond to the relations between the


parts of a quadrantal triangle of which the sides are i and a, the

POSITION IN SPACE.

91

we

angle included between these sides being that which


Ay and the angle opposite the side a being 90

of b and

&

designate .by
In the case

the relations are those of the parts of a spherical triangle


6, i, and 90 -f- e,
being the angle included

J5,

of which the sides are

- & the
6, and 180
angle opposite the side 6.
Further,
by
in the case of c and C, the relations are those of the parts of a
spherical triangle of which the sides are c, i, and e, the angle C being
- ^ that included
that included by the sides i and c, and 180
by
the sides i and e.
We have, therefore, the following additional
i

and

equations

cos a
cos b

cos c

= sin sin &


= cos & sin
= cos & sin
i

cos

cos

sin

s,

sin

e -{-

cos

cos

e.

(101)

In the case of retrograde motion, we must substitute in these

im

180

place of

i.

The geometrical signification of the auxiliary constants for the


The angles a, 6, and c are those
equator is thus made apparent.
which a line drawn from the origin of co-ordinates perpendicular to
the plane of the orbit on the north side, makes with the positive co-

ordinate axes, respectively ; and


are the angles which
9
B, and
the three planes, passing through this line and the co-ordinate axes,
make with a plane passing through this line and perpendicular to the
line of nodes.

In order to

facilitate

the computation of the constants for the


w such that

equator, let us introduce another auxiliary quantity

cos
eQ

cos

We

being always positive.

tan

&

cos

Q,

shall, therefore,

E=

have

_,

-f

~cos

Since both e and sinz are positive, the angle


cannot exceed 180;
Q
and the algebraic sign of tan Q will show whether this angle is to

be taken in the

The

first

first

or second quadrant.

two of equations
cot

and the

first

(99) give

A=+

tan

&

cos i ;

gives

sm a =

cos

&

gin .4

THEOEETICAL ASTKONOMY.

92

From

and

Ew

we

eQ cos

(E

-(- e).

the fourth of equations (99), introducing eQ


sin b cos

B=e

cos

eQ sin

cos

But
sin b sin

sin e

^ = sin &

cos

get

therefore

sin

We

cos

tan &6 cos JbQ

cos e

have, also,
,

sin b

& cos
= sinsmB
5
:

In a similar manner, we find


cot

tan

Sm

^^cos A
Q

=r

sin e

and

sin

sin

sin

and sin c are always positive, and, thereand sin & and also sin C and sin &
must have the same signs, which will determine the quadrant in
which each of the angles A, B, and C is situated.
If we multiply the last of equations (99) by the third, and the
fifth of these equations by the fourth, and subtract the first product

The

auxiliaries sin a, sin 6,

fore, sin

from the

and

last,

cos

we

&

get,

sin

by reduction,

sin b sin e sin (

But
sinacosJ.

B)

= =F cos

sin

sin

&;

J3)

sin

&.

and hence we derive


sin b sin c sin (

sin a cosJ.

tan

i,

which serves to check the accuracy of the numerical computation of


the constants, since the value of tan i obtained from this formula
must agree exactly with that used in the calculation of the values of
these constants.

If we put A'

=A

TT

q=

a, B'

=B

q=

and C'

=C

=F Sly the upper or lower sign being used according as the motion
direct or retrograde, we shall have

n
is

POSITION IN SPACE.

= r sin a sin (A'


y = r sin sin (B
= r sin sin C"
x

a transformation which

v),

-f-

93

-j-

v),

-j-

v),

(102)

perhaps unnecessary, but which is convenient when a series of places is to be computed.


It will be observed that the formula? for computing the constants
a, 6, c,

A, By and

(7,

is

in the case of direct motion, are converted into

those for the case in which the distinction of retrograde motion


instead of i.
adopted, by simply using 180

is

-i

When

the heliocentric co-ordinates of the body have been


found, referred to the equator as the fundamental plane, if we add to
these the geocentric co-ordinates of the sun referred to the same
36.

fundamental plane, the sum will be the geocentric co-ordinates of


the body referred also to the equator.
For the co-ordinates of the sun referred to the centre of the earth,
we have, neglecting the latitude of the sun,

X=Kcos,

Y= R sin O cos
= JR sin O sin = Ktan
e,

Z
in

which

e,

represents the radius-vector of the earth,


s the
obliquity of the ecliptic.

the sun's

longitude, and

We

shall, therefore,

have
x

-{-

y -f
z -f-

which
If

suffice to

X=,A cos S cos a,

determine a,

we have regard

Y= A cos 8 sin

Z=
d,

(103)

a,

A sin d,

and

J.

to the latitude of the

sun in computing

centric co-ordinates, the formulae will evidently

Y= E sin O

Z = R sin O
in which, since

equal to 1,

The

and

S
sin

cos

cos

S cos e
S sin e

can never exceed

I=

E sin S sin
-\-

JR sin

its

geo-

become

(104)

e,

S cos e,

0".9, cos

is

very nearly

2.

longitudes and latitudes of the sun may be derived from a


from the solar tables. The principal astronomical

solar ephemeris, or

ephemerides, such as the Berliner Astronomisches Jahrbuch, the


Nautical Almanac, and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Al-

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

94

raanac, contain, for each year for which they are published, the
both to the mean equinox
equatorial co-ordinates of the sun, referred
year, and to the apparent equinox
latitude of the sun.
the
account
into
of the date, taking

and equator of the beginning of the

In the case of an elliptic orbit, we may determine the codirectly from the eccentric anomaly in the following
manner
The equations (102) give, accenting the letters a, 6, and c,
37.

ordinates
:

r cos v sin

a! sin

y = r cos v sin
= r cos v sin
Now, since r cos v = a cos E
z

A'

-f-

r sin v sin

-\-

r sin v sin b cosJB',

-}-

r sin v sin

sin

c'

sin C'

and r

ae,

a'

cos A',

b'

sin v

c'

cos C'.

= a cos

<p

we shall

sin E,

have

= a sin
y = a sin
= a sin
x

a' sin

A' cos

&'

sin

B' cos

c'

sin C' cos .E

ae sin

ae sin

>

ae sin

-f-

sin _B'

-f-

sin 6"

-f-

>'

c'

a cos ^ sin a! cos J sin E,


a cos 9? sin b' cos 1?' sin i,
a cos ^ sin c' cos (7 sin _Z
'

J/

a' sin

Let us now put


a cos

<p

sin a' cos A'

a sin a' sin J/


ae sin a' sin J/
a cos ^ sin
a sin

6'

ae sin

6'

6'

a cos f sin c'


a sin c'
ae sin

c'

A x cos

=
=
sin B' =
sin B' =
cos C' =
sin 0' =
sin C" =
cos B'

x,

A x sin _LX ,

eA x sin
A
A

Ly

cos

sin _Ly ,

Lx =

eA y sin Z/y
h z cos

vs

vz

jf/ z ,

A z sin .L 2 ,

eA z sin JO Z

sin a/, sin 6', and sin c' have the same values as in
equations
the
accents being added simply to mark the necessary dis(102),
tinction in the notation employed in these formulae.
shall,

in

which

We

therefore,

have
x
2,

=
=
=

l x sin (
A

smCLy

/ z sin

(Lz

+ .E)
+ )-f-,
+ E)

-|- v x ,

(105)

y,

-f- v z .

By means of these formulae, the co-ordinates are found directly


from the eccentric anomaly, when the constants ^ x , ^ v , ^ z Zx Ly Lz ,
vx , v , and vz have been
y
computed from those already found, or from
This method is very convenient when a great
a, 6, c, .A, J?, and (7.
,

POSITION IN SPACE.

95

geocentric places are to be computed ; but, when only a


few places are required, the additional labor of computing so many
auxiliary quantities will not be compensated by the facility afforded
in the numerical calculation, when these constants have been deter-

number of

Further, when the ephemeris is intended for the comparison


series
of observations in order to determine the corrections to be
a
of

mined.

applied to the elements by means of the differential formulae which


we shall investigate in the following chapter, it will always be advisable to compute the co-ordinates by means of the radius-vector

and true anomaly, since both of these quantities will be required in


finding the differential coefficients.

In the case of a hyperbolic orbit, the co-ordinates may be computed directly from F, since we have
38.

r cos v
r sin v

=a
= a tan

sec

(e

<4/

F\
F

tan

and, consequently,

= ae
y = ae sin
= ae sin

sin a' sin

b sin
c'

F sin a! sin A'


F sin sin B'
a sec F sin sin C"

A'

a sec

B'

a sec

sin C'

-\-

c'

Let us now put

a tan

-\-

b'

-j-

=
A=
a tan % sin
cos A =
ae sin b sin B' =
a sin
sin B =
a tan ^ sin cos 5' =
ae sin sin C" =
a sin sin C' =
a tan 4 sin cos C" =
A'

ae sin

a' sin

a sin

a' sin

ju x ,

a'

vx

4-

tan

a tan 4 tan
a tan 4 tan

F sin cos A',


F sin V cos B
F sin c cos G'.
a'

Ax,

6'

6'

c'

Az ,

c'

c'

Then we

shall

have
x
y

=
=

In a similar manner we

Ax

-j- /a x

Ay -f-

/*y

Az

fjL t

-f

may

/x y ,

sec .F

-f- v x

F
sec F

-j-

sec

-f-

vz

/Jt z ,

vz .

tan

.F,

tan

JP,

(106)

tan P.

derive expressions for the co-ordinates,


when the auxiliary quantity a is

in the case of a
hyperbolic orbit,

used instead of F.
39. If

we denote by

TT',

',

and V the elements which determine

the position of the orbit in space

when

referred to the equator as the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

96

fundamental plane, and by CO Q the angular distance between the


ascending node of the orbit on the ecliptic and its ascending node on
the equator, being measured positively from the equator in the

we

direction of the motion,

To

&

'

have

shall

we

have, from the spherical triangle formed by


the intersection of the planes of the orbit, ecliptic, and equator with
find

and

i',

the celestial vault,


cos

= cos
= sin
= cos

i'

&'

sin

i'

sin

sin

i'

cos SI

'

cos

sin

&

sin e

sin

sin

cos SI >

-j-

sin i cos e cos SI

Let us now put


wsin JV=cosi,

cosN= sint cos

and these equations reduce

Sit

to
cos

i'

sin

i'

sin

sin

i'

cos SI'

&'

= n sin (N
= sin sin
= n cos (N
i

e),

SI

e)

from which we find

= tan (N
cos &'.
positive, cos N and cos & must
cot

Since sin i
signs.

is

always

To prove

i*

sin

computing SI '.
In order to find

CO

Q)

we

sin

WQ

sin

i'

cos

fo

sin

i'

Let us now take

cos

&

cos SI'

member

the value of the second


in

i
i'

cos

cos

(N

e)'

of which must agree with that used

have, from the same triangle,

= sin & sin


= cos sin -f sin
e,

m sin M= cos
m cos J[f = sin e cos &

cos

e,

and we obtain

have the same

we have

the numerical calculation,

sin

( 107 )

e)

cos

&

POSITION IN SPACE.

M = tan

cot

97

cos ft ,

and, also, to check the calculation,


sin e cos ft

cos

sinicosw

cos

(M

i)

If we apply Gauss's analogies to the same spherical triangle,

we

get

cosii'cos^(ft' -f w
o*
sin K' sin J (ft'

=: sin Jft cos ^(i


cos^ft cos(i

1
ft sin
(i

e),

cos ^ ft sin ^ (i

-f- e).

cos-K' sin^ (ft'

sin

j|i'

-{-

'

cos

ft

=
= sin

e),

e),

<w
or J (ft
which J (ft' +
is situated, must be
)
)
and cos \i' shall be positive and the agreement
of the values of the latter two quantities, computed by means of the
value of \i* derived from tan Ji', will serve to check the accuracy of

The quadrant

in

ft>

so taken that sin

\i'

the numerical calculation.

For the case


must use 180

in
i

which the motion


instead of
*'

=*

is

regarded as retrograde, we

in these equations,
ft

ft'

>

and we have,

also,

We may

thus find the elements ?r', ft ', and i', in reference to the
from
the elements referred to the ecliptic; and using the
equator,
elements so found instead of TT, ft, and i, and using also the places
of the sun referred to the equator, we may derive the heliocentric
and geocentric places with respect to the equator by means of the
formulae already given for the ecliptic as the fundamental plane.
If the position of the orbit with respect to the equator is given,
and its position in reference to the ecliptic is required, it is only
^, e
necessary to interchange ft and ft', as Avell as i and 180
in
these
These
formula
remaining unchanged,
equations.
may
also be used to determine the position of the orbit in reference to

any plane in space but the longitude ft must then be measured


from the place of the descending node of this plane on the ecliptic.
;

The value of

ft, therefore,

which must be used in the solution of the

equations is, in this case, equal to the longitude of the ascending


node of the orbit on the ecliptic diminished by the longitude of the

descending node of the


r

quantities ft

i',

and

tt>

new plane of
will

reference on the ecliptic.


The
signification in reference

have the same


7

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

98

have in reference to the equator, with this disthat


&' is measured from the descending node of
tinction, however,
and e will in this case
this new plane of reference on the ecliptic
to this plane that they

denote the inclination of the ecliptic to this plane.

We

have now derived

all the formulae which can be required


undisturbed
of
in the case
motion, for the computation of the heliocentric or geocentric place of a heavenly fyody, referred either to the

40.

any other known plane, when the elements


are known and the formulae which have been derived

to
ecliptic or equator, or

of

its

orbit

are applicable to every variety of conic section, thus including all


possible forms of undisturbed orbits consistent with the law of universal gravitation.

The

circle is

an

ellipse of

M=v

which the

eccentricity

u 9 and r
a, for every point of
and, consequently,
There is no instance of a circular orbit yet known ; but
the orbit.

is zero,

in the case of the discovery of the asteroid planets between Mars


it is sometimes thought advisable, in order to facilitate

and Jupiter

the identification of comparison stars for a few days succeeding the


discovery, to compute circular elements, and from these an ephemeris.

The elements which determine

the form of the orbit remain con-

stant so long as the system of elements is regarded as unchanged ;


but those which determine the position of the orbit in space, TT, &,
and i 9 vary from one epoch to another on account of the change of

the relative position of the planes to which they are referred.


Thus
the inclination of the orbit will vary slowly, on account of the change
of the position of the ecliptic in space, arising from the perturbations

of the earth by the other planets ; while the longitude of the perihelion and the longitude of the ascending node will vary, both on
account of this change of the position of the plane of the ecliptic,
and also on account of precession and nutation. If TT,
and i are

&

referred to the true equinox and ecliptic of any date, the resulting
heliocentric places will be referred to the same equinox and ecliptic ;

and, further, in the computation of the geocentric places, the longitudes of the sun must be referred to the same equinox, so that the
resulting geocentric longitudes or right ascensions will also be reIt will appear, therefore, that, on account
ferred to that equinox.

of these changes in the values of TT, &, and i, the auxiliaries sin a,
sin 6, sin c, A, J5, and (7, introduced into the formula? for the coordinates, will not be constants in the computation of the places for

a series of dates, unless the elements are referred constantly, in the


calculation, to a fixed

equinox and

ecliptic.

It

is

customary, there-

POSITION IN SPACE.

99

reduce the elements to the ecliptic and


beginning of the year for which the ephemeris
fore, to

mean equinox of the

required, and then


or
comet
of
the
referred
the
to this equinox,
planet
compute
places
ascension
and
in
the
of
the
case
declination, the mean
right
using,
is

to

obliquity of the ecliptic for the date of the fixed equinox adopted, in
the computation of the auxiliary constants and of the co-ordinates
of the sun. The places thus found may be reduced to the true

equinox of the date by the well-known formula? for precession and


nutation.
Thus, for the reduction of the right ascension and declination from the mean equinox and equator of the beginning of the
year to the apparent or true equinox and equator of any date, usually
the date to which the co-ordinates of the body belong, we have

+a

tan 3

a),

for

which the quantities/, g, and Gr are derived from the data given
and lunar tables, or in astronomical ephemerides,

either in the solar

such as have already been mentioned.


The problem of reducing the elements from the ecliptic of one
date t to that of another date t f may be solved by means of equations

making, however, the necessary distinction in regard to the


from
which & and & ' are measured. Let 6 denote the longipoint
tude of the descending node of the ecliptic of t' on that of t, and
let
denote the angle which the planes of the two ecliptics make
(109),

-f}

with each other, then, in the equations (109), instead of & we must
'
write &
shall be measured from the
6, and, in order that &

&

'
vernal equinox, we must also write
d in place of Q, '
Finally,
we must write y instead of e, and AO> for CO Q , which is the variation

in the value of

co

in the interval

the position of the ecliptic


cos U' sin ('
cosU' cosi ('
sin

on account of the change of

then the equations become

+ Aw) = sin(&
+ A0 = cos (&

$ sin l ('

Aw)
AW)

'

= sin J
= cos^(&
(

0) cos
0)

cosi

0) sin

(1

(i

17),

+7

0) sin % (i

),

7 ),

(i
-f-

^).

These equations enable us to determine accurately the values of &',


i'j and AW, which give the position of the orbit in reference to the
The
ecliptic corresponding to the time t', when d and 37 are known.
longitudes, however, will
as before,

still

which we suppose

be referred to the same

mean equinox

to be that of t; and, in order to refer

THEORETICAL ASTKONOMY.

100

them

mean equinox of the epoch

to the

t'

',

amount of the

the

pre-

t must also be
cession in longitude during the interval t
applied.
the
elements
are not of considerof
in
values
the
If the changes

able magnitude, it will be unnecessary to apply these rigorous formula,


and we may derive others sufficiently exact, and much more convenient in application. Thus, from the spherical triangle formed by

the intersection of the plane of the orbit and of the planes of the
two ecliptics with the celestial vault, we get
sin

T?

from which we
sin

We

(&

cos

cos

sin

sin

i -\-

cos

cos Aw,

easily derive
sin y cos (

i)

(i'

0)

0)

-f-

2 sin i' cos

sin

^Aw.

(112)

have, further,
sin

AW

sin

i'

= sin y sin (&

0),

We

(113)

have, also, from the same triangle,

AW

sin

-j-

cos
sin

i'

(&

cos

(^

0) cos

0) sin

(&'

0)

0) cos 7,

(^'

which gives
sin (ft'

ft)

sin

Aw

cos

i'

2 sin (ft

0) cos

(&'

0) sin

Jiy,

or

sin(&'

&) =

- 2 sin (a

Finally,

sin 7 sin
*) cos

(&

('

0) coti'

0) sin

^.

(114)

we have

Since 37 is very small, these equations give, if we apply also the


precession in longitude so as to reduce the longitudes to the mean
equinox
of the date ',

sint

8'= 8 +<X

0--~ ? sin(a

0)cot;'

ilsin2(a

^),

(115)

POSITION IN SPACE.

in

which

is

at

101

the annual precession in longitude, and in which

= 206264".8.

In most

cases, the last terms of the expressions for


the
second order, may be neglected.
of
TT', being
',
,
For the case in which the motion is regarded as retrograde, we
f
i and i ,
i and 180
must put 180
*', instead of
respectively, in
s

&

and

the equations for AW,

and &'; and

',

for

TT',

in this case,

we have

which gives

we adopt BesseFs determination of the luni-solar precession and


of the variation of the mean obliquity of the ecliptic, we have, at the
If

time 1750 -f

r,

= 50".21129 4- O."0002442966r,
at

*=

0".48892

at

O."000006143r,

and, consequently,
77

and
r

in the

= \ (f
The

on the

== (0."48892

f)

computation of the values of these quantities we must put

1750, t and i being expressed in years.


longitude of the descending node of the ecliptic of the time
f

-f- f)

ecliptic of 1750.0

351

which

O."000006143r) (f

is

is

also

found

36' 10"

5".21

to

be

(t

1750),

measured from the mean equinox of the beginning of the year

1750.

The longitude of
of

t,

the descending node of the ecliptic of t' on that


measured from the same mean equinox, is equal to this value

diminished by the angular distance between the descending node of


the ecliptic of t on that of 1750 and the descending node of the
f
ecliptic of t on that of t, which distance is, neglecting terms of the
second order,
5".21(f

and the

result

1750);

is

351

36' 10"

5".21

351

36' 10"

10".42 (t

(t

1750)

5".21 (f

1750),

or

1750)

5".21 (f

f).

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

102

reduce this longitude to the mean equinox at the time t,


add the general precession during the interval t
1750, or

To

50".21
so that

we

1750),

have, finally,

= 351
When

(t

we must

36'

10"+

39".79(

1750)

5". 21(1?

.<).

&, and i have been thus reduced from the


are referred, to those of the
ecliptic and mean equinox to which they
date for which the heliocentric or geocentric place is required, they
the elements

TT,

be referred to the apparent equinox of the date by applying the

may

nutation in longitude.
Then, in the case of the determination of the
right ascension and declination, using the apparent obliquity of the
ecliptic in the computation of the co-ordinates, we directly obtain the

body referred to the apparent equinox. But, in comseries


of places, the changes which thus take place in the
a
puting
elements themselves from date to date induce corresponding changes
place of the

in the auxiliary quantities a, 6, c, A, jB, and (7, so that these are no


longer to be considered as constants, but as continually changing their

values by small differences.


The differential formulae for the comof
these
which
are easily derived from the equations
putation
changes,
will
be
in
the
next
(99),
given
chapter; but they are perhaps unnecessary, since it is generally

compute the
is

most convenient, in the cases which occur, to


extreme dates for which the ephemeris

auxiliaries for the

required, and to interpolate their values for intermediate dates.


It is advisable, however, to reduce the elements to the ecliptic

and

mean equinox of the beginning of the year for which the ephemeris
is required, and using the mean
obliquity of the ecliptic for that
epoch, in the computation of the auxiliary constants for the equator,
the resulting geocentric right ascensions and declinations will be
referred to the same equinox, and they may then be reduced to the

apparent equinox of the date by applying the corrections for precession

and nutation.
places which thus

The

result are free from parallax and aberration.


In comparing observations with an ephemeris, the correction for par-

allax

is
applied directly to the observed apparent places, since this
correction varies for different places on the earth's surface.
The cor-

rection for aberration

may

be applied in two different modes.

We

may

subtract from the time of observation the time in which the

light

from the planet or comet reaches the earth, and the true place
reduced time is identical with the apparent place for the time

for this

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

103

of observation ; or, in case we know the daily or hourly motion of


the body in right ascension and declination, we may compute the
motion during the interval which is required for the light to pass

from the body to the earth, which, being applied to the observed
place, gives the true place for the time of observation.

We

also include the aberration directly in the ephemeris

may

by

497*.78 A in computing the geocentric places for


using the time t
the time t, or by subtracting from the place free from aberration, com-

puted for the time , the motion in a and o during the interval
497 S .78J, in which expression A is the distance of the body from the

and 497.78 the number of seconds in which light traverses the


mean distance of the earth from the sun.
It is customary, however, to compute the ephemeris free from
s
aberration and to subtract the time of aberration, 497 .78z/, from the
earth,

time of observation

when comparing

observations with an ephemeris,

method above mentioned. The places of the


computing its co-ordinates must also be free from aberra-

according to the first

sun used in

the longitudes derived from the solar tables include


the
aberration,
proper correction must be applied, in order to obtain
the true longitude required.
tion;

and

if

EXAMPLES.

41.

We

will

now

collect

together, in

the

proper

order for numerical calculation, some of the principal formula which

have been derived, and illustrate them by numerical examples, commencing with the case of an elliptic orbit. Let it be required to find

and declination of the planet Eurynome


Washington, for the date 1865 February

the geocentric right ascension


(), for

mean midnight

at

24, the elements of the orbit being as follows:

Epoch

M=

1864 Jan. 1.0 Greenwich mean time.


1

29' 40".21

44

20 33 .09

Ecliptic and

^r^sM1

?=

11

Mean

'

15 51 .02

= 0.3881319
=
2.9678088
log
V = 928".55745

log a
/

When
done

is

a series of places is to be computed, the first thing to be


to compute the auxiliary constants used in the expressions for

and although but a single place is required in the


problem proposed, yet we will proceed in this manner, in order to
the co-ordinates,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

104

Since the elements JT, &,


exhibit the application of the formulae.
i are referred to the ecliptic and mean equinox of 1864.0, we will
For
first reduce them to the ecliptic and mean equinox of 1865.0.

and

t= 1864.0,

we have

this reduction

= 50".239,
^at

and t'= 1865.0, which give

= 352

51' 41",

we

Substituting these values in the equations (115),


i

i'

= Ai ==

obtain

= + 53".61,

Aft

0".40,

= 0".4882.
ATT

= + 50".23;

and hence the elements which determine the position of the orbit in
reference to the ecliptic of 1865.0 are

= 44

&

21' 23".32,

For the same

we

instant

= 206

43' 33".74,

is

36' 50".ll.

American Ephemeris and

mean

obliquity of the ecliptic,

= 23

=4

derive, from the

Nautical Almanac, the value of the

which

27' 24".03.

The auxiliary constants for the equator are then found by means of
the formulae
cot

A=

tan

&

tan

cos

cos

cos

& cos E
&
= cos
sm A-p
tan

sm a

The angle

is

E = cos
n

Q>

sin e

to be taken,

tan

i,

always

-& B-

sin b

less

than

sin

-.

cos e
-

sm c

sm

180, and

&
~- sin
= -sin sm
C

the quadrant in which

e
.

it is

indicated directly by the algebraic sign of tan Q


The
values of sin a, sin 6, and sin c are always positive, and, therefore, the
is

angles A, jB, and C must be so taken, with respect to the quadrant in


which each is situated, that sin
and cos &, sin
and sin &, and also

sin

C and

sin

&

shall

have the same

A = 296
B = 205

39'

3217.74,

212

5".07,

55 27

.14,

log sin a
log sin b

log sin

Finally, the calculation of these constants

formula

From

signs.

is

these

we

derive

= 9.9997156,
= 9.9748254,
= 9.5222192.

proved by means of the

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
tan^

= sin

sin a cos

b sin e sin

105

-B)

which gives log tan i


8.9068875, agreeing with the value 8.9068876
derived directly from i.
Next, to find r and u. The date 1865 February 24.5 mean time
at Washington reduced to the meridian of Greenwich by applying
m
h
the difference of longitude, 5 S
1T.2, becomes 1865 February
24.714018 mean time at Greenwich.

The

interval, therefore,

from

the epoch for which the mean anomaly is given and the date for
which the geocentric place is required, is 420.714018 days; and multiplying the mean daily motion, 928".55745, by this number, and

adding the result to the given value of M, we get the mean anomaly
for the required place, or

M=
The

29' 40".21

eccentric

anomaly

+ 108

E is then

= 110

30' 57".14

37".35.

0'

computed by means of the equation

M=EesmE,
the value of

have log sin

<p

being expressed in seconds of arc. For Eurynome we


9.2907754, and hence the value of e exlog e

pressed in seconds is
log e

By means

of the equation (54)

namely,
.E

= 4.6052005.
we

derive an approximate value of E,

=119

49' 24",
2

the value of e2 expressed in seconds being log e

^ 3.895976;

with this we get

M=E
Q

e sin

E = 110

6'

50".

Then we have

M-M,
^ = r=7^ET
which

gives, for a second

= 110

'

7'

approximation to the value of E,

^ = 119
This gives Jf

372".7

'T097-

0' 36".98,

43'44".3.

and hence

and

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

106
Therefore,

we

have, for a third approximation to the value of E,

JE=119
which requires no further

43'44".64,

correction, since

it

satisfies

the equation

between J/and E.

To

find r

and

v,

we have

= l/a(l +
=
Vr cos-Jv l/a(l
1/r sin lv

The

values of the

equations are:

0.1468741

JT

The

E,

e) cos J-J.

members of

the second

= 0.2328104,
a'(^+~e)

these

and log V~a(l

--=

e)

and we obtain
v

Since

log

in

factors

first

/
l

e) sin

= 0.4282854.
= 129 50".52,
log r
= 197 37' 49".58, we have
u = v + nQ = 326 41' 40".10.
3'

heliocentric co-ordinates in reference to the equator as the fun-

damental plane are then derived from the equations


x

= r sin a sin {A

=r sin b
=r sin c

which
x

give, for

u),

-j-

sin

(B

-f-

u),

sin

( (7 -f-

u),

Eurynome,

2.6611270,

= + 0.3250277,

The American Nautical Almanac

= + 0.0119486.

gives, for the equatorial co-ordi-

1865 February 24.5 mean time at Washington,


the mean equinox and equator of the beginning of the

nates of the sun for


referred to
year,

X= -f 0.9094557,

Y=

Z=

0.3599298,

0.1561751.

Finally, the geocentric right ascension, declination, and distance are


given by the equations
tan a

= yy+Y

Z
+Z
= - +-sm
a = - --cos a
x
X
z

tan 5

y+Y

,
sm5'

form of the equation for tan d being used when sin a is


than
cos a.
greater
The value of J must always be positive; and d cannot exceed
90, the minus sign indicating south declination. Thus, we obtain
the

first

NUMEKICAL EXAMPLES.
a

= 181

To
24.5,

8'

29".29,

log J

42' 21".56,

0.2450054.

=s=

a and

to the true equinox and equator of February


the
Nautical Almanac,
from
have,

reduce

we

<5

107

/=-fl6".80,

log

</

= 1.0168,

= 45

16';

and, substituting these values in equations (110), the result

Aa

Hence the

= 181
When

to

A5

= _7".i7.

geocentric place, referred to the true equinox

of the date,
a

= + 17".42,

8'

is

and equator

is

46".71,

only a single place

4
is

log J == 0.2450054.

42' 28".73,

required,

it is

little

more expeditious

compute r from
r

a(l

E from

and then v

sin J

J)

(-y

cosJ),

= -y- sin

p sin E.

Thus, in the case of the required place of Eurynome, we get


log r

= 0.4282852,
v = 129

E= 9

v
3'

20' 5".92,

50".56,

agreeing with the values previously determined.


may be proved by means of the formula
sin

%(y

-{-

E)

= \~ cos \

The

calculation

E.

\<p sin

In the case of the values just found, we have


(v

= 124

while the second

log sin %(y

23' 47".60,

member

+ E) = 9.9165316,

of this equation gives

log sin %(y

+ E} = 9.9165316.

In the calculation of a single place,

it

is

also very little shorter to

the heliocentric longitude and latitude by means of the


compute
means
equations (82), then the geocentric latitude and longitude by
and
ascension
into
of (89) or (90), and finally convert these
right
first

declination
to be

by means of

computed,

it is

(92).

When

a large

often advantageous to

number of

compute

places are
the heliocentric

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

108

co-ordinates directly from the eccentric

anomaly by means of the

equations (105).

The

calculation of the geocentric place in reference to the ecliptic


which the equator is taken as the

in all respects, similar to that in

is,

fundamental plane, and does not require any further

illustration.

The determination of

the geocentric or heliocentric place in the


cases of parabolic and hyperbolic motion differs from the process
indicated in the preceding example only in the calculation of r and v.

To

illustrate the case

= 9.9650486;
logq
First,

in

we compute

from

C = 9.9601277,

which log

Then we

T=

of parabolic motion, let t


75.364 days;
let it be required to find r and v.

and

find

log

M from

and the

result is

m = 0.0125548.

M=m(t

T\

which gives
log

From

M we

this value of log

Finally, r

M= 1.8897187.

= 79

log r

55' 57".26.

= 0.1961120.

case of hyperbolic motion, let there be


given

65.41236 days;

= 0.6020600,

in

by means of Table VI.,

found from

is

which gives

For the

derive,

which log^

^ = 37

to find r

35' 0".0, or log e

and

v.

we compute J^from

= 9.6377843, and we obtain

logN= 8.7859356;
The value of

First,

= 0.1010188;

N= 0.06108514.

F must now be found from the equation

N=

el

tan

log tan (45

-f

T=

and log a

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
If we assume

F= 30, a

109

may be

.more approximate value

derived

from

which gives F,

= 28

40' 23", and hence N,

===

0.072678.

Then we

compute the correction to be applied to this value of F, by means of


the equation
~

wherein

= 206264".8; and the result


=
F, = 4.6097 (N

is

JV,) s

3'

43".0.

Hence, for a second approximation to the value of

we have

= 25 36' 40".0.
The corresponding value of N N, = 0.0617653, and hence
= 12'
*F, = 5.199 (N
= 25 24' 30
The third approximation, therefore, gives
F,

is

9".4.

JV,) s

JF ,

repeating the operation,

we

r/

.6,

and,

get

^=25

24'27".74.

which requires no further correction.


To find r, we have

which gives
log r

Then, v

is

= 0.2008544.

derived from

= cot ^ tan ^F,


v = 67

tan %v

and we find

3' 0".0.

When

several places are required,

is

it

convenient to compute v

and r by means of the equations

VcosF
'

Vr cos ^v =

'i

\ v
-;-=

J. ;
-

VcosF

COS

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

110

For the given values of a and e we have log V a(e


7
== 0.0100829, and hence we derive
Iogl a(e
1)
v

2'

6.7

= 0.4782649,

= 0.2008545.

log r

59".92,

-f 1)

It remains yet to illustrate the calculation of v and r for elliptic


orbits in which the eccentricity differs but little from

and hyperbolic
e

T= 68.25 days;
= 9.7668134. We compute M from

First, in the case of elliptic motion, let

unity.

= 0.9675212;

and log q

_-H

__

qr

wherein log

= 9.9601277, which gives

log

With

this as

argument we

M= 2.1404550.
from Table VI.,

get,

F= 101
and then with

this value of

F as

= log ^"1

log

argument we

from Table IX.,

s>

i -f- e

v = F-f A (lOOt) +

we

find,

= 9".506,
C= 0".062.
-=
8.217680, and from the equation

A = 1540".08,
Then we have

38' 3".74,

(100i)

C(1000

8
,

get

v= F+ 42'
The value

of r

is

22".28

+ 25".90

-f-

0".28

= 102

20' 52".20.

then found from

r=:
1

namely,
log r

We
first

may

also determine r

compute M from

-(-

cos

v'

= 0.1614051.

and v by means of Table X.

Thus, we

Assuming

jB

1,

we

get log

M= 2.13757, and, entering Table VI.

with this as argument, we find


from

w=

101

25 r

Then we compute

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

0.024985.
which gives A
Table
X.,
find, from

With

exact value of

is

this value of

as

argument, we

= 0.0000047.

log

The

Ill

then found to be
log

M= 2.1375635,

which, by means of Table VI., gives

w=

By means

of this

we

101

24' 36".26.

derive

A = 0.02497944,
and hence, from Table X.,
log

G =0.0043771.

Then we have

G tan ^w \

tan ^v

which gives
v

= 102

-<
,

20' 52".20,

agreeing exactly with the value already found.

from which we get


log r

Finally, r

is

given by

= 0.1614052.

T is negative ; but the


Before the time of perihelion passage, t
value of v is computed as if this were positive, and is then considered
as negative.

In the case of hyperbolic motion, i is negative, and, with this distinction, the process when Table IX. is used is precisely the same
as for elliptic

motion; but when table X.

is

used, the value of

must be found from

and that of r from


f

the values of log


table

B and

which belong

AC
log

cos*|v'

being taken from the columns of the

to hyperbolic motion.

In the calculation of the position of a comet in space,

if the

motion

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

112

retrograde and the inclination

is

is

tinctions indicated in the formulae

When we

42.

regarded as

less

than

90,

the dis-

must be carefully noted.

have thus computed the places of a planet or comet

we may

readily interpolate the places


The
for intermediate dates by the usual formulae for interpolation.
is
made
interval between the dates for which the direct computation
for a series of dates equidistant,

should also be small enough to permit us to neglect the effect of the


fourth differences in the process of interpolation.
This, however, is
not absolutely necessary, provided that a very extended series of
of differences may
places is to be computed, so that the higher orders
be taken into account. To find a convenient formula for this inter-

any date, or argument of the function, by


and
the
nct)j
corresponding value of the co-ordinate, or of the
the interpolation is to be made, by / (a
for
which
function,
no)).
If we have computed the values of the function for the dates, or
to, a -f- 2co, &c., we may assume that an
<o, a, a
arguments, a
function
for
the
which exactly satisfies these values will
expression
polation, let us denote

'-{-

also give the exact values corresponding to any intermediate value


If we regard n as variable, we may expand the
of the argument.

function into the series

f(a -h

and

if

we

(116)

and

2,

2oi)

=/(a)

/ (a + (n
by f (a + na>)

|)

may

+ n<o) f(a -{-(n


+
+
/
i)
f (a + (n

generally, the difference f(a


the difference
a>),
(a
(n

and similarly
Function.

f( a

w)

f(a)

i.+ -

/(
/(a

2 a>

III. Diff.

+2

+ 2a)

1) to)
1)

I. Diff.

/O-20
+
{J
/ (a +
a

.-)

a>)

a)

for the successive orders of differences,

be arranged as follows

Argument.
<o

II. Diff.

+B -C A _ +c
=fW + A +B +C
=f(a)-A

we symbolize,

A, B, and C. If we put n successively equal


and then take the successive differences of these

get

by

On* -f &c.

I. Diff.

_w

/(
/(a -f

these

coefficients

1, 0, 1,

values,

If

+ An -f Bn +

regard the fourth differences as vanishing, it is only neces3


consider terms involving n in the determination of the

unknown

/(a

=/(a)

we

sary to
to

no>)

W
^

II. Diff.

III. Diff.

r(a)
/'(

+ *)

/'"(*

INTERPOLATION.

Comparing these expressions

113

for the differences

with the above,

we

get

c=tr(+i-),
- if (a) --B=if(),
A=f(a +
If' (a + -,
-

which, from the manner in which the differences are formed, give

C=

J.

To
a

=/(a +

(/" (a

_/(

_-/"

( a)

-i/-

^-

),

>)

J (/" ( a

/"
)

(a),

_/" ( a) ).

find the value of the function corresponding to the

-f-

|w,

we have n

/(a

^,

>)

=/(a)

Substituting in this the values of

ducing,

f(a

we

argument

and, from (116),

14

+ iJJ + a

J., j5,

and

(7,

last

found, and re-

get

+ /()) ~ I (J (/"

+ i0 = i (/( +

+ /" to)),

in which only fourth differences are neglected, and, since the place
of the argument for n
is arbitrary, we have, therefore,
generally,

- j a (r

-t> + 1)

Hence, to interpolate the value of the function corresponding to a


midway between two dates, or values of the argument, for which
the values are known, we take the arithmetical mean of these two
date

known

values,

metical

mean of the second

and from

horizontal line as the

this

we

subtract one-eighth of the arithwhich are found on the same

differences

two given values of the function.

By extending the analytical process here indicated so as to include


the fourth and fifth differences, the additional term to be added to
equation (117)

is

found to be

and the correction corresponding to

this being applied, only sixth

differences will be neglected.


It is customary in the case of the comets

which do not move too

rapidly, to adopt an interval of four days, and in the case of the


asteroid planets, either four or eight days, between the dates for which
the direct calculation is made. Then, by interpolating, in the case of
CD, equal to four days, for the intermediate dates, we
obtain a series of places at intervals of two days ; and, finally, inter-

an interval

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

114

we derive the places at


polating for the dates intermediate to these,
When a series of places has been computed,
intervals of one day.
the use of differences will serve as a check upon the accuracy of the
the place which is not
calculation, and will serve to detect at once
when any discrepancy is apparent. The greatest discordance
shown in the differences on the same horizontal line as the
erroneous value of the function and the discordance will be greater
and greater as we proceed successively to take higher orders of difIn order to provide against the contingency of systematic
ferences.
correct,

will be

error, duplicate calculation

which such an error

is

should be made of those quantities in

likely to occur.

The ephemerides of

the planets, to be used for the comparison of


are
observations,
usually computed for a period of a few weeks before
and after the time of opposition to the sun ; and the time of the
opposition may be found in advance of the calculation of the entire
ephemeris. Thus, we find first the date for which the mean longitude
of the planet is equal to the longitude of the sun increased by 180 ;

then we compute the equation of the centre at this time by means of


the equation (53), using, in most cases, only the first term of the
development, or
v
2esin M,

being expressed in seconds. Next, regarding this value as conwe find the date for which

stant,

L
is

-j-

equation of the centre

equal to the longitude of the sun increased by 180 ; and for this
and also for another at an interval of a few days, we compute

date,
Uj

and hence the heliocentric longitudes by means of the equation


tan

(I

& ) = tan u cos

i.

Let these longitudes be denoted by I and /', the times to which they
correspond by t and t and the longitudes of the sun for the same
times by O and O ' then for the time tw for which the heliocentric
longitudes of the planet and the earth are the same, we have
f

or

the

(113)

first

of these equations being used

when

180

is less

TIME OF OPPOSITION.
than V

180

O'.

If the time

115

differs considerably

from

or

be necessary, in order to obtain an accurate result, to repeat


the latter part of the calculation, using tQ for t, and taking t r at a
t',

it

may

small interval from this, and so that the true time of opposition shall
f
The longitudes of the planet and of the sun
fall between t and t
.

must be measured from the same equinox.

When

the eccentricity is considerable, it will facilitate the calculatwo terms of equation (53) in finding the equation of the

tion to use

centre, and, if e is expressed in seconds, this gives

M= 2e

sin if

+ 4-

ez

sin

2M,

being the number of seconds corresponding to a length of arc equal


206264".8 ; and the value of v
will then be

to the radius, or

In all cases in which circular arcs are


expressed in seconds of arc.
involved in an equation, great care must be taken, in the numerical
application, in reference to the homogeneity of the different terms.
If the arcs are expressed by an abstract number, or by the length of
arc expressed in parts of the radius taken as the unit, to express them
in seconds

we must multiply by

arcs are expressed in seconds, each

number 206264.8 but if the


term of the equation must contain

the

'

only one concrete factor, the other concrete factors, if there be any,
being reduced to abstract numbers by dividing each by s the number
of seconds in an arc equal to the radius.
43. It is unnecessary to illustrate further the numerical application
of .the various formulae which have been derived, since by reference
to the formulae themselves the course of procedure is obvious.
It

be remarked, however, that in many cases in which auxiliary


angles have been introduced so as to render the equations convenient

may

for logarithmic calculation,

by the use of

tables

which determine the

logarithms of the sum or difference of two numbers


rithms of these numbers are given, the calculation

and

is

often even

when
is

the loga-

abbreviated,

more accurately performed than by the aid of the

auxiliary angles.

The logarithm of the sum of two numbers may be found by means


of the tables of common logarithms.
Thus, we have

If

we put
log tan x

= ^ (log b

log a),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

116

we

have

shall

log (a

-f-

log (a

-f-

= log a
6) = log

6)

or

The

first

form

is

form when cos x

used

when

is less

cos

2 log cos

x,

2 log sin

x.

greater than sin x,

is

and the second

than sin x.

It should also be observed that in the solution of equations of the


after tan (X
form of
using the notation of this particular
)
(89),

has been found by dividing the second equation by the first,


the second members of these equations being divided by cos (X
0)
two values of A cos /9, which should
and sin (X
), respectively, give
case

agree within the limits of the unavoidable errors of the logarithmic


;
but, in order that the errors of these tables shall have the

tables

least influence, the

ferred

when

value derived from the

cos (A

is

greater than sin

from the second equation when cos

The value

first

(A

O)

(A

equation
),

be derived from J cos /9 when

is

/9

less

to be pre-

than sin

is less

of J, if the greatest accuracy possible

is

and that derived

is

45, and from A

than

0).

(A

required, should
sin

ft

greater than 45.


In the application of numbers to equations (109), when the values
of the second members have been computed, we first, by division,

when

is
/3

find tanJ(&'H-fl>

and tan

greater than cosJ(&'-[-

but

if sin |

(&'

o>

<w

),

* s ^ ess

('

we

fl>

find

); then, if

sin|(&'-f w

cos^ from the

tnan cos J(&'

+w

o)>

first

we ^ nc^

is

equation;

cos

Ji'

from

the second equation. The same principle is applied in finding sin


by means of the third and fourth equations. Finally, from sin

\%'

and cos \V we get tan \V ^ and hence i'. The check obtained by the
r
f
agreement of the values of sin \i and cos %i with those computed
f
f
from the value of i derived from tan \i , does not absolutely prove
the calculation. This proof, however, may be obtained by means of
,

the equation
sin

i'

sin

&'

sin

i'

sin

or by

= sin
= sin

i sin

&

e sin

&

In all cases, care should be taken in determining the quadrant in


which the angles sought are situated, the criteria for which are fixed
either

by the nature of the problem

directly, or

by the

relation of the

algebraic signs of the trigonometrical functions involved.

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

CHAPTER

117

II.

INVESTIGATION OF THE DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE WHICH EXPRESS THE RELATION


BETWEEN THE GEOCENTRIC OR HELIOCENTRIC PLACES OF A HEAVENLY BODY
AND THE VARIATION OF THE ELEMENTS OF ITS ORBIT.

IN many

44.

it

calculations relating to the motion of a heavenly


becomes necessary to determine the variations which small

body,
increments applied to the values of the elements of its orbit will produce in its geocentric or heliocentric place. The form, however, in

which the problem most frequently presents itself is that in which


approximate elements are to be corrected by means of the differences
between the places derived from computation and those derived from

In this case it is required to find the variations of the


elements such that they will cause the differences between calculation
and observation to vanish ; and, since there are six elements, it follows
that six separate equations, involving the variations of the elements
observation.

unknown

must be formed. Each longitude or right


from observation,
will furnish one equation
and hence at least three complete observations will be required for the solution of the problem.
When more
than three observations are employed, and the number of equations
as the

quantities,

ascension, and each

latitude or declination, derived


;

exceeds the
tion

number of unknown

quantities, the equations of condito six final equations, from

which are obtained must be reduced

which, by elimination, the corrections to be applied to the elements


may be determined.
If

we suppose the

corrections

which must be applied to the

ele-

ments, in order to satisfy the data furnished by observation, to be so


small that their squares and higher powers may be neglected, the
variations of those elements

which involve angular measure being

expressed in parts of the radius as unity, the relations sought

may

be determined by differentiating the various formulae which determine


the position of the body.
Thus, if we represent by 6 any co-ordinate of the place of the body computed from the assumed elements
of the orbit, we shall have, in the case of an elliptic orbit,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

118

M being the mean anomaly


Q

at the

Let

epoch T.

6'

denote the value

of this co-ordinate as derived directly or indirectly from observation ;


then, if we represent the variations of the elements by ATT, A&, A^,
&c., and if we suppose these variations to be so small that their
squares and higher powers may be neglected, we shall have
do

do

do

A3fo

dM

de

+ -j- *r-

(1)

The

differential coefficients

-=

-=

dj:

d&

-,

&c. must

now be

the equations which determine the place of the body


ments are known.

derived from

when

the ele-

We

shall first take the equator as the plane to which the positions
of the body are referred, and find the differential coefficients of the
geocentric right ascension and declination with respect to the elements

of the

orbit, these

damental plane.

body in

elements being referred to the ecliptic as the funx, y, z be the heliocentric co-ordinates of the

Let

reference to the equator,

and we have

or
,

dO

dd
= -=dx 4r -y- dy
y
dx
=

dO
-4*

dy

-=- dz
dz

Hence we obtain
dO

dd_

dO_

'

dx

and similarly

dy

dy
dx

dO_

dz

dz
'

dn

(2)

for the differential coefficients of 6

with respect to the


find
the
must, therefore,
partial differential coefficients of d with respect to x, y, and z, and then the
partial differenother elements.

tial coefficients

We

of these co-ordinates with respect to the elements. In


we put 6
a, and in the case of the

the case of the right ascension


declination we put 6
3.

45. If

we

differentiate the equations

-f-

y -f
z -J-

regarding X, Y, and

Z as

X==

A COS

d COS a,

Y= A cos d sin
Z = A sin

constant,

d,

we

find

a,

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

= cos a cos
dy = sin a cos
dz = sin d d A

dx

From

dA
dA

d
d

-\-

d dd.

by elimination, we obtain

these equations,

= --sin a dx

cos a sin
= --A

-\

---aA- dy
sin d

sin

dx

COS a
-dy,
,

da

cos d

dd

A cos a sin 8 dd,


A sin a sin d dd,

A sin a cos d da
A cos a cos d da,

A cos

-\-

119

cos 8

dx

sin a
= -7.
A

da

cosa

da
r~

/j

a and

d with respect

cos a sin
= --A

eZfl

-j

'

az.

-f-

Therefore, the partial differential coefficients of


to the heliocentric co-ordinates are

cos o

(3)

dx
dd

>

sinasind

..

Next, to find the partial differential coefficients of the co-ordinates


Xy y, z with respect to the elements, if we differentiate the equations
sin c, A, B, C, are functions of &
(100)!, observing that sin a, sin 6,
y

and

iy

we

get

dx

dr

x cot ( A

-{-

u) du

-{-

~r=55

-{-

dQ

-j-

^^

+ -p- ^'

ft

7*

-^
Ml'

c?i,

co

c?2

To

--

dr

-j-

2 cot (

find the expressions for

C -f- w)

-=

du

+ TQ

&c.,
ft^
d 66 -p,
,

we have

the equations

a;

rr=

r cos

it

cos S7

y = r cos w sin
= r cos u sin
2

which give, by
dx
-7

f sin

it

S^ cos e

-{-

&7 sin e

-f-

sin

w
sin w
s in

cos

i,

cos S7 cos

cos e

r sin u sin

sin

e,

cos

sin

e -j-

r sin

cos

e,

r sin

&

cos

cos

it

sin

differentiation,

r cos

sin

cos

t,

rtS7
7

$-

= r cos u cos &

cos

r sin it sin

&

cos

cos

e,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

120
dz
-

d&
dx

= r cos u cos &

......
&

sm u

= r sm w sm & sin

*,

r sin

cos

&

sin

cos

r sin it cos

&

sin

sin e

-=r-

sin e

cos

sin

sin

e,

cfi>

dy-

i*

at
rv
CM

The

first

dx

and

since

=
=

sin

it

cos i

sm e,

cos

cos

e.

&

dz

sin

&
cos &

^^zsme;

^-^ajcose,

cos

cos c

dx

r sin

-f-

dy

2 sine,

yeoss

cos 6

-jr
cfo

sm w

three of these equations immediately reduce to

cos a

we

K,

(5)

i,

sin i cos

sin

sin e

-j-

cos i sin

e,

cos

e,

cos

have, also,

= r sm u cos

dy =
-r sm w cos o,

Further,

c.

di

we have
du

and hence,

dQ

dv-\-dn

finally,

= - dr + x cot
3T

dx
-f- (

= r sm u cos

dz
-JT-

c?i

* cot (A-{-u)
y
(

?2

-f

(5

= - dr +
2 cot ( (7

y cos

= -dr-\-y cot
y cot

(J.

) cfo

2!

c?v

+ w + x cos

e)

-f-

cot (A

-f

2/

c?^

2 cot (

C -f w) dv + 2

-f M)

-j- a;

These equations give,

d&

sin e)

w)

(-B

sin e)

d&

-f-

cot

(B

+ w)
r sin

it

cos a

+w ^

-\-rsmu
cot

G?TT

di,'

,
fi

cos 6 di,

C -f- w) d;r

+ r sin w cos c

for the partial differential coefficients of the


heliocentric co-ordinates with respect to the elements,

dx

dx

=
dz

dz

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

-T^

tt&6

x cot (A+u)y cose

-y

da?
-yr-

= r sin w cos

dx_

dy
dr

When

z cot ( (7

+ u) +
cos

ai

dz

dr

the direct inclination

is

greater than

90,

= r sin w cos
.

-yr-

e,

cfe

0,

_y

c; (7)

z
r'

if

we

introduce the

we have

distinction of retrograde motion,

du

sin

i*

ai

_x

dr

"d6

a,

y cot (B+u)+x cos

-^-=

z sine,

<fy
-= r sin

ai

121

= dv

dn

d&,

-\-

and hence
dx

dx
==-w

dx

-T^=^dv-- vcose
d^
dx

mi

Ine expressions

dy
T^r

zsme.
dx

-7)

lor

dr

dy

d&

_.
dy

dy
= ~T+ x cos
dv

dy
T
r~ ^nd
dr

'

dz
~-

dr

e,

-===

dz

dz

rf^

^v

111

remain unchanged: and we

have, also,

dx
rr

It

is

dy

rsmitcosa,

di

ST-

rsmwcoso.

dz

-?v

,^

rsinwcosc.

(9)

di

di

advisable, in order to avoid the use of two sets of formulae, in


motion as direct and the inclination as susceptible

part, to regard the

of any value from

180.
we take

to

If the elements which are given are

the supplement of i instead of i; and


if we designate the longitude of the perihelion, when the motion is
considered as being retrograde, by (TT), we shall have
for retrograde motion,

If

we

introduce, as one of the elements of the orbit, the distance

of the perihelion from the ascending node,

du

= dv

we have

-{- da>,

and, hence,

dx

dx

-^
dot

-jdv

= x cot /A
(A +1*),
.

dy
-/da)

dy = cot
= -/(B 4- u),
y
dv
,

,,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

122

The

values of

>

and

must, in this case, be found by means

of the equations (5).


By means of these expressions for the differential coefficients of the
co-ordinates x, y, z, with respect to the various elements, and those

given by

(4),

we may

derive the differential coefficients of the geo-

centric right ascension and declination with respect to the elements


&, i, and TT or o>, and also with respect to r and v t by writing sucin place of x in the
cessively a and d in place of 6, and &, i, &c.,

equation

(2).

The

and v, however, are functions of the


we have
//; and

quantities r

remaining elements

<p t

dr
,

dv

and

dr j
= -T-

dtp

= -jdv

dr

^r

dv

,,,

~dr

-\

J1 r dM
dM

dtp -f-

d(p

r-

dv
-f -=

dfj..

dfj.

Therefore, the partial differential coefficients of x, with respect to


the elements <p,
w and /^, are

dx

_ dx
dr

d<p

dx

dM

dx
~~
== ~j~
dr

dx

dx

dfj.

dr

dr

dx

dv

d<f>

dv

dy

dx

dv

dv

dM

dr

dx

dv

dfj,

dv

dfj.

dr
'

'

dM

~JT/f

The expressions for the partial differential coefficients in the case of


the co-ordinates y and z are of precisely the same form, and are obtained by writing, successively, y and z in place of x.
The values of
dx

dx
>

dr

r-

dv

when

dy
dr

~->

dy
r->
dv

dz
r->

dz

and

dr

dv
dr

the expressions lor

dv
,

d<p

-7
d<p

dr
>

by the equations

are given

dr

dv

dM dM
>

,
,

d'j.

and

dv
-7

/m
(7),

and

have been

dfj.

found, the partial differential coefficients of the heli<x?entric co-ordinates with respect to the elements <p,
and p. will be completely
Q

determined, and hence, by means of (2), making the necessary


changes, the differential coefficients of a and d with respect to these
elements.
46. If

we

differentiate the equation

M=E

esmE,

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.
we

123

have

shall

dM= dE(l

e cos

E=a

cos

E)

But. since 1

e cos

-,

<p

sin

smE=-Ta sin

and cos <p

d<p.

v,

this reduces to

fV

/Y>

dM= -a dE

- sin v dy,

or

dE = - dM 4T

sin v dy.

If we take the logarithms of both members of the equation


tan v

and

differentiate,

we

-f

y),

find

dE

dv
2 sin

tan ji;tan (45

v cos

2 sin

-\v

dy

E cos %E

'

2 sin (45

y) cos (45

-f

-f

JpJ

which reduces to

snv

snv

smE

cosy

Introducing into this equation the value of dE, already found, and
._. ,

sm E by
J

replacing

-r sin v

we

sin v
= ---cos y dM -a?

cZv

get

a cosy
,

i*

cos?>\
(Y\

But

since

a cos2 <p
^ __

=p, and c s

^
r2

-\

--

a cos 2 y
r

\-l\cUp.
I

= 1 -f sin ^ cosv, this becomes

dM -f

--

\cos^

h tan V cos f

sin v dy.

(12)

If we differentiate the equation


r

we

shall

=a

(1

ecos E),

have
M

dr

and substituting

- da-\- ae sin
a
for

dE

its

E dE

a cos y cos

value in terms of

E dy

dM and d<p, the result

is

= a- da
7*

dr

-f-

a tan ^ sin v

dM + (e sin

sin v

a cos p cos !) d?>.

(13)

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

124
[Now, since sin

E= 1

>

-j-

and cos

e cos v

E= 1cosv-\-e
cos v
-r,

H-

sin v
---cos1
E = ae1 cos e cos
v
2

<P

a cos ? cos

ae sin J? sin v

,,

have

shall

--

<p

-j-

which reduces

we

(cos v

-f-

-f-

e)

e cos v

to

ae sin

Esmv

a cos

cos 17

<p

a cos p cos v

Hence, the expression for dr becomes


dr

Further,

T being

= a- da

we have

a cos

a tan ^ sin v (ZJf

-f-

M=M +

the epoch for which the

cos v

<f>

(14)

c?^.

.(t-T-),

fJ

mean anomaly

Jf and

is

+m
-JT

Jfel/1
=

"

we

Differentiating these expressions,

get

dM=
da

substituting these values in the expressions for dr

(2r\

have, finally,

a tan

<p

sin v

T)

(t

and

we

dv,

dp

op. J

a cos

av

a2 cos
;

rl

<p

, ,

aMQ H

a2 cos
;

r*

<p

<f>

_..

cos v
,

dr
-7

(<

-4-

'

'

tan CP cos v

\cos^

we

\
}

sin

-y

av.

obtain the following values

a cos y cos -y,

= a tan P sin

) a/* -+-

From these equations for dr and (?v


of the partial differential coefficients

(15)

d(f> f

- T) - ^ 206264.8

dv
-

=l

*=

j-

tan <p cosv Ism v,

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.
It will be observed that in the last

125

term of the expression

we

for
d(JL

have supposed
factor 206264.8

/JL

is

to be expressed in seconds of arc, and hence the


introduced in order to render the equation homo-

geneous.
47.

The

formulae already derived are sufficient to find the varia-

tions of the right ascension and declination corresponding to the


variations of the elements in the case of the elliptic orbit of a

planet;

but in the case of ellipses of great eccentricity, and also in the cases
of parabolic and hyperbolic motion, these formulae for the differential
coefficients

some modification, which we now proceed

require

to

develop.
First, then, in the case of parabolic motion,

of

M and n we
Q

shall introduce the elements

coefficients relating to

;r,

&, and

sin^

T and

1,
g,

and instead

the differential

remaining unchanged from their

form as already derived.


If we differentiate the equation

= 2* (tan fr + i tan' J),


regarding T,

and v

q,

as variable,

kt

kdT

2
or, since r

=q

we

shall

have

T)

sec Jw,

kdT

Jc(t

Multiplying through by ~-j and reducing,

we

get

(17)

Instead of

g,

we may

use log*?, and the equation will, therefore,

become
.

log

in

which

is

q,

the modulus of the system of logarithms.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

126

If we take the logarithms of both members of the equation

r= cosInn
Iv
2

and

we

differentiate,

find

-dq-{-r tan %o

dv.

Introducing into this equation the value of dv from (17),

we

get

Jv,

we have

nfr

_
Now,

since

3k

= q (tan \v

V 2q

T)' tan iv
-

(t

-\-

^tan

= -1 (1 + tan

Jt?),

= r cos

and q

sm 2 %o

3 sin 2 %o

tan 2 Jv)

cosjy

We also

have

tan ^v

Therefore, equation (19) reduces to


T.

If

we

introduce

d log g

instead of dq, this equation becomes

V 2q
From

the equations (17), (18), (20), and (21),

dr

Jcsinv

V~Zq

=C

SV

Tq

_
_dr_ ~~

/r..

(21)

we

kl/ 2q
r2

dv

~dq

dv

derive

dv

>

q cos v

"dT

d*T

dr

(20)

'

3k(tF)
^75=^
3&

(t

T)

'

and then we have, for the


T and q or log q,

dlogq~
differential coefficients of

x with respect

to

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULA.
dx

_ dx

dx

dr

dT~~dr~'dT +

dx

dv

~dv~'dT'

dx

dr

dx

dr

dv

'dr'"d^^~~dv"df

~d^

dx

dx

_ dx
=

127

dv
'

d log q

and similarly
efficients

d log q

dv

d log q

y and z with respect


for
the
expressions
partial differential co-

for the differential coefficients of

to these elements.

same

dr

The

of x, y, and

z,

respectively, with respect to r

and v are the

We

found in the case of

shall thus
elliptic motion.
obtain the equations which express the relation between the variations
of the geocentric places of a comet and the variation of the parabolic

as already

elements of

its

orbit,

and which may be employed

either to correct

the approximate elements by means of equations of condition furnished by comparison of the computed place with the observed place,
or to determine the change in the geocentric right ascension and
declination corresponding to given increments assigned to the ele-

ments.
48.

and

We may

the case of an elliptic orbit, introduce I , q,


instead of the elements <p,
w and //. If we differentiate the
also, in

expression
q

we

shall

= a (1
= a- dq
,

da

We
in

have, also,

which

e),

have

T is

a2

de.

-f-

M= kVT+^n, a-t

T),

(t

the time of perihelion passage, and

dM =

fcl/l

+ w a~f dT

f M/l

-f-

m a~f (t

T)

da.

Hence we derive

Substituting this value of

and reducing, we get

dM

in equation (12), replacing sin

<p

by

ey

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

128

In a similar manner, by substituting the values of da and


equation (14), and reducing, we find

= ---^-

dr

Vp

Ir
-f
\q
.

--

T)

1/2

2
\f~
^1 +

\,

esmv]dq
/

L^e.
These equations, (23) and

(24)

(24), will furnish the expressions for the

dv dv
jvo*
-Li
j*j
partial differential coefficients -r^.,
j.'

in

m
dT

e sin v

,l+m(*
7-Aj

dM

dT

dr

dv

dr

-7-, -7^, -z-,

dT

de

and

dr
-r-,

, .

which are

de

dq
dq
required in finding the differential coefficients of the heliocentric coordinates with respect to the elements T, q, and e, these quantities

being substituted for


49.

and

H,

When
<p,

Mw

the orbit

/*,

q,

<p,

respectively, in the equations (11).

a hyperbola,

is

the elements

and

we

introduce, in place of

Mw

and

If we differentiate the equation

N=
we

shall

which

is

tan

loge tan (45

cos

cos

+ F\

have

easily transformed into


,

dF

,T
Q

cos

_,

tan &

cos

or

dF

Let us now take the logarithms of both members of the equation


tan -IF

and

differentiate,

and we
,

dv

shall

= tan ^v tan

*,

have

= sm v sindFF= --sm

sin-y

4/

Introducing into this equation the value of


get

cos^

already found,

we

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAS.
But, since r sin v

129

= a tan ^ tan F, and p = a tan

^, this reduces to

(25)

If

we

we

differentiate the equation

get
j
dr

&F
j
= r-a da
+ ae tan _F smF=

ET

tan 4
.

-^

cosF

Substituting in this equation the value of

which

=-,

d&.

cos

we

obtain

cosJP

easily reduced to

is

dr

sinv
j
= ar-da-}a
sm

p- I

dN

Q -j-

'

cos

ae

F^

cos

ae

Fn

-4-

\
I

d^
-^-.
*

sin

But, since
cos

cos

cos

this reduces to
,

rfr

= r-a da
,

a sin v

-\

dN
7

or
,

dr

Q -\-

-.

sm 4/

- dN

s'mv
= ra- da -f a sin
,

/
I

cos

,r

1
e

cosv

-4-

pr

d*

sin 4/

d*.

(26)

4,

Now,

since q

= a(e

1),
,

rrz

df^

we have
a tan

+-

q
I

cZa

4/

d*

cos-4/

or
,

We

a
at T/o
--= -dq
d^.
,

da

qcos^

have, also,

N = ka-$(t-T),
a

and hence
d-ZV

By

far

substituting the value of

dT
c?a,

jferf (<

this

becomes

ag cos

-4*

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

130

Substituting this value of


obtain

dN

in equation (25),

and reducing, we

qr

In a similar manner, substituting in equation (26) the values of


da and dN , and reducing, we get
dr

=
Vp

The

cos 4

equations (27) and (28) will furnish the expressions for the
and v with respect to the elements

partial differential coefficients of r

T, g, and ^, required in forming the equations for cos d da and dd.


It will be observed that these equations are analogous to the equations (23) and (24), and that by introducing the relation between e

and neglecting the mass, they become identical with them.


might, indeed, have derived the equations (27) and (28) directly
from (23) and (24) by substituting for e its value in terms of ^; but
the differential formula which have resulted in deriving them directly

and

oj/,

We

from the equations

for hyperbolic motion, will not be superfluous.

50. It is evident,
(24), (27),

and

(28)

from an inspection of the terms of equations (23),


which contain de and d^>, that when the value of

very nearly equal to unity, the coefficients for these differentials


become indeterminate. It becomes necessary, therefore, to develop
e is

the corresponding expressions for the case in which these equations


are insufficient.
For this purpose, let us resume the equation
-

in

T)

(1

which u

+ 6)1

= tan

Jw,

and

= JI _ Q
-(-

we

shall

have

Then, since

DIFFERENTIAL FOKMTJXJE.

+ (Aw - /2 u + 2X)

If

it

is

(1

*)

131

+ Ac.

(29)

required to find the expression for -7- in the case of the

variation of the elements of parabolic motion, or when 1


e as constant,
we may regard the coefficient of 1

small,

e is

very

and neglect

terms multiplied by the square and higher powers of 1


e.
By
the
to
these
equation (29) according
conditions, and
differentiating
regarding

u and

e as variable,

= (1 + w
and, since

du

= J(l + u

2
)

dv

we

get

>

>

du

(\u

dv, this gives

_
~

lu*

de

(1

lu*

+ u^

The values of the second member, corresponding


of
is

v,

may

de;

to different values

be tabulated with the argument v; but a table of this kind

by no means indispensable, since the expression

for -7-

may be

changed to another form which furnishes a direct solution with the


same facility. Thus, by division, we have

de~
and

since, in the case

of parabolic motion,

-'=9* d

T^r="+^'
this

becomes
(31)

If

we

differentiate the equation

1 -fecosv'

regarding

r, v,

and

e as variables,

we

shall

have

dr
2

e)~

g (1

+ e)

'

~de

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

132

In the

case of parabolic motion, e

l,

and

this equation is easily

transformed into
(33)

Substituting for -=CtC

we

value from (31), and reducing,

its

get

= 2 n * ~ r) sin , + Ty tan*
(<

%The

(34)

Jt>.

2q

equations (31) and (34) furnish the values of

and

to be

de
de
used in forming the expressions for the variation of the place of the
body when the parabolic eccentricity is changed to the value 1 -j- de.

When

the eccentricity to which the increment

from unity, we

little

may compute

A still

equation (30).

is

assigned differs but


-

the value of

closer approximation

directly

from

would be obtained by
di)

using an additional term of (29) in finding the expression for

but

a more convenient formula


is

may be derived, of which the numerical


the
use of Table IX.
Thus, if we differby

facilitated

application
entiate the equation

v=V+A (1000 + B (lOOi) + O(100i)


2

regarding the coefficients A, B, and


the value of i in terms of e, we have

dv__d_V
de
in

which

de
s

200^
s(l

4005

s7T+

e)>

(7 as constant,

8
,

and introducing

6000

(l+e)'

e)

206264.8, the values of A, B, and C, as derived from

the table, being expressed in seconds.

To

find

dV

we have

O/G

which

gives,

by

differentiation,

k(t

and

T)

de

dV

we

introduce the expression for the value of


used as the
means
of
Table
the
is
result
argument
by
VI.,
if

in finding

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

133

dV
"

de

Hence we have

20(U

s(l

600C

_4005

+ e)^

s(l

e)*

by means of which the value of do

^T+ej*

)}

readily found.

is

When the eccentricity differs so much from that of the parabola


that the terms of the last equation are not sufficiently convergent,
dv
the expression for

which will furnish the required accuracy, may

be derived from the equations (75) 1 and


first of these equations wifch respect to
regarded as constant,

we

we

we

To

may

_9

IV A
members of equation

dw
dC
C """sinw

(1

+ e) (1 + 9)'

with respect to

take
1

~*~-1
which gives

The equation

gives

50

,^

(1

-f-

^ tan

2 i

-Aw ae -f

9e)

- -w

tan

cos

and hence we obtain

dC
O

2002

-77

7T(1

+ Oe)
7T

tan 2

sin

Substituting this value in equation (37),

dv

_ ~

de~

(76) w

and

4de

find the differential coefficient of

j A
dA

evidently be

get

dv

sufficient to

since

e,

get

take the logarithms of both

differentiate,

If we differentiate the

(76)j.

20 C

2
2 1

2S1

we

get

"'"
^

sin v

^w

r-:
2

^w

(37)
e} it will

be

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

134

and

substituting, finally, the value of

-y-,

C smv
2

we

obtain

20 O a

cos'JUfl

S1

~
(1

sin?;

+ e) (1 + 9e)'

which, by means of (76) 1? reduces to


cos 2 |w

Stanjv
'

'

which is used as the argument in


If we introduce the quantity
this equation becomes
w
Table
means
of
VI.,
finding
by

9e)75tan>

(1

-f-

e) (1

+ 9e>'

This equation remains unchanged in the case of hyperbolic motion,


the value of C being taken from the column of the table which cord^o

responds to this
all cases in

and

case-:

it

will furnish the correct value of

-7-

in

ae

which the

term of equation (23)

last

is

not conveniently

d/T

applicable.

The value of

is

a/ c>

When
jg

1,

the eccentricity differs very

and
tan
cos

Then we

shall

Jii>

= tan Jv y

w = JO

cos

little

\^

^^

sin v

(\

v.

2k(tT)
= --=; cos

equation
?

= (1 + A C

cos 2

= (1 -f iJL)

cos* Jw,

gives

= (1 + P)

cos*

Jw

(32).

from unity, we may put

have

75 tan %

The

then given by the equation

= Ccos

Hence we derive
I

'\

iw.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
If we substitute this value in equation

we

135

and put

(39),

(1

+ = 2,
e)

get
_

de

and when

2(l-i-9e)"

We

EXAMPLES.

51.

the formula

(1

+ e) (1 + 9e)'

becomes identical with equation

1, this

r2

now

will

(31).

by numerical examples,

illustrate,

for the calculation of the variations of the geocentric

right ascension and declination arising from small increments assigned


Let it be required to find for the date 1865 Febto the elements.

ruary 24.5 mean time at Washington, the differential coefficients of


the right ascension and declination of the planet Eurynome
with

and

respect to the elements of its orbit, using the data


Thus we have
in Art. 41.

results given

d =
4 42' 21".56, log A = 0.2450054,
29".29,
=
=
v
129
u = 326 41' 40".l,
50".5,
0.428285,
logr
A = 296 39' 5".0, B == 205 55' 27".l,
C= 212 32' 17".7,
= 9.999716, log sin b = 9.974825, log sin = 9.522219,
log sin a
= 9.511920,
= 0.425066
x
log y
log = 8.077315,
log
= 23 27' 24".0,
T= 420.714018.

a =t 181

8'

3'

by means of the equations

First,

values

(4),

we compute

log cos d

log cos d

~=

8.054308,

log

= 9.754919

log

n,

^=

following

Then we

8.668959n

== 6.968348

log

nates,

the

= 9.753529.
dz

find the differential coefficients of the heliocentric co-ordi-

with respect to

TT,

^,

i,

v,

and

r,

from the formulae

(7),

which

give
log

log

dit

= log dv = 9.491991

-- = 7.876553,
^d6

log -^log

^j-

log

n,

log

^= ^=
ait

log

-- = 8.830941,

log

~=

-~ = 0.142443

"66

= 8.726364,

log

-^-

= 9.687577,

log

= 9.996780

log

-^-

= 9.083635,

log

n,

0.399496

dv

W$g

-^~

9.222898.,

n,

= 7.649030.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

136

In computing the values of

and

-jr>

those of cos a, cos b f

-yr,

-p->

and cos c may generally be obtained with sufficient accuracy from


Their algebraic signs, however, must be
sin a, sin 6, and sine.
The quantities sin a, sin 6, and sin c are always
strictly attended to.

and the algebraic signs of cos a, cos 6, and cos c are indicated
by the equations (101)!, from which, also, their numerical
In the case of the example proposed, it will
values may be derived.
be observed that cos a and cos b are negative, and that cos c is positive.
positive ;

at once

To

and

find the values of cos d -y-

-r->

we

have, according to equa-

tion (2),
.

da

COS d

dx

da
= COS d ~dx

dx

-\-

.da
-

dv

dy

dit

COS d

dr.

_,_

JL

dx

(41)

21,

dn'

dz

dy'dn:

dit

which give

=+
%dv

= cos

*L

cos

arr

In the

case of

place of

TT

&,

i,

and

cos 8

-A-

cos d

~=
~=

Next, from (16),

- 0.48900.
= *=
dv

write these quantities successively in


and hence we derive

J^
ai

0.08020,

we compute

= 0.179155,

log

= 0.171999,

log

r/7*

dr

09533

>

0.78993,

0.04873.

the following values:

= 9.577453,

log

L ^ 9.911247,

log

^L

fi

=~

~=
~=+

0.27641,

dr

log

we

= - 0.03845,

ai

|L

r,

dr.

in the equations (41),

cos d

log

*L

1.42345,

^=

2.376581 n

= 2.535234.

"We may now find


&c. by means of the equations
^-, ^r,

and thence the values of

cos d -y-, -y-, &c.


d<p

to derive these values


directly

but

it is

(11),

most convenient

d(p

from cosd-^, cos^


dr

dv

dr

and

dv

in connection with the numerical values last


found, according to the

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

137

equations which result from the analytical substitution of the expressions for

and

p.

-=, --,

-j

in place of

&c., in equation

writing successively

tp y

Mw

Thus, we have

TT.

da

(2),

cos o

= cos

da

dr

dr

d<p

.da

d<p

dv

cos o

\-

dv

d<p

d3^_d3_ dr_,dd_ dv^


~^~~fo'~d^~^~dv'~dp'
and similarly
cos d

M and

for

cos

(5

which give

-^-

= + 1.99400,

^nrr
aiw

= + 1-13004,

dy

//,

~=
=
4*?
dM

~=~

-^ = + 507.264,

Therefore, according to

Aa
A(5

(1),

= -f 1.42345A7T

we

shall

have

0.03845A a
0.09533 A ^

0.48900Ar

179.315.

dfi

-f

0.38023,

d/JL

cos d

0.65307,

d<p

0.27641 &i

-f 1.99400A^

1.13004A^

+ 507.264A/X,

0.78993A^

0.38023Ajf

To prove

- 0.65307A^

179.315A/Z.

the calculation of the coefficients in these equations,

we

assign to the elements the increments

M = + 10",
A?

so that they

= 20",
= + 10",

= 10",
= + 0".01,

At

= + 10",

= 1864 Jan. 1.0 Greenwich mean time.

M=
Q

29' 50".21

7t= 44 20 13

^
i

= 206
= 4

?=
log a
/i

11

.09
^|

42 30

.13 V

37

.51 J

16

= 0.3881288
= 928.56745

Mean Equinox

1864.0

1 .02

we compute the geocentric place for 1865 Febmean time at Washington and the result is

these elements

ruary 24.5
a

Ajtt

become

Epoch

With

A^

A*

= 181

8'

34".81,

4 42' 30".58,

log A

= 0.2450284,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

138

which are referred to the mean equinox and equator of 1865.0. The
difference between these values of a and d and those already given, as
derived from the unchanged elements, gives

Aa

= -f 5".52,

and the

COS d

Aa

= -f 5".50,

assumed values of

direct substitution of the

in the equations for cos d AO,


cos d

Aa

and

A<S

A,

=
ATT,

9".02,

A&,

Ai,

&c.

gives

= + 5".46,

A<5

==

9".29.

The agreement of these results is sufficiently close to show that the


computation of the differential coefficients has been correctly performed, the difference being due chiefly to terms of the second order.

When

the differential coefficients are required for several dates, if


their values for successive dates at equal intervals, the
use of differences will serve to check the accuracy of the calculation ;

we compute

but, to provide against the possibility of a systematic error, it may be


advisable to calculate at least one place directly from the changed
elements.
Throughout the calculation of the various differential
coefficients, great care

must be taken

in regard to the algebraic signs

In the example

involved in the successive numerical substitutions.

we have employed logarithms of six decimal places; but it


would have been sufficient if logarithms of five decimals had been
used; and such is generally the case.
given,

It will be observed that the calculation of the coefficients of

A&, and

ATT,

independent of the form of the orbit, depending


on
the
simply
position of the plane of the orbit and on the position
of the orbit in this plane. Hence, in the case of parabolic and
A^

is

hyperbolic orbits, the only deviation from the process already illusis in the
computation of the coefficients of the variations of

trated

the elements which determine the magnitude and form of the orbit
and the position of the body in its orbit at a given epoch. In all
-

da

da -d$
,
dd
r and -j- are determined as

cases, the values of coso-^-, coso-r->

dv

dv

dr

If we introduce the elements T,

already exemplified.
shall

dr

q,

and

e,

we

have
da
dd

da,

_ dd

dr

dr
dd

.da

dv

dv

dT-~d^'dT^~dv"~di'
and similarly

for the differential coefficients

with respect to q and

e.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

139

dr dv dr dv dr
,
,
dv
of calculating the values of -7, -r=, -=-,
and -=dT dT dq dq -j-,
de
de
depends on the nature of the orbit.
In the case of passing from one system of parabolic elements to
,

The mode

another system of parabolic elements, the coefficients of Ae vanish.

To

illustrate the calculation of

-7, -7, &c. in the case of parabolic

motion, let us resume the values

T= 75.364

= 9.9650486, from which we have found


v = 79
log r = 0.1961120,
Then, by means of the equations
log

~=
rAji

log

If,

log
fo

= 7.976397

-7^d
log q

we

introduce d log

also used

when

we

q,

j-

= 0.064602

shall

log
& d
log q

(43),

we

n.

have

~- =

= 9.569812,

From these, by means of


a and d with respect

of

= 9.242547,
r/7?

log

M,

55' 57".26.

find

log

8.095802,,,

jj-

instead of dq,

we

(22),

days, and log q

0.391867

obtain the differential coefficients

T and

The same values are


q or log q.
the variation of the parabolic eccentricity is taken
to

/y/y

into account.

But

in this case

we compute

also

j-

from equation

/7w

(31)

and

^ from (33) or (34), which give, for v = 79 55' 57".3,


~ = 8.147367
log
log ^ == 9.726869.
U6
U6
n,

In the case of very eccentric

orbits, the values

of

-T~,

-7, &c. are

found from
dv

kV

dr

dq
dr

dq

the mass being neglected.

r2 e sin v

dv

dq

....

qi/p

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

140

To

illustrate the application

*T=

values,

68.25 days,

of these formulae,

= 0.9675212,

let

us resume the

and log q

= 9.7668134,

from which we have found (Art. 41)


v

= 102

log r

20' 52".20,

Hence we derive

= 0.1614052.

= 0.0607328,

and

log^=7.943137n
log

^=

log

0.186517.,

If

we wish

0.186517..

to obtain the differential coefficients of v

of g,
respect to log q instead
dv

is

q
fl

and r with

we have

dv

dr

dq

d logq

'

dlogq
in which ^

~=
uq

aq

_q

dr

dq

the modulus of the system of logarithms.

Then we compute
(35), (39), or (40).

the value of

The

-7d/6

by means of the equation

correct value as derived

=
^
de

from (39)

(30).

is

0.24289.

from

values derived from (35), omitting the last term, from (40) and
0.23531.
0.24291, and
0.24440,
(30), are, respectively,

The

close

The

value
is

is

agreement of the value derived from (40) with the correct


accidental, and arises from the particular value of v, which

make the assumptions, according to which equation


derived from (39), almost exact.

here such as to

(40)

is

Finally, the value of

diT
-7CLG

may be found by means

of (32), which

gives

de

When,

= + 0.70855.

in addition to the differential coefficients

and

which depend on

those which depend on the position of the


orbit in space have been found, the expressions for the variation of
the geocentric right ascension and declination become

the elements T,

q,

e,

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
COS d Act

= COS ^da
d

ATT

-f-

da

A&

COS 3

agg

ofTT
R

-f-

COS

141

da

+ cos S^da
T^ Al + cos ^ T7^ A *
cu
aj[
da

dfa

COS

A*/ -|~

-7- A<?,

dd

d3

d<?
-A1
+ -AT+-A2 +
,

dT

at

If

we

introduce logg instead of

respectively

cos d

observed that

if ATT,

that these equations

g,

d<5

at?

Ae.

de

the terms containing q become

- A
log q and

-=-.

-j=

A log q.

It

should

be

A&, and A* are expressed in seconds, in order


may be homogeneous, the terms containing AT,
multiplied by 206264.8; but if ATT, A&, and At

A#, and Ae must be


are expressed in parts of the radius as unity, the resulting values of
cos d Aa and A must be multiplied by 206264.8 in order to express
them in seconds of arc.

general application of the equations for cos d AOC and A$


in terms of the variations of the elements is for the cases in which

The most

and of A are already known by comparison


of the computed place of the body with the observed place, and in
which it is required to find the values of ATI, A&, M, &c., which,

the values of cos d AOC

being applied to the elements, will make the computed and the
observed places agree. When the variations of all the elements of
the orbit are taken into account, at least six equations thus derived
are necessary, and, if more than six equations are employed, they

must

be reduced to six final equations, from which, by eliminathe


of the unknown quantities ATT, A&, &c. may be
values
tion,
found.
In all such cases, the values of AOC and A#, as derived from
first

the comparison of the computed with the observed place, are expressed in seconds of arc; and if the elements involved are expressed
in seconds of arc, the coefficients of the several

But

terms of the equations

some of the elements are not


in
in
of T, q, and 6, the equations
as
the
case
expressed
seconds,
formed must be rendered homogeneous. For this purpose we multiply the coefficients of the variations of those elements which are

must be abstract numbers.

if

not expressed in seconds of arc by 206264.8.


Further, it is geneinconvenient
to
the
variations
rally
AT, A^, and Ae in parts
express
of the units of T, g, and <?, respectively ; and, to avoid this inconvenience, we may express these variations in terms of certain parts
of the actual units.
Thus, in the case of T, we may adopt as the
unit of AT the nth part of a mean solar day, and the coefficients

of the terms of the


equations for cos d AOC and A

which involve

AT

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

142

must evidently be divided by

n.

In the same manner,

it

appears

Ag the unit of the mth decimal


its value expressed in parts of the unit of g, we must divide
of
place
its coefficient by 1CT, and similarly in the case of Ae, so that the
equations become
that if

we adopt

as the unit of

--

-f-

an

d&&
8

.da

^C?a

dd

dd

COS d - At -f - COS 8 -n
aJ.
ai

dd

Ae

SAC\
'

dd

*," + da* a+ Ti" + n-d


,

in

which

= 206264.8.

When

dS

log q

is

introduced in place of

q,

the

A log q are multiplied by the same factor as in the case


of &q, the unit of A log q being the unit of the mth decimal place
of the logarithms. The equations are thus rendered homogeneous,

coefficients of

and

also convenient for the numerical solution in finding the values

unknown quantities ATT, A&, At, AT, &c. When AT, Ag, and
Ae have been found by means of the equations thus formed, the

of the

coirections to be applied to the corresponding elements are

,
lit

^-,
_L

\j

A />

and

-^,>

In the same manner, we may adopt

as the

unknown

quantity, instead of the actual variation of any one of the elements


of the orbit, n times that variation, in which case its coefficient in
the equations must be divided by n.

The value of

ACC,

derived by taking the difference between the


place, is affected by the uncertainty

computed and the observed

necessarily incident to the determination of

oc

by observation.

The

unavoidable error of observation being supposed the same in the case


of a as in the case of d, when expressed in parts of the same unit,
evident that an error of a given magnitude will produce a
greater apparent error in a than in S, since in the case of a it is
it

is

measured on a small circle, of which the radius is cos d ; and hence,


in order that the difference between computation and observation in
a and d may have the same influence in the determination of the
corrections to be applied to the elements, we introduce cos d AOC
The same principle is applied in the case of the
instead of AOC.

longitude and of

all

corresponding spherical co-ordinates.

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULA.

143

52. The formulae already given will determine also the variations
of the geocentric longitude and latitude corresponding to small increments assigned to the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body.

In this case we put e


0, and compute the values of A, B, sin a,
the
of
We have also (7=0,
means
and sin 6 by
equations (94) r
a
and
sin i, and, in place of
sin c
d, respectively, we write A and ft.
But when the elements are referred to the same fundamental plane

as the geocentric places of the body, the formulae which depend on


the position of the plane of the orbit may be put in a form which is

more convenient
If

we

for numerical application.

differentiate the equations

y'

= r cos u cos &


= r cos u sin &

z'

rrrrsmwsini,

x'

we

cos i,

cost*>

obtain

= r dr
x'

dx'

r (cos

-{-

cos

r (cos

which

sin

dy'

dz

in

smw cos &

r sin u sin

-j-

-j-

sin

dr

&

cos

r (sin
sin

sin

cos

&

-j-

cos i)

sin

&

&

&

',

2'

cos

d&
cos

cos i)

=-dr -}-r cos w sin i du


1

x',

&

r (sin

sin

cos i)

-f r sin u sin

cos

d&
-j-

&
&

r sin

r sin

it

cos i)

cos

cos

du

&

sin i di,

du

&

sin i di, (46)

i di,

are the heliocentric co-ordinates of the body in


x being directed to the

reference to the ecliptic, the positive axis of

Let us now suppose the place of the body to be


vernal equinox.
referred to a system of co-ordinates in which the ecliptic remains as
the plane of xy, but in

point whose longitude

which the positive axis of x


then we shall have

is Q>

= dx cos & dy' sin &


=
dx' sin & -f dy' cos
dy
dz = dz

dx

is

directed to the

-f-

Q>

and the preceding equations give

= -dr
T
OC

dx

r sin

u du

r sin

cos i

d&

dy

= y dr + r cos u cos

dz

= - dr + r cos u sin idu-\-r smu cos

du

-j-

r cos

u dQ
i di.

r sin u sin i di,

(47)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

144

This transformation, it will be observed, is equivalent to diminishing


the longitudes in the equations (46) by the angle ft through which
the axis of x has been moved.

Let

Xn

F,, Z,

referred to the

denote the heliocentric co-ordinates of the earth

same system of co-ordinates, and we have

+ X, = A cos cos (A
y+ F, = Jcos/5sin(A
x

= A sin

z--\- Z,

which

in

In

ft),

/?

I is the geocentric

ft),

/?,

longitude and

ft

the geocentric latitude.

between

differentiating these equations so as to find the relation

the variations of the heliocentric co-ordinates and the geocentric longitude and latitude, we must regard ft as constant, since it indicates

here the position of the axis of x in reference to the vernal equinox,


this position is supposed to be fixed.
Therefore, we shall have

and

s(A

=sin /9 dJ

J sin cos (A
J sin /9 sin (A

ft)d/J

= cos/9sin(A

ft)dJ

A cos /9 sin (A
A
cos ft cos (A
ft)d/9-f
ft)d/5

ft ) <W,

-f J cos

from which, by elimination, we find


=

a)

__sin(A

A
sin /3 cos (A

7 _

*=

& + eo g-a)
J
s

ft)

O)

sin/? sin (A

-j-

-*+

-j-

These equations give


sin (A

^A ~
=
c?A

cos(A

ft)

we introduce

^_~
^

sin /9 cos (A

dft_

sin/5 sin (A

ft)

J
ft)
.

dy

If

ft)

da

dy

the distance

co

(48)

between the ascending node and the


we have

place of the perihelion as one of the elements of the orbit,

and the equations (47) give

_=
dx

dx
7

dv

x
_

= cosi,

dx
= du
=
-7

dy

-^^^sm^cost,
.

rsinw,

dy
ydv

dy
= -~-=rcosucosi,
doj

dz

sr
dz
7

dv

= - = Bint* sin
z

z;

dz
= -==!
cos wsmi;
d<o

DIFFEEENTIAL FORMULAE.

145
-

dx
-

=A

dy
T^-

0,

dz

rsmusmi,

If we introduce

TT,

the longitude of the perihelion,

(49)

smu

--^di

cfo

cfo

= 0;
cos^.

we have

and hence the expressions for the partial differential coefficients of


the heliocentric co-ordinates with respect to n and
become

&

dx
=

7
ax
=

-T7T-

dQ

sm w sm

2?-

= r cos u cos

dy

r sin u,
,
2

dz
-

i,

I
dy =
2r cos u sm*

-."L

"2!

*t.

dQ>

When

we

i ;
<

r cos

50 >

sin

i.

<xg

and the motion

the direct inclination exceeds 90

as being retrograde,

= r cos u sm
=

'

51.

find,

by making

is

regarded

the necessary distinctions in

regard to the algebraic signs in the general equations,

dx

- r
T
di

dy =
-~
r

_
t

sin

dz

sin

di

dx

dx

and the expressions for

dx

-=-, -=-,

from (49) by writing 180

longitude of the perihelion,

TT
di

i,

dy

rsm

wcos^;

(51)

&C. are derived directly

-TQ-> -j~,

in place of i.
If
in this case,

we

introduce the

rcosusim;

we have,

du

dn -f

dv

d&

and hence
dx
dx
-?7^-

dy
-~=r

rsmu

2r sin

dy

sin At, -y~-

a^

cos

dz
cos

= 2r cos u sm
.

i,

,
2

ii,

dz
-y

= r cos u sin

rt^

But, to prevent confusion and the necessity of using so


it is best to
regard i as admitting any value from

mulae,

and

(52)
^.

to transform the elements

which are given with the

many forto 180,


distinction

of retrograde motion into those of the general case


by taking
180
i instead of i, and 2&
TT instead of
TT, the other elements

remaining the same in both


53.

The

cases.

equations already derived enable us to form those for the


of ^ and /? with respect to r, v,
and at or
, z,

&

differential coefficients
TT,

by writing successively

and

ft

10

in place of d,

and &,

i,

&c. in

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

146
place of

The

in equation (2).

TT

expressions for the differential coeffi-

with respect to the elements which determine the


form of the orbit and the position of the body in its orbit, being
cients of r

and

v,

independent of the position of the plane of the orbit, are the same as
those already given ; and hence, according to (42) and (43), we may
derive the values of the partial differential coefficients of A and /9

The numerical

with respect to these elements.


is

facilitated

Thus,

if

we

by

application, however,

introduction of certain

the

auxiliary

quantities.

by (48) and (49) in the

substitute the values given

equations
.

cos

/5

dk

= cos

dv

---dx
j

ctt

^
dx

/? -^

df^_dp_

dx_

dx

dv

dv

and put
cos

sin (A

&)

in

which

and n are always


r

8
d/3

-7-

av

(A

sin (JV
cos (A

dv

dy_

dft

dz

dy

dv

dz

dv

sin

A,

cos

^,

= n sin
= n cos

'

JV,
JV,

become

O ) sin u

Let us also put


y?

---dy

-J-

d/3
== -7 (sin /? cos (A
i
A
au)

sin

dA

dy

positive, they

'

cos

-=
/?-=

d{3

sin i
sin (A

cos

&) = A
&) = 4

cos (A

\-

dv

/?)

=5

^) = ^

-4-

sin

5,

cos

B,

n cos w sin

,^

and we have
c?A

The

expressions for

dk

cos/9-^-

and

-^

give,

by means of the same

auxiliary quantities,
fjl

cos/3-5-

*
In the same manner,

if

we put

2*L cos

(A

+ u),

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULA.

&)=

cos (A
cos

cos

sin

&)

sin (A

we

O) =

sin (A

147

<7 sin C,
(7.

=D
=D

cos

(7;

(57)

sin Z),

cos

D;

obtain

dft

d&
cos

,.

/?

cw

we

-j

-7

sin i sin

= AD

^/3

If

sin

sin

ft

-w

a^>

-f-

& ),

cos (A

sin (jD

-f- /5).

7*

and

substitute the expressions (55)

^A

cos ( J.

dk
= cos p -=^r

(56) in the equations

dr

dv

dk
f-

cos

d<?

/5

7,

-=

dv

d<f>

~
dr

d<p

dv

df

d<?'

and put
dr
-7

/
7* -j

== o cos
ass/ sin JP

(59)

^^ jf cos JT

'

T-

Cfcp

we

^ cos v,

tan

COS

<p

cos v

r sin

v.

get
S

m(A

+ F+u-),

P^-^
In a similar manner,
dr

~dW
cZv

~ ^ Sm

==

if

we put
^

a 2 cos

n ^ Sm V>
$0

tan

(61)

2r
<p

sin v(<

206264.8

T)
3/i

\
),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

148

we

obtain
u),

cos/y^==i|

dM

cos/S

(62)
-

sin (J.

+ IT+ u),

The quadrants in which the auxiliary angles must be taken are


determined by the condition that A OJ J3Q) 0? /, g, and h are always
positive.

54. If the elements T, q,

and

^,

and

e are

introduced in place of

Mw

p,

we must put
dr
dv

dr

(63)

dT
h sin

H= -

dr

7.

TT

hcosH=r-j-,
dq

and the equations become

~=
dl

sin

(A

+ F+ u),

(64)

dT
<W

In the numerical application of these formulae, the values of the


second members of the equations (63) are found as already exemplified for the cases of parabolic orbits and of elliptic and hyperbolic
orbits in which the eccentricity differs but little from unity.
In the
same manner, the differential coefficients of A and /9 with respect to
any other elements which determine the form of the orbit may be
computed.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
In the case of a parabolic

149

if the parabolic eccentricity is

orbit,

supposed to be invariable, the terms involving


in the case of parabolic elements, we have

G=: r

vanish.

ksinv

dr

g COS

dv

dv

-^,

which give
tan

G=

tan

^v.

and g

/2
= k\,

expression for the linear velocity of a comet

moving

Hence

there results

(r

Further,

= 180

\v,

which

is

the

in a parabola.

Therefore,

sm

For the

case in which the motion is considered as being retrograde,


must be used instead of i in computing the values of A
N, C and (7, and the equations (55), (56), and the first two

180

Ay

n,

of (58), remain unchanged.


respect to i, the values of

But, for the differential coefficients with


and
must be found from the last two

of equations (57), using the given value of

directly

and then we

have

shall

cos

ft

-JT

-7 sin i sin

= -~ Z>
-jr
55.

EXAMPLES.

coefficients

of ^ and

u cos

(A

& ),
(66)

sin

u sin (D

+ 0).

The
ft

equations thus derived for the differential


with respect to the elements of the orbit,

referred to the ecliptic as the fundamental plane, are applicable

when

any other plane is taken as the fundamental plane, if we consider A


and ft as having the same signification in reference to the new plane
that they have in reference to the ecliptic, the longitudes, however,
being measured from the place of the descending node of this plane
on the ecliptic. To illustrate their numerical application, let it be
required to find the differential coefficients of the geocentric right
ascension and declination of Eurynome
with respect to the ele-

ments of
24.5

its

orbit referred to the equator, for the date 1865 February


at Washington, using the data given in Art. 41.

mean time

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY

150

In the first place, the elements which are referred to the ecliptic
must be referred to the equator as the fundamental plane and, by
means of the equations (109) D we obtain
;

&'

= 353

45' 35".87,

t'

and
a>'

= 19

26' 25".76,

= w -f w = 50

= 212

32' 17".71,

10' 7".29,

which are the elements which determine the position of the orbit in
These
space when the equator is taken as the fundamental plane.
elements are referred to the mean equinox and equator of 1865.0.
f
Writing a and d in place of A and /9, and &', i w in place of &, i,
1

',

and

a),

respectively,

A = cos (a

sin

smN=smi

we have
&') cos i't

smJB
Q

<7 sin

sin

(N +

n sin

(7= cos (a

D = cos i

<0,

&'),

sin

.F= a cos

/ cos F=

gsiuG=

<p

cos

--

1-

a tan

cos

cosN=

&')

-B cos

B == sm ^ cos

cos

C= sin (a

cos

D = sin

&');

cosi'sin(a

i'

(a

&')

&')

cosi';

sin (a

')

v,

tan

<p

A = sin (a

<p

sin

cos v

r sin v;

v,

a2 cos p

The

smH=

values of

Q,

n, -B

a tan

(7 ,

<p

sin v (t

/, ^,

T)

^-

206264.8
j,

and h must always be

thus determining the quadrants in which the angles A,


be taken ; and these equations give

= 9.97497,
= 9.52100,
=
O
9.99961,
log
log D = 9.97497,

A = 262

log B

B= 75 48 35
C = 263 26,
D= 92 3547,

log/ =0.62946,
log? =0.34593,

.F

log 4,

log h

G^

= 339
= 350

= 2.97759,
H= 14
= v + = 179
58".
'

tt'

10' 40",

13'

14

0,

11 16,

30 48

J5,

positive,

&c. must

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

151

Substituting these values in the equations (55), (58), (60), and (62),
f
o instead of X and ft and u in place of u, we find

and writing a and


cos d

=
~^V
ao>

+ 1.4235,

=
~rr
aw

4890

>

=+0.0178,
rfft

= + 0.0193,

-^ = + 0.0067,
cos d ^~ = + 1.9940,

-^r

-^=+1.1300,

^r-

cos d

cos d

=
-^qp

-f-

507.25,

~- =

4 =

0.6530,

8802

179.34

'

d[j.

and hence
cos

(5

Aa
A

= + 1.4235 A^' + 1.5098 Aft' + 0.0067


=

we put

+ 1.9940 A?

AA*,

0.3802 A^f

If

At*

+ 1.1300 *M + 507.25
0.4890 AO/ + 0.0176 Aft' + 0.0193 At*
179.34

AA*.

0.6530

A?

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

152

from which the values of ft, i, and co may be found from those of
'
If we differentiate the first of these equations, regarding
ft and V
.

e as

constant,

and reduce by means of the other given

get

= cos

di

Interchanging

and 180
di'

di' -j- sin a>Q sin

a>

and

i',

= cos

<t>

di

i'

and

also ft

% sin

sin

d ft

dft

relations,

we

(68)

'.

ft',

we

obtain

Eliminating di from these equations, and introducing the value


sin i

_ sin

sini

the result

If

we

ft

sin &''

is

differentiate the expression for cos

spherical triangle,

and reduce, we

= cos

da>

derived from the same

<w

find
cos

i c?ft

i'

dQ,'.

Substituting for dft its value given by the preceding equation, and
reducing by means of
sin ft' cos

we

i'

= sin ft cos % cos

cos ft sin

<y

fl ,

get

The

equations (68), (69), and (70) give the partial differential co'
of & , i, and w with respect to
and i r , and if we sup-

&

efficients

pose the variations of the elements, expressed in parts of the radius


as unity, to be so small that their squares may be
neglected, we shall

have

cos ^ A ^
A% = sin
-^-^
&
sin

w
--r-f
cos
sin

sin t

*i

f
,

= sin
Aw =
Ai

a>

Ao>'

sin

i'

A &'

cos w
fl

Ai',

^^o-

If we apply these formulae to the case of Eurynome, the result


AO O

=
=
=

en)

4.420A^'

+ 6.665

3.488A

-f 6.686Ai',

ft'

0.179A&'

Ai',

0.843Ai

is

DIFFERENTIAL, FORMULA.

and

if

we
'

153

assign the values

Ai'

14".12,

we

get

AW O

= -f 3".36,

A&

The element^

&

W=

8".86,

6".64,

10".0,

which determine the position of the

orbit in

and, hence, the elements


reference to the ecliptic.

and

= + 10".0,

A^

10".0,

A 10

may also be changed into those for


which the ecliptic is the fundamental plane, by means of equations
which may be derived from (109)! by interchanging & and &' and
i' audi.
a/,

',

56. If we refer the geocentric places of the body to a plane whose


inclination to the plane of the ecliptic is i, and the longitude of whose
ascending node on the ecliptic is &, which is equivalent to taking

the plane of the orbit corresponding to the unchanged elements as

the equations are still further simplified.


the fundamental plane,
Let x' 9 y' , z' be the heliocentric co-ordinates of the body referred to

a system of co-ordinates for which the plane of the unchanged orbit


the plane of xy, the positive axis of x being directed to the as-

is

cending node of this plane on the ecliptic; and let x, y, z be the


heliocentric co-ordinates referred to a system in which the plane of
xy is the plane of the ecliptic, the positive axis of x being directed
to the point

whose longitude
dx'
dtf
dz'

Substituting for dx, dy,


(47),

we

is Q>

Then we

= dx,
= dy cos
= dy sin

i -f-

and dz

dz sin

i -j-

shall

have

i,

dz cos

i.

their values given

by the equations

get

dx

dy'

dz'

= - dr

x'

dr

dr

-j-

It will be observed that

r sin

u du

r sin

cos

d&,

r cos

u du

-f r cos

cos

d&

di.

r cos u sin

we

dQ,

-f-

r sin

have, so long as the elements remain

unchanged,
af

==r

cos u,

y'

= r sin

u,

z'

0,

THEOEETICAL ASTKONOMY.

154

and hence, omitting the


of the unchanged orbit
give

accents, so that x, y, z will refer to the plane

as the plane of xy, the preceding equations

= cos u dr r sin u du
=
r cos u du
sin u dr
dy
dz =
r cos u sin dQ,
dx

~\-

-j-

r sin
-j-

r cos

r sin

u
u

cos

dR>,

cos

dQ,

di.

The value of

<
is subject to two distinct changes, the one
arising
the
from
variation of the position of the orbit in its own plane, and
the other, from the variation of the position of the plane of the orbit.

Let us take a fixed

plane of the orbit and directed from

line in the

the centre of the sun to a point the angular distance of which, back
from the place of the ascending node on the ecliptic, we shall designate by a; and let the angle between this fixed line
Then we have
transverse axis be designated by

and the semi-

The

fixed line thus taken

is

a)

-f

ff .

supposed to be so situated

that, so

as the position of the plane of the orbit remains unchanged,

But

if the

long

we have

elements which fix the position of the plane of the orbit


we have the relations

are supposed to vary,

da
d<o

Now,

since

=
= d%

=v +

cos

co,

dQ

du

(72)

= d% -f 2 sw*%id&.

we have
u

and

= dv -f dx

= v -f /
= dv -f d%
ff,

dff

cos

id&.

Substituting this value of du in the equations for dx, dy,


reduce to
dx
r sin u dv
cos u dr
r sin u d%,
u
sin
dr
r
u
cos
dv
-fdy
-f- f cos u d%,

dz,

they

dz

The

r cos

sin i

d&

-f r sin

(73)

di.

here supposed to be susceptible of any value from


elements are given with the distinction of
motion
we
must
use 180
i instead of i.
retrograde
Let us now denote by d the geocentric longitude of the body meainclination

to

is

180, and

if the

sured in the plane of the unchanged orbit


(which

is

here taken as the

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

155

fundamental plane) from the ascending node of

and

ecliptic,

let

be denoted by

this plane on the


the geocentric latitude in reference to the same plane

Then we

37.

-f-

-|-

z -f-

in

have

shall

X = A cos
Y= A cos
Z = A sin

f\

cos

TI

sin 0,

0,

??,

which y Y, Z are the geocentric co-ordinates of the sun referred


same system of co-ordinates as x9 y, and z. These equations

to the

by

give,

differentiation,

= cos
dy = cos

dx
dz

sin

we

ind hence

cos

T)

cos

TI

sin

fj

dA

A cos iy d^

= --sin

dx

T]

sin
-

i?

sin0

sin

dx~

sin

A cos

df\
cfy

f\

sin

^ cos 7 cos

d0,
^

^>

cos
-\

cos

dy,

-dx -,

sin ^ sin

d0
cos 6
COS7)-j-= -T-i

dx
rr=

COS

1*.

dx

dy
dr

dr

dx

-=

dv

dx

dx

d&

r = 0,

r sin u,

do
cos

TI

-jaz

_
;

(74)

cos

t]

from (73) we get

dx

>?

give

de

id

-\-

sin ^ cos

sin

obtain

=
lese

J
A

dA
dA

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

156

we

get

dd

do

COS

7}

-r- == COS

-J-

Tf)

dx

= rJ COS (0 - U),
,.

-r

(76)

dv

d%

In a similar manner, we derive


cos

>y

do
-=

N
it),

sm (0a
.

(77)

dO
cos

r)

JT-

dr)

-JT-

0,

If we introduce the elements

we

<p,

fa

j-

sm w

cos ^

which determine r and

v,

have, from

dO
= cos y -jdr
dy _

dr

rf^

cos

iy

dtp

we

-j

d(p

dr)

dr^

dr^

dv_

dr

d<p

dv

d<p'

d<?

(59),

F\ ~=-

cos (0
==4
A

a<p

dO
i)

we

{sin^sin(^
A

d<f>

Finally, using the auxiliaries #, h,


tions (61),

cos

^v

dv

introduce also the auxiliary quantities / and F, as determined

by means of the equations


cos

c?^
,

h cos ^

d<p

if

and

Q)

6r,

and H, according

F}.

(78)

to the equa-

get

= h cos

(0

dt\

~-

H),

sm

-j-

TJ

sm(0

JET).

If we express r and v in terms of the elements T, q, and e, the


values of the auxiliaries /, g, Tiy F, &c. must be found by means of
(64); and, in the same manner, any other elements which determine
the form of the orbit and the position of the body in

its orbit,

may

be introduced.

The

partial differential coefficients with respect to the elements

having been found, we have


COS

1?

A0

= COS
d")

do

dO

A/

TJ

-{-

COS

?)

-,

d6
&<p

-\-

COS

T?

Q -f-

dd
COS

f]

A/*,

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

157

from which it appears that, by the introduction of # as one of the


elements of the orbit, when the geocentric places are referred directly
to the plane of the unchanged orbit as the fundamental plane, the
variation of the geocentric longitude in reference to this plane depends
on only four elements.
57. It remains

of

rj

now

to derive the formulae for finding the values

X and
body referred

and 6 from those of

ordinates of the

Let x

/9.

yw

be the geocentric co-

ZQ

which the

to a system in

ecliptic is

the plane of xy, the positive axis of x being directed to the point
and let o? ', y ', zQ f be the geocentric co-ordiwhose longitude is
;

&

which the axis of x remains


body
which the plane of the unchanged orbit is the plane
of xy; then we shall have
referred to a system in

nates of the

the same, but in

XQ
yQ
ZQ

= A cos
= A cos
= A sin

/?
/?

& ),

cos (A

xQ

'

sin (A

ft),

2/
f

,9,

= A cos ^ cos
=J
=A

6,

c sV

sin

i?,

and also

cos

i.

Hence we obtain
COS

r\

COS

cos

f\

sin

sin

= COS COS
= cos sin
= cos sin
(A

ft

>?

ft )>

(A

(3

& ) cos i sin sin


& ) sin i + sin cos
(A
/?

-j-

(80)

i,

/5

i.

These equations correspond to the relations between the parts of a


and 90
spherical triangle of which the sides are i, 90
/9,
27,
to 90
and
90
6.
a)
denoted by p, and we have

the

angles

90

-f (;

opposite

cos

*)

sin Y

cos

>?

cos

7-

= sin
= sin

fj

and 90

cos (A

sin (A

& ),
& ) sin

The equations thus obtained enable us


A

and

/9.

/5

-f-

n
n

sin

respectively

Thus,

N=

if

we put

sin/?,

cos^= cos

cos i cos

/?.

to determine y, d, and 7- from


is facilitated
by the intro-

Their numerical application

duction of auxiliary angles.

being

Let the other angle of the triangle be

sin (A

ft),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

158

which n

in

is

always positive,
cos

f]

cos

cos

77

sin

sin

7}

from which y and

may be
n' sin

shall

have
cot

get

cos

ft

cos (A

ft),

= n cos (N

i),

If we also put

readily found.

N'
N'

= cos
= sin

N = tan
f

(83)

i),

=n sin (N

n' cos

we

we

i,

sin (A

sin (A

ft ),

ft ),

;-a).

cot (

If Y

is

small,

it

may

(85)

be found from the equation

sintcosO^
The quadrants

in which the angles sought must be taken, are easily


determined by the relations of the quantities involved ; and the
accuracy of the numerical calculation may be checked as already
illustrated for similar cases.

If we apply Gauss's analogies to the same spherical triangle, we get


sin (45

- J,) sin (45 -

+ r)) =
+ i (A - ft)) sin (45 + 0),
=
~ (0 +
siu (45 + 4 (A - ft)) sin (45 - J Q9 (0

cos (45

sin (45

&)

cos (45

cos (45

ii?)

sin (45

(/?

7-))

i)),

J (0

r))

^)

cos (45

=f

_ ft )) cos (45 - J +
r }} =
\ (9
- ft )) cos (45 - (0 sin (45 +
(A
cos (45

cos (45

(87)

(A

i)),

1)),

from which we may derive ^, 0, and f.


When the problem is to determine the corrections to be applied to
the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body, in order to satisfy
given observed places, it is necessary to find the expressions for
cos 5? A# and A^ in terms of cos ft AA and A/9.
If we differentiate the
first and second of equations
(80), regarding ft and i (which here
determine the position of the fundamental plane adopted) as constant, eliminate the terms containing dy from the resulting equations,

and reduce by means of the


triangle,

we

get

relations of the parts of the spherical

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
cos

V]

dd

cos Y cos

/?

oU

-f-

Diiferentiating the last of equations (80),

dy

sin Y cos

ft

cW

-j-

159

sin y

c?/3.

and reducing, we

find

cos

The

equations thus derived give the values of the differential coand 57 with respect to A and /5 ; and if the differences
of
A^ and A/3 are small, we shall have

efficients

cos

TI

= cos Y cos AA -f sin p


=
AA -f cos y
sin Y cos
A^
A0

A/9,

/?

/?

The value of

A/5.

required in the application of numbers to these


generally be derived with sufficient accuracy from
7-

equations may
(86), the algebraic sign of cos Y being indicated by the second of
equations (81) ; and the values of 37 and d required in the calculation
of the differential coefficients of these quantities with respect to the

elements of the orbit, need not be determined with extreme accuracy.

EXAMPLE.

58.

Since the spherical co-ordinates which are fur-

nished directly by observation are the right ascension and declination, the formulae will be most frequently required in the form for

For this purpose, it is only necessary


finding y and 6 from a and 3.
f
i ,
to write a and d in place of A and /9, respectively, and also
',
u' in place of &, i, a), , and u, in the equations which
ft/, /', and

&

have been derived for the determination of y and 6, and for the
with respect to the elements

differential coefficients of these quantities

of the orbit.

To

illustrate this clearly, let it

for cos

rj

A# and

case of the
aj'

= 5Q

be required to find the expressions

in terms of the variations of the elements in the


A/?

example already given


10' 7".29,

'

= 353

for

which we have

45' 35".87,

i'

= 19

26' 25".76.

These are the elements which determine the position of the orbit of

Eurynome

We

(79),

referred to the

mean equinox and equator of

1865.0.

have, further,

log/= 0.62946,

F= 339

log#
u'

In the

first place,

= 0.34593,

G = 350

14' 0",

= 179

we compute

11' 16",

log ft

= 2.97759,

H= 14

30' 48",

13' 58".

/, 6,

and Y by means of the formulae

THEORETICAL ASTKONOMY.

160

and

(83)

of

Aj ft)

(85), or

and

Q>,

= 188

i,

by means of

(87), writing a, d,

respectively.

Hence we obtain

31' 9",

&', and

159'28",

19

instead

i'

17'

Since the equator is here considered as the fundamental plane, the


longitude 6 is measured on the equator from the place of the ascending node of the orbit on this plane. The values of the differential
coefficients are

then found by means of the formula?

COB "

dri
,

do
do
COS

IT

d%
cos

77

y
dtp

= LA cos (0

u'F"),

cos

"n

do
-J^T

= q cos (0

u'

dO

-:

= h-cos(0

which give
dB

do

COST;

cos

=+

~dy

= rA COS (0fa

Ti

yj

sin i cos
>

cos ^

sm u

,,

I,

G\

=
-T^T

aM

dr)
,

dv.

sin y sin (O
4
A

u'

F),

-^ sin 7 sin (0

G\

h
A

f
sm sm (0
~n

H).

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

=
=

AW'

A?

A a'
A Jf g

6".64,

10",

-f-

we have

A/ ==

AO/

161
Ai'

14".12,

+ 10",

A/<

+ cos A' =
v

19".96

= _ 8".86,
= + 0".01,

and the preceding equations give


cos

7?

A0

= + 8".24

With the same values of


cos d

Aa

AT?

AO/, A &

&c.,

',

= -f 5".47,

==

we have

A<5

which, by means of the equations (88), writing


A

and

6".96.

already found

9".29,

a and

d in place of

give

/?,

cos

7?

A0

= + 8".23,

i)

6".96.

In special cases, in which the differences between the calcuand the observed values of two spherical co-ordinates are given,
and the corrections to be applied to the assumed elements are sought,
it
may become necessary, on account of difficulties to be encountered
59.

lated

in the solution of the equations of condition, to introduce other ele-

The

ments of the orbit of the body.

relation of the elements chosen

will serve, without presenting any difficulty,


of the equations into a form adapted, to the
Thus, in the case of the elements which determine the
special case.
form of the orbit, we may use a or log a instead of /*, and the

to those

commonly used

for the transformation

equation
jfei/l

+m

gives

=
in

which

is

3 - da

"a

^d log a,

(89)

|/

the modulus of the system of logarithms.


Therefore,
is transformed into that of A log a by multiply-

the coefficient of A//

ing

it

by

y-

and

mth decimal

if the unit of the

place of the loga-

^0

ritlmis is taken as the unit of

A log

a,

the coefficient must be also

multiplied by 10~ . The homogeneity of the equation


since fj. is here supposed to be expressed in seconds.

If

we

is

not disturbed,

introduce logp as one of the elements, from the equation

p=a

cos 3

11

<p

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

162

we

get

lose

I3

dfj.

2L tan y

d<p,

30 tan

d<p.

or
dp.

y-

d logp

<p

(90)

appears that the coefficients of A logp are the same as those


of A log a, but since p is also a function of ^>, the coefficients of A^>

Hence

it

and

are changed ;

if

we denote by

cos d

-=

and

-j-

the values of

the partial differential coefficients when the element fj. is used in connection with <p, we shall have, for the case under consideration,

da
cos 8 -y-

= cos

dy

dd

which

= 206264".

with respect to

//

and

3 - tan y cos d

\d^

dp.

dd

fi

3 - tan

da

<p

r -,

c?0

If the values of the differential

8.

(p

tdd\
-5-

j-=
d?>
in

da

-j
\d<f>

have not already been found,


dr

vantageous to compute the values or

coefficients

will be ad-

it

dr

dv

-n
d

dv

and

by
d logp
iogp
means of the expressions which may be derived by substituting in
the equations (15) the value of dp. given by (90), and then we may
-r

>

d<f>

,.,,,,
directly the values of cos o

da

compute

Mw

In place of

when ^

-=-1

dd
dd
-- 3,
and -71--d logp

da

cos o ^-=

d logp

d<p

Q,

the

mean

and since

i =jf +r,

we have

and,

often convenient to introduce

is

longitude for the epoch

d<p

..

dy

it

-7?

dLQ = dM +d* = dMQ + d>


is

used,

dx
Instead of the elements

plane of the orbit,


b

+ d&,

we may

= sin

ft

and

+ (1
i

COST

which indicate the position of the

use

sin ft,

= sin

cos ft,

and the expressions for the relations between the differentials of b


and c and those of i and ft are easily derived. The cosines of the
angles which the line of apsides or any other line in the orbit makes
with the three co-ordinate axes,

may

also be taken as elements of the

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULAE.

163

orbit in the formation of the equations for the variation of the geocentric place.

The

equations (48), by writing I and 6 in place of X and ft,


respectively, will give the values of the differential coefficients of
60.

the heliocentric longitude and latitude with respect to x, y, and z.


Combining these with the expressions for the differential coefficients
of the heliocentric co-ordinates with respect to the elements of the

we

orbit,

obtain the values of cos b &l and A& in terms of the varia-

tions of the elements.

The

equations for dx, dy, and dz in terms of du,

dQ, and

di,

may

also be used to determine the corrections to be applied to the co-or-

them from the

dinates in order to reduce

ecliptic

and mean equinox

of one epoch to those of another, or to the apparent equinox of the

In

date.

this case,

we have

= dx

du

When

dQ

the auxiliary constants A, B, a, 6, &c. are introduced, to


from the variations assigned to

find the variations of these arising

the elements,

we

have, from the equations (99)^


tan

&

cos

B = cot

&

cos

sin i cosec

cot

&

cos

i -}-

sin

cot

in

which

A=

cot

cot

i,

value from

may have any

&

cosec

2 cot

180.

to

tan

e,
,

If we differentiate

the quantities involved as variable, and reduce


these, regarding
by means of the values of sin a, sin 6, and sin c, we get
all

sin A
sm &
d& ---

cos^

dA

sm

T,
=
dB
7

COS

(cos i cos e

sin o

sin
-j

~
dC=
7

sin
.

sin
:

sin o

and

these,

&

sm e

sm i cos e

-j-

cos

^ di,

cos
.

^N

& ) dl
,

sm t) di

--

sin i sin
r-jr

-j

&

de,

(cosi sine -f sin

sin o

-- C
H
.

7- (cos

sin i

sin

(.cos

&

cos

cos

&)d&
,

sini sin

cos

cos 9) di

by means of (101) D reduce to

-\

--

-- as

sin i sin
2

sin c

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

164

= sm

dA

d&

cose cose

sin

sine cos &

cot a di,

-r,

cos a

cosa

,.

smc

smc

Let us now differentiate the equations (101 ) 1? using only the upper
is
sign, and the result

=
=
dc =

If

da

sin i sin

db

sin i sin

A d&
B dQ>

sin i sin

C dQ

we multiply

the

first

and the third by

cot b,

system of logarithms,

(Hog

sin a

d log

sin b

a log sine

=
=

cos

-j-

cos

B di

-f~

cos

C di

di,
-{-

cos c cosec b ds,


cos b cosec c ds.

of these equations by cot a, the second by


the modulus of the
c, and denote by ^

cot

we

get

a sin

A dl

-j-

A sin i cot 6 sin

B dQ

-f-

A sin i cot

-f-

/ sin % cot c sin

~ ,^

G aQ

-f-

A cot

a cos

A di,

co * & cos Bdi-\-kQ

cote cos

.^ ,.

Udi

-r-yy

sin o

cos b cos c
r

Sill

ds,

ds.

(92)

The

equations (91)

By

C, log sin a, &c.

differential coefficients of

with respect to &, i, and e; and if the variaare so small that their squares may be

and

tions assigned to

neglected, the

and (92) furnish the

&, i,
same equations, writing

A^.,

A&,

A*,

&c. instead of

In
the differentials, give the variations of the auxiliary constants.
the case of equations (92), if the variations of &, *, and s are expressed in seconds, each term of the second member must be divided
by 206264.8, and if the variations of log sin a, log sin 6, and log sine
are required in units of the mth decimal place of the logarithms, each

term of the second member must also be divided by 10.


If we differentiate the equations (81) D and reduce by means of the
same equations, we easily find
cos b dl

db

= cos
= sin

sec b

cos (I

du

cos b d &
sin b cos (I
& ) du + sin (I Q> ) di,

-\-

& ) di,

which determine the relations between the variations of the elements


of the orbit and those of the heliocentric longitude and latitude.

By

differentiating the equations (88)^ neglecting the latitude of

DIFFERENTIAL FORMULJE.
the sun, and considering
reduction,

J,

^, /?,

and

165

as variables,

we

derive, after

T)

cos

/?

ctt

= -r cos

d{3

= B sin
-j-

O ) dQ

(A

ft

sin (A

O ) d)

which determine tlie variation of the geocentric latitude and longitude


It
arising from an increment assigned to the longitude of the sun.
that
an
error
in
the
of
the
sun
will
appears, therefore,
longitude
produce the greatest error in the computed geocentric longitude of a
heavenly body when the body

is

in opposition.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

166

CHAPTER

III.

INVESTIGATION OF FOBMULJE FOB COMPUTING THE ORBIT OF A COMET MOVING IN

A PABABOLA, AND FOB COEBECTING APPEOXIMATE ELEMENTS BY THE VABIATION


OF THE GEOCENTBIC DISTANCE.

THE observed spherical co-ordinates of the place of a heavenly


furnish
each one equation of condition for the correction of the
body
elements of its orbit approximately known, and similarly for the
61.

determination of the elements in the case of an orbit wholly unknown ;


and since there are six elements, neglecting the mass, which must

always be done in the

first

approximation, the perturbations not

three complete observations will furnish the six


Hence,
equations necessary for finding these unknown quantities.
the data required for the determination of the orbit of a heavenly

being considered,

body are three complete observations, namely, three observed longitudes and the corresponding latitudes, or any other spherical coordinates which completely determine three places of the body as
seen from the earth.

some point or

Since these observations are given as made at


on the earth's surface, it becomes

at different points

In
necessary in the first place to apply the corrections for parallax.
the case of a body whose orbit is wholly unknown, it is impossible
to apply the correction for parallax directly to the place of the body;
but an equivalent correction

may be applied to the places of the


to
the
formula?
which will be given in the next
earth, according
However, in the first determination of approximate elechapter.

ments of the orbit of a comet, it will be sufficient to neglect entirely


the correction for parallax.
The uncertainty of the observed places
of these bodies is so much greater than in the case of well-defined
objects like the planets,
which will be generally

and the intervals between the observations


employed

in the first determination of the

orbit will be so small, that an attempt to represent the observed places


with extreme accuracy will be superfluous.

When approximate elements have been derived, we may find th<


distances of the comet from the earth corresponding to the thi
observed places, and hence determine the parallax in right ascensioi

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
and

in declination for each observation

167

by means of the usual

formulae.

Thus, we have
cos

Ttp

sin (a

<p'

0)

"

COS (a
TT/>

sin

0)'
sin (y

<p'

<5)

sin?'

which a is the right ascension, d the declination, A the distance


of the comet from the earth, <p' the geocentric latitude of the place
the sidereal time corresponding to the time of
of observation,
in

observation, p the radius of the earth expressed in parts of the


TC the
equatorial horizontal parallax of the
equatorial radius, and
sun.

In order to obtain the most accurate representation of the observed


place by means of the elements computed, the correction for aberraWhen the distance A is known, the
tion must also be applied.
time of observation
but

if

is

be corrected for the time of aberration;


may be neglected

may

not approximately known, this correction

in the first approximation.

The transformation of the observed

right ascension and declination


effected by means of the equations

and longitude is
which may be derived from (92) x by interchanging a and
e instead of e.
and writing
Thus, we have
into latitude

N= tan
sm
= cos N
tan
tan p = tan (N
,

tan

d and

ft,

and

/",

tan

=r=

s )

sin

(1)

a,

A,

also
cos (JV

cos

.2V"

e)

cos p sin A
cos S sin a'

which will serve to check the numerical calculation of X and /9.


Since cos /9 and cos d are always positive, cos A and cos a must have
the same sign, thus determining the quadrant in which A
taken.

is

to be

As

soon as these preliminary corrections and transformations


have been effected, and the times of observation have been reduced
62.

to the

same meridian, the longitudes having been reduced

to the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

168

same equinox, we are prepared to proceed with the determination of


For this purpose, let t, t t" be the times
the elements of the orbit.
of observation, r, r r" the radii- vectores of the body, and u, u u"
f

the corresponding arguments of the latitude, R, R', R" the distances


the longitudes of the sun
of the earth from the sun, and O, 0',

O"

corresponding to these times.

Let

[>?'] denote

the radii-vectores

r,

double the area of the triangle formed between


r f and the chord of the orbit between the corre-

sponding places of the body, and similarly for the other triangles
thus formed. The angle at the sun in this triangle is the difference

between the corresponding arguments of the latitude, and we shall


have
[rr'~\

= rr

[r/'J

=rr"sm(M"tO,

sin (u'

If we designate by x } y } z } x f , y f ,
ordinates of the body at the times

u),

x", y", z" the heliocentric co-

z',

and

t,

(2)

',

t",

we

shall

have

= r sin a sin
w),
= sin a sin A
x" = r" sin a sin (A +
x'

'(A

x'

r'

-f-

-f-

u'),

"),

which a and A are auxiliary constants which are functions of the


elements & and i, and these elements may refer to any fundamental
in

If we multiply the first of these equations by


plane whatever.
ff
lf
u r ) 9 the second by
sin (u
u), and the third by
f
sin (u
u), and add the products, we find, after reduction,
sin (u

- sin (u"

x"

x'
-

u'}

sin (u"

u)

-\

Tl

sin (u

u)

0,

r
which, by introducing the values of [rr ], [Vr"], and [V r"], becomes

[r'r"~\

[r/'] x'

-f- [rr'~\

x"

0.

If we put
" ;=

tt

=&?T

we

get

In

precisely the

[i^r

same manner, we

find

2-l'^n"l" = 0.

<

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

169

Since the coefficients in these equations are independent of the positions of the co-ordinate planes, except that the origin is at the centre

evident that the three equations are identical, and


express simply the condition that the plane of the orbit passes through
the centre of the sun ; and the last two might have been derived

of the sun,

it is

by writing successively y and z in place of x.


A" be the three observed longitudes, /9, /?', ft" the corresponding latitudes, and J, //', A" the distances of the body from the
earth ; and let
from the
Let A,

first
A',

cos

/?

which are called

R cos Q
R sin

A
A

A"cQ8p'

/o',

Then we

curtate distances.

= p cos
y = p sin
= p tan
x

J'cos^

,,,

x'

y'

z'

/5,

=
=
=

=P

",

have

shall

R' cos 0',


R' sin
',

p'

cos

A'

p'

sin

A'

p'

tan

{?,

jR"cos0",
0",

12" sin

in

which the latitude of the sun

is

The

neglected.

transformed that the latitude of the sun becomes

data

may

0, as will

be so

be ex-

plained in the next chapter ; but in the computation of the orbit of


a comet, in which this preliminary reduction has not been made, it
will be unnecessary to consider this latitude which never exceeds 1",
while its introduction into the formulae would unnecessarily complicate

some of those which

= n (p cos

R cos

+ n"(p"cosl"

= n (p sin

= np tan

E sin

+ n" (p" sin A"


/?

p'

If

will be derived.

f
values of x, x , &c. in the equations (4) and

tan

-f-

(//

(5),

cos

12" cos

ri'p"

substitute these

they become

A'

cos

')

0"),

(// sin A'

12" sin

we

R' sin 0')

(6)

0"),

tan 0".

These equations simply

satisfy the condition that the plane of the


centre
of the sun, and they only become
the
through
distinct or independent of each other when n and n" are expressed
in functions of the time, so as to satisfy the conditions of undisturbed

orbit passes

motion in accordance with the law of gravitation. Further, they


involve five unknown quantities in the case of an orbit wholly

unknown, namely, n, n", p, //, and p" and if the values of n and
n" are first found, they will be sufficient to determine p, p , and p".
f

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

170

determination, however, of n and n" to a sufficient degree of


accuracy, by means of the intervals of time between the observations,

The

will

general,

it

and

after

(6)

p'

should be approximately known, and hence, in


become necessary to derive first the values of n, n",
which those of p and p" may be found from equations

that p'

requires

But

elimination.

by

number of equations will then


quantities, we may combine them in

since the

unknown

exceed the number of

such a manner as will diminish, in the greatest degree possible, the


In special cases in which
effect of the errors of the observations.
the conditions of the problem are such that when the ratio of two
curtate distances is known, the distances themselves may be deter-

mined, the elimination must be so performed as to give this ratio


with the greatest accuracy practicable.

and second of equations (6), we change the


x from the vernal equinox to the place of the
sun at the time ', and again in the second, from the equinox to the
second place of the body, we must diminish the longitudes in these
63. If, in the first

direction of the axis of

equations by the angle through which the axis of x has been moved,

and we

have

shall

= n(p cos(A
+

= n (p sin

=n

00

(A

-f-

GO
R sin

A)

(A'

R sin

-f-

- n" (p" sin (A"


== np tan

If

ft

we multiply

fourth

by

p'

tan

jf -f-

/?'

p'

sin

R' sin

/))

R" sin
AO
ri'p" tan /?".

'\

(A'

0),

(7)

'

AO

"

AO),

equations by tan/9

7
,

and the

and add the products, we get

0,

ri'p" (tan

n"E"sin("

))

-R' sin(0"-

the second of these

sin (A'

'

+ ^" GO" sin (A"(p sin

GO' cos (A'


Q))
00120
R" cos("
0),

jRcos('

n"(p" cos (A"

tan /5" sin (A'

sin (A"

0)

Otan/5 -f n/>(tan/5'sin(A

tan/?sin(A'

O;

)tan/S

>'

Let us now denote double the area of the triangle formed by the
sun and two places of the earth corresponding to
and f by [RR'~
and we shall have

\_RR]

'

sin

('),

and similarly

[RR" J
']

= RR" sin " Q


= R'R" sin(O" 00(

),

ORBIT OF A
if

Then,

HEAVENLY BODY.

171

we put
"

we

obtain

Substituting this in the equation


of p", the result is

_~ P ^_

tan
tan

fi'

ft"

sin (A
sin

')

tan

/?

')

tan

p sin (A"

(A'

and dividing by the

(8),

JL
~ _j^\
"

A^' /tan

sin

sin

ft"

(A'

')

tan

ft sin (A

Q)tan/3'

(/'

tan/5' sin (A"

')

tan

/9

tan

p sin (A"

/5"

sin (/

tan

ft"

sin

0')

(A'

and the preceding equation reduces

sin (/

0')

tan /?' sin (A"

')'

'

')

to

"R.

We

may

0')'

')

tan

Jgsin('

Let us also put


,

')

coefficient

transform the values of

'

and M. " so as

(11)

to be better

with the ordinary tables. Thus,


if w' denotes the inclination to the ecliptic of a great circle
passing
through the second place of the comet and the second place of the
;
sun, the longitude of its ascending node will be O , and we shall
adapted to logarithmic calculation

have
sin

Let

/r
/?

/9

0') tan w'

(A'

= tan

(12)

/?'.

be the latitudes of the points of this circle corresponding

to the longitudes A

and

/r

tan/3

and we have,

=sin(A

also,

')tanw',

7
;
and sin(A r/
Substituting these values for tan/9 , sin (A
)
'
in the expressions for
and M", and reducing, they become

"
M'=

fln

sin (p>

cos

'

_ ft")

cos

'

'

C o S ft cos

/5

,_
')

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

172

When

the value of

??

has been found, equation (11) will give the

and p" in terms of known quantities. It is evifrom


equations (14), that when the apparent path of
dent, however,
the comet is in a plane passing through the second place of the
relation between p

sun, since, in this case,

ft

ftQ

and ft"=ftQ ", we

shall

have

M =^
f

and
=00. In this case, therefore, and also when /9
ft
" are
must
recourse
to
some
other
have
we
ftQ
very nearly 0,
ft"
equation which may be derived from the equations (7), and which

and

rf

does not involve this indetermination.


It will be observed, also, that if, at the time of the middle observation, the comet is in opposition or conjunction with the sun, the

values of

and

M"

as given

by equation (14) will be indeter-

minate in form, but that the original equations (10) will give the
values of these quantities provided that the apparent path of the
not in a great circle passing through the second place of the

comet

is

sun.

These values are

QQ

sin (A

sm (A"_G')'
Hence

it

sin(Q'

Q)
'

sin

(A"-

GO

appears that whenever the apparent path of the body

is

nearly in a plane passing through the place of the sun at the time of
the middle observation, the errors of observation will have great

influence in vitiating the resulting values of


obviate the difficulties thus encountered, we obtain

equations (7) the following value of

^sin(O

A')

p"

sin

(A'

"^'sinCA"
^7#'sm(G'
sin (A"

and Jf"; and to


from the third of

A)
A')
A')

+" sin(G"

A')

A')

We may also
tions (7).

cos (A'

eliminate p between the first and fourth of eqw


If we multiply the first by tan/9', and the second
G')i an d add tne products, we obtain

= n"p" (tan p cos (A"


?i"E"tan,S'cos(O"

nR
from which we derive

tan P" cos (A'


0')
0'))
tan /5 cos (A'
G') +^(tan/5'cos(A
0')
tan p cos (G'
R' tan p,
G)

0')]

DEBIT OF A
tan

tan

j3

0')

tan

/3'

ff cos (A

osO*'

HEAVENLY BODY.

tan /S" cos (/

0')

cos

0Q

(A'

cos (/'

tan

0')

I? cos (A"

Let us now denote by I' the inclination

173

(16)

0')

to the ecliptic of a great

through the second place of the comet and that point


of the ecliptic whose longitude is 0'
90, which will therefore be
circle passing

the longitude of

its

ascending node, and


cos

= tan f

have
(17)

designate by /9, and $ the latitudes of the points of this


corresponding to the longitudes A and A", we shall also have

tan

/5,

tan

ft,

= cos
= cos (A"
(A

_~ p

n
^T

sin

it

reduces to

'

'

sin 09"

sin

cos $' cos /?

/?)

(/3,

tan /',

0') tan/'.

Introducing these values into equation (16),

shall

we

and, if
circle

0') tan I'

(A'

we

(/?"

from which

it

/?)

cos

/5

cos

(19)

/?,

/?)

appears that this equation becomes indeterminate

when

the apparent path of the body is in a plane passing through that


point of the ecliptic whose longitude is equal to the longitude of the
second place of the sun diminished by 90. In this case we may use

equation (11) provided that the path of the comet is not nearly in
the ecliptic.
When the comet, at the time of the second observation,
is

in quadrature

in form,

with the sun, equation (19) becomes indeterminate

and we must have recourse

which does not necessarily

to the original equation (16),

fail in this case.

When

both equations (11) and (16) are simultaneously nearly indeterminate, so as to be greatly affected by errors of observation, the

between p and p" must be determined by means of equation


which fails only when the motion of the comet in longitude is

relation
(15),

very small.
(15),

and

It will rarely happen that all three equations, (14),


(16), are inapplicable, and when such a case does occur it

will indicate that the data are not sufficient for the determination of

the elements of the orbit.

In general, equation (16) or (19)

is

to

be

when the motion of the comet in latitude is considerable, and


equation (15) when the motion in longitude is greater than in latitude.

used

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

174

The

formulae already derived are sufficient to determine the


relation between //' and p when the values of n and n" are known,
64.

and

remains, therefore, to derive the expressions for these quan-

it

tities.

If we put

k(t-f)
t')

and express the values of x, y,


expansion into series, we have

z,

=
=

*',

(20)

r,

x", y",

z'

in terms of

= X'~~^'i; + 13'W'l?~T33''~d?'~W + &C

x"

= +^'J + ^'W'^ + l^'W'^ + &C


xr

y', z

by

''

'>

We

and similar expressions for y, y", z, and z".


shall, however, take
the plane of the orbit as the fundamental plane, in which case z, 2',
and z" vanish.

The fundamental
relative to the

sun

equations for the motion of a heavenly body


a*re,

we

if

neglect

mass in comparison with

its

that of the sun,

If

we

differentiate the first of these equations,

we

find

Differentiating again,

r'

Writing y instead of

we

get

'

~r*~ '~dt~r' 3

~di'

#,

we

shall

have the expressions

for

-^ and

d*ii'

Substituting these values of the differential coefficients in equations (21),

putting

and the corresponding expressions

for

y and y", and

ORBIT OF
i

- ^

ff

we

Jr

r" 3

r"

I_

r "3
T

j'i

a __

r"*

A HEAVENLY BODY.

__i_

_|_

/I
-_

j_

_|_

r
ar

/ /7

'

\2

_ir_(

//V
CT r

_|_

r" 4

. .

r4

dr'

T
.1

10

__

175

Jl

_.i_
J

_i_

""

"*""

..

'
.

obtain

From

these equations

we

easily derive

(23)

he

first

members of

these equations are double the areas of the

iangles formed by the radii-vectores and the chords of the orbit


tween the places of the comet or planet. Thus,

- x'y = [r/],

and x'dy'

f
y dx
f

y"x'

- x"y' - [//'],

- x"y =

y"x

[r/'J,

(24)

double the area described by the radius-vector


X '^J
y'ftx:
ia
during the element of time dt, and, consequently,
is

double the areal velocity.


mass of the body,

in

Therefore

we

which p is the semi-parameter of the


become

shall have, neglecting the

The

orbit.

equations (23),

therefore,

[r/]

= bk t/>,

Substituting for a,

[rV]
6,

a /r

= b"k i/p,
6 /r their values

[rr"]

= (ab" + a"6)

from

(22),

we

find, since

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

176

r" 3

r" 2

dr'

.....

-i^-ifes-*

)'

(25)

From

these equations the values of

= [//']
^

and n ff

LTT J

be derived

and the

= [r/]
rr ^
-^

may

results are

(26)

which values are exact to the third powers of the time, inclusive.
In the case of the orbit of the earth, the term of the third order,
being multiplied by the very small quantity

7-, is

reduced to a

superior order, and, therefore, it may be neglected, so that in this


case we shall have, to the same degree of approximation as in (26),

(27)

From

n
the equations (26)

*"
n

o*r

from

(25), since

+ r"

-"\ 1 (

kr"

= -[//']

TT.

we

find

dr^

"dt

dr'

Since this equation involves

of

in the case of

r'

and

j-,

it is

evident that the value

an orbit wholly unknown, can be determined

In the first approximation to


only by successive approximations.
the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body, the intervals between
the observations will usually be small, and the series of terms of (28)
will converge rapidly, so that

we may

n'

take

A HEAVENLY BODY.

CEBIT OF

177

and similarly
*L ~~
-1

N"
Hence the equation

T"'

(11) reduces to

(29)

It will be observed, further, that if the intervals between the observations are equal, the term of the second order in equation (28)
7?

vanishes,

and the supposition that

,
r
f\j

= TT

is

correct to terms of the

It will be advantageous, therefore, to select observa-

third order.

whose intervals approach nearest to equality. But if the


observations available do not admit of the selection of those which
give nearly equal intervals, and these intervals are necessarily very
unequal, it will be more accurate to assume
tions

n_

n"

N^
~ N'"

and compute the values of


and N" by means of equations
f
since, according to (27) and (28), if r does not differ much from

(9),
_R',

the error of this assumption will only involve terms of the third
order, even when the values of r and r" differ very much.

Whenever

the values of p and p" can be found when that of their


we may at once derive the corresponding values of r

ratio is given,
h

and r

The

',

as will be subsequently explained.


values of r and T" may also be expressed in terms of

means of

series,

r'

by

and we have

^'- M

dy

r"

--*
r" 2

from which we derive


f'

dl>
- - T + T" _
'

rf

dV

k
neglecting terms of the third order.

Therefore

12

(30)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

178

and when the

intervals are equal, this value is exact to terms of the

We

fourth order.

have, also,

which gives
(31)

Therefore,

when

and r ff have been determined by a

mation, the approximate values of r


equations,

and

first

-=- are obtained

approxi-

from these

-^ may be recomputed
by means of which the value of ft

from equation

(28).

We also

compute

_
N"~~ JR#Bin(0'
and

0)'

substitute in equation (11) the values of

If we designate by
we have

M the

-77

and

-^

thus found.

ratio of the curtate distances

p and p",

(33)

In the numerical application of this, the approximate value of p will


be used in computing the last term of the second member.
In the case of the determination of an orbit when the approximate
^7

elements are already known, the value of

n"

and that of

N
-^

rr' sin (v

be computed from

'

v)

from (32) ; and the value of

these from (33) will not require

may

-77

any further

M derived by means of
correction.

65. When the apparent path of the body is such that the value
of M', as derived from the first of equations
(10), is either indeterminate or greatly affected by errors of observation, the equations (15)
and (16) must be employed. The last terms of these equations may

be changed to a form which is more convenient in the approximations


to the value of the ratio of p" to p.
f
Let
Y" be the ordinates of the sun when the axis of
y
,

Y Y

ORBIT OF

A HEAVENLY BODY.

whose longitude

abscissas is directed to that point in the ecliptic


A',

and we have

=R
=R

Y
Y'

sin(Q

is

A'),

sin(O'--A'),

r"=JB"sin(0"
Now,

179

in the last term of equation (15),

A').

it

will be sufficient to put

_N_

n_

n"~ N "
r

and, introducing Y,

f
,

Y",

it

becomes

oosec

It

now remains

tions (26)

We

we

~ /}

From

to find the value of

find, to

(r

(35)

the second of equa-

terms of the second order inclusive,

have, also,

and hence

Therefore, the expression (35) becomes

But, according to equations

(5),

NY

Y'+N"Y"=0,

and the foregoing expression reduces to

since

F'

= E' sin(0'

n sin (A- -A)


~^^" sin(r-A'

).

Hence the equation

5^C^-

/I

;-^
1

(15) becomes

sn'

sin A"

A'

THEOKETICAL ASTKCXNOMY.

180
If we put

n
M = ^"
"

,.,

sin
sin

n"

(A'

A)

(jf'-xy
rJ_,

,,s

sin

R'

0')

(A'

'

sin

A)

(A'

we have
o"
r

= =
Tl/T
IrJL

/'Q7^

H/T 7?
-"*o-^

Let us now consider the equation

(16),

and

let

'

us designate by X,

X X" the abscissas of the earth, the axis of abscissas being directed
f

which the longitude

to that point of the ecliptic for

is

0', then

X =R cos (0-00,
=R,
X"=R" cos("
X'

0').

It will be sufficient, in the last term of (16), to put

n_ ~~

n"

and

for

this

term reduces to

and

its

'

T"

if

value in terms of

r75

R' z

_N_

N"

tf

'

as already found.

tan ft" cos (A

Then, since

'

tan /S' cos (A"

')

0')

we put
n

tan/3'cos (A
/3" cos (*/

~~n"' tan

Hl rr j^
F = 1 _i^l
*
r"
n
,

'

0')
Q')
T ,,x/_L
;
\r' 3

tan/? cos (A'


tan p' cos (X"

0')
0')'

(38)
tan/3^

E' 3 /tan/3'cos(A

0')

Ef_'

tan/3cos(A'

0')

the equation (16) becomes


n

(39)

In the numerical application of these formulae,


we first assume

not approximately known,

Wf= 7

when

the intervals are nearly equal, and

if

the elements are

A HEAVENLY BODY.

ORBIT OF

JL ""
n"
as given by (32),
and
the factors

when

N
N

181

'

the intervals are very unequal, and neglect


values of p and p tf which are thus ob-

The

f
.

an approximate value of

tained, enable us to find

r'',

and with

77

more exact value of ^ may be found, and

also the value of

this a

F or F

f
.

Tif

Whenever equation

(11) is not materially affected by errors of


the value of
furnish
will
with more accuracy than
observation,
the equations (37) and (39), since the neglected terms will not be so
In general, therefore, it is to
great as in the case of these equations.

it

be preferred, and, in the case in which it fails, the very circumstance


that the geocentric path of the body is nearly in a great circle, makes
the values of

F and

F'

differ

but

66.

When

the value of

M has

determine, by means of other

from unity,

little

that the apparent path of the body


r' must differ very little from R'.

may

since, in order

be nearly in a great

circle,

been found, we may proceed to


between p and p ff y the values

relations

of the quantities themselves.


The co-ordinates of the first place of the earth referred to the third,
are
x,
y,

we

= R" cos Q" R cos O,


= .R"sin0" .RsinO.

(AK\

by g the chord of the earth's orbit between the places


and third observations, and by G the longitude of the first place of the earth as seen from the third, we shall
If

represent

corresponding to the first

have
x,

= g cos G,

y,

= g sin G,

and, consequently,

O)
O)

.#"cos(O"
"si n (O"

R = gcos(G

sin

O),

(00).

an

If
represents the angle at the earth between the sun and comet
the inclination to
at the first observation, and if we designate by

the ecliptic of a plane passing through the places of the earth, sun,
and comet or planet for the first observation, the longitude of the
ascending node of this plane on the ecliptic will be O, and we shall

have, in accordance with equations (81) D


cos
sin

4/

sin

4*

4/

= cos

/?

w cos
sin w = sin p

cos

ft
f

cos (A
sin (A

O),
Q),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

182
from which

tan w

tan 4

= tan cosw O)

tan/9

-r

(42)

(A

Since cos/9 is always positive, cos^ and cos (A


Q) must have the
same sign; and, further, fy cannot exceed 180.
In the same manner, if w" and oj/' represent analogous quantities
for the time of the third observation,

v=

ta

we

obtain

^"

sin (A"

Q")'

"-0")
cos4"=cos/3"cos(A"

We also have

";

2J.Rcos4,

which may be transformed into


r2

and

= GO sec

manner we

in a similar
r" 2

= (p" sec

R cos 4)

/9

-f

R*

sin

(44)

find

JT

/9"

cos 4/') 2

+ ^'

sin 4".

Let K designate the chord of the orbit of the body between the
and third places, and we have
x2

But

- (*" - *) + <y - + o" x = p cos


R cos O,
jR sin O,
y = p sin
= p tan
2

2/)

*)

/?,

= Mp,
and, since j0"

= M/> cos A"


=
f Mp sin ^'
x"

.#" cos

from which we derive, introducing g and

= Mp cos A"
= Mp sin A"
z" ~z = Mp tan/5"

Gr,

a?"

p cos A

y"

p sin A

Let us now put

O",

R" sin O",

^ tan

/?.

y cos G,
g sin (2,

(45)
first

ORBIT OF A

Mp

cos A"

HEAVENLY BODY.

p cos A

JKf/3

sin A"

/>

sin A

J^f/9

tan /5"

/o

tan /?

ph cos

183

C cos J?,

= ph cos C sin
= ph sin

(46)

17",

C.

Then we have
x"

y"

/>/i

z= ph sin

z"

IT

cos C cos

and

if

= pW

2g ph cos

cos C cos
x

cos

jH")

^ cos ^)

(/>&

by

get,

we put

we have

6r,
6r,

C.

Squaring these values, and adding, we


2

# cos
g sin

= ph cos C sin H

reduction,

JET )

= cos

# sin

-f-

(47)

(48)

?>,

+g

(49)

<p.

If we multiply the first of equations (46) by cos A", and the


second by sin /", and add the products ; then multiply the first by
ff
sin X , and the second by cos A", and subtract, we obtain

= M cos (A"
A") = sin (A"

h cos C cos (H
h cos C sin (H

A")

=M tan p"

h sin C

by means of which we may determine


Let us now put

g sin p
4

^ cos ^

h cos

and the equations

/?

(44), (45),

and

(49)

6,

(51)

6",

6"J2" cos 4"

c",

become

+ A\

+ V,

The

=
-

g cos ^
d,
^ cos y

c,

|oA

/9,

V' =7 5",

6J? cos

(50)

tan

f and H.

^4,

J2 sin

J?" sin

h,

A),

A),

(52 )

equations thus derived are independent of the form of the


and are applicable to the case of any heavenly body revolving
around the sun. They will serve to determine r and r" in all cases
in which the unknown quantity d can be determined. If p is known,
orbit,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

184

d becomes known

an unknown

directly; but in the case of

orbit,

d may be determined
these equations are applicable
furnished
by observation.
directly or indirectly from the data
only when p

or

67. Since the equations (52) involve two radii-vectores r and r"
their extremities, it is evident that an addi-

and the chord x joining

tional equation involving these and known quantities will enable us


to derive d, if not directly, at least by successive approximations.

indeed, a remarkable relation existing between two radiichord joining their extremities, and the time of describing
the
vectores,
In general,
the part of the orbit included by these radii-vectores.

There

is,

the equation which expresses this relation involves also the semitransverse axis of the orbit; and hence, in the case of an unknown

not be sufficient, in connection with the equations (52),

orbit, it will

some assumption is made in regard


For the special case of
the
semi-transverse axis is infinite, and the resultparabolic motion,
ing equation involves only the time, the two radii-vectores, and the
for the determination of

unless

c?,

to the value of the semi-transverse axis.

chord of the part of the orbit included by these. It is, therefore,


adapted to the determination of the elements when the orbit is supposed to be a parabola, and, though it is transcendental in form, it
may be easily solved by trial. To determine this expression, let us

resume the equations


s-^

= tan J

i
-j-

tan3

1/20
and, for the time t" }

Subtracting the former from the latter, and reducing,

Q=
~ Bin^y
"

3fcy

cos

1/2 q?
and, since r
3&(*"

= q sec
Q

y=

= sinK^

*0/^

cos 2^

jv, this

1/2

But we have,

v
iz

coajy

we

*0

r\
'

cos -X' cos 2 V

gives

t;)!/^/
1

/=
q

,,
r-j-r"+cos(v
.

./

vJVrr

\
}

,_
(53)

from the triangle formed by the chord K and the


and r",

also,

radii-vectores r

obtain

x*=r* +
(r+

r" 2

fr

r'O

2rr" cos (v
4rr" cos 2 J

v)
r

(if

v).

PAJRABOLIC ORBIT.
Therefore,

185

Let us now put


r

_|_

"

=m

_j_

m and n being positive quantities.


'

_|_

"

Then we

_x=^
shall

have

+ ''=*("*+*),

2 cos

(i;"

i;)

1/rr"

mn

and ?i are always positive, it follows that the upper sign


and, since
v is less than 180, and the lower sign when
must be used when v"
v

ff

- =

(m-

V2q

Now we

last

'

equation with (53),

mn).

(55)

have
sin

Squaring
sin

Combining the

is
'

or,

180.

v is greater than

the result

this,

(i/

= sin ^v" cos ^v

cos ^v" sin ^v.

and reducing, we get

v)

(j/'

v)

= cos

introducing r and

-Jv

+ cos

^v"

2 cos

f/

^-v

cos ^v cos ^ (v"

v) t

q,

Therefore,

sn

"

Introducing this value into equation (55),

we

find

Replacing m and n by their values expressed in terms of


x, this becomes
6& (*"

- = (r + r" + x)i T (r + r" - x)f

r,

r",

and

(56)

v is less than 180.


This
being used when v"
equation expresses the relation between the time of describing any
parabolic arc and the rectilinear distances of its extremities from each

the upper sign

other and from the sun, and enables us at once, when three of these
quantities are given, to find the fourth, independent of either the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

186

perihelion distance or the position of the perihelion with respect to


the arc described.

The transcendental form of the equation (56) indicates that,


either of the quantities in the second member is to be found,
must be solved by successive trials ; and, to facilitate these approxi68.

when
it

mations, it may be transformed as follows


Since the chord x can never exceed r
r",
:

and, since #,

r,

The value of

From

we

the last equation

positive, sin

obtain

+ /')*-

COSY=
and substituting

for x

x2

O+r")

value given by

its

4rr" cos 2

(r -f r")

(v"

Therefore,

4rr" cos 2 ^(i/'

v),

-y)

we have
COS

/=

2i/Vr"
COS 2

v)

(t/

(58)

-77-,

also

^n / - ^-^
Hence

it

appears that

when

*
-.

v"v

is

less

(59)

than 180,

belongs to

v is greater than 180, cosf'


quadrant, and that when v"
and
to
the
second
negative,
f belongs
quadrant.

the
is

becomes

this

and

(57)

f must always be positive.


the limits
and 180.
be
within
must, therefore,

and r" are

m/,

+ r"

we may put

first

If

we

introduce

into the expressions for

and

7i

they become

0(1+ sin/),

m*=(r +

^ = (r + r")(l-sin/),

which give

m *= ( r -f r") (cos i/ + sin i/)


2
rc,

and, since

is

(r

greater

-f r")

than 90

cos

J/

2
,

IF sin

when v"

v exceeds

180,

equation (56) becomes


6r'

(^cos

^f

-\-

sin

tff )*

(cos

\Y

sm jif).

th<

PARABOLIC DEBIT.

From

this equation

we

187

get

= 6 cos

fir'

sin

2 sin3

or

and

may

this, again,

be transformed into

fr

o/sinir'\

Iwr

2t(r+o*

Let us now put


(61)

p
or
sin

|/

= V 2 sin

#,

and we have
'

1/2 (r

When

v"

is

= 3 sin x

+
less

than 180,

= sin 3x.

sin x

must be

less

(62)

than

90, and

hence, in this case, sin x cannot exceed the value |, or x must be


within the limits
and 30. When v"
v is greater than 180,
the angle
is within the limits 90
and 180, and corresponding to
these limits, the values of sin# are, respectively, | and |>/2
Hence,

in the case that v

the limits 30

ff

v exceeds

180,

it

follows that x must be within

and 45.

The equation
=

1/2 (r

= sin 3x

3x ; but when the first gives


there
can
3x
be but one solution, the value 180
15,
being in this case excluded by the condition that 3x cannot exceed
135. When x is greater than 15, the required condition will be

is satisfied

less

by the values 3# and 180

than

satisfied

by 3x or by 180

3#,

and there

will be

corresponding respectively to the cases in which v"

two
v

solutions,

is less

than

ff
v is greater than 180.
180, and in which v
Consequently,
when it is not known whether the heliocentric motion during the

interval t"

than

45,

solutions.

t is
greater or less than 180, and we find 3x greater
the same data will be satisfied by these two different

In

practice,

however,

it

is

readily

known which

of the

THEOEETICAL ASTEONOMY.

188

t is not
two solutions must be adopted, since, when the interval t"
very large, the heliocentric motion cannot exceed 180, unless the
and the known circumstances will
perihelion distance is very small
;

an assumption
generally show whether such

We shall

now put

admissible.

is

-aj

(63)

and we obtain
sin 3s

(64)

v 8

We have,

also,

sin

and hence
cos

j/

^/

= i/l

= 1/2 sin
2 sin 2 x

x,

= I/ cos

1x.

Therefore
sin

and, since K

(r

/ =P= 2^ sin x V cos 2#,

+ r") sin

= 2^

p',

(r

we have
-f-

^") sin

a;

cos

2a;.

If we put

3^^^^

(65)

sm3a;

the preceding equation reduces to


*

From

=-

(66)

appears that ^ must be within the limits (


may, therefore, construct a table which, with 37 a
the argument, will give the corresponding value of /*, since, with
given value of 37, 3# may be derived from equation (64), and thei

and

equation (64)

\ |/g.

the value of

//

from

69.

Table XI. gives the values of


from 0.0 to 0.9.

(65).

sponding to values of

to

it

We

r]

In determining an

make some assumption

/JL

corre

orbit wholly unknown, it will be necessary


in regard to the approximate distance oi

the comet from the sun.

In this case the interval t"


t will
gene
be
x
will
be
small
rally
small, and, consequently,
compared with r
and r ff
As a first assumption we may take r
2,
1, or r -f- r"

and

fi.

1,

and then

find K

from the formula

PAEABOLIC ORBIT.

189

we compute d, r, and r" by means of the


Having thus found approximate values of r and r",
equations (52).
we compute y by means of (63), and with this value we enter Table
"With this value of K

XI. and take out the corresponding value of //. A second value
is then found from
(66), with which we recompute r and r", and

for K

proceed as before, until the values of these quantities remain unThe final values will exactly satisfy the equation (56),
changed.
and will enable us to complete the determination of the orbit.
trials the value of r -f r" may be found very nearly
from the numbers already derived. Thus, let y be the true
A# be the difference between any
value of log (r -f- r") an(i
assumed or approximate value of y and the true value, or

After three

correct

Then

if

we denote by yQ

2/-

the value which results by direct calculation

we

from the assumed value yQ)

Expanding

=y+ A

have

shall

we have

this function,

But, since the equations (52) and (66) will be exactly satisfied
the true value of # is used, it follows that

and hence, when


the second order,

Let us

b7

2/o>

then

now denote
and

2A/> 2/o">

we

shall

is

&y

we

very small, so that we


have

three successive approximate values of log (r -f r")


let

have

neglect terms of

shall

Eliminating

may

when

= A (y

y\

from these equations, we get


y

(a'

a)

ay

a'y

',

trom which
f

ttft

ft

ffi7^

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

190

Unless the assumed values are considerably in error, the value of


r") thus found will be sufficiently exact ; but should

y or of log (r
it

be

still

in error,

we may, from

the three values which approximate


still greater
In the
accuracy.

nearest to the truth, derive y with

numerical application of this equation, a and a' may be expressed in


units of the last decimal place of the logarithms employed.
t when K is
The solution of equation (56), to find t"
known, is
readily effected

by means of Table VIII.

Thus we have

= sin 3#.
1/2
and,

when

is less

than

if

90,

we put

_
si

/v

i-T

we

get

.
'

sm /

J = i 1/2 N sin / (r +

r") f ,

(68)

or

When

r
f exceeds

90, we put
N'

= sin

3a?,

and we have

in which log $ i/%


9.6733937. 'With the argument f we take
from Table VIII. the corresponding value of
or N', and by
means of these equations r'
k (t rr
at
is
once
derived.
t)

The

inverse problem, in which T' is known and K is required,


by means of the same table. Thus, we may for a

also be solved

may
first

approximation put

and with

this value of

% compute

d, r,

The value of

and r".

is

then found from

and the

table gives the


corresponding value of
to
x
will
be given by the
approximation

N or N A second

equation

vT

T>

PARABOLIC ORBIT.
or

191

by
3

r'sin/

^Ti'-^TF^

= 0.3266063.

which log

in

Then we recompute

and proceed as before until u remains unchanged.


tions are facilitated by means of equation (67).
It will be observed that d is computed from

d
and

it

should be

be used.

It

is

i/x'

known whether

and r",

d, r,

The approxima-

JL',

the positive or negative sign must

evident from the equation

= ph

g cos

<f>,

and g are positive quantities, that so long as <p (which


and 180) exceeds 90, the value of d
must be within the limits
must be positive and therefore <p must be less than 90, and g cos <p
The equation (47)
greater than ph, in order that d may be negative.
shows that when K is greater than g, we have
since p, h,

and hence d must in this case be positive. But when K is less than
g, either the positive or the negative value of d will answer to the
given value of <p, and the sign to be adopted must be determined
from the physical conditions of the problem.
If we suppose the chords g and K to be proportional to the linear

and comet at the middle observation,


the eccentricity of the earth's orbit being neglected,
velocities of the earth

which shows that x


'*

T' is less

vfte

than

earth which

2.

we

have,

greater than g, and that d is positive, so long


The comets are rarely visible at a distance from

is

much

exceeds the distance of the earth from the sun,


is 2 must be nearly in opposition in

and a comet whose radius-vector

order to satisfy this condition of visibility.


Hence cases will rarely
occur in which d can be negative, and for those which do occur it
will

generally be easy to determine which sign

is

to be used.

How-

very small,
may be impossible to decide which of the
two solutions is correct without comparing the resulting elements
with other and more distant observations.
ever, if

is

it

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

192

When

and r" have been finally determined, as


of d may be computed, and then we
just explained, the exact value
have
70.

the values of r

_d

-f-

p and p".
the
equations (90) D
According to

from which

O)
O)

r cos b sin (I
r sin b

and also

and Z" are the

we have

= p cos
= p sin

(A

=p tan

/5,

/>"

r"sin6"
Z

(70)

Q)

(A

= cos
= ?" sin
=

0")
Q")

r" cos 6" cos (/"


r" cos 6" sin (/"

which

<p

to find

r cos b cos (I

in

g cos
h

R,
(71)

),

(A"

0")

(A"

0"),

heliocentric longitudes

#',
(72)

and

6,

6" the corre-

sponding heliocentric latitudes of the comet. From these equations


we find T y r ff , I, I", 6, and b" ; and the values of r and r" thus found,
should agree with the final values already obtained. When I" is less
the motion of the comet is retrograde, or, rather, when the
I,

than

motion

is

such that the heliocentric longitude

of increasing.
From the equations (82) 1?
tan

diminishing instead

is

we have
sin (I

tanisin(r

&)

= tan

/Q\

6,

ft)=-"

which may be written


tani(sin(Z
tan i (sin (I"

+ sin (a

x ) cos (a;

&)

x) cos (re

& ) + sin

cos(Z

-*&)

cos

Multiplying the

by

first of these
equations by sin(Z"
x\ and adding the products, we get

sin(

tan

and

& ) sin (t'

sin (x

in a similar

tan i cos (x

Now,
have

since

is

1)

= tan 6 sin (r

manner we

find

Q ) sin (I"

l)= tan 6" cos (J

entirely arbitrary,

a;))

;/

(Z

))

a;),

= tan
= tan

5,

b".

and the second

x)

tan 6" sin (I

x)

a)

tan 6 cos (r

a).

we may put

it

equal to

I,

and we

PARABOLIC ORBIT.
tan

tan

i sin (I
i

ft )

cos (7

ft )

=
=

tan

b,

tan b"

tan 6 cos (I"

(74)

I)

sin(r

when

the lower sign being used

193

it is

desired to introduce the distinc-

tion of retrograde motion.

The formulae will be better adapted to


we put x = \(l" -}- I), whence I" x=\(l ff
and we obtain
tan
tan

sin (

cos

(J-

These equations
and subtraction.

ft )

(I" -j- /)

(Z"

may

ft )

logarithmic calculation if
Z)

and

= =h 2~ cos b Sm
cos b" cos
,

lff

/ 7

,
7
r
\,,
2 cos b cos 6

also be derived directly

x=$(l

,,

^,

(I

I)

I");

.__,

'

Oy

TV

,,-,

sm | (I"

I)

from (73) by addition

Thus we have

= tan 6" -f tan


=
tan &"
tan 6;
ft))

& ) + sin (J

tan i (sin (I"


tan t (sin (Z"

ft ))

sin(Z

ft)

6,

and, since

sin(r-

ft) -f sin

siiiC/'

ft)

these

(/-

sin (I

ft)

ft)

= 2 siny"+ ^- 2ft) cosi(^- 0,


= 2cos(J"+ 2Q) sin J(^~ 0,
^

become

= i^(tan 6" + tan 6)

which may be readily transformed into (75).


6" will be found by means of their tangents

How ever,
r

since 6

and

in the numerical appli-

cation of equations (71) and (72), if addition and subtraction logarithms are used, the equations last derived will be more convenient
than in the form (75).

As soon as ft and i have been computed from the preceding equations, we have, for the determination of the arguments of the latitude
u and u",
cos

Now we

cos

have

u
in

which

to

TT

ft in

=v

-f-

>

the case of direct motion, and


13

co

= ft

TT

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

194

the distinction of retrograde motion

when
have

"U =

adopted; and

is

we

shall

"

V}

and, consequently,

=r

x2
x2

= (r"

-j-

r" 2

r cos

We have,

u),

r2 sin 2

(78)

(79)

w).

(it"

should agree with that

this equation

(66).

further,

= q sec

))"+

(t/'

The value of K derived from


already found from

2rr" cos (u"

(u

r"

to),

= q sec

(u"

w),

or

= COS l(u

Vr

addition and subtraction,

By

(cos

7=-

30*"

o)

(COS J

7= COS 4

T^>

>)

Vq

(lt'

to)

Vq
we

from these equations,

get,

+ cos J(
COS J

Vi"

))

o))

(l*

= -/==
Vr

-/=,

Vr

from which we easily derive


-?=- cos J (J

But

("

+)-)

cos

^T^v^
if

- = -7= + 4^'
f.)

sin

and

("

(7r

/T"\
V- \-'
::

we put
tan (45
"

since

we

if?
^|

will not diifer

much from

shall have, since tan


(45

</r"~

+ 6'}
|~T

1, 0' will

cot (45

-\/r =
4

be a small angle; and

+ 6') = 2 tan 20',

PARABOLIC ORBIT.

195

Therefore, the equations (80) become

--

r
Vq

sin
r

sin | (M"

4/
i/rr"

)) = - ^-=>
V
spp20'

1
*

tt)

cosHJ("+

cos | (w

from which the values of q and

o>

may

w)

be found.

r/'

Then we

shall

have, for the longitude of the perihelion

= +
when

when

the motion

motion

and the

distinction of retrograde

adopted.

It remains

now to
V

With

and

is direct,

unrestricted exceeds 90
is

find T, the time of perihelion passage.

=U-

tf'=u"

>,

U>.

and v" we may

the resulting values of v

We have

find,

by means of

Table VI., the corresponding values of


(which must be distinthe
from
used
to
denote the ratio of the
symbol
guished
already

and

curtate distances),
we shall have

if these

M and M"

values are designated by

r-r=

t-T=~,
m

'

'

or

m
in

which

m=

f and log
,

9*

= 9.9601277.

When v is

negative, the

is negative.
The agreement between the
corresponding value of
two values of T will be a final proof of the accuracy of the numerical

calculation.

The value of T when the true anomaly is small, is most readily


and accurately found by means of Table VIII., from which we
derive the two values of ^V and compute the corresponding values
of T from the equation

T=t
2
in

which

logjr,

= 1.5883273.

2
TN

When

is

greater than

90, we

de-

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

196

rive the values of

values of

from the

table,

and compute the corresponding

T from

The elements q and may be derived directly from the values


r", and x, as derived from the equations (52), without first
finding the position of the plane of the orbit and the position of the
71.

of

r,

orbit in its

by

own

Thus, the equations

plane.

their values v

CD

sin J

and v

0"

Vq
2
-7= cosi

(i,"

Vq

-{-

CD",

(80), replacing

u and u"

become

+ v) sini (I/'-*) =4= --1,,

11

Vr

Vr"

+ v cos| (" - - 4= + -7=-Vr Vr"


;

tM)

1;)

Adding together the squares of

and reducing, we get

these,

sin2 J (v"

v)

or

_
~r" +
Combining

this equation

2l/^

77

with

vj

cos^(v'

(59), the result is


f

y)
V-_rr"sm^(v'
r + /'
xcoty"

and hence, since X

(r

We have,

further,
x

= ~ sin

from
2

+ r") sin^',
2

(v"

v) cot

(78),

= (/'

r) 2

+ 4rr" sin

(v'

v)

from which, putting

smv=
we

r"

=^->

derive
2l/rr"~
(85)

Therefore, the equation (83) becomes

PARABOLIC ORBIT.

197

g^Kr + r'Ocos'-i/cos'v,

(86)

by means of which q is derived directly from r, r", and x the value


of v being found by means of the formula (84), so that cos v is
y

positive.

When

f
f cannot be found with sufficient accuracy from the equa-

tion

we may

which

*r

give,

by

Thus, we have

use another form.

+ /' + x
r + /

l-sm/,

+ r"
; + /

x
,

division,

tan (45

+ ir

"

*=

')

Jx rr + r"r + x*

(87)

-f

In a similar manner, we derive


tan (45

In order

+ |v) =

-f-

* x

^r

ty.

(/'

r)

(88)

to find the time of perihelion passage,

to derive the values of v

by multiplication,
tan

from which v"

may

v)

(v"

it is
necessary first
equations (59) and (85) give,

The

and v".

= tan f cos
From

be computed.

tan i (v" -f v) tan j (v"

v)

(89)

v,

(82)

we

= XL

get

L//

If we put

tan/

= Apl',

(90)

this equation reduces to

tan i (v"

and the equations

+v)=* tan (/

cot | (v"

(81) give, also,

tan I (v" -f v)
either of

45)

which may be used

= cot |

"
1

(t

ff
to find v

v) sin 2^,

+ v.

v),

(91)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

198

From

the equations
cos |v

~~Vr

V~q

cos %v" __

V7

'

Vq

tne second by
by multiplying the first by sinjv" and
we
easily find
ing the products and reducing,
ff

cos \ (v"

v) sin

sin \ (v

v)

sin Jv,

add-

Hence we have
= sin \v
1

= COS %V

Vq

which may be used

to

1
;=,

Vr

compute

q, v,

and v" when v"

is

known.

ff
and hence v" and v, have been
0),
(v"
v) and \ (v
determined, the time of perihelion passage must be found, as already
explained, by means of Table VI. or Table VIII.

When

It

is

evident, therefore, that in the determination of an orbit, as

soon as the numerical values of

r,

r" and x have been derived from


,

the equations (52), instead of completing the calculation of the elements of the orbit, we may find q and T, and then, by means of
f
f
When this
these, the values of r and v may be computed directly.
has been effected, the values of
that of

from

(34).

n and n" may be found from

Then we compute p by means of

the

(3),

or

first

of

from (33), or, in the


equations (70), and the corrected value of
In
cases
from
the
special
already examined,
equations (37) and (39).
this

way, by successive approximations, the determination of parafrom given data may be carried to the limit of accuracy

bolic elements

which
case,

may
it

is consistent with the


assumption of parabolic motion. In the
however, of the equations (37) and (39), the neglected terms
be of the second order, and, consequently, for the final results

will be necessary, in order to attain the greatest


possible accuracy,

to derive

from (15) and

(16).

W^hen the

determination of the elements


already given.

is

value of If has been found, the


completed by means of the formulae

final

PARABOLIC CEBIT.

199

To illustrate the application of the formulae for


72. EXAMPLE.
the calculation of the parabolic elements of the orbit of a comet by
a numerical example, let us take the following observations of the
Fifth

Comet of 1863, made


Ann Arbor M.

1864 Jan. 10

These

Ann

Arbor:

T.

6* 57 m 20'.5

19* 14" 4 8 .92

+ 34

6'

27".4,

11

54

.7

19 25

2 .84

36

36 52

.8,

16 6 35

11

.6

19 41

4 .54

+ 39

41 26

.9.

13 6

are

at

apparent equinox of the date and


parallax and aberration by means of

.places are referred to the

already

corrected

for

approximate values of the geocentric distances of the comet.

But

approximate values of these distances are not already known, the


corrections for parallax and aberration may be neglected in the first
determination of the approximate elements of the unknown orbit of
if

we

convert the observed right ascensions and declinations into the corresponding longitudes and latitudes by means of

a comet.

If

equations (1), and reduce the times of observation to the meridian


of Washington, we get
Washington M. T.
3'
1864 Jan. 10 7 h 24
13 6 38 37
16 7
1
54

13

297
302

53'

57 51

.3

57

39 35

.9,

310

31 52

.3

+ 59

38 18

.7.

7".6

-}-

55

46' 58".4,

Next, we reduce these places by applying the corrections for preand nutation to the mean equinox of 1864.0, and reduce the

cession

we have

times of observation to decimals of a day, and


t
t'

"

= 10.30837,
= 13.27682,
= 16.29299,

= 297
= 302
A" = 310
I

52' 51".l,

/?

A'

57 34

For the same times we

Q =290
O'

293

find,
6'

27".4,
7 57 .1,

to the

/5"=-j-59

46' 58".4,

39 35

.9,

38 18.7.

from the American Nautical Almanac,

Q" = 296 1215.7,


which are referred

.4,

31 35.0,

= + 55
= 57

log.R =9.992763,
f

logE =9.992830,
log

#'

mean equinox of

= 9.992916,

1864.0.

It will gene-

rally be sufficient, in a first approximation, to use logarithms of five


decimals ; but, in order to exhibit the calculation in a more complete

form, we shall retain six places of decimals.


Since the intervals are very nearly equal, we

may assume

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

200

L *L
JL
ri~'~~r"~ N"'
Then we have
tan i? sin

lf_t'
~
and

sin

0)
Q)

^ cos(
h cos C cos (IT
h cos C sin

(#

A")

from which to find

Jf,

G, g,

H,

and

h.

(;/

it

777
/9"

')'

R;

A),

tan

/5;

Thus we
94

obtain

24'

= 40 28
log h = 9.688532.

')

A),

= 9.019613,
=
= 0.752,
Ar
cos
J!f

(A"

#=

58' 1".7,

log^

Since

tan p sin (A"

= M tan/5"

M= 9.829827,
== 22

tan ft sin

== sin

')

')

= R" sin (" 0),


= R" cos(Q" O)
cos (A"
A") = Jf

h sin C

log

(A

t' tan/S"sin(A'

t'

1".8,

21

.9,

appears that the comet, at the time

The
observations, was rapidly approaching the earth.
deterbe
are
in
A"
must
which
and
taken,
quadrants
mined by the condition that g and h cos must always be positive.
of

these

The value of

M should be checked

by duplicate calculation, since an


and $' are

r
error in this will not be exhibited until the values of A

computed from the resulting elements.


Next, from
cos

= cos

/?

cos (A

O),
cos

we compute

cos ^, cos ty',

g sin

obtain

find

<p

= cos C cos
and cos

<p

= cos

h cos

/?

g cosy

b,

b"R"

cos 4"

v
,

B, B", &c. It will generally be sufficiently exact to


/r
but if more accurate
sinij/' from cosoj/ and cos^
and fy' are required, they may be obtained by means of

A = 9.006485,

log b

"),

J.,

the equations (42) and (43).


log

cos (A"

H),

sin^ and

values of

ft"

and then from

= A,

R" sin 4" = 5",


bR cos 4
e,

g cosy

we

<p

cos *"

= 9.438524,
= 0.125067,

log

Thus we derive
log B" = 9.933366,
= 9.562387,
= 0.150562.

B ='9.912052,
log b"
c"

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

201

Then we have
r '=-k(t"

t\

TI

=
(r

r,

_}_/')!'

2r'

from which to

by successive trials, tjie values of >, r", and x,


found
from Table XI. with the argument y. First,
being
assume
we
that of

find,

/.

log x

and with
log r

this

we

= log r'i/2 = 9.163132,

obtain

= 9.913895,

log r"

= 9.938040,

log (r -f r")

=*=

0.227165.

This value of log(V


0.094, and from Table XI. we
r"} gives ^
find log/Jt
0.000160. Hence we derive

=
log x = 9.200220,

log r == 9.912097,
log r"
0.224825.
r")

log (r

Repeating the operation, using the


log x

= 9.201396,

log r
log (r

The

correct value of log(r

Thus,
equation (67).
the logarithms,
a

= 224825

we

= 9.912083,

r r/ )

may now

2340,

log (r
?y, //,

= 9.201419,

>c,

9.935117,

be found by means of the

a'

= 224783

to the last value of log(r

and, recomputing

log r"

+ r"), we get

have, in units of the sixth decimal place of

Therefore,

log x

value of log(r

+ /') = 0.224783.

-}-

227165 ==

and the correction

last

= 9.935187,

r,

224825

42,

+ r"} becomes

+ r") = 0.224782,
and r", we

logr

get, finally,

= 9.912083, logr" = 9.935116,


= 0.224782.

log (r -f r")

The agreement of

the last value of log(r


"") with the preceding
one shows that the results are correct. Further, it appears from the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

202

values of r and r" that the comet had passed

receding from the sun.


By means of the values of r and r"
dr'
f

mate values of r and

-rr

its

we might compute approxi-

from the equations (30) and

a more approximate value of

from

7l

(28), that

(32).

-^

and then

being found

-i-V

f
But, since r differs but

from

little

f
y

the difference

?V

77

^ and

between

(31),

of

/I/

from

and was

perihelion

YL

is

-^77

very small, so that

it is

not necessary to con-

-A.V

member of the equation (33);


intervals
are
the
very nearly equal, the error of the asand, since
sider the second term of the second

sumption

is

of the third order.

in the value of

It should be observed, however, that an error


/r
H, , 7i, and hence also 9 b, b", c, and c ,

affects

and the resulting value of p may be

affected

by an error which con-

It is advantageous, therefore, to select


siderably exceeds that of M.
observations which furnish intervals as nearly equal as possible in

M may be
M and repeat the

order that the error of


necessary to correct

We

small, otherwise it
calculation of

to

may become
r,

r r/ ,

and

x.

may
compute the perihelion distance and the time of perihelion passage from r, r", and K by means of the equations (86), (89),
also

Then

and

(91) in connection with Tables

may

be computed directly, and the complete expression for

VI. and VIII.

r'

and v

M may

be employed.

In the

first

determination of the elements, and especially when the


and aberration have been neglected, it is un-

corrections for parallax

necessary to attempt to arrive at the limit of accuracy attainable,


since, when approximate elements have been found, the observations

may

be more conveniently reduced, and those which include a longer


may be used in a more complete calculation. Hence, as soon

interval

and K have been found, the curtate distances are next deterand
then the elements of the orbit. To find p and p", we
mined,
have

as

r,

r",

= + 0.122395,

the positive sign being used since x

_d

Pgive
log p

+ gcosy
-^

= 9.480952,

is

greater than g,

log p"

and the formulae

= Mp,

= 9.310779.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

203

From these values of p and //', it appears that the comet was very
near the earth at the time of the observations.
The

by means of the equations

heliocentric places are then found

and

(71)

Thus we

(72).

= 106

r=112

obtain

= + 33

40' 50".5,

31

6"=

9.9,

The agreement of

1'

23

log r

10".6,

55

log r"

5.8,

= 9.912082,
= 9.935116.

and r rr with those previously

these values of r

found, checks the accuracy of the calculation.


Further, since the
heliocentric longitudes are increasing, the motion is direct.

The

longitude of the ascending node and the inclination of the


may now be found by means of the equations (74), (75), or (76);

orbit

and we get

= 304

&
The

43' 11".5,

u and u"

values of

are given

COS

u and I
& being
Thus we obtain

31' 21".7.

by the formulae

COS

same quadrant

in the

u == 142

in the case of direct motion.

u"= 153

52' 12".4,

18' 49".4.

the equation

= (r"

x2

log x

and the agreement of

-j-

0')

(i (u -f u)

w)

+ u)

w)

tan (45
,

,=-

Vq

sin

-i

with that previously found,

u,

i,

^(

'.

,,.
r>

(u"

u)

= 9.201423,
and u"

&,

u))' -f r sin (u"

this value of x

proves the calculation of


From the equations

Vq

r cos (u"

gives

we

= 64

tan

Then

tan 20'

get
d'

22' 47".4,

Hence we have
TT

u>

= 115
-f-

40' 6".3,

= 60

log q

23' 17".8,

9.887378.

THEOKETICAL ASTEONOMY.

204
and
v

=u

Then we

= 27

v"

12' 6".l,

= u"w = 37

38' 43".l.

obtain
log

m = 9.9601277

f log q

= 0.129061,

and, corresponding to the values of v and v", Table


log

M = 1.267163,

log

gives

M" = 1.424152.

Therefore, for the time of perihelion passage,

T=t

VI.

we have

13.74364,

=f

19.72836.

and

T = t"
The

first

value gives

T= Dec. 27.56463.

T= 1863 Dec. 27.56473, and


The agreement between

the second gives


is the final

these results

proof of the calculation of the elements from the adopted value of

M= -.
p

If

we

find

T by

log

means of Table VIII., we have

N = 0.021616,

log N"

= 0.018210,

and the equation

T=
in

which log

Nr*

sin v

^ = 1.5883273, gives

t"

for

JVV't

sin v",

the values Dec. 27.56473

and Dec. 27.56469.


Collecting together the several results obtained,

lowing elements

T
*

we have

the fol-

= 1863 Dec. 27.56471 Washington mean time.


= 6023'17".8) ^
qru

43
3

1 1

K V

f=6431 217/
log q = 9.887378.

^ cll P tlc
E

an d Mean

^x

1864 .0,

Motion Direct.
73. The elements thus derived will, in all
cases, exactly represent
the extreme places of the comet, since these
only have been used in
finding the elements after p and p" have been found.
If, by means

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.

205

of these elements, we compute n and n" and correct the value of M,


the elements which will then be obtained will approximate nearer
',

the true values

and each successive correction

will furnish

When

more

the adopted value of


is exact, the resultelements
must
calculation
this
value, and since the
ing
reproduce
by
of
values
and
will
be
the
same
as the observed
A, A", /9,
computed
ft"

accurate results.

must be such that when


substituted in the equation for M, the same result will be obtained
as when the observed values of A' and ft' are used.
But, according
to the equations (13) and (14), the value of
depends only on the
computed values of

values, the

and

/9'

inclination to the ecliptic of a great circle passing through the places


of the sun and comet for the time t r , and is independent of the angle

between the sun and comet. Hence, the spherical coordinates of any point of the great circle joining these places of the
sun and comet will, in connection with those of the extreme places,
at the earth

and when the exact value of


has been
t
give the same value of
used in deriving the elements, the computed values of X and /9 r must
give the same value for w' as that which is obtained from observation.

But

if

we

ij/ the angle at the earth between the


the values of i// derived by observation

by

represent

sun and comet at the time

and by computation from the elements will differ, unless the middle
In general, this difference will be small,
place is exactly represented.
and since w' is constant, the equations
cos 4/

give,

by

cos ft cos

(A'

0'),

sin 4/ cos w'

ft sin (A'

0'),

sin 4'

ft,

= cos
sin w' = sin

(93)

differentiation,
%i

cos ft

From

these

we

= cos w' sec


dft = sin w' cos
dX

ft c?4/>
(A'

Q')

d*'.

get

tan

dp

(A'

0')

sin ft

which expresses the ratio of the residual errors in longitude and


latitude, for the middle place, when the correct value of M. has been
used.

Whenever

these

conditions are

satisfied,

the

elements will be

correct on the hypothesis of parabolic motion, and the magnitude


of the final residuals in the middle place will depend on the deviation

of the actual orbit of the comet from the parabolic form.

Further,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

206

which has not


when elements have been derived from a value of
been finally corrected, if we compute X and /9' by means of these
elements, and then

tan

tan

/ncr\

/5'

(&&)

rVY

YTr

the comparison of this value of tan w' with that given by observais necessary, and
tion will show whether any further correction of
if the difference is not greater than what may be due to unavoidable

as exact.
we may regard
the elements obtained in the case of the example

errors of calculation,

To compare

given with the middle place,


v'

= 32

u'

31' 13".5,

Then from

= 148

log /

11' 19".8,

= 9.922836.

& ) = cos i tan u',

(l

tan

derive

= 109

By means

find

the equations
tan

we

we

= tan

= 302

& ),

sin (V

V ==

46' 48".3,

of these and the values of


A'

28

O' and

p = 57

57' 41".l,

24' 56".0.
f
,

we

obtain

39' 37".0

f
and, comparing these results with the observed values of X and
the residuals for the middle place are found to be

Comp.
cos

p AA' ==

Obs.

-f 3".6,

/?',

= + I'M.

A/5

The

ratio of these remaining errors, after making due allowance for


unavoidable errors of calculation, shows that the adopted value of
is not exact, since the error of the
longitude should be less than

that of the latitude.

The value of w given by


r

observation

is

= 0.966314,

log tan w'

and that given by the computed values of

difference being greater than

calculation,

it

and

/9'

is

= 0.966247.

log tan w'

The

X'

what can be attributed

appears that the value of

to errors of

requires further cor-

NUMERICAL EXAMPLES.
Since the difference

rection.

M by using

value of

the value of tan

much from

is

small,

207

we may

derive the correct

the same assumed value of

-,,

Ti

and, instead of

derived from observation, a value differing as


computed value differs.

this in a contrary direction as the

Thus, in the present example, the computed value of log tan w is


0.000067 less than the observed value, and, in finding the new value
f

M we must use

of

log tan w'


in

computing

/9

and

/9

= 0.966381

" involved

in the first of equations (14).


If
we must use, instead of tan/3'

of equations (10) is employed,


as derived from observation,
the

first

tan
or
log tan

{?

= tan w' sin

p = 0.966381

the observed value of

X'

and

if the

+ log sin

0')

(A'

being retained.
log

Q')>

(A'

= 0.198559,

Thus we derive

M= 9.829586,

elements of the orbit are computed by means of this

value, they will represent the middle place in accordance with the
condition that the difference between the computed and the observed

value of tan

shall be zero.

system of elements computed with the same data


9.822906 gives for the error of the middle place,

from

=
log M

cos

p A;/ =

a
V

o.

26".2,

A/3'

40".l.

If we interpolate by means of the residuals thus found for two values


of M, it appears that a system of elements computed from
log

^=9.829586

will almost exactly represent the middle place, so that the data are

completely satisfied by the hypothesis of parabolic motion.

The

equations (34) and (32) give


log

and from

-^
Yl

= 0.006955,

(10)

we

get

log

M'

= 9.822906,

log -jt
J\

log

= 0.006831,

M" = 9,663729n

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

208

Then by means of the equation


value of M.
log

which

differs

(33)

we

derive, for the corrected

M= 9.829582,

only in the sixth decimal place from the result obtained

by varying tanw' and retaining the approximate values

^ = ^' =

When

the approximate elements of the orbit of a comet are


known, they may be corrected by using observations which include
The most convenient method of effecting
a longer interval of time.
74.

by the variation of the geocentric distance for the


time of one of the extreme observations, and the formula? which
this correction is

may

be derived for this purpose are applicable, without modification,

any case in which it is possible to determine the elements of the


Since
orbit of a comet on the supposition of motion in a parabola.
there are only five elements to be determined in the case of parabolic
to

motion, if the distance of the comet from the earth corresponding to


the time of one complete observation is known, one additional complete observation will enable us to find the elements of the orbit.
Therefore, if the elements are computed which result from two or

more assumed values of J

differing but little

from the correct value,

by comparison of intermediate observations with these different systems of elements, we may derive that value of the geocentric distance
of the comet for which the resulting elements will best represent the
observations.

In order that the formulae may be applicable to the case of any


fundamental plane,

let us consider the equator as this plane, and,


supposing the data to be three complete observations, let A, A', A"
be the right ascensions, and Z>, D', D" the declinations of the sun

for the times

t',

t".

The

co-ordinates of the

first

place of the earth

referred to the third are

x
y

= R" cos D" cos A" R cos D cos A,


= R" cos D" sin A" RcosD sin A,

z=R"smD"
If

we

-RsmD.

by g the chord of the earth's orbit between the places


and third observations, and by G and K, respectively,
the right ascension and declination of the first
place of the earth as
seen from the third, we shall have
represent

for the first

= g cos K cos G,
y = gcosK sin G,
= g sin K,

x
z

VARIATION OF THE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.

209

and, consequently,

g cos
g cos
# sin

K cos
K sin
K

G
G

= R" cos D" cos (A"


= R" cos D" sin J."
= R" sin D" R sin

A)
A)

R cos D,

A)

A\

(96)

Z),

from which g, K, and 6r may be found.


If we designate by xn yn z, the co-ordinates of the first place of
the comet referred to the third place of the earth, we shall have
x,

z,

Let us now put

= A cos cos a
= A cos sin a
= A sin
= cos

<7

g cos _T sin

-\-

g sin .fiT.

'

A'

cos

C'

/*/

sin

C',

6r,

cos if',

Ji'

K cos Oy

-J-f-

x,

2,

cos

sin if',

and we get
A'

cos:' cos (If'

#)

A'

cos

JT

(?)

C'

sin

= J cos<5cos(
= J cos sin (a
= ^ sin ^ sin
d

A' sin C'

from which to determine


If

we

represent by

between the actual

6?)

<5

and h f

f
,

-j-

+ $rcos.K;
(97)

),
jfiT,

the angle at the third place of the earth

<p'

and third places of the comet

first

in space,

we

obtain
cos <p'= cos

C'

cos

or
cos

and

this

if

<p'

H' cos <5" cos a"-f-

= cos

cos

sin H' cos

cos d" cos (a"

C'

we put

= sin

sin/

cos/=

<$"

if') -f sin

sin a"-f sin

C'

sin

<5"

C'

sin d",

(98)

<S",

cos 5" cos (a"

JT)

becomes

cos^'^e
Then we

shall

x2
x'

which A"

is

cos

C'/).

(99)

have

or

in

C'

A'

( J"

2
-f J"

h'

2tf J" cos ?'

cos ?') -f

A'

sin

?',

(100)

the distance of the comet from the earth correspond-

ing to the last observation.

We

have, also, from equations (44) and

(45),

=(J

r2
r"

= (A"

J5COS4)

R"

cos 4/')
14

-f-ffsin
2

+ ^"

*,
2

sin 4",

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

210
in

which

the time
values,

the angle at the earth between the sun and comet at


and i//' the same angle at the time t". To find their

4> is
t,

we have
cos
cos

= cos D cos 8 cos (a

^
4,"=

which may be

cos Z>" cos

A)

cos (a"

<*"

further reduced

still

sin

-f-

4")

D sin

5,

+ sin D" sin

d",

by the introduction of auxiliary

angles as in the case of equation (98).


Let us now put

= C,
=
Rsm) B,
R" sin *" = B",

h sin

and we

shall

h cos

<p'

e,

(103)

b,

R" cos 4-" = V,

= l/( J

These equations, together with


successive trials

We may,

have
r

by

<f

R cos * =

when A

is

6)

(104)

(56), will enable us to

determine

A"

given.

assume an approximate value of A" by means


of the approximate elements known, and find r" from the last of
these equations, the value of r having been already found from the
therefore,

assumed value of

A.

Then K

is

Vi

fj.

obtained from the equation

2r^_
fJ-,

being found by means of Table XI., and a second approximation

to the value of

A" from
A"

T/x 2

C\

(105)

The approximate elements will give A" near enough to show whether
the upper or lower sign must be used.
With the value of A" thus
found we recompute T" and K as before, and in a similar manner find
a

still

closer

approximation to the correct value of A".

few

trials

will generally give the correct result.

When A" has thus been determined, the heliocentric places are
found by means of the formulae
r cos b cos

(I

r cos b sin (I
r sinb

A)
A)

= A cos S cos (a A) R cos D,


= A cos sin (a A),
=A
R sinZ);
d

sin<5

(106)

VARIATION OF THE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.


r" cos

= A" cos d" cos (a" - A")


A") = A" cos 8" sin (a"
4"),
= J" sin
J" sin

W cos (Z"

r" cos 6" sin

A"')

(r

r" sin 6"

<5"

R"

211
cos D",

(107)

IX',

which 6, 6", , J" are the heliocentric spherical co-ordinates reThe values of r and
ferred to the equator as the fundamental plane.
r" found from these equations must agree with those obtained from
in

(104).

The elements of

the orbit

may now be determined by means

of the

equations (75), (77), and (81), in connection with Tables VI. and
VIII., as already explained. The elements thus derived will be referred to the equator, or to a plane passing through the centre of the
sun and parallel to the earth's equator, and they may be transformed
into those for the ecliptic as the

fundamental plane by means of the

equations (109)^

we compute the place of the comet


and compare it with the corresponding observed place,
and if we denote the computed right ascension and declination by a '
and d respectively, we shall have
75.

With

for the time

the resulting elements


r

and d denote the differences between computation and


Next we assume a second value of J, which we repreobservation.
sent by A
dAj and compute the corresponding system of elements.
Then we have
in

which

a!

a'

"=*',

+f=8

t',

ff

a and d" denoting the differences between computation and observation for the second system of elements.
also compute a third

We

d J, and denote the differsystem of elements with the distance J


ences between computation and observation by a and d; then we shall

have
*J),

and similarly for d d and d


represented by the expression
f

a'=/(J),
rf
.

a"

If these three numbers are exactly

x is the general value of the argument, since the values


which A
and
a"
will be such that the third differences may be nega/,
this
formula
lected,
may be assumed to express exactly any value of
in

of a,

the function corresponding to a value of the argument not differing

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

212

much from
sumed

and J

= --dA and

+ d A,

the as-

+ &4

being so taken that the correct


dA, J,
limits or very nearly so.
these
within
either
be
shall

value of

To

J, or within the limits

values

and

find the coefficients m, n,

-f-

o,

we have

m = a',

a,

-f-

-f o

= a",

whence

may be

middle place
have
right ascension, we must

Now,

in order that the

from which we

exactly represented in

find

-l.

^-=
or

In the same manner, the condition that the middle place

shall be

exactly represented in declination, gives

In order that the orbit shall exactly represent the middle place, both
conditions must be satisfied simultaneously; but it will rarely happen
that this can be effected, and the correct value of x must be found
from those obtained by the separate conditions. The arithmetical
mean of the two values of x will not make the sum of the squares
of the residuals a minimum, and, therefore, give the most probable
f
value, unless the variation of cos d AO/, for a given increment asf
But if we denote the value
signed to J, is the same as that of &d
.

which AO'

in

= 0,

which n

reduced to zero by x', and that* for


by x", the most probable value of x will be

of x for which the error in

\(a"

a)

and n

is

= \(d"

It should be observed

d).

that, in order that the differences in right ascension


shall have equal influence in
the value

determining

of a,

a',

and a" must be multiplied by cos 8

most conveniently expressed in units of the


logarithms employed.

'.

last

and declination
of

x,

the values

The value of d A

is

decimal place of the

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
If the elements are already

known

so approximately that the first


from the true value that the
of the residuals may be neglected, two assumptions

assumed value of A
second differences

213

differs so little

in regard to the value of

and hence

m=a

will suffice.

= a"

Then we

shall

have o

= 0,

a'.

The

condition that the middle place shall be exactly represented,


gives the two equations

(a"-')s

+ a'aj = o,
'

(d"

d'}x

The combination of

these equations according to the method of least


squares will give the most probable value of x, namely, that for
which the sum of the squares of the residuals will be a minimum.
Having thus determined the most probable value of x, a final

system of elements computed with the geocentric distance A -\- x,


corresponding to the time t, will represent the extreme places exactly,

and will give the

least residuals in the middle place consistent with


the supposition of parabolic motion.
It is further evident that we
number
of
use
intermediate
may
any
places to correct the assumed

value of J, each of which will furnish two equations of condition


for the determination of x, and thus the elements may be found

which will represent a


76.

EXAMPLE.

series of observations.

The

formulae thus derived for the correction of

approximate parabolic elements by varying the geocentric distance,


are applicable to the case of any fundamental plane, provided that
a, d, A, D, &c. have the same signification with respect to this plane
that they have in reference to the equator.
To illustrate their
numerical application, let us take the following normal places of

Comet of 1858, which were derived by comparing an


with
several observations made during a few days before
ephemeris
and after the date of each normal, and finding the mean difference
the Great

between computation and observation


Washington M. T.
1858 June 11.0

July 13.0

Aug. 14.0

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

214

We

fundamental plane, and condeclinations


into longitudes and
and
ascensions
these
right
verting
and
mean
the
to
and
equinox of 1858.0,
ecliptic
latitudes,
reducing
shall take the ecliptic for the

the times of observation being expressed in days from the beginning


of the year, we get
t
if

t"

= 162.0,
= 194.0,
= 226.0,

From

= 135

A"

=+ 9
= 12
p" = -f 18

51' 44".2,

137

39 41

= 142

.2.,

51 31

.8,

A'

the American Nautical

6'

/9

Almanac we

57". 8,

55

.0,

36 28

.7.

/?'

obtain, for the true places

of the sun,

0'

=110

80

24' 32".4,

55 51

0" = 141

33

.2,

2.0,

log-R =0.006774,
logE' =0.007101,
log

= 0.005405,

#'

the longitudes being referred to the mean equinox 1858.0.


When the ecliptic is the fundamental plane, we have, neglecting
the sun's latitude,
0, and we must write \ and ft in place of a
and d, and
in place of A, in the equations which have been derived

D=

fundamental plane.

for the equator as the

g cos
^ sin

cos

O) = R" cos (0"


0) = R" sin (0"

= cos p cos

cos 4"

0),

(A

we have

Therefore,

Q)
Q)

R,
;

= cos p" cos (A"

from which to find G,

unchanged

we

g, b, B, b"', and B", all of which


in the successive trials with assumed values of J.

remain

Thus

obtain

G = 201 T

= 9.925092,
log B" = 9.510309,

57".4,

log

log? = 0.013500,

b"

= + 0.568719,
= -f 0.959342.

Then we assume, by means of approximate elements


known,

= 0.397800,
G) = J cos cos
G} = A cos sin

h'

cos

C'

cos

(H'

# cos C' sin (H'


find

J' =

H',
153

already-

log J

and from

we

0")

',

and

li'.

46' 20".5,

ft

(A

G) -f

ft

(A

G),

#,

These give

-}-

24' 16".4,

log

tf

= 0.487484.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
Next, from
cos
f

Ji

we

cos

<p'

= cos

log

cos (A"

/3"

H') -f

h' sin

c,

59'

get

cos

C'

C= 9.912519,

sin

C'

sin/5",

=
= 4- 2.961673

$p'

215

(7,

and from
r

we

= i/

(J

find

log r

by

2
,

= 0.323446.

Then we have
A"

=c

T/x 2

<7

2
,

(r

from which to find J /r , r /r and


mate elements, we assume

x.

log J"

which gives log r"


3

With

1/r

log p.

= 0.310000,
we have

= 0.002706,

log x

= 0.090511.

K we obtain from the expression

lower sign being used, since

A"

log J"

+ r"

by means of the approxi-

First,

0.053000, and hence

= 0.3783,
this value of

+ *")*'

is less

than

for J", the

c,

= 0.309717.
s

Repeating the calculation of r", p, and


the result

is

log A"

= 309717

and

and then finding J" again,

= 0.309647.

Then, by means of the formula

Thus we have,

Jt,

(67),

we may

310000

283,

a'

= 309647

for the correction to the last result for log

Therefore,
log J"

By means

find the correct value.

in units of the sixth decimal place,

of this value
log r"

we

309717

A" we have

= 0.309624.

get

= 0.052350,

log *

= 0.090628,

- 70,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

216

and

K gives,

this value of

= 0.309623,

log J"

The

and

= 159
=

144:

(72), writing

= 0.052348.

comet are now found from the equaand A" cos/9" for p and p",

cos/3

Thus we obtain

respectively.

I"

log r"

heliocentric places of the

tions (71)

finally,

43' 14".2,

17 47

b"

.8,

The agreement of

= + 10
= + 35

50' 14".0,

logr

14 28

logr"

.7,

= 0.323447,
= 0.052347.

and r" with those already

these results for r

Since the helioobtained, proves the accuracy of the calculation.


centric longitudes are diminishing, the motion is retrograde.

Then from

(74)

we

get

= 165

17' 30".3,

= 63

6'

32".5

and from
tan(J

tan u

ft)

we

obtain

= 12

the values of

motion

is

tan u"

cos

tan<7"

u"

ft

= 40

18' 51".2,

being in the same quadrant when the


0.090630,
(79) gives log K

The equation

retrograde.

ft)

r-^4

cos

10' 12".6,

w and

which agrees with the value already found.

The

formulae (81) give

= 129

6'

46".3,

log q

= 9.760326,

and hence we have


v

=u

at

116

56' 33".7,

from which we get

From
log

these elements

/ = 0.212844,

we
v'

tan (?

I'

= 154

88

47' 55".l,

u'

= 21

59' 12".3,

find

=
Q) =

tan
get

<o

T= 1858 Sept. 29.4274.

and from

we

= u"

v"

107

V=

56' 33".4,

7'

cos

34".0,

tan

tan

u',

sin (f

V=

+ 19

ft),

30' 22".l.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

By means

O' and R' we

of these and the values of


A'

= 137

',

f= + 12

39' 13".3,

and comparing these

results

217
obtain

54' 45".3,

with observation, we have, for the error

of the middle place,


cos

/?'

A/'

O.

C.

27".2,

A/5'

23".7.

From

the relative positions of the sun, earth, and comet at the


easily seen that, in order to diminish these residuals, the
distance
must be increased, and therefore we assume, for
geocentric

time t"

it is

a second value of J,
log J

==?

0.398500,

from which we derive

H' = 153

= -f 7 24' 26".l,
= 0.472115,
logr" = 0.054824,

44' 57".6,

:'

C= 9.912587,

log

log J"

= 0.311054,

Then we

= 159

40' 33".8,

= + 10

17 12.1,

6"

=-+35

and from

h'

find the heliocentric places

r =144

= 0.488026,
=
0.324207,
logr
log x = 0.089922.

log

logc

50'

logr

8".6,

log r"

837.8,

= 0.324207,
= 0.054825,

these,

&

165

M=
a*

T=
v

15' 41".l,

12

10 30

= 128

.8,

54 44

.4,

1858 Sept. 29.8245,


106 55' 43".8,

ff=
A'=

= 63
49".2,
= 4Q 13 26
log q = 9.763620,
log = 0.214116,
= 21 59'
= + 19 2931.9,
^ = + 12 55 2.9.
i

2'

u"

154

5332.3,
137 3939.7,

.0,

r'

u'

0".6,

6'

Therefore, for the second assumed value of J,


C.
cos

ft AA'

==

O.

we have

^=

1".5,

6".l.

Since these residuals are very small, it will not be necessary to


a third assumption in regard to J, but we may at once derive

make

the correction to be applied to the last assumed value by means of


the equations (109).
Thus we have
a!

=_

1.5,

a"

=
d

27.2,

log J

d'

6.1,

0.000700,

d"

23.7,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

218

and, expressing d log

in units of the sixth decimal place, these

equations give

1050
4270

25.7z
17.6a;

Combining these according

105

to the

2.57
2

(2.57)

== 0.398500
log A

With

this value of log

illustrated,

0.
0.

method of

least squares,

+ 0.000106 = 0.398606.

the final elements are computed as already


is obtained

Sept. 29.88617
29' QA" Q

OO

8=165
i= 63

get

is

and the following system

T== 1858

we

+ 427 X 1.76
+ (1-76)'

corrected value of log

Hence the

=
=

Washington mean

time.

")

15 24

.8

Mean Equinox

1858.0.

2 14.2

= 9.764142
log q

Motion Retrograde.

If the distinction of retrograde motion is not adopted, and we regard


to 180, we shall have
i as susceptible of any value from
7T

= 294
= 116

8'12".7,

57 45

.8,

the other elements remaining the same.


The comparison of the middle place with these
gives the following residuals

C.

cos

A/I

final

elements

= -f 0".2,

O.
A/9

4".3.

These errors are so small that the orbit indicated by the observed
places on which the elements are based differs very little from a
parabola.

When,
employed

instead of a single place, a series of intermediate places is


to correct the assumed value of J, it is best to adopt the

equator as the fundamental plane, since an error in


both A and /3; and, besides, incomplete observations

or d will affect

may

also be used

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

219

when

the fundamental plane is that to which the observations are


Further, the entire group of equations of condirectly referred.
dition for the determination of x, according to the formula3 (109),

must be combined by multiplying each equation by the coefficient of


x in that equation and taking the sum of all the equations thus
formed as the final equation from which to find x the observations
}

being supposed equally good.

THEOKETICAL ASTEONOMY.

220

CHAPTER

IV.

DETERMINATION, FROM THREE COMPLETE OBSERVATIONS, OF THE ELEMENTS OF


THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY, INCLUDING THE ECCENTRICITY OR FORM OF

THE CONIC
77.

THE

SECTION.

formulae which have thus far been derived for the deter-

mination of the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body by means


of observed places, do not suffice, in the form in which they have
been given, to determine an orbit entirely unknown, except in the
particular case of parabolic motion, for
becomes known. In the general case,

which one of the elements


it

is

necessary to derive at

one of the curtate distances without making any assumption as


to the form of the orbit, after which the others may be found.
But,
least

preliminary to a complete investigation of the elements of an unknown orbit by means of three complete observations of the body,
it is

necessary to provide for the corrections due to parallax and abermay be applied in as advantageous a manner as

ration, so that they

possible.

When

the elements are entirely

unknown, we cannot

correct the

observed places directly for parallax and aberration, since both of


these corrections require a knowledge of the distance of the body

from the

earth.

But

in the case of the aberration

correct the time of observation for the time in

we may

either

which the light from

the body reaches the earth, or we may consider the observed place
corrected for the actual aberration due to the combined motion of the
earth and of light as the true place at the instant when the
light left
the planet or comet, but as seen from the
place which the earth occuWhen the distance is unknown,
pies at the time of the observation.

the latter method must evidently be


adopted, according to which we
apply to the observed apparent longitude and latitude the actual
aberration of the fixed stars, and
regard this place as corresponding
to the time of observation corrected for the time of
aberration, to be
effected when the distances shall have been
but
found,
using for the
It
place of the earth that corresponding to the time of observation.
will appear, therefore, that
that
of
the
of
the
calculation
only
part

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

221

elements which involves the times of observation will have to be repeated after the corresponding distances of the body from the earth
have been found. First, then, by means of the apparent obliquity of

and declination
Let A and
denote
the
observed
and
latitude;
/9
respectively,
apparent longitude
and let O be the true longitude of the sun, 2' its latitude, and jR
its distance from the earth,
corresponding to the time of observation.
Then, if A and ft denote the longitude and latitude of the planet or
comet corrected for the actual aberration of the fixed stars, we shall
have
the ecliptic, the observed apparent right ascension

must be converted

into apparent longitude

and

latitude.

/?

/?

= + 20".445 cos
= 20".445 sin

(A

(A

sec/5

sin

ft

+ 0".343 cos (A
0".343 sin

281)
281)

(A

sec/9,

m
^

sin

/5.

In computing the numerical values of these corrections, it will be


and /? instead of A and ft in the second
members of these equations, and the last terms may, in most cases,
be neglected.
The values of A and ft thus derived give the true place
of the body at the time t
497 78^/, but as seen from the place of
sufficiently accurate to use X

the earth at the time

t.

When

the distance of the planet or comet is unknown, it is impossible to reduce the observed place to the centre of the earth ; but if

we

conceive a line to be

drawn from the body through the

true place

of observation, it is evident that were an observer at the point of


intersection of this line with the plane of the ecliptic, or at any point
in the line, the body would be seen in the same direction as from the
actual place of observation.
Hence, instead of applying any correction for parallax directly to the observed apparent place, we may
conceive the place of the observer to be changed from the actual place
to this point of intersection

with the

ecliptic,

and, therefore,

it

be-

comes necessary to determine the position of this point by means of


the data furnished by observation.

Let d be the sidereal time corresponding to the time

of obser-

vation, <p the geocentric latitude of the place of observation, and ,o


the radius of the earth at the place of observation, expressed in parts
of the equatorial radius as unity.
Then $ is the right ascension and
f
<f>

the declination of the zenith at the time

t .
Q

Let

1
Q

and b Q denote

these quantities converted into longitude and latitude, or the longitude


and latitude of the geocentric zenith at the time t
The rectangular
co-ordinates of the place of observation referred to the centre of the
.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

222
and expressed

earth

in parts of the

mean

distance of the earth from

the sun as the unit, will be

XQ
y

= p sin = sin
= PQ sin
/>

TT

cos b cos lw

cos b Q sin

sin b Q ,

TT

8".57116.
which nQ
Let J be the distance of the planet or comet from the true place
of the observer, and J, its distance from the point in the ecliptic to
in

which the observation

is

Then

to be reduced.

will the co-ordinates

of the place of observation, referred to this point in the ecliptic, be

= (J,
= (A

s,
y,

s,=

(J,

/5

cos

A,

/?

sin

A,

cos

cos

) sin/*,

the axis of x being directed to the vernal equinox.


Let us now
the
of
the
sun
as
seen
from
the
designate by
longitude
point of
reference in the ecliptic, and by
its distance from this
point. Then

will the heliocentric co-ordinates of this point be

X=
The

It cos

Q,

heliocentric co-ordinates of the centre of the earth are

X=

But the

cos

-T

cos

heliocentric co-ordinates of the true place of observation

will be

X+xn
X + xm

or

and, consequently,

R cos O
It sin O
If

is

- (J

J
^

( J,
,

we suppose

tude

( A,

we

shall

Y+yn

Z+z,,

F+y

+Z

have

cos

/5

cos A

cos

/3

sin A

sin

/3

= R cos S cos O
= R cos 2 sin O
= ^ sin
Q

/o sin ^o cos b cos

P sin

2'

- Po sin

TT

TT

cos b sin 4,
sin b
.

the axis of x to be directed to the


point whose longi-

these

become

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

(Q

J? cos

( J,

E sin (O

(4

o)

4)

cos (A

cos

Z9

cos

cos

f>

Q
^ sin

(4

R and O may

from which

)
TT

= ^o sin 2

4>) sin

sin - cos b Q cos (7

sin (A

/9

223

),

)>

(2)

cos 6 sin (J
Po sin ^o sin *

==

>

Let us now put

be determined.

D;
then, since

TT

reduced to

Jf

O,

and

R = D cos (A
GO) = D sin (A
= D tan

R (O

are small, these equations

O
O

^oft cos 6 cos (7

TO JO cos 6 sin

/S

Hence we

shall have, if

TT

and

(3)

2"

TT

Po sin 6

O ) + -R
Q

(7

+ .R

may be
>

8 ),

2V

are expressed in seconds of arc,

000
206264.8

^+

p = p

_i_

n nna
Z><

W T

/^ >
(A-Q
)206264.8 D sin (A
r;

KQ p Q w$b Q cQ$(lQ

"

Q
--

'

206264.8

TT

O ,0,

cos b sin (^

T>

)
>

from which we may derive the values of Q and


which are to be
used throughout the calculation of the elements as the longitude and
distance of the sun, instead of the corresponding places referred to
the centre of the earth.
The point of reference being in the plane

of the ecliptic, the latitude of the sun as seen from this point is zero,
simplifies some of the equations of the problem, since, if the
observations had been reduced to the centre of the earth, the sun's

which

would be retained.
may remark that the body would not be

latitude

We

seen, at the instant

of observation, from the point of reference in the direction actually


to be determined by the
observed, but at a time different from
,
interval

which

required for the light to pass over the distance


Consequently we ought to add to the time of observation
is

the quantity
( J,

which
the

497'.78

= 497'.78 D sec

ft

(5;

called the reduction of the time ; but unless the latitude of


body should be very small, this correction will be insensible.
is

The value of

A derived

from equations

(1)

and the longitude

THEOKETICAL ASTEONOMY.

224

derived from (4) should be reduced by applying the correction for


nutation to the mean equinox of the date, and then both these and
should be reduced by applying the correction for prethe latitude
/9

cession to the ecliptic

and mean equinox of a fixed epoch,

for

which

usually chosen.

the beginning of the year is


In this way each observed apparent longitude and latitude is to be
corrected for the aberration of the fixed stars, and the corresponding
to the point in which the line drawn from
places of the sun, referred
the body through the place of observation on the earth's surface intersects the plane of the ecliptic, are derived from the equations (4).

Then

the places of the sun and of the planet or comet are reduced
and mean equinox of a fixed date, and the results thus

to the ecliptic

obtained, together with the times of observation, furnish the data for
the determination of the elements of the orbit.

When

the

distance of the

body corresponding

to

each of the

observations shall have been determined, the times of observation


may be corrected for the time of aberration. This correction is
necessary, since the adopted places of the

body are the true places

when

the light was emitted, corresponding respectively


to the times of observation diminished by the time of aberration,
for the instant

but as seen from the places of the earth at the actual times of
observation, respectively.
When [3 0, the equations (4) cannot be applied, and when the
latitude is so small that the reduction of the time and the correction

to be applied to the place of the sun are of considerable magnitude,


it will be advisable, if more suitable observations are not available,
to neglect the correction for parallax and derive the elements, using
the unconnected places.
The distances of the body from the earth

which may then be derived, will enable us to apply the correction

for

parallax directly to the observed places of the body.


When the approximate distances of the body from the earth are

already known, and


orbit

it

is

required to derive

new elements of

the

from given observed places or from normal places derived from

observations, the observations may be corrected directly for


parallax, and the times corrected for the time of aberration.
shall then have the true
places of the body as seen from the centre
of the earth, and if these places are
adopted, it will be necessary, for
the most accurate solution
to
retain the latitude of the sun
possible,

many

We

which may be required. But since some of these


formulae acquire greater
simplicity when the sun's latitude is not
in
this
introduced, if,
case, we reduce the geocentric places to the
in the formula?

DETERMINATION OF AN OKBIT.

225

from the centre of the earth


sun
the
latitude
be
and
the
will
distance
will remain unchanged,
zero,
point in which a perpendicular let

fall

to the plane of the ecliptic cuts that plane, the longitude of the

will also be unchanged, since the greatest geocentric latitude of the


f
Then the longitude of the planet or comet
sun does not exceed

as seen

from

be the same as seen from

this point in the ecliptic will

the centre of the earth, and if J, is the distance of the body from
this point of reference, and /9, its latitude as seen from this point, we

have

shall

A cos

/?,

J, sin

ft,

from which we

= A cos
= A sin

ft,

ft

easily derive the correction

sin

/?,

2Q

/9,

or

A/9,

to be applied

Thus, we find

to the geocentric latitude.

(6)

This correction having been applied


sun becomes

being expressed in seconds.

to the geocentric latitude, the latitude of the

2=0.
The

correction to be applied to the time of observation (already

diminished by the time of aberration) due to the distance J,


J
will be absolutely insensible, its maximum value not exceeding

It should be

.002.

remarked

also that before applying the equa-

tion (6), the latitude


should be reduced to the fixed ecliptic which
Q
it is desired to
for
the definition of the elements which deteradopt

mine the position of the plane of the

When

78.

orbit.

these preliminary corrections have been applied to the

we

are prepared to proceed with the calculation of the elements


of the orbit, the necessary formulae for which we shall now investidata,

this purpose, let us resume the equations (6) 3 ; and, if we


the
first of these equations by tan /9 sin A"
tan ft" sin A,
multiply
the second by tan/3" cos A
and
the
third
cos
A",
tan/9
by sin (X
A"),
and add the products, we shall have

gate.

For

= nR (tan
- p' (tan
- R'

ft

ft"

0)

sin (X

sin (A"

(tan ft" sin (A


-f ri'R" (tan ft" sin (A

tan

tan

A')

ft'

tan

')

0")

It should be observed that

when

ft

sin (A"

sin (A"
ft

0))
A) -f

sin (A"

tan

ft

sin (A"

tan

ft"

sin

(A'

0")).

the correction for parallax


15

A))

Q'))

is

applied

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

226

is the projection, on the plane of the


of
the
of
the
distance
body from the point of reference to
ecliptic,
been
reduced.
has
the
observation
which

to the place of the .sun,

the longitude of the ascending node,


Let us now designate by
and by I the inclination to the ecliptic, of a great circle passing
through the first and third observed places of the body, and we have
tan p

= sin
= sin (A"

K) tan J,

(A

tan 0"

Introducing these values of tan

ft

JT)tanJ.

and tan ft" into the equation

(7),

since
sin (A

O)

K)

sin (A"

Q)

sin (A"

K)

sin (A

-sin
sin

(A'

X) sin (A"

K)

+ sin (X"

A')

sin (A

=
A)sin(O

(A"

JT)

+ sin (A"
sin (A

O') sin

sin (A

O")

(A"

sin (A"

K)

sin (A"

Q')

K)

sin (A"

Q")

JT) =

sin (A

- sin (A"
K)

sin (A

sin (A"

we

obtain,

by dividing through by

sin (X"

X)

A) sin

A) sin

A) sin

tan

(X

K\
K)

('

7T),

(Q"

K\

7,

= nR sin (Q K} -f P (sin
K) tan p cot J)
- R sin (Q'
JT) + n"R" sin (O"
#>
'

(A'

Let

denote the latitude of that point of the


great circle passing
through the first and third places which corresponds to the longitude
A', then
ft

= sin

tan ft

and the

(A'

coefficient of p' in
equation (9)

sin (ft

cos ft cos p'

Therefore, if

shall

_Z,

becomes

/?)

tan/

we put
a

we

JT) tan

have

sin

(f- ft)

'-^tanT'
,

This formula will


give the value of p', or of A', when the values of
?i" have been
determined, since a and ./Tare derived from the

n and

data furnished
by observation.

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

To

find

K and

7,

we

obtain from equations (8) by a transformation


by which the equations (75) 3 were derived,

precisely similar to that

tan/sin (

K r + - g) =
A)

+ A) - JT) =

tan 7cos (i (A"

227

+^,

sec

-|

(/'-.),

cosec J (A"

A).

We

and / from the equations which may be


may also compute
derived from (74) 3 and (76) 3 by making the necessary changes in the
notation, and using only the upper sign, since / is to be taken always
less

than 90.

Before proceeding further with the discussion of equation (11), let


us derive expressions for p and p" in terms of //, the signification of

p and p", when the corrections

for parallax are applied to the places


of the sun, being as already noticed in the case of p'.

79. If we multiply the first of equations (6) 3 by sin


the second by
cos
tan/3", and the third by sin(/"
add the products, we get

0"

0"

Q=nP (tan ft' sin ("


(tan &' sin

p'

tan /? sin

X)

(O"

tan/9",

0"), and

(0" A")) wtan/8"sin (0" 0)


(0" *"))+# tan/5" sin (Q" 00,

tan p sin

A')

(13)

which may be written


0=n^(tan/9sin(r

+P

(tan

/5"

sin

0")

tan/3" sin (A
")

(A'

-j/Oan/S'

tan

0")

ft) sin (A"

Introducing into this the values of tan


of I and K, and reducing, the result is
==

npsm (A"

A) sin (

/o' sin (A"

+ E'
Therefore

10

^/
n

we

s jn(A"

sin (A"

"))

+ #tan,9"sin(0"
tan

and tan /9

/9",

sin (A"
Q " K) nE sin " Q " K) p'a, sec jf sin (A"
"}
(

A') sin (
"
sin (0

')

sin (A"

0').

in terms

IT)

K).

obtain
A')

A)

sec/S'
+ sin (A"
A)

sin (A"

K)

"

(Q"

wJRsin(0"

JT)

E'sm("O )nJRsin(O"Q)
f

sin (A"

But, by means of the equations (9) 3 ,

0')

sin(^
sin

jR'sin(O"

/9,

0)

wJStan"sin(0"

0"))

tan ft sin (A"

we

0)

A) sin

(Q"

K)

derive

= (N

n*)

K m(Q"
S

0),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

228

and the preceding equation reduces

_//sin(r
P ~~
n

+ sina^ecF
A)
(A"

AQ

sin (A"

A)

N\ R

+V
sin (^

0=71 Y' (tan/? sin (A"

K) }
(0"
0) sin (A"
K)
7
A) sin (O
K)

sin

p"

in terms of

tan

tan /5" sin

(A

n"#"tan/5sin("
(O' O).

))

(15)

0))-j-jR'tan /5sin

tan/S'sin (A

and
and tan /9" in terms of
,
and reducing precisely as in the case of the formula already found

Introducing the values of tan


/,

for p,

. .,

'

sin (A"

P (tan /5 sin (A'

if we multiply the
,
second
cos
tan /9,
the
/?,
by
add
shall
have
and
the
we
products,
O),

obtain an expression for


of equations (6) 3 by sin

and the third by

Q")

sin(A"
'

(0"

sin

~n)

To
first

to

_~

we
p'

sin (A'

a sec ft

A)

Q)

sin (A
'

Let us now put,

A)

for brevity,

K)

K'amW

sin(O
K) }
N"\R'sm(&' Q)sin(A
n" ) sin (A"
K}
A)sin(0

~~sin(A"

A)

/9

obtain

^IsinCA"

?t
o

tan

/9,

K)

sec^
^ ~~ sin
(A"

KB" sm(Q"
a sin (A"

A)'

Q)
A)

Q^)
,

_ sin

(A'

-A)

/;

"~sm(A
7i

and the equations

sin (A"

/5'

A sin (A

and

Q)

JT)

(11), (14),
p' sec

_ J .RsinCA

A)

(16)

become

+ w6 + ri'd,
(18)

n
If n and
sufficient to

TI" are

known, these equations


and p".
/>, p

determine

will, in

most

cases,

be

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

229

80. It will be apparent, from a consideration of the equations


ff
for p, p', and p , that under certain circumstances they are inapplicable in the form in which they have been

which have been derived


given, and that in

some

become indeterminate.

cases they

When

the

through the first and third observed places of the


also
0, and
body passes
through the second place, we have a
equation (11) reduces to
great circle passing

n"R"

sin

K)

(0"

+ nR sin

J5Q

= K sin (0'

K).

n" to n is known, this equation will determine the


and from these the radius-vector r f for the
themselves,
quantities
middle place may be found. But if the great circle which thus
passes through the three observed places passes also through the
If the ratio of

second place of the sun,

we

shall

have

',

or

K= 180

-f O',

and hence

nR sin('

00

n"R" sin(O"

0,

or
tf_

__

Rsm(Q

n ~~S" sin
from which

0)

("

')'

appears that the solution of the problem

it

case impossible.

If the
/9

/9",

in this

is

first and third observed places coincide, we have A


X" and
and each term of equation (7) reduces to zero, so that the

problem becomes

absolutely indeterminate.
Consequently, if the
data are nearly such as to render the solution impossible, according
to the conditions of these two cases of indetermination, the elements
which may be derived will be greatly affected by errors of observation.

however, X

If,

possible to derive

/>',

X/
equal to X" and /9 differs from /9, it will be
and hence p and p" ; but the formulae which

is

have been given require some modification in


Thus, when A
>*", we have
i,

K=X' =

and hence

as determined

by

(9),

and when

r/
,

= sin p cot I
it

cos

,5'

cos j? sin

=90,
Still,

in

original

is

sin

(A'

becomes simply
a

/?

by recurring to the
a sec/?', gives

the coefficient of p', which

aQ

and

equation (10), becomes

this case it is not indeterminate, since,

equation

this particular case.

1= 90,

(A'

K).

K\

(19)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

230

A is very small compared


Whenever, therefore, the difference X"
be
a
should
in
the
motion
with
computed by means of the
latitude,
the
of
means
or
expression which is obtained
by
equation (19)
; = A =

When

coefficient of

from the

directly

;/

in equation (7).

the values of

JBT,

lt

If/',

2,

M"

and

cannot

we
be found by means of the equations (17); but
1
form of the expressions for p and p" in terms of p as given by
equations (13) and (15), without introducing the auxiliary angles,
use the original

if

we
P

have

shall

~_/n

tan jf sin (X'


tan

sin (A"

ft

tan

fL
10

ft

"

sin (X

A"
tan/? sin (A"

0)

jRtan/5"sin(0"

tan

0)
0)

'

n"

Q")
0")

(A'

tan p' sin (A

__N_\

tan ft" sin

Q")
0")

'

tan

/5'

tan

ft"

tan

0")

sin (A"

ft

sin (A

ft"

0")'

0)
0)

sin (A

sin (A

'

J\T"\

__
_

"
f

n"

Hence

tan

_ tan p sin (A"

~~
1

tan

tan

,,

"

tan

/Ll

" "

sin

ft

ft"

sin

tan

ft"

ft

sin (A"

tan

ft"

(A

)'

0")

'

")

0)

sin (A

'

__

sin (A

J?"tan/3sm(0"--0)

tan

(A'

tan p" sin (A


tan ft' sin (A

.Rtan/S"sin(0"
tan ft"
")

sin (A"

tan p' sin

tan

0)
0)

(A'

sin (A"

.-,

tan

M _

ft

ft

sin (A"

0")
0")

sin (A"

ft

/?

")'

sin (A

'

" which must be used


are the expressions for
and
19 M^',
2,
2
when A A" or when A is very nearly equal to A /r ; and then p and p tf
will be obtained from equations (18).
These expressions will also be

used

when

/r

= 180, this being an analogous case.

When the great circle passing through the first and third observed
places of the body also passes through the first or the third place of
the sun, the last two of the equations (18) become indeterminate, and
other formula? must be derived.
tions (7) 3

If

we multiply

by tan/9" and the fourth by

sin(A'

the second of equa0'), and add the

products, then multiply the second of these equations by tan


r
the fourth by
sin (A
and add, and finally reduce by
),

of the relation

NR sin ('
we

get

= N"R" sin (0"

'),

and
means

/9

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

=
~ PL

ff

tan

ft

sin

tan

ft"

sin (A

(A'

tan ft' sin (A"

')

0')

'

tan

Q')
"

sin (A"

ft

R"

^"\

')

tan 0" sin

tan/3" sin (A

,,__i^_
,
.

231

tan

/5'

tan

/S"

sin (A

Q')

tan

ft

sin

sin (A

tan

/3

sin (A"

-"

0')
0')'

Q')
O')

(/'

'

n"

(0"

tan ft sin (A"

0')

'-O)

N") tan/5" sin (A

tan/3 sin (A"

')

')

These equations are convenient for determining p and //' from p' ;
but they become indeterminate when the great circle passing through
the extreme places of the body also passes through the second place
Therefore they will generally be inapplicable for the

of the sun.
cases in

If

we

we

get

which the equations (18) fail.


eliminate p" from the first and second of the equations

= np sin (A"
+ B sin (A"

nE sin (A"

A)

OO

(6) 3

Q)

p sin (A"

A')

ri'R sin

0"),

(A"

from which we derive


p

_./ sin(A"-AO

-n' sin (A" -A)

nR sin (A"

Q)

R sin (A" - .0') -f n"R" sin


n

sin (A"

Eliminating p between the same equations, the result


P

~/
?7'

-A)
"sin (A" -A)
nE sin (A

(A"

Q ")

(A

Q")

A)
is

sin (/

0)

0') -f n"E" sin

sin (A

n" sin (A"

A)

These formulae will enable us to determine p and p" from p f in the


special cases in which the equations (18) and (21) are inapplicable;
but, since they do not involve the third of equations (6) 3 , they are
not so well adapted to a complete solution of the problem as the

formulae previously given whenever these may be applied.


If we eliminate successively p" and p between the first and fourth

of the equations (7) 3 ,


p

=
~

tan
_

cos

/?"

tan

ft"

(A'

cos (A

we

get

')

tan

? cos (A"

0')

tan

ft

ten^ ^cos(0'
n
tan

tan

/5"

cos (A

cos (A"

0)

QQ
0')

# + n"jR"cos(0"

')

tan

/3

cos (A"

0')
O')

tan ft cos (A'


0')
0')
tan Jcos (A"
')
0')
nE
cos (0"
cos (0'
00
R'+ri'R"
0)
_tan/3
7
"n"
tan ft cos (A"
tan? cos"(A
0')
0')

tan

ft'

cos (A

ft"

cos (A
'

'

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

232

which may also be used to determine p and p" when the equations
When the motion in latitude is
be applied.
(18) and (21) cannot
these equations are to be preferred instead
greater than in longitude,

of (22) and (23.)

would appear

81. It

at

volved in the formula


to find

n and n" by

without examining the quantities in-

first,

for p', that the equations (26) 3 will enable us

successive approximations, assuming

= Tr

n"

first

that

r
f
and from the resulting value of p determining r and then carrying
ff
the approximation to the values of n and n one step farther, so as
y

to include terms of the second order

(10),

we

if we consider the equation


a very small quantity depending on the
and therefore on the deviation of the observed

observe that aQ

difference

/9

/?'

with reference to the intervals

Bat

of time between the observations.


is

path of the body from the arc of a great


in the denominator of terms containing

and, as this appears

circle,

n and n" in the equation


it becomes necessary to determine to what degree of approxi(11),
mation these quantities must be known in order that the resulting

value of p' may not be greatly in error.


To determine the relation of a to the intervals of time between
the observations,

aQ sec ft

We

= tan

/9

we

f
have, from the coefficient of p in equation

sin (A"

may put

/?'

sin (A"

A) -f tan/S" sin (A'

= tan/S' At" + Br"


=
-f AT -f Br* -f

A).

tan/5

tan

tan

A')

(7),

,5"

tan/S'

....,
. . . .

and hence we have


a sec /?'

(r sin

which

(A'

is

= (sin (A"

A'))

sin (A"
A) -f sin (A'
A)) tan /5'
2
2
^-j-(r sin (A'-A)+r" sin (A"-A')) J5-f

.,

easily transformed into

a sec p

A')

r" sin (A"

A)

= 4 sin J

(^ sin (A'-A)

(A'

r" sin (A"

I
A) sin
(A"

A'))^+(^

sin

A')
(A'

If we suppose the intervals to be


small,

sin

(A"

A)+r"

we may

A)

sin

tan

also put

smA(^'-A)=:l(A''-A),

and
sin (A"

A)

= A"

A,

si

(A'

A)

(25)

(A"-A'))+.

A'

A.

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.
Further,

233

we may put
X"

X'

2
4- A'r -f jB'r -f .....

Substituting these values in the equation (25), neglecting terms of


the fourth order with respect to r, and reducing, we get

TT'T"

*
($A tan ft' -f A'B
r

AB')

cos p.

It appears, therefore, that a is at least of the third order with


reference to the intervals of time between the observations, and that

an error of the second order in the assumed values of n and n" may
f
produce an error of the order zero in the value of p as derived from
equation (11) even under the most favorable circumstances.
Hence,
in general,

we cannot adopt

the values

=T

omitting terms of the second order, without affecting the resulting


value of p f to such an extent that it cannot be regarded even as an
approximation to the true value ; and terms of at least the second
order must be included in the

The

first

assumed values of n and n' f

equation (28) 3 gives

n
omitting the term multiplied by

with respect to the times

-77,

which term

(26) 3

derive, since r'

=r

-f-

+
in

of the third order

and hence in

this value of -^ only

r",
"

= l + J.

(27)

which only terms of the fourth order have been neglected.

the

first

of equations (18)

sec

in which, if
(26)

and

we

(27),

may

terms

Again, from the equations

of at least the fourth order are neglected.

we

is

be written

Now

=*

introduce the values of

TL

and n

+n

tf

as given

by

only terms of the fourth order with respect to the

THEOEETICAL ASTEONOMY.

234

times will be neglected, and consequently the resulting value of p'


an error of the second order when a is of

will be affected with only

Further, if the intervals between the observations


r" 2 will be a quantity of an order superior

the third order.

2
are not very unequal, r

to r

2
,

and when these intervals are equal, we have, to terms of the

fourth order.

The equation

(27) gives

2/3 ( w

Hence,

if

_|_

nn

1) == TT".

we put

P
Q=
we may

adopt, for a

first

(29)
2r'

(n

+ n"

tervals are

affected

unequal

f
approximation to the value of p

P=C
and p r will be

1),

(30)

",

with an error of the

first

order

but of the second order only when

when

the in-

the intervals

are equal.
It is evident, therefore, that, in the selection of the
observations for the determination of an unknown orbit, the intervals should be as nearly equal as possible, since the nearer they
approach to equality the nearer the truth will be the first assumed

values of

P and

and when a
is

is

thus facilitating the successive approximations

a very small quantity, the equality of the intervals

of the greatest importance.


From the equations (29) we get

=
P\
n" = nP;

and introducing

P and Q in

2r' /'

(31)

(28), there results

i?-*

(32)

This equation involves both


p' and r' as unknown quantities, but
means
of
another
by
equation between these quantities p may be
f

eliminated, thus giving a single equation from

found, after

which p' may also be determined.

which

r'

may

be

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.

235

i// represent the angle at the earth between the sun and
at the second observation, and we shall have, from
or
comet
planet
the equations (93) 3 ,

82.

Let

tan

= sm

-O

tan

ft

-TT-,

(A

TT,

(33 )

cosw
cos 4/

= cos

ft

cos

(/'

by means of which we may determine ij/, which cannot exceed 180.


Since cos /3' is always positive, cos fy and cos (K
O ') must have the
same sign.
We also have

which may be put


r'

in the

= (p

form

K cos V) + R'
2

sec ft

sin *',

sin 4'.

from which we get


p' sec ft
f

Substituting for p sec /?'

For

VV

== R' cos*'

.R'

value given by equation (32),

its

(34)

we have

brevity, let us put


C

and we

shall

^ = R'

When

(35)

*o,

-Hft-^t

have
kQ

_5J-Ptf

O-TH^P'

cos

1/r'

^sm

^.

(36)

the values of
and Q have been found, this equation will
r' in terms of
the
of
value
give
quantities derived directly from the
data furnished by observation.
shall now represent by z' the

We

angle at the planet

between the sun and earth at the time of the

second observation, and

we

shall

have

/ = ^SUH/_
smz

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

236

Substituting this value of

- R' cos

(k

and

if

r',

sin C

z'

'

n 2
+ R sin 4' cos = ^-rj7>
7

4') sin

we put
rj Q

in the preceding equation, there results


oi

(38)

z'

=R

sin 4',

(39)

the condition being imposed that

have, finally,
sin

(z'

qp C)

shall always be positive,

=m

sin*

we
(40)

2'.

In order that m may be positive, the quadrant in which f is taken


f
must be such that y shall have the same sign as 1Q since sin ty is
,

always positive.

From

appears that sin z must always be positive,


and further, in the plane triangle formed by joining

equation (37)

orz'<180;

it

the actual places of the earth, sun, and planet or comet corresponding
to the middle observation, we have

sn

R sin +
f

4')

(z

sin

sin 4/

Therefore,

P=

R sin +
(z'

sin

4')

z'

4')

-cos

and, since ^o' is always positive, it follows that sin


positive, or that z' cannot exceed 180
ty.

When

(z' -f-

must be

the planet or comet at the time of the middle observation

is

both in the node and in opposition or conjunction with the sun, we


shall have /3'
180 when the body is in opposition, and
0, 4^

'vj/

sible to

when

in conjunction.

it is

determine

r'

Consequently, it becomes imposf


z
but in this case the

by means of the angle

equation (36) gives

-^=

-R' + r',

when

the body is in opposition, the lower sign being excluded by the


condition that the value of the first member of the equation must be
positive,

and

for -J/

= 0,

the upper sign being used

when

the sun

is

between the earth and the

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
planet,

237

and the lower sign when the planet is between the earth and
It is hardly necessary to remark that the case of an obser-

the sun.

vation at the superior conjunction when /3'


0, is physically imposf
from
these
The value of r may be found
sible.
equations by trial ;
and then we shall have

when

the body

when

it is

is

in opposition,

and

in inferior conjunction with the sum.


case in which the great circle passing

For the

through the extreme

observed places of the body passes also through the middle place,
which gives a
0, let us divide equation (32) through by c, and we

have
d

p sec p
~~

c
'

2r'

The

equations (17) give

and

if

'

J-

we put
b
'

we

shall

since c

+p d
l+p
c

have

co

when a

0.

Hence we derive

'^4-

(42)

^0

But when the great

through the three observed places


the
second
place of the sun, both c and C bethrough
and
thus
the
solution of the problem, with the
indeterminate,
circle passing

passes also

come

given data, becomes impossible.


83.

The equation

(40)

must give four

roots corresponding to each

sign, respectively; but it may be shown that of these eight roots at


least four will, in every case, be imaginary.
Thus, the equation may

be written

sin

z'

sin

z'

cos

cos

z'

sin

C,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

238

becomes
and, by squaring and reducing, this

m
When

sin

z'

2m

5
cos C sin z

within the limits

is

-\-

90 -and
it

sin

z'

sin C

+ 90, cos

0.

will be positive,

appears from the algebraic signs of

and,
being always positive,
the terms of the equation, according to the theory of equations, that
in this case there cannot be more than four real roots, of which three
will be positive
and -f 90, cos

When

and one negative.


will be negative,

f exceeds the limits

and hence, in

90

this case also, there

cannot be more than four real roots, of which one will be positive

and three negative.


must be at least two

it

2
is real and positive, there
Further, since sin
one positive and the other negative
real roots

whether cos

be negative or positive.

We

remark

may

also

that, in finding the roots

of the equation (40),

will only be necessary to solve the equation

=m

sin (z

sin

(43)

z',

since the lower sign in (40) follows directly from this by substituting
z' in
180
place of z' and hence the roots derived from this will

comprise

all

the real roots belonging to the general form of the

equation.

The observed places of the heavenly body only give the direction
in space of right lines passing through the places of the earth and
the corresponding places of the body, and any three points, one in
each of these lines, which are situated in a plane passing through the
centre of the sun, and which are at such distances as to fulfil the
condition that the areal velocity shall be constant, according to the
relation expressed by the equation
(30) 17 must satisfy the analytical

conditions of the problem.


It is evident that the three places of the
earth may satisfy these conditions ; and hence there may be one root

of equation (43) which will correspond to the orbit of the earth, or


give
P'

Further,

it

V.

follows from the equation (37) that this root

must be

and such would be strictly the case if, instead of the assumed values
of P and
their exact values for the orbit of the earth were
adopted,
and if the observations were referred
to the centre of the
,

directly
earth, in the correction for parallax, neglecting also the perturbations
in the motion of the earth.

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
In the case of the

earth,

_'
~

and the complete values of

"

in(0"-- O)'
sin (0"

O)'

P and Q become

Q)

in(0'

"

239

"

O')'

sin(Q'- Q) + #ff' sin(Q"


sn

and

since the

0Q

approximate values

differ but little from these, as will appear from the equations (27) 3 ,
f
there will be one root of equation (43) which gives z nearly equal
This root, however, cannot satisfy the physical conto 180
^/.

which will require that the rays of light in


the
from
planet or comet to the earth shall proceed from
coming
at a considerable distance from the eye of the
are
which
points
ditions of the problem,

f
Further, the negative values of sin z are excluded by the
r
nature of the problem, since r must be positive, or z r
180 ; and

observer.

<

of the three positive roots which may result from equation (43), that
<J/, there
being excluded which gives z' very nearly equal to 180
will remain two, of

which one will be excluded

if it gives z
greater
one
the
will
be
that which belongs
than 180
^', and
remaining
It may happen, however, that
to the orbit of the planet or comet.
neither of these two roots is greater than 180
a//, in which case

both will satisfy the physical conditions of the problem, and hence
the observations will be satisfied by two wholly different systems of
It will then be necessary to compare the elements comelements.
f
puted from each of the two values of z with other observations in
order to decide which actually belongs to the body observed.

case, in which cos f is negative, the negative roots


r
excluded
by the condition that r is positive, the positive root
being
must in most cases belong to the orbit of the earth, and the three

In the other

observations do not then belong to the same body.


However, in the
case of the orbit of a comet, when the eccentricity is large, and the
intervals between the observations are of considerable magnitude, if

THEORETICAL ASTEONOMY.

240

and Q are computed directly, by means


the approximate values of
of approximate elements already known, from the equations
r/

sin (u

u)

-rV'sin^'W)'

+ rV' sin (u' - u'}


f

rr' sin

it

may

occur that cos

is

(u'- u}

negative,

and the positive root

comet.
belong to the orbit of the
f
z shall be very nearly equal to 180

will actually
condition that one value of

The

requires that the adopted


and Q shall differ but little from those derived directly
values of
from the places of the earth ; and in the case of orbits of small
be fulfilled, unless the intervals
eccentricity this condition will always
i//,

between the observations and the distance of the planet from the sun
But if the eccentricity is large, the difference
are both very great.
will correspond to the orbit of the earth.
root
that
no
such
be
may

may find an expression for the limiting values of m and


within which equation (43) has four real roots, and beyond which
This change in
there are only two, one positive and one negative.
84.

We

number of

when
we proceed under

there are two equal


the supposition that
equation (43) has two equal roots, and find the values of m and f
which will accord with this supposition, we may determine the limits

the

real roots will take place

roots, and, consequently, if

required.
Differentiating equation (43) with respect to
cos (z

C)

= 4m

sin

V cos

z',

z'

we

get

f
and, in the case of equal roots, the value of z as derived from this
must also satisfy the original equation

sin

To

C) =?=

(z'

sin V.

m and f which will fulfil this condition,


between these equations, we have

find the values of

eliminate

sin

cos

(z'

C)

= 4 cos

z'

sin

(z'

if

we

C),

from which we easily find


sin (2z'

This gives the value of

C)

j sin C.

in terms of z r for

(45)

which equation

(43) has

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.

241

To

equal roots, and at which it ceases to have four real roots.


we have
the corresponding expression for

_ sin (z

sin

C)

find

cos (z

sin

C)

V cos

2''

which we must use the value of f given by the preceding equation.


f
1 and -f- 1, the
Now, since sin (2z
f ) must be within the limits
of
sin
be
and
will
or
must
values
be within the
f
f>
f
limiting
limits -f 36 52'.2 and
36 52'.2, or 143 7'.8 and 216 52'.2. If

in

not contained within these limits, the equation cannot have equal
roots, whatever may be the value of m , and hence there can only be
is

two

real roots, of

which one will be positive and one negative.


we compute z f from equation (45), and

for a given value of


this z

',

or
'

sin(2z

we may

C)

| sinC,

find the limits of the values of

(43) has four real roots.


the values

The

If
call

within which equation


f
will be satisfied by

equation for z

2<-C,

- (2*; -0;

180

and hence there will be two values of m which we will denote by


and m2 for which, with a given value of
equation (43) will
have equal roots. Thus we shall have
,

4
sin z

'

and, putting in this equation 180


in place of z ',
90
(V
)

f) instead

(2zQ

of 2z

f
,

or

It follows, therefore, that for any given value of , if


is not
within the limits assigned by the values of m^ and m2 equation (43)
will only have two real roots, one positive and one negative, of
,

which the

latter is

excluded by the nature of the problem, and the

But

P and Q differ

former

earth.

so

of the orbit of the earth that

may belong to the orbit of the


much from their values in the case

is not very nearly equal to 180


36 52'.2 and
exceeds the limits

i//,

36

if

the positive root,

52 r .2,

when

may actually satisfy


the conditions of the problem, and belong to the orbit of the body
observed.
16

THEOEETICAL ASTEONOMY.

242

When

7'.8 and 216


three
and
one positive
negative, if

within the limits 143

is

be four real roots,


limits m^

two

and

but, if

52'.2, there will

is

within the

surpasses these limits, there will be only

real roots.

Table XII. contains for values of

the values of

and

2,

and

52'. 2 to

+ 36

52'.2

ml and m2
which equation (43) has three positive roots and
the value of m must be within the limits indicated

corresponding respectively to

In every

36

from

also the values of the four real roots


.

case in

one negative

root,

by m and w2 and the values of z will be within the limits indicated


by the quantities corresponding to m l and m2 for each root, which
we designate respectively by z/, z.2 zB f and /. The table will show,
from the given values of m and 180
tj/, whether the problem
admits of two distinct solutions, since, excluding the value of z ,
which is nearly equal to 180
ij/, and corresponds to the orbit of
the earth, and also that which exceeds 180, it will appear at once
whether one or both of the remaining two values of z' will satisfy
the condition that z shall be less than 180
The table will
^'.
also indicate an approximate value of z
means
of which the
by
f

equation (43) may be solved by a few trials.


For the root of the equation (43) which corresponds to the orbit
of the earth, we have p f
0, and hence from (36) we derive

Substituting this value for kQ in the general equation (32),

we have

and, since p must be positive, the algebraic sign of the numerical


f
value of 1 will indicate whether r f is greater or less than
It is
easily seen, from the formulae for lw 6, c?, &c., that in the actual

application of these formulae, the intervals between the observations


not being very large, 1Q will be positive when
ft'
ft and sin (O'
K)
have contrary signs, and negative when ft'
has
the same sign as
ft
sin
less

(O'
than

K).

Hence, when O'

is

less

than 180,

r'

must be

f
r
if /9
ft'
positive, but greater than
ft is
;
f
When
exceeds
r
than
R'
will be greater
negative.
180,
r
if /?'
is
and
less
than
R' if /9
/9
positive,
ft is negative.
may, therefore, by means of a celestial globe, determine by inspection
whether the distance of a comet from the sun is
greater or less than

if

is

We

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

243

that of the earth from the sun.


Thus, if we pass a great circle
through the two extreme observed places of the comet, r' must be
greater than R' when the place of the comet for the middle observa-

on the same side of this great circle as the point of the


which
But when the
ecliptic
corresponds to the place of the sun.
middle place and the point of the ecliptic corresponding to the place
of the sun are on opposite sides of the great circle passing through
f
the first and third places of the comet, r' must be less than
tion

is

85.

P=

From

the values of o' and r f derived from the assumed values

T"

and

Q = TT", we may

evidently derive more approximate

values of these quantities, and thus, by a repetition of the calculaTo


tion, make a still closer approximation to the true value of p'.

derive other expressions for


and Q which are exact, provided that
r f and p f are accurately known, let us denote by s" the ratio of the
f
sector of the orbit included by r and r to the triangle included by
the same radii-vectores and the chord joining the first and second
f
r/
places ; by s the same ratio with respect to r and r , and by s this

with respect to r f and r". These ratios s, s', s" must necessarily be greater than 1, since every part of the orbit is concave
ratio

toward the sun.

According

to the equation (30)

areas of the sectors, neglecting the

and

therefore
f

s"[rr

we

we have

for the

mass of the body,

obtain

]=r"- /p,

s'

[r/']

r'

yft

[//']

= T j/p.

(46)

Then, since

_=
we

shall

have
r
= -T

s'

ff

= r"
-.TO

,._

s'

(47)

n)

and, consequently,

P=

Substituting for

s, s',

and s"

their values

from

-'

(46),

rr"

we have

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

244

distance between the perihelion and node being denoted


the polar equation of the conic section gives

The angular
by

to,

=1
r

-f-

4r = 1 +
=1+

(u

e cos

(u

w),
f

(50)

>),

e cos (u"

Ijf

01).

rf
of these equations by sin (u
u'\ the second
1
add
the products
and the third by sin (u
u),

If we multiply the

first

ff

sin (u
u),
by
and reduce, we get

- sin (u"

e cos

+ 4 sin (u
u) + sin (u'

^ sin (u"

u')

sin (u"

= sin (u"

u)

w)

u)

u')

and, since
sin (u"

= 2 sin j (u"

u')

sin (u"

sin (u

u)

the second

member

we

shall

u') sin

sin

u'\
u') cos ^ (u"

+ u'

2w),

|-

u) sin J (u'

(u"

u).

have

4rr'r" sin \ (u"

(u"

reduces to

4 sin ^ (u"
Therefore,

cos

u'')

u) = 2 sin A (u"

u') sin ^ (u"

u'^

tyi

rr

sm ( u"

u) sin J

u^

_[_

rr

u)

(u'

gm (yf

uy

If we multiply both numerator and denominator of this expression

by
2rr'r" cos J (u"
it

w') cos
r/

becomes, introducing [rr

[r'r"]

[ r/']

-|

],

[rr

],

(u"

VL)

cos J (u

u),

and [rV r/ ],

[ rr 'j

1
'

[rV']-h[rr']

[rr"]

Substituting this value of

2rrV' cos
_p

(u"tf)

86. If

derive

M)'

r"

f^l^

'

ss"

M) cos J (*'

in equation (49), it reduces to

rr"
f\

cos J (M"

rr" cos J (u"

we compare

u'} cos

(u"

11)

cos J (u

w)'

the equations (47) with the formula (28) 3 ,

we

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
Consequently, in the

first

approximation,

we may

245

take

If the intervals of the times are not very unequal, this assumption
from the truth only in terms of the third order with respect

will differ

to the time,

and in terms of the fourth order


shown.

equal, as has already been

if the intervals are

Hence, we adopt for the

first

approximation,

the values of r and r" being computed from the uncorrected times
of observation, which may be denoted by tw </> and tQ ". With the
and Q thus found, we compute r', and from this p', p,
values of
and p", by means of the formulae already derived.

The heliocentric places for the first and third observations may
now be found from the formulae (71) 3 and (72) s and then the angle
u"
u between the radii-vectores r and r" may be obtained in
,

various ways, precisely as the distance between two points on the


celestial sphere is obtained from the spherical co-ordinates of these
points.

When u"

u has been found, we have


/

tf

sin (u
r

sin (u

from which u 1 '

results the ratios s

and

u)

//

sin (u

tt),

= n'V
sin (u"
r

(53)
u),

sum of u"

r/

u may be computed.
be
computed, and then
may
and Q. The value of u"

From

and u f

approximate values of
taking the

ft i

t~\

u)

u'

and

u'

as derived

these

new and more

from

found by
(53), should

u,

agree with that used in the second members of these equations,


within the limits of the errors which may be attributed to the
logarithmic tables.

The most advantageous method of


the radii-vectores
from l n
directly

from

&

I,

and

i,

',

is

6,

obtaining the angles between


to find the position of the plane of the orbit

and b ff and then compute


,

according to the

first

u and u"
f

u,

of equations (82)^

directly
It will be

r
expedient also to compute r', V and b from p', ^', and /?', and the
agreement of the value of r', thus found, with that already obtained

from equation

(37), will

check the accuracy of part of the numerical

THEOKETICAL ASTKONOMY.

246

Further, since the three places of the body must be in


and Q are
a plane passing through the centre of the sun, whether
exact or only approximate, we must also have
calculation.

tan

and the value of

b'

= tan

b'

i sin

Q,

(f

),

derived from this equation must agree with that

computed directly from p', or at least the difference should not exceed
what may be due to the unavoidable errors of logarithmic calculation.

We may now

compute n and n"

_rV'siny-tQ
~
rr" sin (u"

but when the values of

directly

rr'

sm(u'-u)

7 rr" sin (u'

'

u)

u,

from the equations

u f and u"
,

are those

which

.
'

u)
result

from the

the resulting values of n and n" will


,
only satisfy the condition that the plane of the orbit passes through
If substituted in the equations (29), they will
the centre of the sun.

assumed values of

and

and Q, from which they


only reproduce the assumed values of
have been derived, and hence they cannot be used to correct them.
If, therefore,

the numerical calculation be correct, the values of n


(54) must agree with those derived from equa-

and n" obtained from

tions (31), within the limits of accuracy admitted

by the logarithmic

tables.

The differences u"


u' and u'
u will usually be small, and
hence a small error in either of these quantities may considerably
affect the resulting values of n and n"
In order to determine
'.

whether the error of calculation is within the limits to be expected


from the logarithmic tables used, if we take the logarithms of both

members of the equations


n", and u' to vary, we get

d log e n"

(54)

and

~ cot
= -f cot

differentiate,

supposing only n,

u')du' t
u) du'.

(it"

<>'

Multiplying these by 0.434294, the modulus of the common system


of logarithms, and
expressing du' in seconds of arc, we find, in units
of the seventh decimal place of common
logarithms,

d log n
d log n"
If

we

=
=--

21.055 cot (u"

21.055 cot

(u'

i//)

du',

u) du'.

n and log n" as


and the values already obtained by

substitute in these the differences between


log

found from the equations

(54),

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
means of

(31), the

247

two resulting values of did should

agree,

and the

f
magnitude of du itself will show whether the error of calculation
exceeds the unavoidable errors due to the limited extent of the

When the agreement of the two results for n


logarithmic tables.
is in accordance with these conditions, and no error has been

and n"

made

in

computing n and n" from

P and Q by

means of the equa-

tions (31), the accuracy of the entire calculation, both of the

quanand of those
which depend on the assumed values of P and
which are obtained independently from the data furnished by observatities

tion, is

completely proved.

87. Since the values of

n and n" derived from equations (54)


P and Q, from

cannot be used to correct the assumed values of

r f , u, u r , &c. have been computed, it is evidently necessary


to compute the values for a second approximation by means of the

which
series

s".

TJ

given by the equations (26) 3 or by means of the ratios s and


expressions for n and n" arranged in a series with respect
,

The

to the time involve the differential coefficients of r

with respect to

t,

unknown, and cannot be conveniently


determined, it is plain that if the ratios s and s" can be readily found
from r, r', r" u, u' u", and r, r', r", so as to involve the relation
between the times of observation and the places in the orbit, they
may be used to obtain new values of P and Q by means of equations
and, since these are necessarily

(48)

and

',

(51), to

be used in a second approximation.

Let us now resume the equation

M=E

esinE,

or

k(tT}
^
-=E
J

esmE,

a*

and

also for the third place

a?
Subtracting,
ll
aa

we

get

= E" E

2e sin i

(E"

E)

cos

(E"

+ E).

(55;

This equation contains three unknown quantities, a, e, and the difE. We can, however, by means of expressions inference E"
2
e ),
a (1
volving r, r", u, and u", eliminate a and e. Thus, since p

we have

& aVl^^ (E" E2esmi (E"

E)

cos

.J

(E" + E)).

(56)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

248

From

the equations

Vr sin

-y

= I/a (1 +

e) sin

e) cos ^-E ,

i/o (1

v"v = u"

since

7
1/rT sm

and

we

u,

-j-

1/r" cos X = I/a (1

V~r cos Av

I/a (1

t/r" sin ^v"

%E,

e) sin
e) cos

$E"

1",

easily derive

= al/T^* sin

u)

(u"

(E"

(57)

JE),

also

a cos

ae cos

E}

J (jEJ"

+ JK) = 1/rr

(JE"

77

cos i (w"

w),

or
"

Substituting this value of e

-e

cos|(^

(E"

r/

+ ^J) in equation

--Esm (E"

e sin

and

substituting, in the last


(57), the result is

r'Vp

From

= a vT=7 (E" E
2

(57)

E))

(56),

(58)

we

get

JBJ))

w) T/rr",

(it"

al/1

its

+ rr" sin (u"

value from

u}.

(59)

obtain

or

this, for

sm (E"

we

JE) cos ^

(jB"

term of

^.

rr^sinC^

=
\

21/r?

u)

cos J (*"

w)

1
3

jp

sin J

(^"

Therefore, the equation (59) becomes

Let x' be the chord of the


and we shall have
x'

Now,

= (r

since the chord

and from

this, in

orbit between the first

-f-

r")

4rr" cos 2

-J

x can never exceed r

(u"

-\-

r ff ,

and third

places,

u).

we may put

combination with the preceding equation, we derive

21/n 7

"'

cos J (u"

- u = (r + r") cos
~)

r'.

(62)

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

249

T'

Substituting this value,


reduces to

ff

and

[rr

E"-E-*m(E"-E)

-,

~\

in

Vp,

T"

equation

1_

*
/

sn

(r

-\-

//\q
')

q
3

cos Y

~75" ~|

~f

g^

V^^y

The elements a and e are thus eliminated, but the resulting


ff
still the unknown quantities E
E and s It
f

involves

it

(60),

equation
is

neces-

sary, therefore, to derive an additional equation involving the same


unknown quantities in order that
may be eliminated, and

E"

that thus the ratio

From

s',

which

is

the quantity sought,

may

be found.

the equations

= a ae cos E,
r" = a
ae cos E",
r" + r = 2a
2ae cos J (E" + E} cos (E"
r

we

get

E~).

Substituting in this the value of


r"

+ r = 2a sin

and substituting

(E"

e cos

\(E'

for sinj(_E/

r/

-f 21/^V cos

E)

its

-\-

E) from

(58),

we have

(E"E),

u) cos

value from (57), there results

cosi

(u"-u) (l-2sin

| (E?'

But, since

2
2prr" cos ^ (u"

^>

u)

s'

r
2l/rr' cos i (w^

'

w)

we have
T'2

from which we derive


-' 2

<

Jr
(64)

which
as

is

the additional equation required, involving

unknown

E"

E and s

quantities.

Let us now put

E"

sin

(E"

E}'
(05)

THEOKETICAL ASTKONOMY.

250
and the equations

(63)

and (64) become

(66)

When
from the

The

known, the first of these equations will


and hence the value of x or sin2 |(^r/ E\

the value of y'

enable us to determine

is

s',

last equation.

f may

calculation of

be facilitated by the introduction of an

additional auxiliary quantity.

Thus,

let

(67)

and from (62) we find


cos

= cos

rr

(u"

u)

or
cos

We

have, also,

%"

which gives
x'

,,

= sin

r'

= 2 cos

2%' cos J

(u"

= T -f r'7 4rr" cos


= (r r") + 4rr" sin

(u"

-'-

by

"

u),

(u"

u),

,}

(u"

u).

= r + /')*
we

(67)

and the preceding one

u)

and adding, we get

From

(68)

Multiplying this equation by cos %(u"


2

/ tan /,

u).

sin J(t&"

2
u) cos

S in

'/

_w + r_r
(

^)2 C0g2

y, __ u^

get

and, therefore,

-%'=^,
so that equation
(69)
x'

may

- sin / = sin
2

(r

We

+ //)a

may,

be written

therefore,

_W

) -|-

cos

2/

2
cos J (w" -~

it).

put

sin
sin

cos

/ cos G' = sin ^ (w


/ sin G' = cos ("

/r

r'

= cos

(^'

M),

M)

cos 2/,
u) sin 2/,

(70)

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.
from which

f may

shall be positive.

be derived by means of its tangent, so that sin f f


The auxiliary angle G' will be of subsequent use

in determining the elements of the orbit

P and
88.

251

from the

final

hypothesis for

Q.

We

now

shall

consider the auxiliary quantity y' introduced


For brevity, let us put

into the first of equations (66).

and we

have

shall

sin 2g

2g

This gives, by differentiation,


4

dy'

sin

sin 2g'

2g

y'

or

= 3y

-2-

The

last

cot g

of equations (65) gives

cosec g.

4?/'

a/'

= sin

J<y,

and hence

dg_

dx'~
Therefore

we have

dy'

dx
It

is

6y' cos

8/

_3

2aQ

(1

ty

y'

sin a

we may expand

evident that

ence to the ascending powers of

a series arranged in refer-

y' into

so that

a/,

we

have

shall

&c.
Differentiating,

we

get

Ac.,

and substituting

2IM +

(4-r

2/9)

= (3a

dy'

for

-f-

4r )

(65

) -f-

(3 5
y

x'

+ (8e

6a

8a/5)
3

6^

(3<5

the value already obtained, there results

4a

+
+ (3:

-A

8/S^

8ct<S)

8r 5

6e

a:'

a;'

+ (IOC

+ (3r

+ (3e Qd
+ &c.

8oC)

8/?

4
65) z'

x'

6/5

4/S

4f

8/35

f
Since the coefficients of like powers of x must be equal,

3a

4a

3r

6/3

=0,

3/?

4/3

8a r

6a

= 2 (2r

8a/5
/?),

= 20,

&c.

we have

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

252
and hence we derive

we have

Therefore

all

+ 2 MM??f4o*' + &c6

(71)

If we multiply through by V> an<^ P ut

?'=
we

,V + if !*" +
+ iffliflHf.*" + &c
2

(72)

->

obtain

yythis

Combining

If

we put

we

shall

+*'=?'

with the second of equations (66), the result

(73)
is

have

But from the

first

of equations (66)

we

get

and therefore we have

As

soon as r/

value of

is

known,

this equation will give the corresponding

s'.
'

Since

is

fr

a quantity of the fourth order in reference to the differE), we may evidently, for a first approximation to the

ence \ (E
value of y ', take
1

+/
and with
from the

from (75), and the corresponding value of x'


of equations (66).
With this value of x' we find the
f
corresponding value of ', and recompute 37', s , and x' ; and, if the
this find s'
last

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

253

'

derived from the last value of x' differs from that already
the
used,
operation must be repeated.
It will be observed that the series (72) for ' converges with great
the term containing x' 6 amounts
rapidity, and that for E"
to only one unit of the seventh decimal place in the value of '. Table

value of

^=94

XIV.

'

gives the values of


to 0.3, or from E"
ff
case occur in which

E=0

f
corresponding to values of x from 0.0

E"

to

E=132

50'.6.

Should a

E exceeds this limit, the expression

* ~~

sin

("

3 *

E"

sin

E)

(E"

then be computed accurately by means of the logarithmic tables


An approximate value of x' may be easily found
ordinarily in use.

may

with which

With

(73).

(74),

be computed from this equation, and then ' from


the value of ' thus found, if may be computed from

y'

may

and thus a more approximate value of

x'

is

immediately

obtained.

The

equation (75) is of the third degree, and has, therefore, three


roots.
Since s f is always positive, and cannot be less than 1, it
follows from this equation that if is always a positive quantity.
The
equation

may be

written thus
S'3_ /2

_ 7yV _1 V =

0j

and there being only one variation of sign, there can be only one
positive root, which is the one to be adopted, the negative roots being
excluded by the nature of the problem. Table XIII. gives the
2
values of logs' corresponding to values of if from y'=Q to ?/=0.6.
When if exceeds the value 0.6, the value of s must be found directly
from the equation (75).
f

89.

We

are

now

enabled to determine whether the orbit

In the ellipse x
hyperbola.
In the parabola the eccentric anomaly

ellipse, parabola, or
is positive.

= 0.

In the hyperbola the angle which we

anomaly, in the case of

= sm

{(E"

is zero,

call

an

is

E)

and hence

the eccentric

motion, becomes imaginary, and

elliptic

hence, since sin \ (E"


E) will be imaginary, x must be negative.
f
It follows, therefore, that if the value of x derived from the equation

m
is

positive, the orbit is

parabola

and

an

ellipse

if negative, it is a

'

if

equal to zero, the orbit

hyperbola.

is

THEOKETICAL ASTKONOMY.

254

we have x

case of parabolic motion

For the

= 0, and

the second

of equations (66) gives


s"

(76)

jIf

we

y'

|j

eliminate

we

by means of both equations,

s'

since, in this case,

get

Substituting in this the values of


q

^-j
(r

= 3 sin

m and
/

cos

given by (65), we obtain

-f-

4 sin3 ^/,

-f-

which gives
fi

'

= 6 sin i/ cos

\^

+ 2 sin

^',

or
6r

'

This

may

= (sin I/ + cos I/) + (sin & - cos J/)'.


3

04-r">

evidently be written

ft

the upper sign being used when f is less than 90, and the lower
r f/ )%, and
Multiplying through by (r
sign when it exceeds 90.
ff
replacing (r -\~ r ) sin f by x, we obtain

which

identical with the equation (56) 3 for the special case of


motion.
parabolic
Since x' is negative in the case of hyperbolic motion, the value of
'
determined by the series (72) will be different from that in the
is

'
case of elliptic motion.
correTable XIV. gives the value of
r
to
both
of
this
limits
table,
sponding
forms; but when x exceeds the

it

will be necessary, in the case of the


hyperbola also, to

value of

'

directly, using additional

modify the expression for

y'

terms of the

in terms of

E"

If we compare equations (44)j and


(56) 1?
tan

we

E =1/^1 tan F

series,

and

applicable.

get

compute the

or

we may

so as to be

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.
and hence, from

255

(58),,

We

have, also, by comparing (65)! with (41 ) w since


the hyperbola,
*2

is

negative in

+l

'

2(7

which gives
.

Now,

since
cos

in

which

e is

E + l/^l sin E = e EV~\

the base of Naperian logarithms,

E l/-^~l = log
which reduces

(cos

we have

E + 1/^T sin #),

to

or

By means of these relations between E and the expression for y'


may be transformed so as not to involve imaginary quantities. Thus
<r,

we have

E"-E= (log - loge *) l^ - l/


sin (^"
E) = sin J&" cos # cos .&" sin E =
e

From

the value of cos

sm
*

U=

</'

E we easily derive
-

I,

and hence

Therefore the expression for y f becomes

cos

E=

~l.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

256

Since the auxiliary quantity a in the hyperbola


let us now put
a"

~2
(77)

r
from which y may be derived when

We have,

always positive,

_ j2

and we have
t/==

is

is

known.

further,

and therefore
'

or
J

(79)

These expressions

and

for y'

the limits of the table.

x' enable us to find

Thus, we

by putting

when

#' exceeds

f
obtain an approximate value of x

m
f

and then x from the second of equations


Then we compute A from the formula (79), which gives

from which we
(66).

'

first

find s f

x',

from

and

'

from

(80)

A repetition of the calculation,

using
thus found, will give a still closer approximation to
the correct values of x r and s f ; and this process should be continued

y'

(77),

the value of

until

'

(73).

'

remains unchanged.

The

formulae for the calculation of s f will evidently give the


value of s if we use r, r f , r" 9 u ', and u", the necessary changes in the
90.

/r
notation being indicated at once; and in the same manner using r ,
f
From the values of s and s" thus
r, r , u, and u', we obtain s".

and Q may be computed by means


found, more accurate values of
of the equations (48) and (51).
may remark, however, that if
the times of the observations have not been already corrected for the

We

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

257

time of aberration, as in the case of the determination of an unknown


may now be applied as determined by means of

orbit, this correction

r
"
the values of p, p , and p" already obtained.
Thus, if , </, and tQ
are the uncorrected times of observation, the corrected values will be

=t
t=t
t

Cp sec /9,

t'

'

Cp'aecp,

(81)

"

Q/'sec/3",

which log 0=7.760523, expressed in parts of a day; and from


these values of t, t', t" we recompute r, r', and r", which values will
require no further correction, since p, p', and p", derived from the
in

first approximation, are sufficient for this purpose.


With the new
values of
and Q we recompute r, r f y r", and u, u f , u" as before,
and thence again
and if the last values diifer from the preand

ceding, we proceed in the same manner to a third approximation,


which will usually be sufficient unless the interval of time between
the extreme observations is considerable.
If it be found necessary

to proceed further with the approximations to


and
after the
calculation of these quantities in the third approximation has been
effected, instead

of employing these directly for the next

trial,

we

may derive more accurate values from those already obtained. Thus,
let x and y be the true values of
and Q respectively, with which,
if the calculation be repeated, we should derive the same values again.

Let A# and Ay be the differences between any assumed values of x


and y and the true values, or

denote by a? ', y r the values which result by direct calculation from the assumed values XQ and y , we shall have

Then,

if

we

Expanding

this function,

we

get

A# and Ay are very small, we may neglect terms of the second


Further, since the employment of x and y will reproduce the
same values, we have

and

if

order.

and hence, since A#

=X

x and Ay

ir

=y

y,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

258

In a similar manner, we obtain

yJ-y

= A'(xt-x)+3f(y

-y).

Let us now denote the values resulting from the first assumption for
and
2
2
and Q by P^ and Q ly those resulting from
19 ft by

from P Q by P
2

2,

3,

-P =
ft- e =

ft; and,

-P

a,

6,

ft-

If

=4(P-aO + JB(e
we

a",

- ft =6".
2

# and

for #</

-P =

=a',
ft =J',
1

y),

eliminate A, P, A',

further, let

Then, by means of the equations


have
a

we

2/o,

2A>'

= 4'(P-aO + JS'(e

and B' from these equations, the

shall

!0

results

are
r

y=

(a'b"

a"b')

-j-

(a"b

ab")

-\-

(ab

a'b)

(a'b"

a"b')

+ (a"b

ab")

-j-

(ab'

a'b)

'

from which we get


'

a"b

(a" -f a') (a'b"

(b

-4-

(a b

\a b

a b

j~

b )

-f a" (a"b

\~

ab

(a b

b (a b
) -4

ab")

ab

(82)
)

a b)

(ab

In the numerical application of these formulae it will be more- convenient to use, instead of the numbers P,
lt
2
Q, ft, &c., the logarithms of these quantities, so that a
P,b
log l
log
log ft
lg ft

P P

and similarly

for a', b',

a"

',

b ff ,

which may

also be expressed in

units of the last decimal place of the logarithms employed,


and we
shall thus obtain the values of log x and log y.
With these values

of log x and log y for log


and log Q respectively, we proceed with
the final calculation of r, r' y r", and u, u', u".
When the eccentricity is small and the intervals of time between
the observations are not very great, it will not be necessary to employ
the equations (82) ; but if the
eccentricity is considerable, and if, in
addition to this, the intervals are large, they will be required.
It

may

also occur that the values of

and

derived from the last

hypothesis as corrected by means of these formulae, will differ so

DETERMINATION OF AN ORBIT.

much from

259

the values found for x and y, on account of the neglected

terms of the second order, that it will be necessary to recompute these


and Q in connection with the
quantities, using these last values of

three preceding ones in the numerical solution of the equations (82).


91. It remains now to complete the determination of the elements
i9
of the orbit from these final values of
and Q. As soon as
,

and u u
y

u" have been

f
j

rived by means of
or,

which

is

r,

better,

rfy

we

found, the remaining elements may be deand u f u, and also from r f , r n and u" u r ;
',

will obtain

them from the extreme

places, and,

and Q is complete, the results thus found


approximation to
will agree with those resulting from the combination of the middle
if the

place with either extreme.

We

fl
f
fr
must, therefore, determine s and x' from ?, r , and u
u,
means
of
the
formula?
and
the
second
from
by
then,
already. derived,
of equations (46), we have

'""-

from which

to obtain p.
-

If we compute

_ / sr'r" sin (u"

u') \

and s"

s'

rr' sin

also,

we

shall

have

(u

u)\*

--\

and the mean of the two values of p obtained from this expression
should agree with that found from (83), thus checking the calculation and showing the degree of accuracy to which the approximation
to P and Q has been carried.

The

last

from which
since e

of equations (65) gives

= sin

ff

<p y

E may be computed.
we have

for the calculation of

cos

tp.

But p

cos p

Then, from equation

=a

= a-2

=1

2 sin 2 (45

a cos2 ^, whence
(86)

cos?

which may be used to determine <p when


unity ; and then e may be found from
6

(1

(57),

e is

^).

very nearly equal to

260

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

'

The

equations (50) give

ecos(u
e cos

and from

these,

w)

(u"

w) sin (J

2e sin i (w"

by means of which

and

a)

1,

1,

f7

we

subtraction,

u) cos (4 (w"

(u"

rv\

=-

a>')

by addition and

2e cos

(w'

may

+ u)

*>)

+ w)

w)

derive

=-

T>

-77

2,

(87)

-77,

be found.

Since

r-r"
we have

__

r^?

r"?
-.

21/rr"

_
i/rr"sin2/

^>

and from equations

2pcot2/

(70),

'

cos r

Therefore the formulae (87) reduce to

e sin

(,

-4

i*))

=
4 (w" + w))

e cos (o>

from which also

(t*"

"

(88)
sec

cos

and w may be derived.


sin

tan

Then

e,

and the agreement of cos <p as derived from this value of <p with that
given by (86) will serve as a further proof of the calculation. The
longitude of the perihelion will be given

or,

when

adopted, by

exceeds
TT

=&

90, and
co.

by

the distinction of retrograde motion

is

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.

To

find a,

261

we have

(a cos

#>)'

CL
5

COS'

or

it

may

<f>

be computed directly from the equation


r'

4s'

which

results

rr" cos J fa"

from the substitution, in the

term of the preceding


given by (83) and (85).

last

equation, of the expressions for a cos <p and


Then for the mean daily motion we have

-1
~af

We

have now only to find the mean anomaly corresponding to any


For the true
epoch, and the elements are completely determined.

we have

anomalies
v

and

if

=u

v'

to,

we compute

=w

r ff from these

r, r',

v"

w,

= u"

ta

by means of the polar equa-

tion of the conic section, the results should agree with the values of
the same quantities previously obtained.
According to the equation
(45) D

we have

= tan (45
=
tan ^E'
tan (45
tan ^E" = tan (45
tan

^E

?) tan

v,

J?) tan $tf,


?) tan W',

(90)

to find E, E', and E".


The difference E"
should
from
that
derived
within
the
with
limits
of
equation (84)
agree
afforded
the
tables.
to
find
the
mean
Then,
by
accuracy
logarithmic
anomalies, we have

from which

M =E

M'

and, if

we

denotes the

=E'

esmE,
esmE',

mean anomaly corresponding

(91)

to

any epoch

T,

have, also,

f
in the application of which the values of t, t , and t" must be those
which have been corrected for the time of aberration. The agree-

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

262

ment of the three values of


the entire calculation.

will be a final test of the accuracy of


and
are exact,
final values of

If the

proof will be complete within the limits of accuracy admitted

this

by the logarithmic

tables.

When

the eccentricity is such that the equations (91) cannot be


solved with the requisite degree of accuracy, we must proceed according to the methods already given for finding the time from the perihelion in the case of orbits differing but little from the parabola.

X. will be employed. As soon as


and v have been determined, we may find the auxiliary angle
v, v
V for each observation by means of Table IX. and, with V as the
M" (which are not the mean anomaargument, the quantities Jf,
Then, the perihelion distance
lies) must be obtained from Table VI.
For

this purpose,

Tables IX. and

ff

having been computed from

we

T+~e'

have

shall

C
in which log

= 9.96012771

for the determination of the

time of

The times t y t', t" must be those which have


perihelion passage.
been corrected for the time of aberration, and the agreement of the
three values of

T is

a final proof of the numerical calculation.


used, as soon as the true anomalies have been found,
the corresponding values of log
must be derived from
and log

If Table X.

is

Then w

the table.

and similarly

M, M

f
,

M"

for w'

is

computed from

and w" ; and, with these as arguments, we derive


Finally, we have

from Table VI.

T=t
CIV"

A (1 + 9e)

Ql/ T\> (1

-j-

9e)

Ql/A (1 + 9e)'
(93)

for the time of perihelion


passage, the value of <7 being the
in (92).

When
Q and

CD

the orbit

is

a parabola,

can be derived from

r,

=1

r",

tt,

same

as

and p
2q, and the elements
and u" by means of the equa-

DETERMINATION OF AN OEBIT.

263

tions (76), (83), and (88), or by means of the formulae already given
for the special case of parabolic motion.

92. Since certain quantities which are real in the ellipse and parabola become imaginary in the case of the hyperbola, the formulae
n
already given for determining the elements from r, r ', u, and u"

require some modification

when

applied to a hyperbolic orbit.

and x' have been found, p, e, and w may be derived from


equations (83) and (87) or (88) precisely as in the case of an elliptic
2
fr
Since x
sin J (E
orbit.
E\ we easily find

When

s'

sin i

and equation

(85)

E)=2 V x'

(E"

x'\

becomes
"

)VW
-.

(94 )

x'
x n will be
negative, and hence
imaginary ; and, further, comparing the values of p in the ellipse
2
tan ^/, or
and hyperbola, we have cos 2 ^

But

xf

in the hyperbola

is

cos

<f>

=
=V

Therefore the equation for a cos

if

is

(p

1 tan

4/.

becomes

considered as being positive, from which a tan


a tan 2
we have
Then, since p

^
^
tan 4 =

obtained.

^ may

(96)

atan^/

for the determination of

ij/,

be

and the value of

computed from

= sec 4 = 1/1 +tan 4


2

should agree with that derived from equation (88). When e differs
but little from unity, it is conveniently and accurately computed

from
e

=1

2 sin 2

-f-

^ sec

4.

The value of a may be found from


a

=p cot 4 = (atan-4/)

,
Q(97)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

264
or

from
a

16s' rr" cos

(u"

u)

x'J

(a/

derived directly from (89), observing that the elliptic semitransverse axis becomes negative in the case of the hyperbola.
As soon as to has been found, we derive from u, u', and u" the

which

is

and v", and then compute the values


corresponding values of v, v',
the formula (57)! ; after which, by
of
means
F"
and
of
by
9 F'j
f
and
the
,
means of the equation (69) w
corresponding values of N,

N"

Finally, the time of perihelion passage will

will be obtained.

be given by

T= t

lQ k

IJc

IJc

7.87336575.

wherein log^fc

The

-*N=t-N> = t'-N"

cases of hyperbolic orbits are rare,

do occur the eccentricity will not differ


bola, so that the

and

in most of those

much from

most accurate determination of

means of Tables IX. and X.

which

that of the parawill be effected by

as already illustrated.

To illustrate the application of the principal for93. EXAMPLE.


mula which have been derived in this chapter, let us take the following observations of Eurynome

Ann Arbor M.

@o

T.

1863 Sept. 14 15* 53- 37.2


21 9 46 18 .0
28

8 49

29

.2

<?

+9

0- 44'.91

53' 30".8,

57

3 .57

13

.5,

52

18 .90

+8

22

.7.

The apparent

obliquity of the ecliptic for these dates was, respect//


r
27'
20".75, 23 27 20".71, and 23 27' 20 .65 ; and, by
ively,
means of these, converting the observed right ascensions and declina-

23

tions into apparent longitudes

Ann Arbor M.

and

T.
1

dates

we

get
Latitude.

Longitude.

1863 Sept. 14 15* 53" 37'.2


21
9 46 18 .0
28 8 49 29 .2

For the same

latitudes,

we

17

47' 37".60

16

41 36 .20

-f 3
2

15

16 56 .35

-f 2

8'

.46,

32 42

.98.

obtain from the American Nautical

the following places of the sun

43".19,

52 27

Almanac

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

265

True Longitude.
1' 42".l
172

Latitude.

- 0.07

0.0022140,

178
185

+ 0.77
+ 0.67

0.0013857,
0.0005174.

37 17
26 54

.2
.8

log

Since the elements are supposed to be wholly unknown, the places

of the planet must be corrected for the aberration of the fixed stars
Thus we find for the corrections to be
as given by equations (1).
applied to the longitudes, respectively,

-18".48,

and

-19".49,

20".8,

for the latitudes,

+ 0".14.

+ 0".30,

o".47,

_j_

When

these corrections are applied, we obtain the true places of the


planet for the instants when the light was emitted, but as seen from
the places of the earth at the instants of observation.

Next, each place of the sun must be reduced from the centre of
the earth to the point in which a line drawn from the planet through
For this
the place of the observer cuts the plane of the ecliptic.
purpose

we

have, for
r

Ann

= 42

Arbor,
log PQ

5'.4,

= 9.99935

and the mean time of observation being converted into

sidereal time

gives, for the three observations,


Q

= 3* 29 W 1

'

s
,

21* 48

17 s ,

Of

which are the right ascensions of the geocentric


is

=+

#=

6033'.9,
22 25.0,

AQ

A 0'

18".92,

A log RQ

we

which

<p

derive the longitude

=
" =

we

"

0'.4,

15.8,

&

342

59'.2,

"= + 53

41.6.

obtain

36".94,

A log R

'

A 0"

25".76,

0.0002201,

0.0002796.

time, we have the values -f OM5,


which are so small that they may be neglected.

For the reduction of


.34,

(4),

0.0001084,

A log jR

347
50

V= +

Then, by means of equations

these

zenith, of

55 s

latitude of the zenith for each observation, namely,

4,=

-j-

From

in each case the declination.

and

= 21* 18

+ O'.28, and

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

266

the sun and planet are reduced to


Finally, the longitudes of both
1863.0
of
mean
the
by applying the corrections
equinox

-51". 52,

50".95,

and the

52".14;

same

latitudes of the planet are reduced to the ecliptic of the

date by applying the corrections

0".15,

0".14, and

0".14,

respectively.

Collecting together and applying the several corrections thus obtained for the places of the sun and of the planet, reducing the un-

and

corrected times of observation to the meridian of Washington,

expressing them in days from the beginning of the year,


following data

we have

the

= 17
= 16
I" = 15

= 257.68079,
= 264.42570,
" =
271.38625,

t;
t

O =172

46' 28".17,

A'

40 25

1544.03,

0'32".23,

=178 35 48 .74,
"=185 2536.90,

'

The numerical

.19,

/3"

=+3
= 2
=+2

8'

43".51,

52 27

.62,

3242.98,

logJ? =0.0021056,

log# =0.0011656,
R" = 0.0002378.

log

values of the several corrections to be applied to


by observation and by the solar tables should be

the data furnished

checked by duplicate calculation, since an error in any of these reductions will not be indicated until after the entire calculation of the
elements has been effected.

By means

of the equations
"

sin

("-')

RR" sin (0"

~ .RR'sin(Q'-Q)
RR" sin ("

'

0)

tan

tan/3'

we

(A'

)'

0')

obtain
log

N= 9.7087449,
= 161
= 9.4980010,
4/

log CR' sin 4/)

The quadrant

log

N" = 9.6950091,

42' 13".16,

log

(#

cos

40

= 9.9786355

n.

which oj/ must be taken is determined by the conmust


be less than 180, and that cosoj/ and cos (7'
<\J/
O')
must have the same sign. Then from

ditions that

in

NUMEEICAL EXAMPLE.

Q (A" + A) - K) =

tan Jsin

tanlcosQ

267

(*"

-BO

/9

j?'

sin

6, c,

c?,

/,

"

sin

(G

o sin(A"

A)'

and

A),

(Q'_ JQ

RR

~sin(A"

+ *) - *")

= jR- sin (0

we compute K, I,
than 90, and the

sec J (A"

y/

0)
'

A)

The angle / must be

^.

less

value of /9 must be determined with the greatest


possible accuracy, since on this the accuracy of the resulting elements
principally depends.

Thus we obtain

K=4 47' 29".48,


P == 2
59"| jf
log b = 2.5456342
52'

log d == 1.2437914,

The

1= 9.3884640,

log tan
log a
log

iog/=

1.3587437 n

= 6.8013583

M,

= 2.2328550n

log

/i

3.9247691.

formulae

_
MI ~~

_~

sin (A"

A')

sin (A"

-A)

sin (A

A)

Z
1

sin (A"

A)

__

~J

K}

\!'

Q")

^"sin(A"
+ J~T~
^sin(A
"

0)

~'

hsm^

,,

give
log

M = 9.8946712,
v

= 1.9404111,

K)

~b~

~d~~
log Jf/'

= 9.6690383,

The

quantities thus far obtained remain unchanged in the sucand Q.


cessive approximations to the values of

For the

first

hypothesis, from

=-

=
YJ O

T? O

= R' sin
=
cos C
^
R' cos
sin Z

4-',

4/,

2 co

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

268

we

obtain

= 9.0645575,
= 8.1427824,
log Q
= 0.0704470,
k
log
=
0.3326925,
log

= 9.0782249,
log P = 9.9863326,

log r"

log r

log c == 2.2298567 W ,
1
0.0716091,

=
=
8
C

log

>?

Iogm == 1.2449136.

24' 49".74,

which f must be situated is determined by the condition that J? shall have the same sign as 4,.
The value of z f must now be found by trial from the equation

The quadrant

in

sin (z

C)

=m

sin /.

Table XII. shows that of the four roots of this equation one exceeds
180, and is therefore excluded by the condition that sins' must be
z'
4/,
greater than 180
positive, and that two of these roots give
(

and are excluded by the condition that z must be less than 180
ty.
The remaining root is that which belongs to the orbit of the planet,
and it is shown to be approximately 10 40' but the correct value
;

is

found from the

last

equation by a few trials to be


z'

The

=9

1'

22".96.

which corresponds to the orbit of the earth


and differs very little from 180
ty.
root

is

18

20' 41 ",

Next, from

smz

sin 2

p"

we

M" 4MI
n"^

_
i

n"

derive

= 0.3025672,
= 9.7061229,
log p = 0.0254823,

logr'

log

The

= 0.0123991,
= 9.6924555,
"
log P = 0.0028859.

log/

log n"

values of the curtate distances


having thus been found, the

heliocentric places for the three observations are

now computed from

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

=p cos (A

O)
O)

r cos b cos (I
r cos b sin

(I

= j0sin(A
= p tan

r sin b

/9

/ cos b' cos (V


/ cos V sin (/'
/sin

')

/' cos

Q)
;

(A'

p'

(A'

O')

= sin
= /tan/5';
=
0")
P" cos
0") = p" sin (A"
= ,o"tan/3",

V cos (/"
V sin ("

-#',

'),

0")

(A"

/'sin 6"

R,

Q),

=10' cos

O')

6'

/' cos

269

R",

0"),

which give

= 514'39".53,
r = 7 '45 11
I" = 10 21 34

log tan b
log tan b'
log tan b"

.28,
.57,

logr =0.3040994,
log/ =0.3025673,

=8.4615572,

= 8.4107555,
= 8.3497911,

log /'

= 0.3011010.

The agreement of
found,

is

the value of log r f thus obtained with that already


a proof of part of the calculation. Then, from
tan t

nit
sm (J (*

tan

cos (1 (

cos

we
u

get

= 158

The

/-i

tan 6"

7\

cos

2'

tan 6

cos

= 160

equation
tan

b'

= tan

38".16,
u'

25".78,

-f-

= 207
8'

^\ =
+/)-)
tan 6"
tan 6
+ - 8) = 2sin (r _

=4

27' 23".84,

u"

39' 18".13,

i sin (l

= 163

16' 4".42.

&)

8.4107514, which differs 0.0000041 from the value


f
This difference, however, amounts
found
already
directly from p
to only 0".05 in the value of the heliocentric latitude, and is due to
gives log tan b'

If we compute n and n" from the equations

errors of calculation.

sin (u"
= //'
rr" sin
n

u'*)
=r>'

r,

u)

(u"

sin
=~ rr" sin
rr'

(u'

u)

(u"

u)

'

the results should agree with the values of these quantities previously
and Q. Using the values of u, u', and
computed directly from

11

just found,

we

log n

obtain

= 9.7061158,

log n"

= 9.6924683,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

270
which

differ in the last

p and p".

According

decimal places from the values used in finding


to the equations

d log n
d log n"

=
=

-}-

21.055 cot (u"


21.055 cot (u'

u')

du

r
,

u) du',

the differences of logn and logn" being expressed in units of the


seventh decimal place, the correction to u' necessary to make the two
values of logn agree is
0".15; but for the agreement of the two
f
diminished by 0".26, so that it appears
be
must
u
of
values
logn",
not
is
that this proof
complete, although near enough for the first
It should be observed, however, that a great circle

approximation.

the extreme observed places of the planet passes


very nearly through the third place of the sun, and hence the values
of p and p" as determined by means of the last two of equations (18)

passing through

somewhat uncertain. In this case it would be advisable to compute p and p", as soon as p has been found, by means of the equations (22) and (23).
Thus, from these equations we obtain
are

log p

= 0.025491

log p"

8,

= 0.0028874,

and hence
I

514'40".05,
2134.19,

r=10
u

= 207

= 158

8'

2'

32".97,
u'

31".47,

The value of

log tan b
log tan b"

= 160

=8.4615619,
=8.3497919,
i
4

log r
log /'

27' 25".13,

X'

= 163

u"

39' 23".31,

log tan b' derived from

= 0.3041042,
= 0.3011017,
16' 9".22.

and these values of

and

Q,

i,

8.4107555, agreeing exactly with that derived from p' directly.


The values of n and n" given by these last results for u, u' and u n\
is

are
log

and

= 9.7061144,

this proof will

be complete

to the value of u', so that

u"

u'

=2

log n"
if we

= 9.6924640

apply the correction du

O'MS

we have

36' 46".09,

u'

=2

30' 51".66.

The results which have thus been obtained enable us to proceed to


a second approximation to the correct values of
and we
and
may also correct the times of observation for the time of aberration

by means of the formulae


t==tQ

Cp sec

/?,

'

Cft sec p,

C= 7.760523, expressed in parts


== 257.67467,
= 264.41976,

wherein log

t"
of*

"
t

CP " sec /?",

a day. Thus

t"

we

= 271.38044,

get

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

271

and hence
log r

= 9.0782331,

log

r'

= 9.3724848,

to find the ratios denoted

Then,

by

and

log r"

= 9.0645692.

we have

s",

17'

sin f cos
sin Y sin

G = sin J (u"
G = cos \ (u"

w'),

u') cos

= cos 2 (u"

cos Y

it')

sin

tan/' ==
sin /' cos
sin /' sin

G" = sin (it'


G" = cos ^ (it'

= cos J

cos /'

it)

(it'

2y

7
,

sin 2;/'

r2

w),

u) cos

sin

r" 2

from which we obtain

= 44 57' 6".00,
= 1 18 35
log m = 6.3482114,
logy = 6.1163135,
x

From

/"
/'

.90,

44

.69,

m"

m
r!'

using Tables XIII. and


Sj

15 40

= 6.3163548,
log/' = 6.0834230.

log

by means of the equations

these,

case of

56' 57".50,

=1

XIV., we compute

and

First, in the

s".

we assume
7

= 0.0002675,
2

0.0002581.
and, with this as the argument, Table XIII. gives log s
this
as
the
with
Hence we obtain x'
0.000092, and,
argument,

Table

XIV.

gives

=
= 0.00000001

repetition of the calculation

log s

When

is

and, therefore,

unnecessary.

= 6.0001290,

the intervals are small,

logs"
it is

it

appears that a

Thus we obtain

= 0.0001200.

not necessary to use the formula?

THEOKETICAL ASTEONOMY.

272

in the complete form here given, since these ratios


in the sequel.
process, as will appear

by a simpler

pP =

may then

be found

Then, from

~T
r

"

7"'
'

_^_
* ~~ "

'

rr" cos

ss

we

find

log

|-

u') cos

(u"

P = 9.9863451,

u) cos

(u"

-J

log

(u

u)'

Q = 8.1431341,

with which the second approximation may be completed. We now


f
compute c Tcw lw z , &c. precisely as in the first approximation but
;

we

shall prefer, for the reason already stated, the values of

p and p"

computed by means of the equations (22) and (23) instead of those


obtained from the last two of the formulae (18).
The results thus
derived are as follows

= 2.2298499
= 0.0714280,
log
= 0.0719540,
log % = 0.3332233,
C = 8 24' 12".48,
log m = 1.2447277,
= 90'30".84,
log / = 0.3032587,
log p = 0.0137621,
=
n
9.7061153,
log
log n"= 9.6924604,
=
0.0269143,
logp
log p" = 0.0041748,
log

log

Jc

n,

z'

= 5
= 7
J" = 10

2,76,

log tan b
log tan V

0.91,
207

0'

15' 57".26,

/'

46

22

= 158

log tan b"

12' 19".54,

The agreement of

logr =0.3048368,
log/ == 0.3032587,

= 8.3504332,
=4

log r"

= 160

u"

42' 45".82,

the two values of log r

is

= 0.3017481,

28' 35".20,

0".72,
u'

=8.4622524,
=8.4114276,

= 163

19' 7".14.

complete, and the value

of log tan b r computed from


tan
is

= tan

= 8.4114279, agreeing

log tan b'

from p f

b'

The

values of

are
log n

sin (I

with the result derived directly

n and n" obtained from the equations

= 9.7061156,

log n"

which agree with the values


already used
the proof of the calculation

u"

u'

=2

From

36' 21".32,

these values of
log

& ),

is

u'~ u

complete.

=2

u"u

= 0.0001284,

in

= 9.6924603,
computing p and p", and

We

have, therefore,

30' 26".28,

and u

u,

log s"

(54)

we

u"

=5

obtain

= 0.0001193,

6'

47".60.

NUMEKICAL EXAMPLE.
and, recomputing
log

P and

we

273

get

P = 9.9863452,

log

Q=

8.1431359,

differ so little from the preceding values of these quantities


that another approximation is unnecessary.
may, therefore, from
the results already derived, complete the determination of the elements

which

We

of the orbit.

The equations

/ cos G' = sin-^


sin / sin G' = cos |
cos /
cos

sin

r'

(u

n
u),

(u"

u) cos 2/,

(u"

u} sin 2/,

(r-fr")

""

cosV

sin

cos/'

give

/ = 44

log m'

From

/ = 2 33' 52".97,
log tan G' = 8.9011435,
= 6.9332999,
=
6.7001345.
log/

53' 53".25,

by means of the formula

these,

_and Tables XIII. and XIV., we obtain


log s'

= 0.0009908,

log of

= 6.5494116.

Then from
s'rr" sin

we

get

The

w"

= 0.3691818.

values of logp given

by

^)\

/grV'siny
r

~-\

_
=

-\

s"rr' sin

(u

'>'

u)

-/

are 0.3691824 and 0.3691814, the mean of which agrees with the
result obtained from u ff
u, and the differences between the separate
results are so small that the

The

approximation to

equations
sin 4

Hi

J] =

a cos ^
18

P and Q is sufficient.

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

274
give
i

=l

E)

(E"

4'

42".903,
log cos
<f>

log (a cos ?)

= 9.9921503.

Next, from
e sin

- $ (u" + u)) =

(>

- i (w" +

e cos (

we

-f/=

tan (7,

cos/V rr"

~ sec 2 fa" -

t*))

= 0.3770315,

M),

cQg f^x-,7

obtain

= 190
P = 10

This value of

15' 39".57,

log e

51 39

TT

<p

.62,

gives log cos^>

= log sin ? = 9.2751434,


40".29.
-f ^ = 37
15'

<o

= 9.9921501, agreeing with the result

already found.

To

find

a and

//,

we have
Tc

the value of k expressed in seconds of arc being log k


from which the results are
log a

The

= 0.3848816,

true anomalies are given


V

=U

= 327

= 2.9726842.

by

= U - W,

= U - W,
ff

t/

W,

according to which
v

log ft

= 3.5500066,

I/'

we have

56' 39".97,

v'

= 330

v"

27' 6".25,

= 333

3'

27".57.

If we compute r, r f , and r" from these values by means of the polar


equation of the ellipse, we get
log r

= 0.3048367,

log /

= 0.3032586,

log r"

and the agreement of these results with those derived


f
p, p and p" is a further proof of the calculation.

= 0.3017481,
directly

from

The

equations

= tan (45
= tan (45
E" = tan (45

tan

$E

?) tan %v,

tan

bE

jp) tan jt/,


J ? ) tan Jt/'

tan

give

E = 333

17' 28".18,

E'

= 335

24' 38' .00,

E" = 337

36' 19".78.

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
The value of

thus obtained differs only 0".003 from that

E)

(E"

f
computed directly from x

Finally, for the

M= E

mean anomalies we have

M = E'
'

e sin

275

E,

M" = E"

e sin E',

e sin

E",

from which we get

M = 338
and

if

8'

M' =

36".71,

339

M denotes the mean anomaly

Washington mean

339

T=1863

55' 25".96, the

55' 25".97, 339

mean of which

M = 339

Sept. 21.5

55' 25".96,

and

gives

55' 25".96.

the three results for

is

a final proof of the

accuracy of the entire calculation of the elements.


Collecting together the separate results obtained,

lowing elements

we have

the fol-

= 1863 Sept. 21.5 Washington mean time.


M = 339 25".96
n = 37 15 40 .29)
Ecll
and Mean

Epoch

55'

= 207
72 V
= 4 28 35. 20 J
= 10 51 39 .62
=
0.3848816
log a
log = 2.9726842
= 939".04022.
<

P tlc
Equinox

1863.0.

<?

fi

fi

If we compute the geocentric right ascension and declination of


the planet directly from these elements for the dates of the observations, as corrected for the time of aberration, and then reduce the
observations to the centre of the earth

by applying the

corrections

for parallax, the comparison of the results thus obtained will

how

show

closely the elements represent the places on which they are


based.
Thus, we compute first the auxiliary constants for the equator,

using the

mean

fit

obtain the three values 339

The agreement of

for the date

43' 6".97

time, from the formulae

M =M
we

M" = 341

54' 10".61,

obliquity of the ecliptic,


e

= 23

27' 24".96,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

276

and the following expressions


planet are obtained

for the heliocentric co-ordinates of the

= r [9.9997272] sin (296

55' 46".05 -f u),

y =r [9.9744699] sin (206

12 42 .79 -f u),
r [9.5249539] sin (212 39 14 .62
u).

enclosed in the brackets are the logarithms of sin a,


and sin c, respectively ; and these equations give the co-ordinates

The numbers
sin 6,

referred to the

mean equinox and equator of 1863.0.

The

places of the sun for the corrected times of observation,


referred to the mean equinox of 1863.0, are

True Longitude.

172
178
185

.5

25 42

.0

Log R.

Latitude.

-0".07

0'29".5

36

+0
+0

and

0.0022146,

.77

0.0013864,
0.0005182.

.67

If we compute from these values, by means of the equations (104)j,


the co-ordinates of the sun, and combine them with the corresponding
heliocentric co-ordinates of the planet, we obtain the following geocentric places of the planet
:

= 15
= 14
a" = 13
a

10' 29".06,

a'

15

= + 9 53' 16".72,
= 912 51
V = + 8 21 54

= 0.02726,
= 0.01410,
=
J"
0.00433.
log
log A

d
d

.22,

3 49 .47,

log J'

.29,

.46,

To

reduce these places to the apparent equinox of the date of observation, the corrections

+ 48".14,
must be applied
-f-

to the right ascensions,


respectively,

18".55,

to the declinations.

Thus we obtain

Washington M. T.

Comp.
1*
.

28.38044

a.

Comp.

O m 45'.15

57

52

and

+ 19".31,

-f 18".92,

1863 Sept. 14.67467


21.41976

The

-f 48".91,

-f 48".54,

+9

3 .25
18.

56

6.

53' 35".3,

13 10

.2,

22 13

.8.

corrections to be applied to the


respective observations, in order
them to the centre of the earth, are -f- O s .24,
O s .31,
0*.34

to reduce

in right ascension, and -f


4".5,
that we have, for the same
dates,

+ 4".8, + 5".l

in declination, so

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
Observed

Observed

a.

0-45M5

1*

57
52

The comparison of

277
3.

53' 35".3,

3 .26

18 .56

+8

13 10
22 13

these with the

.3,
.8.

computed values shows that the

extreme places are exactly represented, while the difference in the


middle place amounts to only O'.Ol in right ascension, and to 0".l
in declination.

pletely satisfied

It appears, therefore, that the observations are comby the elements obtained, and that the preliminary

corrections for aberration and parallax, as determined by the equations (1) and (4), have been correctly computed.
It cannot be expected that a system of elements derived from ob-

servations including an interval of only fourteen days, will be so


exact as the results which are obtained from a series of observations

or from those including a much longer interval of time; and although


the elements which have been derived completely represent the data,

on account of the smallness of ft*


this difference being only
/9 ,
31". 893, the slight errors of observation have considerable influence
in the final results.

yet,

When

approximate elements are already known, so that the cor-

rection for parallax may be applied directly to the observations, in


order to take into account the latitude of the sun, the observed places
of the body must be reduced, by means of equation (6), to the point
in

which a perpendicular

let fall

from the centre of the earth

to the

plane of the ecliptic cuts that plane. The times of observation must
also be corrected for the time of aberration, and the corresponding
places of both the planet

and mean equinox of a

and the sun must be reduced to the ecliptic


and further, the reduction to

fixed epoch;

the fixed ecliptic should precede the application of equation (6).


If the intervals between the times of observation are considerable,
it

may become

values of

necessary to

P and

Q, and

make

three or

more approximations

to the

in this case the equations (82) may be applied.


elements are already known, it will be advan-

But when approximate


tageous to compute the first assumed values of P and Q directly
from these elements by means of the equations (44) or by means of
(48) and (51) and the ratios s and s" may be found directly from the
In the case of very eccentric orbits this is indispenequations (46).
;

be desired to avoid prolixity in the numerical calculation,


since otherwise the successive approximations to
and Q will slowly
approach the limits required.
sable, if it

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

278

various modifications of the formulae for certain special cases,


must be used in the case of parabolic

The

as well as the formulae which

and hyperbolic

differing but little

and of those

orbits,

from the

such that they require no furparabola, have been given in a form


ther illustration.
94.

In the determination of an unknown

considerably unequal,

it

orbit, if the intervals are

be advantageous to correct the

will

first

assumed value of P before completing the first approximation in the


manner already illustrated. The assumption of

is

correct to terms of the fourth order with respect to the time,

same degree of approximation to


equation (28) 3 use the expression

for the

we must,

and

according to

7}

which becomes equal


first assumed values

furnish, with very


with the values of

to

little

only

labor,

P and

when

the intervals are equal.

an approximate value of

r'

The

and then,

derived from

g = TT,

(98)

the entire calculation should be completed


precisely as in the example
given.
Thus, in this example, the first assumed values give

log/
and, recomputing

= 0.30257,

P by means of the first of

log P = 9.9863404,

these equations,

we

get

log Q = 8.1427822,

with which, if the first approximation to the elements be completed,


the results will differ but little from those
obtained, without this corfrom
the
second
If the times had been already
rection,
hypothesis.
corrected for the time of
the
would be still
aberration,

agreement

closer.

The comparison of
fourth order,

equations (46) with (25) 3 gives, to terms of the

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
T "2

>2

T2

and, if the intervals are equal, this value of


the fifth order.
Since

we

in

279

correct to terms of

s' is

have, neglecting terms of the fourth order,

which log^

We have,

8.8596330.

also, to the

same degree of

approximation,

For the values


log r

= 9.0782331,

= 9.3724848,
log/ = 0.3032587,
log

log r"

r'

= 9.0645692,

these formulae give


log s

= 0.0001277,

log s

= 0.0004953,

"

log

= 0.0001199,

which differ but little from the correct values 0.0001284, 0.0004954,
and 0.0001193 previously obtained.
Since
sec

/=

+ 6 sin

tf

+ Ac.,

the second of equations (65) gives

r'
(

4-

6r'

"V

Substituting this value in the


r'

~^~

('

first

-L

"\*

sm

I*

"h

& Ct

of equations (66),
6r'

we

get

If we neglect terms of the fourth order with respect to the time, it


will be sufficient in this equation to put y'
f, according to (71), and

hence

we have

f
1 is of the second order with respect to
and, since s
to terms of the fourth order,

r',

we

have,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

280
Therefore,

which, when the intervals are small, may be used to find


and r". In the same manner, we obtain

=i tin*

from r

"=3%7s-

lo g s

(102)

For logarithmic calculation, when addition and subtraction logarithms are not used, it is more convenient to introduce the auxiliary
angles

/',

and #", by means of which these formulae become


(103)

in

which log J^

= 9.7627230.

For the

first

approximation these

equations will be sufficient, even when the intervals are considerable,


ff
to determine the values of s and s required in correcting
and Q.

The

values of
log r

r, r',

r",

and r" above given, in connection with

= 0.3048368,

log r" == 0.3017481,

give
log s

These

= 0.0001284,

log s'

= 0.0004951,

and log s" are

log s"

= 0.0001193.

correct, and that for log s' differs


only 3 in the seventh decimal place from the correct value.

results for log 8

CEBIT FKOM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.

CHAPTER

281

V.

DETERMINATION OF THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS,


OF WHICH THE SECOND AND THIRD MUST BE COMPLETE.
95.

THE

formulae given in the preceding chapter are not sufficient

to determine the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body when its


apparent path is in the plane of the ecliptic. In this case, however,

the position of the plane of the orbit being known, only four elements remain to be determined, and four observed longitudes will
furnish the necessary equations.
There is no instance of an orbit
whose inclination is zero ; but, although no such case may occur, it may

happen that the inclination is very small, and that the elements
derived from three observations will on this account be uncertain,
and especially so, if the observations are not very exact. The difficulty thus encountered may be remedied by using for the data in the
determination of the elements one or more additional observations,
and neglecting those latitudes which are regarded as most uncertain.
The formulae, however, are most convenient, and lead most expeditiously to a knowledge of the elements of an orbit wholly unknown,
when they are made to depend on four observations, the second and

third of which must be complete ; but of the extreme observations


only the longitudes are absolutely required.

The preliminary

reductions to be applied to the data are derived

precisely as explained in the preceding chapter, preparatory to a determination of the elements of the orbit from three observations.

Let t, t', t", t'" be the times of observation, r, r', r" , r"' the radiivectores of the body, u, u', u"', u fff the corresponding arguments of
the latitude, R, R, R",
the distances of the earth from the sun,

R"

and O, O', O", O'" the longitudes of the sun corresponding


these times.
Let us also put

= rV" sin (um


[rV"] = rV"
[//"]

ito.

to

'),

u"),

and
(1)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

282

Then, according to the equations

nx

x'

we

(5) 3 ,

shall

have

+ n"x" = 0,

+n'Y = 0,
-y"''"'"
f

ny
'

Let ;, A', X", X'" be the observed longitudes, ft /?', /9", /3'" the obfr
ln
served latitudes corresponding to the times t, t', t , t
respectively,
and J, A', A", A'" the distances of the body from the earth. Further,
',

let

^008^=^
and

for the last place

we have

of"
</"

= p" cos
= /" sin X"
r

R" cos 0'",

A'"

R"

sin O'".

f/f
Introducing these values of x'" and y , and the corresponding values
f
of x, x , x", y, y', y" into the equations (2), they become

= n (p cos

E cos Q)

(j>

sin A

^ sin Q)

(/>'

cos

# cos O')

A'

'

0>'

= ri

cos

A'

(/>"

cos A"

J?'

sin

R"

cos

V
R"

+ n'"
(/>'

sin

'

A'

sin

(?" sin A"

O')

sin

If we nfultiply the
cos

^,

first

JB" sin

0")

cos

")

of these equations by sin

^,

0"),
(3)

/"

G/" sin

n'"

jR"cosO"),

Q')

+ n"0>"sinA"

^ cos O')

sin

+
by

"0>"cosA"

-f

=n
=

JR"' cos

O'"),

12"' sin

Q ").
r

and the second

and add the products, we get

= nR sin

(A

n
P
+ K sin
- + R" sin - "))
1

Q)

H- n" 0>" sin (A"

si

(X

X)

A)

Q'))

(A

(A

(4)

and in a similar manner, from the third and fourth


equations, we
find

n'

O/

sin (A'"

A')

- 0>" sin (A'"

Whenever

R
A")

s i n (A'"

Q '))

U" S i n (A'"

0"))

(5)

W'".R"'

sin (/'"

'").

the values of w, n', TI /; , and n" f are


known, or may be
determined in functions of the time so as to
satisfy the conditions of
motion in a conic section, these
become
distinct or indeequations
pendent of each other ; and, since
two
unknown
only
quantities p'

OEBIT FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.

and p ff are involved

283

in them, they will enable us to determine these

curtate distances.

Let us now put

cos

sin (/

=A,

X)

A") = C,

cos /5" sin (A'"

cos ?' sin (A"

A)

cos jf sin (X"

A')

=
= D,
J5,

and the preceding equations give


Ap' sec p

Bn"p"

sec 0"

= nR sin

Q)

(A

R'

sin (A

0')

+ w"U" sin (A
J>&y

Cp" sec 0"= n'R' sin

sec ft'

(A'"

R" sin (A'"

')

+ n'"jR"'sm(;i'"
If

we assume

for

n and n"

0"),

0")

(7)

0'").

their values in the case of the orbit of

the earth, which is equivalent to neglecting terms of the second order


in the equations (26) 3 , the second member of the first of these equations reduces rigorously to zero ; and in the same manner it can be

shown

when

that

similar terms of the second order in the corre-

f
sponding expressions for n and n" are neglected, the second member
of the last equation reduces to zero. Hence the second member of

each of these equations will generally differ from zero by a quantity


which is of at least the second order with respect to the intervals of
time between the observations. The coefficients of p f and p" are of
the first order, and it is easily seen that if we eliminate p" from
these equations, the resulting equation for p' is such that an error of
the second order in the values of n and n" may produce an error of
1
the order zero in the result for p , so that it will not be even an
approximation to the correct value ; and the same is true in the case

of p".

It

in the

first

is

necessary, therefore, to retain terms of the second order


f//
for n, n', n", and n
;
and, since the

assumed values

and r ff we thus introduce two


Hence two additional equations inadditional unknown quantities.
rf
and
volving r', r", p'j p
quantities derived from observation, must
terms of the second order involve

r'

be obtained, so that by elimination the values of the quantities sought


may be found.

From

equation (34) 4
p' sec

which

is

we have

p = R' cos *'

Vr' 2

one of the equations required

J^'sin 1 *',
;

and similarly we

(8)
find, for

the other equation,


p" sec 0"

= R" cos

4/'

d=

V rm

R"

sin 4".

(9)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

284

Introducing these values into the equations

= =b vV'

x'

and putting

jff'Bin'V,
"2

a^zfcvV"
we

(7),

sin

4/',

get

Ax'

Bn"x"

D*V -

= nR sin
-|-

Cx"

= n'R' sin

# sin
0')
AK cos V + n"BR" cos V,
0")
- Q') - R" sin - 0")
Q)

(A

n"R"
(A'"

(A

sin (A

(A'"

+ ri"R'" sin (A'"

n'DR' cos 4*'

0'")

CR"

cos V'.

Let us now put

=K

C =r>

'

or
i,

cos

/3"

cos

sin (A"

A)

(A'

cos

'

sin

cos

A)

fi'

sin (A'"

A')

ft"

sin (A'"

A")'

_
and we have

= Kn"x" + nd - + nV,
r

x'

"

==

A"wV

+ w'"d"

a!

a"

+ ^c'

r
.

These equations will serve to determine x and x n and hence r r and


f

',

^ ;/ , as soon as the values of n,


96.

In order

n and n /r we
,

',

n'',

and

7i

r//

are

known.

to include terms of the second order in the values of

have, from the equations (26) 3 ,

and, putting

~
these give

e = (w + n"-l)r,

(13)

ORBIT FKOM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.

285

Let us now put

and, making the necessary changes in the notation in equations (26) 3,


we obtain

,*"'W + T)
'"_^/1
~
f5 ~
"*

rr-r

rr
*

From

these

we

get, including

terms of the second order,

^-^d r
"

and hence,

if

we put

P
we

= 5-,
7&"

shall have, since

Q'= (' +
r

r/

+r

-.'"2

2
-|

fff

/v,"3

/'

(18)

,,_1T

When

the intervals are equal,


P'

-*

and

The

we have

/^ >

P"

-*

///

be used, in the case of an unknown orbit,


approximation to the values of these quantities.

these expressions

for the first

(17)

I
'

-!)/",

;//

Pit

'

may

equations (13) and (17) give

(19)

and, introducing these values, the equations (12) become

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

286

(20)

Let us now put

P'd'+c'

-P'

_
I

and we

shall

__

P"

'r

J
^

>

have

(22)

We

have, further, from equations (10),

and r //3 in equations (22), the two


resulting equations will contain only two unknown quantities x and
r
/r
r/
and
are known, and hence they will be
a/', when P', P
sufficient to solve the problem.
But if we effect the elimination of
If

we

substitute these values of r

/3

either of the

unknown

becomes of a high order.

quantities directly, the resulting equation


It is necessary, therefore, in the numerical

application, to solve the equations (22)

may

be readily

by

successive trials,

which

effected.

represents the angle at the planet between the sun and the
earth at the time of the second observation, and z" the same angle at

If

the time of the third observation,

we

shall

have

r
Substituting these values of r and r" in equations (10),

we

get
(25)

and hence

CEBIT FKOM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.

287

--j,V
""
R' sin

(26)

f
by means of which we may find z and z" as soon as x and x" shall
have been determined and then r and r rr are obtained from (24) or
The last equations show that when x f is negative, z must be
(25).
f
f
greater than 90, and hence that in this case r is less than R
In the numerical application of equations (22), for a first approximation to the values of x and x rf since Q f arid Qf r are quantities of
r

the second order with respect to r or r ;// ,

# = 0,

e"

we may

generally put

= 0;

and we have
>

+<-a',
*"=/'V+c "-a",
x =f'x"
or,

by

elimination,

v_
i-//"
I-/'/"
the approximate values of x and x" derived from these equaf
tions, we compute first r and r" from the equations (26) and (24),
and then new values of x f and x" from (22), the operation being
f

With

repeated until the true values are obtained.


proximations, the equations (22) give

To

facilitate these

ap-

(27)

Let an approximate value of x f be designated by #</, and let the


value of x" derived from this by means of the first of equations (27)
be designated by a;/ 7
With the value of x^ for x" we derive a
new value of x f from the second of these equations, which we denote
.

f
Then, recomputing x" and x , we obtain a third approximate
value of the latter quantity, which may be designated by x2 f ; and,

by #/.
if

we put
xi

xd

<*o>

xt

xi

ao'>

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

288

we

shall have, according to the equation (67) 3 , the necessary changes

being made in the notation,

,__jC_.

,__^^

^,

(28)

The value of x thus obtained will give, by means of the first of


equations (27), a new value of x", and the substitution of this in the
last of these equations will show whether the correct result has been
r

If a repetition of the calculation be found necessary, the


found.
f
three values of x which approximate nearest to the true value will,

In the same manner, if


x fr the value derived by putting Q'
and Q"
0,
and compute x', three successive approximate results for x" will

by means of

we assume

(28), give the correct result.

for

enable us to interpolate the correct value.


When the elements of the orbit are already approximately
the first assumed value of x f should be derived from

instead of

by putting

'

and

Q"

97. It should be observed that

known,

equal to zero.

when

A'

= X or

)J

rr

n
',

the equa-

tions (22) are inapplicable, but that the


original equations (7) give,
1
in this case, either p ff or
p directly in terms of n and n" or of n'

and n" f and the data furnished by observation.


first of
equations (22) by /*/, we have

The

If we divide the

equations (21) give

h'~

and from

(11)

we

get
rf

__R cosV

h'~

~hT

'

R'sm(X

Q)
if

0')

~W
+ X'^-W
,

h'~
Then,

+ P'

we put
c

'

'- P-p'd' + W

n>
C

h'

(29)

ORBIT FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.


c'

value

its

be found from the results for

may

means of these equations, and we

and

289

$
,

derived by

have

shall

n-a')-r,
When

A'

A,

the value of

we have

A/

oo,

and

this

being given by the

(30)

formula becomes

first

of equations (29)

This

equation and the second of equations (22) are sufficient to determine


and x" in the special case under consideration.

x'

The second of equations


manner, so that when X'"

(22)

= A",

may

be treated in precisely the same

becomes

it

iD<x-f en
o=(i+r
\

??!

and

this

must be solved in connection with the


x and x n

As

(26)

of these equations

'.

soon as the numerical values of x' and x" have been

and r" may be found by means of the equations


Then, according to (41) 4 we have

derived, those of

and

first

in order to find
98.

(1+ p").

fl

(24).

r'

The

from p f and p" by means of


and the values of r and r" thus obtained should

heliocentric places are then found

the equations (71) 3


agree with those already derived.
,

From these places we compute


the position of the plane of the orbit, and thence the arguments of
the latitude for the times t f and t"
.

The

values of r f , r fl', u', u", n, n", n', and


mine r, r f "j u y and u //f
Thus, we have
.

and, from the equations (1) and (3) 3 ,


19

n" r

enable us to deter-

THEOEETICAL A STEONOMY.
v

290

[""]

Therefore,
r sin

<y

= - r" sin (u"

u)

r sin (w"

= - / sin (u"

w)

w'),

u'},

(32)

/"

sin

(u'"~ u")

r" sin (u'"

From

the

traction,

first

we

1')

=-^r'

sin (u"

r" sin

-777

(it"

i*'),

tt').

and second of these equations, by addition and sub-

get

r sin (<X
r cos ((i*'

- u) + i ("

'))

+ 2 (w"

w)

u'})

sin J (u"

w'),

- cos J (u"
= /-^V

M'),

(33)

f
from which we may find r, w'
uf
u, and u
(u
u).
In a similar manner, from the third and fourth of equations

we

(32),

obtain
r'" sin

/"

(K' - u")
w-

cos ((u

from which to

u")

(u"

'))

"/

r
r-n>r>
r
cos
+ i (w" - W =
'))

(w"

(34)
w'),

find r " and u"'.


r

the approximate values of r, r f , r", r'", and u, u', u n', it'"


have been found, by means of the preceding equations, from the
assumed values of P', P", Q f , and ", the second approximation to
the elements may be commenced.
But, in the case of an unknown
f
values of r
orbit, it will be expedient to derive, first,

When

approximate

and r", using

and then recompute P' and

P"

by means of the equations (14) and

ORBIT FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.


(18), before finding u'

and u n

The terms of

'.

thus be completely taken into account in the


99. If the times of observation

291

the second order will

first

approximation.

have not been corrected for the

time of aberration, as in the case of an orbit wholly unknown, this


correction may be applied before the second approximation to the
elements is effected, or at least before the final approximation is com-

For

menced.

must be determined

be found.

~P

and, since the curtate

and p fr are already given, there remain only p and p r " to


If we eliminate p f from the first two of equations (3), the

distances p'
result

body from the earth

this purpose, the distances of the

for the four observations

is

n" sin
TI

sin

(A"

-A')

-A)
nR sin

(A'

Q)

(A'

R' sin (X

Q')

+ n" R" sin (X

0")

'

p" from

and, by eliminating
obtain
f'r

p'^^~^
n'

R' sin

R"

sin (X"

")

n'" sin (A'"

*-

cos

(A'

?UL

A)

nR cos

(A

also

+ n'" R'" sin (A"

cos (A"

0)

'")

A")

rff
by means of which p and p
may be found.
the first and second of equations (3) gives

we

(36)

0Q

(A"

the last two of these equations,

The combination of

(37)

A)

R cos

0') -f

(A

?i"

#' cos

(A

")
1

_j

and from the third and fourth we get


P'"

r=

^n

cos (A'"
n'

R' cos

A")
(A'"

-^ cos

(A'"

(38)

A')

0Q R" cos (A'"

0")

+ n"' R"' cos (A'"

"')

n'"

Further, instead of these, any of the various formulae which have


been given for finding the ratio of two curtate distances, may be
employed ; but, if the latitudes /9, /9', &c. are very small, the values

of p and p" r which depend on the differences of the observed longitudes of the body must be preferred.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

292

f"
f
values of p and p
may also be derived by computing the
the
of
heliocentric places
body for the times t and t'" by means of

The

the equations (82) 1? and then finding the geocentric places, or those
which belong to the points to which the observations have been

reduced, by

means of (90) 1? writing p

in

place of

A cos /5.

This

of the numerical calculation, namely,


process affords a verification
the values of I and X" thus found should agree with those furnished
and
observation, and the agreement of the computed latitudes ft

by

with those observed, in case the latter are given, will show how
as derived from the
nearly the position of the plane of the orbit
If
second and third observations represents the extreme latitudes.
it were not desirable to compute ^ and X" in order to check the
ft'"

calculation, even

derive p and

when

ft

and

ft"'

are given

by observation, we might

p" from the equations


p
/*"'

= r sin u sin cot


= /" sin sin toot/?",
i

/?,

M'"

when

the latitudes are not very small.


In the final approximation to the elements, and especially when
the position of the plane of the orbit cannot be obtained with the

required precision from the second and third observations, it will be


advantageous, provided that the data furnish the extreme latitudes

compute p and p"'


found, and then find I, I"
6, and

/?

and

ft'" , to

',

"

p and p" have been


directly from these by means

as soon as

&

of the formulae (71) 3


The values of
and i may thus be obtained
from the extreme places, or, the heliocentric places for the times t'
.

and t"' being also computed directly from p f and p", from those
which are best suited to this purpose. But, since the data will be
more than sufficient for the solution of the problem, when the extreme
latitudes are used, if

we compute

ff
the heliocentric latitudes b' and b'

from the equations


tan

V =iani sin

tan b"

= tan

(If

sin (I"

& ),
&),

r
they will not agree exactly with the results obtained directly from p
and p", unless the four observations are completely satisfied by the

The values of r' and ?", however, computed


from p' and p" by means of (71) 3 , must agree with those
derived from x f and x".

elements obtained.
directly

The

corrections to be applied to the times of observation on account

ORBIT FROM FOUR OBSERVATIONS.


of aberration

may now

be found.

Thus,

if

t
Q

293
ff
,

and

f//

are

the uncorrected times of observation, the corrected values will be

C= 7.760523, and

wherein log
values of

T, r',

/r/
r", r ,

and

from these we derive the corrected

r/.

To
when

f
find the values of P', P' ',
and Q", which will be
,
f
f/f
ft
exact
r
u>
r
r
and
u'"
are
r,
,
',
,
u,
', u",
accurately known, we
/
the
and
to
have, according
equations (47) 4
(51) 4 , since

100.

= i>

/V _ "
"
2 177"
1

r
'

rr" cos

fa"

t*')

cos

w) cos j fa'

fa"

u)'

In a similar manner, if we designate by s " the ratio of the sector


formed by the radii- vectores r" and T'" to the triangle formed by
the same radii-vectores and the chord joining their extremities, we
f

find

(42)

ss"'

r'r'"

cos j (u'"

u") cos J (u"

u') cos J (u"

u'}'

f"
are obtained from those for
formulse for finding the value of s
rf
r//
s by writing j
,
G'", &c. in place of , fy G, &c., and using
, f
r
u" instead of r f t r" and u"
r f/ , r fff , u"
it', respectively.

The

',

By means

of the results obtained from the

first

approximation to

r/
f
the values of P',
,
Q and Q", we may, from equations (41) and
(42), derive new and more nearly accurate values of these quantities,
y

and, by repeating the calculation, the approximations to the exact


values may be carried to any extent which may be desirable.
When

r
r
and
and of P' 1 and Q", have
three approximate values of
been derived, the next approximation will be facilitated by the use
,

of the formulae (82) 4 as already explained.


When the values of P', P", ', and Q" have been derived with
,

we proceed from these to find the elements of the


After &, *, r, r', r' r'", u, v/, u n and u'" have been found,
the remaining elements may be derived from any two radii-vectores
sufficient accuracy,

orbit.

',

',

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

294

and the corresponding arguments of the

It will be

latitude.

most

/ff
derive the elements from r, r'", u, and u
accurate, however, to
and Q" have been obtained with great
If the values of P', P",
',
.

from

any
accuracy, the results derived
those obtained from the extreme places.
In the

first

place,

from

sin^ cos

6r

sin YQ sin 6ra

cos r

we

find

and

Gr.

two places will agree with

= sin (u'"
= cos (um
= cos | (u"

(43)

u),

- u)

cos 2/

u) sin 2/

Then we have

from which, by means of Tables XIII. and XIV., to find

We

SQ

and

a?

have, further,
s

rr'"sm(u'"

and the agreement of the value of p thus found with the separate
same quantity obtained from the combination of any
two of the four places, will show the extent to which the approximaThe elements are now
tion to P', P", Q', and Q" has been carried.
to be computed from the extreme places precisely as explained in the
rff
in the place of r" in the formulae there
preceding chapter, using r
given and introducing the necessary modifications in the notation,
which have been already suggested and which will be indicated at

results for the

once.

101. EXAMPLE.
For the purpose of illustrating the application
of the formulae for the calculation of an orbit from four observations,
let us take the
derived by
following normal places of Eurynome

comparing a series of observations with an ephemeris computed from


approximate elements.
Greenwich M. T.
1863 Sept. 20.0
Dec.
9.0
1864 Feb.
2.0

April 30.0

14

54 17
28 41 34
74 29 58
9

30' 35".6
.0
.1

.9

-f

23' 49".7,

53 41

.8,

962

.8,

35 41

.5.

-f 19

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

295

These normals give the geocentric places of the planet referred to the
mean equinox and equator of 1864.0, and free from aberration. For
the mean obliquity of the ecliptic of 1864.0, the American Nautical

Almanac

gives
e

= 23

27' 24".49,

and, by means of this, converting the observed right ascensions and


declinations, as given by the normal places, into longitudes and latitudes,

we

get

Greenwich M. T.

1863 Sept. 20.0


Dec.
9.0

1864 Feb.

2.0

April 30.0

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

296

From

the equations

tan

= sin

tan

tan/3'
(A'

-07

'

cost!/

tan(A"-0")

tan/5"

we

(/QO

obtain
4,'

= 113

== 9.5896777.,
log OR' cos V)

15' 20".10,

*"

=9.9564624,

log (E sin 4/)

= 9.3478848,
=
9-9823904.
log (12" sin V')
log (J2" cos 4,")

5617.75,

76

which tj/ must be taken, is indicated by the condiThe


tion that cos i// and cos(A'
0') must have the same sign.
same condition exists in the case of $". Then, the formula

The quadrant

in

A = cos

sin

/?'

B = cos
D = cos
D

A),

(A'

== cos /?" sin (A"'

A"),

"

c"

dn

<r=

(A

log

h'

log

a!

log

c'

log

d'

log

log

Q".

n.

first hypothesis in regard to the


If the elements were entirely un-

the

would be necessary, in the first instance,


quantities the values given by the expressions
known,

it

n,
n,

n,

= 9.8528803,

= 0.1048468,
= 9.9752915
= 9.7267348
c"
log
= 9.9096469
d"
log

n,

make

D = 9.9577271,

log h"
log a"

n,

= 0.2785685
= 0.8834880
= 0.9012910
= 0.4650841,

We are now prepared to


P Q P", and

values of

A'),

A = 9.0699254n
B = 9.3484939,

log

A),

sin (A'"

O)

give the following results


log

sin (A"

/?'

0")

sin (A

= h"R' cos V

/5"

to

assume

for these

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

297

then approximate values of r r and r" are readily obtained by means


of the equations (27), (26), and (24) or (25). The first assumed

member of

value of x f to be used in the second

from the expression which


and Q"
0, namely,

(27), is obtained
'

putting

the

first

of equations

from (22) by

results

after

which the values of

(27).

of an

x'

/'/"

and x"

will be obtained

trial

by

from

It should be remarked, further, that in the first determination


orbit entirely unknown, the intervals of time between the ob-

f
servations will generally be small, and hence the value of x derived
and Q"
from the assumption of Q f
will be sufficiently ap-

proximate to facilitate the solution of equations (27).


As soon as the approximate values of r f and r" have thus been
found, those of

With

and

P"

must be recomputed from the expressions

the results thus derived for

Q and Q" already obtained, the


must be completed.
When

and P", and with the values of

first

approximation to the elements

the elements are already approximately known, the

assumed values of P', P", Q', and


of these elements.
Thus, from
r'r" sin

0"

Q"

tO

'

rr" sin (v"


v}
m
r"r sin(v"'v")

>

r'r'" sin (v'"

we

find n,

n n", and n
f

rr' sin (v

t;)
'

rr" sin (y"


,

_~

v)

rV'sinQ/'
r'r"' sin (v"

v')'

v'}
f

v'

=322
=353

v"=

14

55'

9".3,

19 26

45

i/

The approximate elements of Eurynome

".

give
v

first

should be computed by means

.3,

8.5,

t/"= 47 23 32

.8,

=0.308327,
log/ =0.294225,
log/' =0.296088,
0.317278,
log /"
logr

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

298
and hence we obtain

= 9.806836,
= 9.633171.
log n'"

= 9.653052,

log n

log n"

log n'= 9.825408,

Then, from

"

we

get

= 9.846216,
= 9.807763,
log P"
log

The

= (n'+ n'"

P'

values of these quantities

equations (41)

and

log

"

log

may

3
1) r" ,

= 9.840771,
== 9.882480.

computed by means of the

also be

(42).

Next, from
C

'

we

find

log

log

'

-\-

~
-i

f = FT?

+ P''

ft

-pti

= 0.541344
= 9.807665

-i

p//'

= 0.047658
log/" = 9.889385.
log/

n,

;/

'

~~

'
I

n,

Then we have

if.r^ rf
,

tan 2'

tan z"

=
sin

=~ cos

=
2/'

from which to find r r and r".


of

we

In the

= 1r'

Then the

first

J^Bin1 *',

= 0.242737.

of the preceding equations


gives
log a"

sin4/;
sin 2"

first place,

obtain the approximate value


log x'

= 0.237687.

=~

from

^
cos 3'"

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

From

this

we

299

get

z"

= 29

3'

and then the equation

11" .7,

for

log r"

= 0.296092

= 0.294249

x gives
log

x'

==0.242768.

Hence we have
z'

= 27

log /

20' 59".6,

f
f
and, repeating the operation, using these results for x and r ,

log x"

= 0.237678,

log x

we

get

= 0.242757.

correct value of log x may now be found by means of equation


Thus, in units of the sixth decimal place, we have
(28).
f

The

= 242768

and

242737

~ -f 31,

for the correction to

= 242757

be applied to the

last

242768

11,

value of log x f , in

units of the sixth decimal place,

Therefore, the corrected value

and from

These

this

log x'

= 0.242760,

log s"

= 0.237681.

derive

results satisfy the equations for x'

2'

z"

To

we

is

=27

= 29

21'

1".2,

312

.9,

and x rf and give


,

log/ =0.294242,
log r" == 0.296087.

find the curtate distances for the first

and second observations,

the formulae are

which give
r

log p

= 0.133474,

Then, by means of the equations

log p"

= 0.289918.

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

300

= cos
=
p sin
0')
= tan
r" cos V cos (^ - 0") = p" cos
r" cos b" sin
") = p" sin

/ cos V cos (J
r' cos V sin (f
/ sin 6'

0')

(A'

p'

find the following heliocentric places

= 37
r = 58

I'

'),

/S',

(/"

we

R,

0')

(A'

p'

(A"

- 0") - R',

(A"

"),

8.182861 n

35' 26".4,

log tan

5815.3,

logtan&":=8.634209 n

6' ===

log r'
log r"

= 0.294243,
= 0.296087.

The agreement of these values of log r and log r" with those obtained
directly from x and x" is a partial proof of the numerical calculaf

tion.

From

the equations

+
(^ +

tan

sin ( J (I"

tan

cos (

ft )

/')

ft )

COS

we

= % (tan 6" -f tan


= i (tan b" tan

&')

6')

sec

COS

(I"

cosec J

Z'),

("

O,

obtain

= 206
= 190

^
w'

42' 24".0,

55

u"

.6

= 4
= 212

36' 47".2,

20 53

.5.

Then, from

we

get
log n"
log w'

= 9.806832,
= 9.825408,

=9.653048,
log w'"

= 9.633171,

and the equations


f

r sin ((u

r cos ((u

sin

-u)

tt)

(("'

w-

cos ((w

+ % (u" - u'))
+
")

J-

gn

(u"

+ (" _
'

1*) -f i

(^ _ w

'

'

- ~

cos i (u"

sn

cos \ (u"

- u'\

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
give

= 160
u'" = 24
u

=0.308379,

logr

301

log/" = 0.317273,

30' 57".6,

5932.5.

Next, by means of the formulae


tan
tan

&)

(I

SI )

(/'"

= cos
= cos

/>cos(A

Q)

p sin (A
p tan /?

O)

sin (X"

//"tan/3"'

we

tan u,
tan w'",

tan b

tan V"

= rcos&cos(J
=r cos 6 sin (7

= tan
= tan

sin (

sin (l"

&),
r

& ),

0)+-^,
0),

= r sin 6
m cos
cos
0'") =
(r
=
cos
sin (r
0'")
= r"'8in&'",
;

,'" C os (A'"
/>'"

i
i

r'"

r'"

&'"

0'")

+ #",

'"),

obtain

=
=
b
+
I

*==

16' 51".8,

32 14

.4,

6'"

=
=-

59

.0,

A'"

==

j3'"

= 3 443.4,
= 0.449258.

16

= + 2 5640.1,
log p = 0.025707,
/9

The value of

log ?"'

91

37' 40".0,

4 10 47
75 23 46

.4,
.9,

rrr

thus obtained agrees exactly with that given by


/r
.4 from the observed value.
This differobservation, but / differs
ence does not exceed what may be attributed to the unavoidable
X

errors of calculation with logarithms of six decimal

places.

The

between the computed and the observed values of /9 and


show that the position of the plane of the orbit, as determined

differences
r/

/9

by means of the second and third places, will not completely satisfy
the extreme places.
The four curtate distances which are thus obtained enable us, in
the case of an orbit entirely unknown, to complete the correction for
aberration according to the equations (40).

The

r/
,

;
calculation of the quantities which are independent of
,
and
and
are
which
therefore
the
same
in
the
successive
,
Q",

hypotheses, should

be performed as accurately as possible.

The

'

value of

->

required

in

finding

x" from x

may be computed

directly from
SL

f
d
the values of

P>

^
h'

4"*"

h''

and

jj

being found by means of the equations (29)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

302

c"
and a similar method may be adopted in the case of ~.

Further,

in the computation of x' and x", it may in some cases be advisable


employ one or both of the equations (22) for the final trial. Thus,

to

in the present case, x" is found from the first of equations (27) by
difference of two larger numbers, and an error in the
last decimal place of the logarithm of either of these numbers affects

means of the

But

in a greater degree the result obtained.

as soon as

r"

is

known

Q"
so nearly that the logarithm of the factor 1

remains unchanged,

-^

-f-

the second of equations (22) gives the value of x" by means of the
sum of two smaller numbers. In general, when two or more formula for finding the same quantity are given, of those which are

otherwise equally accurate and convenient for logarithmic calculation,


which the number sought is obtained from the sum of smaller
numbers should be preferred instead of that in which it is obtained
that in

difference of larger numbers.


values of r, r f , r f>', r f ", and u, u', u n ,

by taking the

The

first

Q',

and Q".

=
r
l~7
tan* = X -p
Jc

sin r cos

(t"

r"

tan/'

O,

G = sin ^ (un
G = cos i (u"

= cos J (u"

cos r

sin
sin

from

result

=~

\~r'

1,

G"

sin /' cos

u'} cos 2/,

sin /' sin (r"

u') sin 2/,

cos /'

/" cos
/" sin

T 2 COS6 /

=
tan/" =
T'"

0,

Jc(t'

u'\

G" = sin J (u"


G" = cos i (u"

P'

Jc

= sin J (u
= cos ('
= cos ^

(H"

w"),
f

w") cos 2/"


tt ")

sin

2/"

^"

r" COS /'

=r

T'"

'"'

-77^
3

;/

l-f^-Ff

"

+/'-f^

==

COS 6 /"
cos 3^77>
/"

sin iy'

7'

cos/"'

'?'"

m
in connection with Tables

XIII. and XIV. we

find

*,

*"),

w) sin 2/",

(w'

results are

u\

The

P"

w) cos 2/',

= cos A (V "

cos r"'

which

Thus, from

sin r sin

hypothesis, suffice to correct the assumed values of

the

u"

s",

and

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.

= 9.9759441,
=
45
39".l,
x
= 10 42 55
logm = 8.186217,
= 7.948097,
log r

log

32'

/"'= 45

1".4,

13 45

41' 55".2,

r'"= 16 22 48

.0,

.5,

logm"'= 8.590596,
log/"= 8.325365,

log s"= 0.0174621,

== 0.0085248,

r'"= 0.1800641,

log

log/'= 8.260013,

log,/

log

44
15

y"=
logm"= 8.516727,

.9,

?-

T"= 0.1386714,

/"=

3'

303

log

"'== 0.0204063.

Then, by means of the formulae


~

__

r"

= * rr" rr" cos


^
P--L
~

r'

77

(%"

ti')

cos

-J

w) cos J

(M"

(w'

w)'

'

T'"

'

r'r'" cos

we

u") cos

(it'"

O'

"

u)

cos J

(it"

uj

obtain
log P'

= 9.8462100,

log P"

'

9.8077615,

with which the next approximation

We

now recompute
and the

illustrated ;

'

log

',

CQ",/',/

=s 0.5413485 n

Then we

V ==

r/

^ r,

oj

completed.
&c. precisely as already

= 9.8076649
= 9.8893851,
= 0.2376752,
log
= 29 14".09,
log r" = 0.2960826,
log/' =0.2899124,
log n" = 9.8068345,
= 9.6331707.
log n'"
e

"

n,

af'

4'

z'

'

may be

log/"

a/

log n
log n

log

log

n,

'

== 9.8407536,

" =i
9.8824728,

results are

log/' = 0.0476614
= 0.2427528,
log
= 27 21' 2".71,
=
/
0.2942369,
log

log P

log

=0.1334635,

= 9.6530445,
= 9.8254092,

3'

obtain

= 8.1828572

37

35' 27".88,

log tan

r=58

5816.48,

logtan6"=8.6342073 H

These

from

w,
,

log /
log

= 0.2942369,

/'= 0.2960827.

f
results for log r

and

and log r" agree with those obtained directly


r
thus
z",
checking the calculation of ty and ty and of

the heliocentric places.


Next, we derive
ft
u'

= 206
= 190

42' 25".89,

55

6 .27,

u"

= 4
= 212

36' 47".20,

20 52

.96,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

304
and from

n and

we

u"u',

r',

r", n, n",

n'",

',

=0.3083734,
log/" =0.3172674,
logr

obtain

= 160

it'"

=244 5931.98.

30' 55".45,

For the purpose of proving the accuracy of the numerical

we compute

also, as in

the

first

1=

716'51".54,

=+

A=

/?=
log p

32 14

16

59

.07,

9 .38,

56 39

= 0.0256960,

results,

approximation,

.54,

l'"=
b'"=
*'"=

91

fi'"=
log p'"

37' 41".20,

10 47

75

23 46

.99,

4 43

.33,

= 0.4492539.

.36,

//r
thus found differ, respectively, only 0".04
values of A and A
and 0".09 from those given by the normal places, and hence the

The

accuracy of the entire calculation, both of the quantities which are


and Q ff , and of those which depend on
',
independent of P', P",
This condition,
the successive hypotheses, is completely proved.
however, must always be satisfied whatever may be the assumed
f
values of P', P", Q , and Q".
f
r
From r, r , u, u , &c., we derive

log

= 0.0085254,

= 0.0174637,

log s"

and hence the corrected values of P', P",


logP'

= 9.8462110,

differ so little

Q',

log Q'

log P" = 9.8077622,

These values

log

"

log

from those

s'"

= 0.0204076,

and Q" become

= 9.8407524,
= 9.8824726.

for the second approximation,

the intervals of time between the observations being very large, that
a further repetition of the calculation is unnecessary, since the results

which would thus be obtained can differ but slightly from those
which have been derived. We shall, therefore, complete the determination of the elements of the orbit, using the extreme places.
Thus, from
r

=k(1f

ff

sin YQ cos Cr
sin YQ sin

cos YQ

(f

_I_

tan/ =

-^t') )

= sin (u
= cos (u"
= cos J (um

w'"\* r*c\<v

-J-

-^

'

u),

u) cos 2/
u) sin 2/
?0

NUMEKICAL EXAMPLE.
we

get
.

log r
ro

log

sQ

= 0.5838863,
= 42
30".17,
= 0.2917731,
=
(

gives

= 8.0521953
= 9.7179026,
= 8.9608397.

G
log m

log tan

14'

The formula

305

n,

log x

^
=

-)

0.3712401;

and

if

we compute

sr'r" sin

the

arise

s"rr' sin (u'

u)

s"

r'

m sin

(u"

- u") V

results

separate

0.3712414.

(u"

by means of

the same quantity

are, respectively, 0.3712397, 0.3712418,


differences between these results are very small,

The

and
and

both from the unavoidable errors of calculation and from the

and Q" from the


deviation of the adopted values of P', P",
',
limit of accuracy attainable with logarithms of seven decimal places.

r/
f
u and
variation of only O .2 in the values of u
accordance
of
the
an
entire
results.
particular
produce

From

u"

will

the equations
sin

cos

we

u rrf

<f>

\(E'"-E}

= l/x

obtain
I (E'"

E)

= 17

35' 42".12,

log cos

The

<p

log (a cos ?)

= 9.9915518.

= 0.3796883,

formulae
e sin (a*

A (>'"
i

e cos (a,

give

197
? s 11

ai

(u"

+ w)) = COS

+ M)) = cos

38' 8".48,

<p

^
y Vvf"

sec 1

Mw

u),

= log sin ? = 9.2907881,


= + ^ = 44 20' 34".37.
= 9.9915521, which differs only 3
TT

gives log cos

in the last decimal place

tan

Yffftt

log e

15' 52".22,

This result for

^
ft

<p

01

from the value found from

Then, from
20

and a cos

<p.

THEOKETICAL ASTKONOMY.

306

= cos^p

P-

>

r>

al

<?

the value of k being expressed in seconds of arc, or log&

we

get
log a

For the

= 0.3881359,

log fi

IE =ta,n(u
=tan(w'

tan IE'

tan JjE" == tan J (u"


tan J- (M'"
tan lE"
f

= 2.9678027.

we have

eccentric anomalies

tan

= 3.5500066,

w) tan (45

^),

w) tan(45
) tan (45

4$0,

") tan (45

^),

J?>,

from which the results are

E = 329
E'

The value of

E"

ll 46".01,
29 11 .84,

354:
/;/

J (J&

= 12

^ " = 39
r

5'

J&) thus derived differs only

obtained directly from a?


For the mean anomalies,

33".63,

34 34

.65.

0".03 from that

=E

we have
Jtf"

,
f

e sin J5',

Jf'

"

=E"

= E'"

e sin E'",

which give

M = 334
M = 355
r

55' 39".32,

M"

33 42

M'"

.97,

= 9
= 32

44' 52".82,

26 44

.74.

denotes the mean anomaly for the epoch


Finally, if
Jan. 1.0 mean time at Greenwich, from

M =M
= M"
Q

we

(Ji.(t
[i.

(t"

T)
T}

=M'

= M'"

1864

v.(t'T)
v (f"

T),

obtain the four values

M = 129'39".40
39 .49
39 .40
39

.40,

the agreement of which


completely proves the entire calculation of
the elements from the data.
Collecting together the several results,
we have the following elements
:

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
Epoch

= 1864 Jan. 1.0 Greenwich mean time.

M=
=

29' 39".42

44

20 34 .37

?=
log a
log fi
At

307

11

Ecliptio

and

Mean

15 52 .22

= 0.3881359
= 2.9678027
= 928".54447.

102. The elements thus derived completely represent the four observed longitudes and the latitudes for the second and third places,
which are the actual data of the problem ; but for the extreme lati-

tudes the residuals are, computation minus observation,

These remaining errors

arise chiefly

from the circumstance that the

position of the plane of the orbit cannot be determined from the


second and third places with the same degree of precision as from
It would be advisable, therefore, in the final
the extreme places.
f
f
ff
f/
approximation, as soon as p' } p , n, n , n , and n" are obtained, to
compute from these and the data furnished directly by observation

The corresponding

the curtate distances for the extreme places.

heliocentric places may then be found, and hence the position of the
plane of the orbit as determined by the first and fourth observations.

Thus, by means of the equations (37) and


log p

With

these values of p

obtained
I

= 0.0256953,

r = 91

we

(38),

log />'"

obtain

= 0.4492542.

and p" f the following


,

heliocentric places are

16' 51". 54,

log tan b

3740.96,

logtan&'"

=8.4289064,

= 8.8638549

logr

log/"

M,

=0.3083732,

= 0.3172678.

Then from

we

Q (l"

tan

sin

tan

cos (I

get

(I'"

= 206

42' 45".23,

For the arguments of the


u

= 160

= (tan V" -f tan


= $ (tan V" tan
1

-f

30'

6) sec J (f"
6) cosec J (f"

=4

36' 49".76.

latitude the results are

35".99,

u'"

= 244

59' 12".53.

Q,
I),

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

308

The

equations

tan

= tan

b'

give
log tan

b'

sin

tan i sin

tan b"

= 8.1827129

(I'

(I"

& ),
&

),

log tan b"

n,

= 8,6342104

n,

and the comparison of these results with those derived directly from
/r
l .04 in b
and of
0".06 in
p' and p" exhibits a difference of -f
b".
Hence, the position of the plane of the orbit as determined from
r

the extreme places very nearly satisfies the intermediate latitudes.


If we compute the remaining elements by means of these values

of

r,

r'" , and u, u' n', the separate results are

= 8.0522282
=
0.2917731,
log
logjp = 0.3712405,
log (a cos ?) = 0.3796884,
w = 197 37' 47".72,
V = 11 15 52
log a = 0.3881365,
log tan

Q
s

= 9.7179026,
= 8.9608397,
=
17 35' 42".12,
E)
\ (E"
=
cos
9.9915521,
log
log = 9.2907906,
= 9:9915520,
log cos
log

n,

log x

<p

.46,

=329

<p

log 11 == 2.9678019,

= 39
= 32
=
M

11' 47".24,

E'"

34' 35".70,

M=3Z4

55 40

.46,

M'"

26 45

.49,

29 40

.36,

29 40

.37.

M=
Q

Hence, the elements are as follows

Epoch

= 1864 Jan. 1.0 Greenwich mean time.

M=
*=

Oi=

29' 40".36

44 20 32 .95^
-,..!,
AT
Ecll
P tlc and Mean
206 42 45
I

36 49-:S/

= 11 15 52
= 0.3881365
P = 928".5427.

-,

E ^-x

1864.0.

.46

log a

It appears,
therefore, that the principal effect of neglecting the
extreme latitudes in the determination of an orbit from four observations is on the inclination of the orbit and on the
of the

longitude
The
ascending node, the other elements being very slightly changed.
elements thus derived
represent the extreme places exactly, and if
we compute the second and third places
directly from these elements,
we obtain

M = 355
E' ^=354
= 353
v

33' 43".88,

M" =

29 12

.93,

E"

16 59

.07,

<y"

= 12
^ 14

44' 53".73,

5 34
42 45

.81,
.96,

NUMERICAL EXAMPLE.
log r

u'

35 27

.75,

52 21

.25,

= 0.2960826,
= 212 20' 33".68,
= 58 58 16
2 27 59
b" = -

17

.35,

A"=

47

.67,

= 0.2942366,
= 190 54' 46".79,

l'=
V=-

37

309

= 10 14
15
P== 0.1334634,
log
A'

log r"

u"

I"

.50,
.06,

29

53 21

.99,

57

.62,

= - 2 29
=
0.2899122.
log p"
P'

p'

Hence, the residuals for the second and third places of the planet
are

Obs.

Comp.

=
AA" =
AA'

*P

0".22,

= + 1".53,
.06;

A/5"

.00,

and the elements very nearly represent the four normal places. Since
the interval between the extreme places is 223 days, these elements

must

represent, within the limits of the errors of observation, the


It
entire series of observations on which the normals are based.

may

be observed,

case of intervals

also, that the successive

which are very

same degree of rapidity

as

approximations, in the

do not converge with the


when the intervals are small, and that in
large,

much abbreviated by the


assumed values of P', P",
f
Q and Q" by means of approximate elements already known. For
the first determination of an unknown orbit, the intervals will gene-

such cases the numerical calculation

is

very

determination, in the first instance, of the


,

rally be so small that the first

assumed values of these

quantities, as

determined by the equations

P"

_
-I

ff

ff

I
S

"
0" ~ -Ir-'"
^
'

T "*

}'

'

much from the correct values, and two or three


or
even
But when the intervals
less, will be sufficient.
hypotheses,
are large, and especially if the eccentricity is also considerable, several
hypotheses may be required, the last of which will be facilitated by
will not differ

using the equations (82) 4


The application of the formula? for the determination of an orbit
.

from four observations, is not confined to orbits whose inclination to


the ecliptic is very small, corresponding to the cases in which the
method of finding the elements by means of three observations fails,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

310

On the contrary, these formulas


or at least becomes very uncertain.
orbits
of any inclination whatever,
of
in
case
the
well
apply equally
and

since the labor of

computing an orbit from four observations

when only three observed places


are used, while the results must evidently be more approximate, it
will be expedient, in very many cases, to use the formulae given in
does not

much exceed

this chapter

that required

both for the

first

approximation to an unknown orbit

and for the subsequent determination from more complete data.

CIRCULAR ORBIT.

CHAPTER

311

VI.

INVESTIGATION OF VARIOUS FORMULAE FOR THE CORRECTION OF THE APPROXIMATE


ELEMENTS OF THE ORBIT OF A HEAVENLY BODY.

103.

IN

the case of the discovery of a planet, it is often convehave been obtained for the determination

nient, before sufficient data

elliptic elements, to compute a system of circular elements, an


ephemeris computed from these being sufficient to follow the planet
for a brief period, and to identify the comparison stars used in dif-

of

For this purpose, only two observed places


are required, there being but four elements to be determined, namely,
As soon as
2, i, a, and, for any instant, the longitude in the orbit.
a has been found, the geocentric distances of the planet for the
ferential observations.

instants of observation

may

be obtained by means of the formulae

= R cos 4 + I/a
A" = E" cos 4" + I/a
J

the values of
(43) 3

and

ff

R' sin 2 4",

and ty r being computed from the equations (42) 3 and

For convenient logarithmic

<$/

jR sin 4,

calculation,

we may

first

find z

from
sin z

sin z

(2)

since the formulae will generally be required for cases such that these
angles may be obtained with sufficient accuracy by means of their
sines.

Then we have

from which

to find p

These having been found, we have

and p".

~\

//

p sin (A

O)

^/r^or-o)-*
sin b

for the determination of

and

6,

(4)

and similarly

for

I" and b".

The

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

312

and the longitude of the ascending node are


then found by means of the formula? (75) 3 and the arguments of the
f
u is the distance on the celesSince u '
latitude by means of (77) 3
tial sphere between two points of which the heliocentric spherical
co-ordinates are I, b, and I", 6", we have, also, the equations
inclination of the orbit

O"

u) sin

sin (u"

u) cos

sin

cos

B = cos b" sin (I"


B = cos b sin b"

I),

sin b cos b" cos (I"

= sin b sin b" -f cos b cos b" cos

u)

for the determination of

u"

I),

Q,

(I"

u, the angle opposite the side

The

b"

90

of the spherical triangle being denoted by B.


of auxiliary angles, as
equations is facilitated by the introduction

solution of these

already illustrated for similar cases.


In a circular orbit, the eccentricity being equal to zero, u"
t"
expresses the mean motion of the planet during the interval

and we must

u
t,

have

also

"-

("-),

(5)

3.5500066.
the value of k being expressed in seconds of arc, or log k
t is
These formulae will be applied only when the interval t"
small,

and

for the case of the asteroid planets

we may

first

2.7,

which is about the average mean distance of the group.


we compute p and p rf by means of the equations (2) and
corresponding heliocentric places by means of
is

small,

u"

assume

will differ very little

from

(4).

(3),

this

and the

If the inclination

l'

With

Therefore, in the

I.

approximation, when

the heliocentric longitudes have been found,


the corresponding value of t"
t
may be obtained from equation (5),
n
r
l
I in
of
u'
If this comes out less than the
u.
writing
place
first

actual interval between the times of observation,

we

infer that the

assumed value of a is too small but if it comes out greater, the


assumed value of a is too large. The value to be used in a repetition
;

of the calculation
log a

may

be computed from the expression

(log

(p

+ log k

log (u"

u}),

u"

u being expressed in seconds of arc. With this


and I", and find also 6, 6 r/ &, i, u, and u".
/?, //', /,
if
the
value
of
a computed from the last result' for
Then,
differs from the last assumed
value, a further repetition of the calcu-

the difference

we recompute

u"u

CIRCULAR ORBIT.

313

becomes necessary. But when three successive approximate


values of a have been found, the correct value may be readily interlation

polated according to the process already illustrated for similar cases.


As soon as the value of a has been obtained which completely

equation (5), this result and the corresponding values of &


the
and
i,
argument of the latitude for a fixed epoch, complete the
of
circular
elements which will exactly satisfy the two observed
system
satisfies

places.

T,

fj.

we

If

we denote by UQ the argument of the

shall have, for

any

instant

latitude for the epoch

t.

being the mean or actual daily motion computed from

lc

a?

The value of u thus found, and

a, substituted in the

formula

for

computing the places of a heavenly body, will furnish the approxi-

mate ephemeris required.

The
first

corrections for parallax and aberration are neglected in the


determination of circular elements ; but as soon as these approxi-

mate elements have been derived, the geocentric distances may be


computed to a degree of accuracy sufficient for applying these corrections directly to the observed places, preparatory to the determination of elliptic elements.
The assumption of r f
a will also be

sufficient to take into

account the term of the second order in the

assumed value of P, according

to the first of equations (98) 4

first

104. When approximate elements of the orbit of a heavenly body


have been determined, and it is desired to correct them so as to satisfy
as nearly as possible a series of observations including a much longer
interval of time than in the case of the observations used in finding

these approximate elements, a variety of methods may be applied.


For a very long series of observations, the approximate elements

being such that the squares of the corrections which must be applied
to them may be neglected, the most complete method is to form the
equations for the variations of any two spherical co-ordinates which
fix the place of the body in terms of the variations of the six ele-

ments of the orbit; and the differences between the computed places
for different dates and the corresponding observed places thus furnish
equations of condition, the solution of which gives the corrections to
be applied to the elements. But when the observations do not in-

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

314

elude a very long interval of time, instead of forming the equations


for the variations of the geocentric places in terms of the variations
of the elements of the orbit, it will be more convenient to form the
in terms of quantities, less in number,
equations for these variations
from which the elements themselves are readily obtained. If no asis made in regard to the form of the orbit, the quantities

sumption
which present the

least difficulties in the

numerical calculation are

the geocentric distances of the body for the dates of the extreme
which are best adapted
observations, or at least for the dates of those
As soon as these distances are
to the determination of the elements.
accurately

known, the two corresponding complete observations are

sufficient to determine all the elements of the orbit.

The approximate elements enable us to assume, for the dates


and the elements computed from
t", the values of A and A"
;

and

these

by means of the data furnished by observation, will exactly represent


the two observed places employed.
Further, the elements may be

known to such a degree of approximation that


the squares and products of the corrections to be applied to the
assumed values of A and A" may be neglected, so that we shall have,

supposed to be already

for

any

date,

COS d

Aa

= COS

da
-AA

aJ

..

da

-f COS 8 -j-^

AA

rfJ

we compare the elements computed from A and A" with


number
of
additional or intermediate observed places, each obany
If, therefore,

served spherical co-ordinate will furnish an equation of condition for


the correction of the assumed distances.
But in order that the equations (6) may be applied, the numerical values of the partial differen-

of a and d with respect to A and A" must be found.


Ordinarily, the best method of effecting the determination of these is
n the
to compute three systems of elements, the first from A and A

tial coefficients

',

D and

+D D

n
A", and the third from A and J"
and D" being small increments assigned to A and A" respectively.
If now, for any date t', we compute a/ and 8' from each system of
elements thus obtained, we may find the values of the differential

second from

-f

',

Thus, let the spherical co-ordinates for the time


from
the
those
first system be denoted by a' and d'
computed
f
from
the
d'
a
and
second
of
sec
a
-fcomputed
elements, by
system
d' -\- d; and those from the third
d'
and
sec
a"
d'-\- d".
system, by a'+

coefficients sought.
t'

Then we

shall

have

VAKIATION OF TWO GEOCENTKIC DISTANCES.


..

cos s

(6)

d$

TV
D

T~A

~fV

dA

,_,

'

* 8

and the equations

do!

TT
dA

315

dY'^lT'

dl^^W''

give

(8)

In the same manner, computing the places for various dates, for
which observed places are given, by means of each of the three systems
of elements, the equations for the correction of A and A" as determined by each of the additional observations employed, may be
,

formed.

For the purpose of illustrating the application of this method,


us suppose that three observed places are given, referred to the
ecliptic as the fundamental plane, and that the corrections for parallax,
aberration, precession, and nutation have all been duly applied.
By
105.

let

means of the approximate elements already known, we compute the


values of A and A" for the extreme places, and from these the heliocentric places are obtained by means of the equations (71) 8 and (72) 3
n
The values of
writing A cos/9 and A" cos/9" in place of p and p
and
u"
be
obtained
means
the
formula
will
of
& i, u,
by
(76) 3 and
r"
and
u"
u
elements
of the
and
from
the
r,
remaining
(77) 3
,

'

orbit are determined as already illustrated.


The first system of elements is thus obtained. Then we assign an increment to A, which
and A"
we denote by D, and with the geocentric distances A -f

we compute

same manner a second system of elen


and from A and
ments. Next, we assign to A" an increment D
A" -J- D" a third system of elements is derived. Let the geocentric
longitude and latitude for the date of the middle observation computed from the first system of elements be designated, respectively,
'
by ^/ and /9/ from the second system of elements, by X2 and /92
'
and from the third system, by ^ 3 and /33 '. Then from
in precisely the

',

a"

we compute
of

'

(A 3

- A/) cos
f/

a,

D and D"

/?/,

d"

= ft'

ft',

a", d, and d , and by means of these and the values


the equations

we form

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

316

^AJ + ~A/I"
(10)

for the determination of the corrections to be applied to the first

assumed values of A and J", by means of the differences between


The observed longitude and latitude
observation and computation.
A' and /9', respectively, we shall have
denoted
by
being

CMp*X = (l
A/5'

A/) cos/?,

= /5'_/3/,

for finding the values of the second

members of the equations

(10),

and then by elimination we obtain the values of the corrections A J


and A//" to be applied to' the assumed values of the distances.
Finally, we compute a fourth system of elements corresponding to
the geocentric distances A -f- AZ/ and A" -j- A A" either directly from
these values, or by interpolation from the three systems of elements

already obtained ; and, if the first assumption is not considerably in


It
error, these elements will exactly represent the middle place.
should be observed, however, that if the second system of elements
'
'
represents the middle place better than the first system, ^ 2 and /32
should be used instead of ^/ and /9/ in the equations (11), and, in
this case, the final system of elements must be computed with the

+D

distances A
-f A A and A" -f- A A".
Similarly, if the middle
place is best represented by the third system of elements, the corrections will be obtained for the distances used in the third hypothesis.

If the computation of the middle place by means of the final elestill exhibits residuals, on account of the
neglected terms of

ments

the second order, a repetition of the calculation of the corrections


AJ and AJ", using these residuals for the values of the second

members of the equations (10), will furnish the values of the distances for the extreme places with all the
The
precision desired.
increments _D and
to be assigned successively to the first assumed

D"

A and A" may, without

values of

true elements shall differ but

computed

and

little

in all the formulae

difficulty,

be so taken that the

from one of the three systems


it

will be convenient to use, in-

stead of the geocentric distances


themselves, the logarithms of these
distances, and to express the variations of these quantities in units
of the last decimal place of the

logarithms.

These formulae will generally be


applied for the correction of

VARIATION OF TWO GEOCENTRIC DISTANCES.

317

approximate elements by means of several observed places, which


be either single observations or normal places, each derived from

may

several observations,

and the two places selected for the computation


A and A" should not only be the most accurate

of the elements from

possible, but they should also be such that the resulting elements are
not too much affected by small errors in these geocentric places.

They should moreover be

as distant

from each other as possible, the

other considerations not being overlooked.


When the three systems
of elements have been computed, each of the remaining observed
places will furnish two equations of condition, according to equations
(10), for the

determination of the corrections to be applied to the


;
and, since the number

assumed values of the geocentric distances

of equations will thus exceed the number of unknown quantities,


the entire group must be combined according to the method of least
Thus, we multiply each equation by the coefficient of AJ
squares.
its proper algebraic sign, and the sum
the equations thus formed gives one of the final equations
Then we multiply each equation by the coefficient of A A"
required.
in that equation, taken also with its proper algebraic sign, and the

in that equation, taken with

of

all

sum

of

all these gives

the second equation required.

From

these

two final equations, by elimination, the most probable values of A J


and A A" will be obtained and a system of elements computed with
the distances thus corrected will exactly represent the two funda;

mental places selected, while the sum of the squares of the residuals
The observations are thus
for the other places will be a minimum.
supposed to be equally good; but if certain observed places are
entitled to greater influence than the others, the relative precision
of these places must be taken into account in the combination of the
equations of condition, the process for which will be fully explained
in the next chapter.

W hen a number of observed places are to be used for the correction

of the approximate elements of the orbit of a planet or comet, it will


be most convenient to adopt the equator as the fundamental plane.
In this case the heliocentric places will be computed from the assumed
values of A and A", and the corresponding geocentric right ascensions
and declinations by means of the formulae (106) 3 and (107) 3 and the
position of the plane of the orb' 5 as determined from these by means
;

of the equations (76) 3 will be referred to the equator as the fundamental plane. The formation of the equations of condition for the
corrections A A and A A" to be applied to the assumed values of the
distances will then be effected precisely as in the case of ^

and

/9,

the

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

318

In a similar manner,
necessary changes being made in the notation.
the calculation may be effected for any other fundamental plane which

may be

adopted.

It should be observed, further, that

when

the ecliptic

is

taken as

the fundamental plane, the geocentric latitudes should be corrected


by means of the equation (6) 4 , in order that the latitudes of the sun
shall vanish, otherwise, for

the heliocentric places

strict accuracy,

must be determined from A and A" in accordance with the equations


(89),

106.

The

means of

two spherical co-

partial differential coefficients of the

A and A" may be computed

ordinates with respect to


differential

numerical calculation

is

directly

by

special cases, the


less expeditious than in the case of the indi-

formulae;

but, except

for

method, while the liability of error is much greater. If we


adopt the plane of the orbit as determined by the approximate values
rect

of A and

A"

as the

fundamental plane, and introduce ^ as one of the

elements of the orbit, as in the equations (72) 2 the variation of the


geocentric longitude d measured in this plane, neglecting terms of the
second order, depends on only four elements; and in this case the
,

may be applied with facility. Thus, if we exr


v
and
in
terms
of the elements <p,
and //, we shall have
press
Q,
differential formulae

dr

dr

dr

d(p

dM

dr

dM

dv

dfj-

and
dv
J

dv
*

~J~T

dv

dy
J

'

J Hf
~dJL

"!"

~dA

dfj.
'

T J
J A
J A
~dT
^fa'dA'
'

..

or

d (v

-f-

/)

dA
In

like

dv

d<p

dv

dM

dv

djj.

d<p

dA

dM

dA

dn

dA'

d%

dA

manner, we have
'

dA

dA

d<p

'

dA

As

d<f>

'

dM

'

dM

dr

~djl

dA

d(v
,

'
'

'

'

TT
dA

dr"
~

dA

_ ~

dA

soon as the values of

dM

dr"

dr^_dr^ d^

+ y)

~~^-,
dA

dp
^A'

'

dn

dA

dr"
jj,
dA

and

,,
dA

are

known, the equations necessary for finding the differential coefficients


of the elements ^,
and p with respect to A are thus provided.
0)
In the case under consideration, when an increment is
to
<f>,

assigned

J,

VARIATION OF TWO GEOCENTRIC DISTANCES.


the value of

A" remaining unchanged, r" and v" +

319

are not changed,

and hence
.

dA

To

find

-7-7-

and

from the equations

A cos f] cos B
J cos sin
>?

in

which

orbit

dA

=x
=y

-f- -3T,
-\-

Y,

the geocentric latitude in reference to the plane of the


computed from A and A" as the fundamental plane, and y Y
57

is

the geocentric co-ordinates of the sun referred to the same plane,


get

we

= cos y cos d dA,

dx

dA,
or, substituting for

dx and dy their values given by

cos

?)

cos

cos

fj

sin 6

= cos u dr
= sin udr

dA
dA

Eliminating, successively, d (v
dr

-f-

f)

= -i cos
Therefore,

dy

we

shall

dv
j

d<p

c?r,

COS (0

T?

u d (v

r cos u

and

^)

= COS

r sin
-\-

d (v

we

(73),,

-f-

/),

-f-

/).

get

U) t

sm (0

it).

have

dM

dv

dv

TT
dA

TT^J-

d<p

dr

d<p

dr

dy.

~r-Tdp dA

^7
dA

dM

dM --dr-- = coss cos


7
(^
TT
,

dfj.

^j^T H

~j

w )>

'
,

j__
"

'

dr"
'

dip

and

if

.A.

'

'

we compute

'

dA

d^,dr^_
dM^
+

dM

dA

'

~dl~

'

dfi

dr"
'

'

dp

''

'

dA

^_

'dA~

the numerical values of the differential coefficients

these
and
v, and v" with respect to the elements <p,
equations will furnish, by elimination, the values of the four un-

of

TJ r'

known

/Ji,

1
and -j-rJ-T> -rr
dJ c?J
dJ
dJ
In precisely the same manner we derive the following equations

quantities -yp

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

320

for the determination of the partial differential coefficients of these

A"

elements with respect to


dv

d%
'dA"

^
dx

dM

dv

d<p

dA"

~dv

~"

dv

dMl dA"

~*~

dr

d<p

dr

dM

dr

dp.

dA"

dM

dA"

d/j.

dA"

dv"

d<p

dv"

dM

dv"

d/j.

+ ^'^ + lMr^ +
'

dM^
_d^.dr^_
+

'

dM

dA"

dA"

'

dA"

~dp.

d<p

df_
~d^

dp.
'

'

'

"*

_
,

^ ^"^
dr^

'

fa

fa
dA"

Since the geocentric latitude y is affected chiefly by a change of the


position of the plane of the orbit, while the variation of the longitude
6 is independent of Q> and i when the squares and products of the
variations of the elements are neglected, if

we determine

the elements

which exactly represent the places to which A and A" belong, as well
as the longitudes for two additional places, or, if we determine those
which satisfy the two fundamental places and the longitudes for any

number of

additional observed places, so that the sum of the squares


minimum, the results thus obtained will

of their residuals shall be a

very nearly satisfy the several latitudes.


Let 6 f denote the geocentric longitude of the body, referred to the
plane of the orbit computed from A and A" as the fundamental plane,
for the date

of any one of the observed places to be used for corThen, to find the partial differential

recting these assumed distances.


coefficients of 6' with respect to
,

dtf

j A
dA

COS^

,dO'
fj

dx
7

d/

A and 4", we have

dA

r~

COS

dp.

dO'

dO'

dy

COS

if

d<p

dA

dO'

COS

fl

dM

dtf

dMr
-.

-.

'

dA

dp.

dA

(15)
dO'

d<p

dp.

results thus derived,

A0'

r~

-,:

dO'

and by means of the

,dO'
d<p

+ CQ ^,dO'
/

fl

we form

= COS r!^AJ + COS


ad

if

dA

fourth observed place will furnish, in the same


tional equation required for
finding A J and A A".

the equation

AzT.

(16)

manner, the addiIf more than two

VARIATION OP TWO GEOCENTRIC DISTANCES.

321

observations are used in addition to the fundamental places on which


the assumed elements as derived from A and A" are based, the several
longitudes will furnish each an equation of condition, and the most
probable values of A// and A A" will be obtained by combining the
entire group of equations of condition according to the method of
least squares.

107. In the actual application of these formula? to the correction

of the approximate elements, after all the preliminary corrections


have been applied to the data, we select the proper observed places

from the corresponding assumed

for determining the elements

tances

A and

stated,

and

dis-

A' f j according to the conditions which have already been


from these we derive the six elements of the orbit. Since

the data furnished directly by observation are the right ascensions


and the declinations of the body, the elements will be derived in
reference to the equator as the plane to

which the

inclination

and the

longitude of the ascending node belong. These elements will exactly


represent the two fundamental places, and, if the assumed distances
A and A" are not much in error, they will also very nearly satisfy
the remaining places.
now adopt as the fundamental plane the plane of the approximate orbit thus determined, and by means of the equations (83) 2 and

We

(85) 2 or
,

&

and

by means of

(87) 2 , writing a, d, &',

we compute

i,

the values of

respectively,
dates of the several places to be employed.
,

and

in place of

#,

Then

37,

and f

^, ft,

for the

the residuals for

each of the observed places are found from the formula?


cos

if)

= sin f A
= cos Y

A0

-}~

cos?' cos d Aa,

sin f cos d Aa,

A<5

AT?

Aa and A for each place being found by subtracting


from the observed right ascension and declination, respectively, the
right ascension and declination computed by means of the elements

the values of

derived from

A and A".

The

0, y, and f being required


only for finding cos r] A#, A"^, and the differential coefficients of d and
with respect to the elements of the orbit, need not be determined
*y,

values of

with great accuracy.

Next, we compute
,+

r>\

-i

(16) 2 the values of

-r-

dr

dr"
,

dtp

and -:

dy>

'

from equations

dv

dr

dv"

d<f>

d(f>

dM

&c,,

(12),

and from
/

by means of which,

using the value of u in reference to the equator, we form the equaThe accent is added to % to indicate that it refers to the
tions (13).
21

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

322

elements.
Thus we obtain four
equator as the plane for defining the
the
values
of the differential
from
elimination,
which, by
equations,
coefficients

of

#',

the

first,

-Tj,

and

/z

with respect to

is

quantity -rj

be obtained.

immediately eliminated, so that

three equations to find the three

These having been found,

-J-T.

A may

solution, by subtracting the third equation from

unknown

the

we have

3/ and

<p,

In the numerical

-j-

first or from the third equation.


In the same manner we form the equations

unknown

may

quantities

be obtained from

the

the values of

mula
to be

anc
Then, by means of the for-rp ~jW>
Jj 77
and (79) 2 we compute for the date of each place
'

cos j/--,, cos r/

and thence derive

-T-p

,
(76) 2 , (78) 2 ,
employed in correcting the

and cos if

(14),

,,

and hence from

&c.,

The

assumed distances the values of


(15) the values of COST/-J-

results thus obtained, together

with the residuals

Cfr^J

computed by means of the equations

(17), enable us to form, accordto


the
of
condition
for finding the values of the
ing
(16),
equations
corrections AZ/ and &A"
The solution of all the equations thus
.

method of

least squares, will give the most


values
of
these quantities, and the system of elements which
probable
corresponds to the distances thus corrected will very nearly satisfy

formed, according to the

the entire series of observations.

Since the values of cos rf A#' are

expressed in seconds of arc, the resulting values of A J and A A" will


also be expressed in seconds of arc in a circle whose radius is
equal
to the

mean

To express them in
divide their values in seconds of

distance of the earth from the sun.

parts of the unit of space,


arc by 206264.8.

we must

The corrections to be applied to the elements computed from A and


A", in order to satisfy the corrected values A -\- A A and A" 4- A A",
may be computed by means of the partial differential coefficients
already derived.

Thus, in the case of

from which to find

may be

obtained.

we compute

AJ('

If,

',

we have

and in a similar manner

from the values of

^.t*
dA

tup,

Alfc and

and

VARIATION OF TWO GEOCENTRIC DISTANCES.

323

and apply these corrections to the values of v and v" found from A
and A" we obtain the true anomalies corresponding to the distances
A -f A A and A" -\- A J". The corrections to be applied to the values
of r and r" derived from A and A" are given by
^

dr

ar"

If AJ and A A" are expressed in seconds of arc, the corresponding


The corrected
values of Ar and Ar /r must be divided by 206264.8.
with the values of r and r" comfrom
corrected
the
values
of V, v ff p, and e by means
puted directly
of the polar equation of the conic section. Finally, we have
results thus obtained should agree

dz

and similarly

dz"

for

T sin

and the
r cos

Ai'

V
to find A^

last

sin

r" cos

i'

from which

= sin

and A

i'

it"

',

TJ

dA,

of equations (73) 2 gives

'

it

i'

Aw'
ATT'

A &'

and

the latitude in reference to the equator.


(?2) 2 ,

= sin A
= sin V
17

sin

it"

J,

being the arguments of

We have also,

according to

= A/ COS A&',
= A/ + 2 Sin ^' A &',
i'

from which to find the corrections to be applied to co f and TT'. The


elements which refer to the equator may then be converted into those
for the ecliptic by means of the formula which may be derived from
V and i.
(109)! by interchanging & and &' and 180

The

final residuals of the longitudes may be obtained by substithe


adopted values of A A and A A" in the several equations of
tuting
condition, or, which affords a complete proof of the accuracy of the

by direct calculation from the corrected elements


and the determination of the remaining errors in the values of y will
show IIOAV nearly the position of the plane of the orbit corresponding
entire calculation,

to the corrected distances satisfies the intermediate latitudes.

Instead of (p,
w and //, we may introduce any other elements
which determine the form and magnitude of the orbit, the necessary

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

324

changes being made in the formulae. Thus, if we use the elements


T, q, and e, these must be written in place of Jf //, and <p, respectively, in the equations (13), (14), and (15), and the partial differential
,

r, r", v, and v" with respect to these elements must be


of the various differential formulae which have
means
computed by

coefficients

of

Further, in all these cases, the


already been investigated.
must
be carefully attended to.
the
formulae
of
geneity
108.

The approximate elements of the

homo-

orbit of a heavenly

body

by varying the elements which fix the position


may
of the plane of the orbit. Thus, if the observed longitude and latitude and the values of
and i are given, the three equations (91) t
also be corrected

&

will contain only three unknown quantities, namely, J,


the values of these may be found by elimination.

r,

and

u,

and

When the observed

latitude

/9

is

by means of the formula

corrected

(6) 4 , the latitudes

of

the sun disappear from these equations, and if we multiply the first
by sin (O
Q) sin ft the second (using only the upper sign) by
cos

the products,

&) sin ft and


we get

the third by

__

cos

sin

sin

sin

/5

cos

(0

&)

(O

sin (A

O)

cos ft

and add

ft)

sin i cos

/?

sin (A

O)'

from which u may be found. If we multiply the second of these


cos ft sin (A
equations by sin ft and the third by
a), and add the
products,

we

find

The

= sin u

(sin

cot

ft

sin (A

expression for r in terms of the

found by combining the

and

-Rsin(Q-ft)

-.

first

third, of equations (91) x .

n sin
the formula for

The
same

N=

^)

known

cos i)

quantities

may

also be

and second, or by combining the


If we put
sin/3cos(O
cos

/?

sin (A

first

&
Q),

u becomes

of equations (91) t shows that sin u and


sin/9 must have the
sign, and thus the quadrant in which u must be taken is deter-

last

mined.

Putting, also,

mcos 3f

= sinw,

m sin M = sin u cot

/5

sin (A

&),

VARIATION OF THE NODE AND INCLINATION.

325

we have

__

cos
cos

When

any other plane

Jf

Jt?sin(Q

(M + i)
is

'

sin

taken as the fundamental plane, the

latitude of the sun (which will then refer to this plane) will be retained in the equations (91)! and in the resulting expressions for u

and

r.

also be obtained by first computing w and ^


of
the
means
equations (42) 3 and then, if z denotes the angle at
by
the planet or comet between the earth and sun, the values of u and
will be determined by means of the relaz, as may be readily seen,
tions of the parts of a spherical triangle of which the sides are
180
180
O &, and u^ the angle opposite to the
(z + oj/),
side u being that which we designate by w and the side 180 + O
SI
(z + \^),
being included by this and the inclination i. Let 8= 180

The value of u may

and, according to Napier's analogies, this spherical triangle gives

(23)

from which

8 and u

are readily found.


z

= 180
=

fl

Then we have

tS,

C 2 *)

B in4,

sing
to find r.

If we assume approximate values of & and *, as given by a system


of elements already known, the equations here given enable us to find
rf
and u" from ^, /? and A" /9 /; , corresponding to the dates t
r, u, r
',

and
two

t" of the

fundamental places

radii- vectores

elements

body may

may

selected,

and arguments of the

be derived.

From

be found for the date

and from these

results for

latitude, the

remaining

these the geocentric place of the


of any intermediate or additional

observed place, and the difference between the computed and the
observed place will indicate the degree of precision of the assumed
Then we assign to & the increment $&, i
values of & and i.

remaining unchanged, and compute a second system of elements, and


r
We also compute a
from these the geocentric place for the time t
third system from & and i -f- di, and by a process entirely analogous
.

to that already indicated in the case of the variation of

two geocentric

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

326

we

distances,
cients of A

obtain the numerical values of the differential coeffi-

and

$' with respect to

COS

A/ ==

/?'

COS

&

and

p -^- A

i.

-f-

COS

Thus

the equations

Al,

(25)

'

for finding the corrections A& and A^ to be applied to the assumed


values of these elements, will be formed ; and each additional observation or normal place will furnish two equations of condition for

the determination of these corrections.

If the observed right ascensions and declinations are used directly


instead of the longitudes and latitudes, the elements
and i must
be referred to the equator as the fundamental plane, and the declinations of the sun will appear in the formula for u and r obtained from

the equations (91)^ thus rendering them more complex.


Their derivation offers no difficulty, being 'similar in all respects to that of the
equations (19) and (20), and since they will be rarely, if ever, reit is not
In
necessary to give the process here in detail.
general, the equations (23) and (24) will be most convenient for
quired,

u from the

finding r and

elements

&

and

it

geocentric spherical co-ordinates and the


w fr , and o|/ r remain unchanged for the

since w, ^,

three hypotheses.
When the equator

is taken as the fundamental plane, ^ is the


two points on the celestial sphere for which the
and a, d, those of the sun
geocentric spherical co-ordinates are A,
denoted
A
and
D.
Hence
we
shall
have
being
by

distance between

sin

4>

sin

sin

cos

cos

4-

B = cos d sin (a
B = cos D sin d

= sin D sin

A),
sin
-j-

cos

D cos 8 cos (a
D cos d cos (a

A),

(26)

A),

from which to find $ and J5, the angle opposite to the side 90
d
of the spherical triangle being denoted
Let
denote
the
B.
by
right ascension of the ascending node on the equator of a great circle
passing through the places of the sun and comet or planet for the
time t, and let w denote its inclination to the
equator; then we shall

have

WQ cos (A
WQ sin (A
cos w

sin

sin

from which to find

IV

and K.

K)
K)

= cos B,
= sin B sin
= sin B cos D,
Z>,

(27)

In a similar manner, we may com-

VARIATION OF THE NODE AND INCLINATION.


pute the values of u"
co-ordinates

From

I,

and

&, and

u,

327

from the heliocentric spherical

I", b".

the equations

the accents being added to distinguish the elements in reference to


the equator from those with respect to the ecliptic, the values of 8
and u (in reference to the equator) may be found. Let s denote the

angular distance between the place of the sun and that point of the
equator for which the right ascension

= cos W

cot s

is

K, and the equation

cot (JBT

A)

(29)

gives the value of s09 the quadrant in which it is situated being determined by the condition that coss and cos(K
A) shall have the

same

sign.

Then we have 8
z

=8

= 180

SQ ,
4,

E sin

and

&+8

0)

^30)

4,

sin z

from which to find

r.

method of the variation of two geocentric distances and that of the variation of & and i, instead of using the
109. In both the

geocentric spherical co-ordinates given by an intermediate observation, in forming the equations for the corrections to be applied to the

assumed

quantities,

we may

use any other

two quantities which may

be readily found from the data furnished by observation. Thus, if


we compute r r and u f for the date of a third observation directly

from each of the three systems of elements, the differences between


the successive results will furnish the numerical values of the partial
r
differential coefficients of r and u' with respect to A and A" , or with

and i, as the case may be. Then, computing the values


from the observed geocentric spherical co-ordinates by
means of the values of Q, and i for the system of elements to be
corrected, the differences between the results thus derived and those

respect to Q,
of r f and u'

obtained directly from the elements enable us to form the equations


du'

du'

dA

dA

m-t

(31)

THEORETICAL ASTEONOMY.

328

&

or the corresponding expressions in the case of the variation of


and i, by means of which the corrections to be applied to the assumed values will be determined. In the numerical application of
these equations, AM' being expressed in seconds of arc, A?-' should also
in seconds, and the resulting values of A A and A A" will
be

expressed
be converted into those expressed in parts of the unit of space by
dividing them by 206264.8.

only three observed places are to be used for correcting an


r' r" and u, u u" obtained
approximate orbit, from the values of r, 9
means of the formulae which have been given, we may find p and

When

',

by

from the first


the latter in the case of very eccentric orbits
a
and second places, and also from the first and third places. If these

a or

results agree, the elements do not require any correction ; but if a


difference is found to exist, by computing the differences, in the case

of each of these two elements, for three hypotheses in regard to A


and A" or in regard to & and i, the equations may be formed by
means of which the corrections to be applied to the assumed values
of the two geocentric distances, or to those of & and i, will be
obtained.

The

formulae which have thus far been given for the correction of an approximate orbit by varying the geocentric distances,
110.

depend on two of these distances when no assumption

is

made

in

regard to the form of the orbit, and these formula apply with equal
facility whether three or more than three observed places are used.

But when

a series of places can be

made

available, the

problem may

be successfully treated in a manner such that it will only be necessary


to vary one geocentric distance.
Thus, let x, y, z be the rectangular
heliocentric co-ordinates,

time

t,

and

let Jf,

the same instant.

and r the radius-vector of the body

at the

Y Z be

the geocentric co-ordinates of the sun at


9
Let the geocentric co-ordinates of the body be

designated by xw yw z , and let the plane of the equator be taken as


the fundamental plane, the positive axis of x being directed to the
vernal equinox.
Further, let p denote the projection of the radiusvector of the body on the plane of the
equator, or the curtate distance with respect to the equator; then we shall have

If

we

tion

= p cos

a,

yQ

= p sin

a,

represent the right ascension of the sun

by D, we

also

have

= p tan

(32)

d.

by A, and

its

declina-

VARIATION OF ONE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.

Z=EsmD.

Y=RcosDsmA,

sA,

329
(33)

The fundamental

equations for the undisturbed motion of the planet


or comet, neglecting its mass in comparison with that of the sun, are

but since
X

XQ

y^y^Y,

X,

and, neglecting also the mass of the earth,

dP

+ ^

~~

'

K*

d?

~'

dt*

these become

(8*)

Substituting for

ic

2/

and

their values in terms of

a and

(?,

and

putting

^ -^) =
3

we

C,

(35)

get

2/0

Jj, >

^
3

DAJJ. **

rt/m

Differentiating the equations (32) with respect to

dxn

dp

x*"'

t,

we

find

da

<!'

dzn

f'Qfi^

^^

(87)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

330

to t, and substituting in the equaDifferentiating again with respect


tions (36) the values thus found, the results are

If we multiply the
cos a,

by

first of these equations by


and add the products, we obtain

dt

~~ 3

and the second

sin a,

da
dt

Now, from

(35)

we

sin a

TI

get
cos a

=P

-K cos

D sin (a

J.),

and the preceding equation becomes

da

dt

dt

The value

of

-77

thus found

at

is

coindependent of the differential


7

To

efficients

of d with respect to

all three

of equations (38), we multiply the first of these equations


tan d, the second by
cos
tan d, and the third by

by

sin

sin (a

the result

find another value of

A).

Then, adding the products, since

is

from which we get

*~

t.

--(.-^5

sin

-p

A=y

using

cos

A,

VARIATION OF ONE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.

When

331

taken as the fundamental plane, the last term


member of this equation vanishes,
and the epuation may be written
the ecliptic

is

of the numerator of the second

C being

the coefficient
111.

When

independent of

the value of p

p.

given, that of

is

will be determined

-j(Mi

by observation and of the


t from
equation
being preferred when the motion of the

in terms of the data furnished directly

a and

differential coefficients of

from

(39), or

body

(40), the latter

we may compute

-^

Ctv

having been

the velocities of the body in directions

parallel to the co-ordinate axes.

The value of

very slow.

in right ascension is

found,

d with respect to

= x + X,

yQ

Thus, since

= y+Y,

= + Z,
z

the equations (37) give

do

dx

dX

da

dY
dy =
_
_ + cosa ____,
smo dp
dZ
dz
dp
,^dS
_
= tan ^
+ , ^---,
da,

(42 )

sec

by means of which

To

>

-J-, CLL
ell/

and

may

-=a/L

find the values of -37

r->

>

and

-77,

at

at

at

be determined.
the equations

X=RcosO,
Y=Rsin O cose,
Z = R sin O sin

e,

give,

by

differentiation,

dX
___

^dR
___ jRsm0
cos0

dY
-- =

sin

at

dZ
-JT
at

O cos s

= sm Q sin
.

dR
-=7-

at

dR
--

+ -R cos O cos
.

-j-

dQ
j-,
at

RD cos O sin e dO
-jr
at
.

at

dO
_,
.
, A0
(43)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

332

Now, according

to equation (52) w

we have

and e the eccentricity of


denoting the mass of the earth,
section
conic
gives
The polar equation of the

dr

2
r e sin v

dv

"dt'

~di~

Let

F denote

its orbit.

the longitude of the sun's perigee, arid this equation

gives

dR

J? e

-^

_-

we

-T)
.

dt

If

sin(Q

dQ _kV l
tW
Vl

"" ~

+m

-~-

-\

Or* &i.ui v

\i/

j*

.,
y

the eccentricity of the earth's orbit,


neglect the square of

we

have simply
~

R*

dt

dt

having been found by means of these


fj JT d Y
and
the equations (43) give the required results for
formula?,
COv
Civ
f7

The

values of

^7

and

-^r

-T-,

and hence, by means of

(42),

we

obtain the velocities of the

comet or planet in directions parallel to the co-ordinate axes.


112.

The

values of x, y y and z

equations

= A cos
y = A COS

and from

these, in connection

may

be derived by means of the

cos a

X,

d sin a

<5

with the corresponding

velocities, the

The

may
equations (32)j give imthe
values
of
the
the
inclination,
mediately
semi-parameter, and the
ascension
of
the
node
on the equator. Then, the
ascending
right
position of the plane of the orbit being known, we may compute r

elements of the orbit

be found.

and u directly from the geocentric right ascension and declination by


means of the equations (28) and (30). But if we use the values of
the heliocentric co-ordinates directly, multiplying the first of equations (93)! by cos &, and the second by sin &, and adding the products,

we have

VARIATION OF ONE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.


r sin

r cos u

= cosec
= x cos &
z

333

i,

-J-

sin

?/

&

from which r and w may be found, the argument of the latitude u


being referred to the plane of xy as the fundamental plane. The
equation
gives

==

r'di~^^'di~^r"di'

~di

and, since

dr

we

shall

dv

r*e sin v

di~

dt

~^p

dv

di~

Vp
'

r3

have

Vp
"

dr

F '*

>

(49)

from which to find

and

Then

v.

helion and the ascending node


(it

The

semi-transverse axis

is

is

the distance between the peri-

given by

=11

V.

obtained from

p and

by means of the

relation

Finally, from the value of v the eccentric anomaly and thence the
mean anomaly may be found, and the latter may then be referred to

any epoch by means of the mean motion determined from a.


In the case of very eccentric orbits, the perihelion distance will be
given by

and the time of perihelion passage may be found from


means of Table IX. or Table X., as already illustrated.

and

by

The equation (2l\ gives, if we substitute for / its value in terms


of p, denote by
the linear velocity of the planet or comet, and neglect the mass,

denote the angle which the tangent to the orbit at the extremity of the radius-vector makes with the prolongation of this

Let

o//

radius-vector,

and we

shall

have

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

334

dx

dr

dz

dy

so that the preceding equation gives

Vp= FV
Hence we derive the equations
dx

^ may

from which Fr and

dz

dy

Then, since

be found.

'p=
we

have

shall

(51)

by means of which a may be determined, and then


by means of this and the value of p.
The equations (49) and (50) give
(o)

=F

(u

a*)

=F

e cos (i*

e sin

r sin

-75

4/

cos

2
r sin 4

may

be found

1,

A/

and, since

F_2_l
~~ ~
r
a

"F

these are easily transformed into

2ae sin (u
2ae cos (u

o)
to)

= (2a r) sin 24
= (2a
cos
r)

24/

r.

cos u and the second


first of these equations by
and add the products then multiply the first by sin u and
the second by cos u, and add, we obtain

If we multiply the

by

sin u,

2ae sin

to

2ae cosw

=
=

(2a

r) sin

(2^

-f-

u)

(2a

r) cos (24/

-f-

w)

These equations give the values of

01

and

r sin u,
r cost*,

/^

e.

We

113.
have thus derived all the formulae necessary for finding
the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body from one geocentric
distance, provided that the first and second differential coefficients of

a and

d with respect to the time are accurately known.

It remains,

VARIATION OF ONE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.


therefore, to devise the

means by which these

335

differential coefficients

be determined with accuracy from the data furnished by obserThe approximate elements derived from three or from a
vation.

may

small

number of observations

will enable us to correct the entire

and aberration, and to form the


normal places which shall represent the series of observed places.
We may now assume that the deviation of the spherical co-ordinates

series of observations for parallax

computed by means of the approximate elements from those which


would be obtained if the true elements were used, may be exactly
represented by the formula

A0

= A + Bh +

Ch\

(53)

h denoting the interval between the time at which the deviation is


The
expressed by A and the time for which this difference is A#.
differences between the normal places and those computed with the
approximate elements

to be corrected, will

then suffice to form equameans


of
which
the
values of the coefficients
by
be
determined. The epoch for which h
may
may

tions of condition

A, B, and

be chosen arbitrarily, but it will generally be advantageous to fix it


at or near the date of the middle observed place.
If three observed
places are given, the difference between the observed and the computed value of each right ascension will give an equation of condition,

according to (53), and the three equations thus formed will furnish
the numerical values of A, J5, and (7.
These having been deterthe
the
will
correction
to be applied to the
mined,
equation (53)
give
ascension
for
date
within
the limits of the
computed right
any

extreme observations of the

series.

When more

than three normal

places are determined, the resulting equations of condition may be


reduced by the method of least squares to three final equations, from
and
will
which, by elimination, the most probable values of
} I>,

be derived.

In

manner, the corrections to be applied to the


computed latitudes may be determined. These corrections being
applied, the ephemeris thus obtained may be assumed to represent
like

the apparent path of the body with great precision, and may be employed as an auxiliary in determining the values of the differential

a and 3 with respect to t.


Let f(a) denote the right ascension of the body at the middle
Q, and let /(a
epoch or that for which h
nco) denote the value of

coefficients of

any other date separated by the interval rwo, in which at is the


interval between the successive dates of the ephemeris.
Then, if we
for

put n successively equal to

1, 2, 3,

&c.,

we

shall

have

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

336
Function.

V.

IV. Diff

III. Diff.

II. Diff.

I. Diff.

Diff.

P^SPsfciS-^i
g^|li^lisii^*f
The

series of functions

manner

the result

differences

be extended in the same

may

we expand f(a

If

+ not) into a

series,

is

'"
V^ -4- nut}
J
^f(ct

=a

z
VHD -4- 4
Ji

" -I

or,

and

in either direction.

putting for brevity

j( a

^2

?i

_j_

An

w2

4
- ?i3 o>3 -4-rr-7- 7i a>* -4Tf^r
iJ4 ,7M
a Jtf

-I-

A==-^ra)

=a

nw )

_|_

-^

-f

B = ^~rp
?i

w2
3

(7?i

now put % successively equal to


4,
we obtain the values of f(a
4(o),f(a

differences

B,

(7,

&c.

&c.,

+ D?i + &c.

If we

&c.,
in terms of

&c..

3,

1,

2,

0, -f-1,

...... f(a

4w)
Then, taking the successive orders of
3<w),

and symbolizing them as indicated above, we obtain a


by means of which A, JB, C, &c. will be deter-

series of equations

mined

in terms of the successive orders of differences.

placing

J.,

putting

B,

C, &G.

by the

quantities which they

Finally, re-

represent,

and

J/'(-i) + J/'(a + i) =/'(),


- J) + i/'( + 4") =/'"(), &c,

if" (a

we

obtain

W V
==

'

(/ (a)

~ ^'" (a) +

'

W - Tlo/'"() +
"
(a)

-,

J 5/

ri "

()

Ac.),

+ &c.),

(54)

==

(/

w- if"() +

&c.),

= -5r (/"()-*/-"() + &c.),

J = i- (/'"() -

4*.),

=-

(/-(a)

- 4o.),

VARIATION OF ONE GEOCENTRIC DISTANCE.


by means of which the successive
respect to

may

differential coefficients of

The

be determined.

337
<x

with

derivation of these coefficients

in the case of d is entirely analogous to the process here indicated for

Since the successive differences will be expressed in seconds of


the
arc,
resulting values of the differential coefficients of a and d with
t will also be
to
respect
expressed in seconds, and must be divided by
in
206264.8
order to express them abstractly.
a.

We may

adopt directly the values of

by means of the corrected ephemeris,


not include a very long interval,

d3 d d*n
f

~75~>

dr

TS~

&c

at'

-3-,

-jrp

-37,

and

determined
-^

observed places do
determine only the values

or, if the

we may

da

by means of the ephemeris, and then

find

-7-

at

Thus, let a, a/,


directly from the normal places or observations.
be three observed right ascensions corresponding to the times ty t f ,

and we

shall

a,

and -^
dr

a"
t

ff
9

have

which give

These equations, being solved numerically, will give the values of

-77

f/^rt

and

ctz

and we may thus by

triple

combinations of the observed

places, using always the same middle place, form equations of condition for the determination of the most probable values of these
differential coefficients

by the solution of the equations according

to

the method of least squares.

In a similar manner the values of

-,--

at

and

-3at

may

be derived.

114. In applying these formulae to the calculation of an orbit,

normal places have been derived, an ephemeris should be


computed at intervals of four or eight days, arranging it so that one

after the

of the dates shall correspond to that of the middle observation or


normal place. This ephemeris should be computed with the utmost
22

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

338

be employed as an auxiliary in determining quanThe comtities on which depends the accuracy of the final results.
with the observed places will furnish, by
parison of the ephemeris
means of equations of the form
care, since it is to

A + Bh +

Ch?

A' -f B'h

C'K

=
=

AC/,
A<5',

f
h being the interval between the middle date t and that of the place
f
<fec.; and the corrections to be
used, the values of A, JB, C, A
determined
be
will
to
the
by
ephemeris
applied
,

A + Bna>
A'

The

unit of h

-f

= Aa,

CnW

-j-

be ten days, or any other convenient interval,


nco in the last equations must be expressed
that
observing, however,
With the ephemeris thus corrected, we
in parts of the same unit.

may

compute the values of -=-,


Ctv

and

These

as already explained.

-j-

CLu

should be determined with great care, since

differential coefficients
is

37,
-^-,
(A/L
CLv

it

on their accuracy that the subsequent calculation principally de-

pends.

We

compute,

of the formula? (43),

also,

the velocities

and

-37-,

-^-,

and

-3-

by means

being computed from (46).

The

quantities thus far derived remain unchanged in the two hypotheses


with regard to J.
Then we assume an approximate value of J, and compute

= A cos

and by means of the equation (40) or


3j-

It will be observed that if

d/>_P
the coefficient

(39)

we put

we compute

the value of

the equation (40) in the form

p
-^

equations (38)
will not contain

remains the same in the two hypotheses.

may be

^.

so

The

three

combined that the resulting value of

This transformation

is

easily effected, and


"

be advantageous in
special cases for which the value of

is

may
very

uncertain.

The

heliocentric spherical co-ordinates will be obtained

from the

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.


assumed value of A by means of the equations (106) 3 and the
tangular co-ordinates from
,

= r cos b cos
=
r cos sin
y
= r sin

The

velocities

-^

~, and

339
rec-

I,

/,

b.

~ will

be given by

(42),

and from these

and the co-ordinates x, y, z the elements of the orbit will be computed by means of the equations (32) w (47), (49), &c. "With the
elements thus derived

we compute

the geocentric places for the dates

of the normals, and find the differences between computation and


observation.
Then a second system of elements is computed from
A -f- dJf and compared with the observed places. Let the difference

between computation and observation for either of the two spherical


co-ordinates be denoted by n for the first system of elements, and by
n f for the second system. The final correction to be applied to J, in
order that the observed place

may

be exactly represented, will be

determined by

^-(n'-n)
Each observed

right ascension

+ n = 0.

(56)

and each observed declination

will

thus furnish an equation of condition for the determination of A J,


observing that the residuals in right ascension should in each case be
multiplied by cos d.
Finally, the elements which correspond to the
geocentric distance J -f A// will be determined either directly or by
interpolation, and these must represent the entire series of observed
places.

115. The equations (52) 3 enable us to find two radii- vectores when
the ratio of the corresponding curtate distances is known, provided
that an additional equation involving r, r fl x, and known quantities
',

For the

special case of parabolic motion, this additional


equation involves only the interval of time, the two radii-vectores,
is

given.

and the chord joining

their extremities.

The corresponding

equation

for the general conic section involves also the semi-transverse axis

of the orbit, and hence, if the ratio


of the curtate distances is
this equation will, in connection with the equations (52) 3 ,
enable us to find the values of r and r" corresponding to a given

known,

value of

a.

To

derive this expression, let us resume the equations

THEOKETICAL ASTRONOMY.

340

4 = E" - E - 2e sin.i (E" - E) cos

-J

+ E\

(E"

,_

a^

+ /' = 2a

E}

(E"

2ae cos

cos |

(E"

+ -#)

For the chord K we have

= + r")

4rr" cos 2 j (u"

(r

u),

which, by means of (58) 4 , gives


K2

= + r")
- 4a (cos i (&'E)-to cos J (^/
2

(r

and, substituting for r


(57),

we

-\-

r ff

its

E)

cos|

(^^+^J)+e

cos2

value given by the last of equations

get
x2

= 4a

sin

("

2
-J

E)

e cos i(JE"

(1

Let us now introduce an auxiliary angle

h,

+ ^)).

(58)

such that

the condition being imposed that h shall be less than

180, and put

then the equations (57) and (58) become

=
2 sin g cos
r" = 2a(l
cos ? cos A),
x = 2a sin sin
2<7

/&,

A.

</

Further,

and the

us put

let

last

two of equations

(59) give

(60)

'"""A
Introducing 8 and

e into

the

first

~ = (e

of equations (59),

sin e)

sin

(d

it

becomes

d\

(61)

a?

The
and
(61).

a,

formulae (60) enable us to determine e and 8 from r -f r", x,

and then the time

r'

= k (t"

t)

may

be determined from

Since, according to (58) 4 ,

Vrr"

cos J (u"

u)

= a (cos g

cos

ft)

= 2 sin

sin

<5,

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.

341

u
sin Je is necessarily positive, it appears that when u"
180, the value of sin \d must be negative, and when
u
and thus the quadrant in which
180, we have d =

and since
exceeds

u ff

d must be taken

is

determined.

It will be observed that the value

Je,
by the first of equations (60), may be either in the
first or the second quadrant; but, in the actual application of the

of

as given

formulae, the ambiguity

is

easily

removed by means of the known

circumstances in regard to the motion of the body during the interval t"

t.

In the application of the equations (52) 3 by means of an approxiff


Then we comc, and thence r and r
to the given value of ^, and from (61)
,

mate value of x we compute


and d corresponding
pute

we

derive the value of

'

If this agrees with the observed interval t"


the assumed value
,
of K is correct; but if a difference exists, by varying x we may
readily find, by a few trials, the value which will exactly satisfy the

The formulae (70) s will then enable us to determine the


equations.
curtate distances p and p rf } and from these and the observed spherical
co-ordinates the elements of the orbit

As
e

soon as the values of u and

=E

rf

j&,

we

<p

sin A (u"

u)

^-77
asm(e

which may be used to determine


To find p and g, we have

and the value of

a cos 2
o>

be found.
since

have, according to equation (85) 4 ,

cos

may

u" have been computed,

(p,

may

(p

/r,
K Vrr",

when

the orbit

2a sin 2 (45

is

^)

very eccentric.

be found by means of the equations (87) 4 or

(88),

116. The process here indicated will be applied chiefly in the determination of the orbits of comets, and generally for cases in which
a is large. In such cases the angles e and d will be small, so that

the slightest errors will have considerable influence in vitiating the


t as determined
value of t"
by equation (61); but if we transform
this equation so as to eliminate the divisor a% in the first member, the
sine
uncertainty of the solution may be overcome. The difference e

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

342

may be expressed by a
Thus,

let

series

which converges rapidly when

e is small.

us put
sin e

= y sin

^e,

= sm

-\s,

and we have

- |y COt

2 COS6C ^

rJL

|e,

_
cfe

Therefore
dfy

_8

6ycos^e_4
sin

cfo

If

we suppose y

to be

we

get,

by

3y(l
2# (1

expanded into a

2aQ
x)

series of the

form

= a + fa + r& + **+ &c.,

differentiation,

and substituting
2,3* -f (4r

for

2/5)

--

^+

the value already obtained, the result

is

x
+ &c. = 4 3a + (60
^
&c.
-f (6/3
3r)
+ (6r 3d) +
4r ) a 8

(6<5

3/3)

ic

Therefore

we have
4
6/3

3r

6a

3a:=0,

= 4r

3/3=2/3,
35
65

6r

2/3,

4r,

from which we get

4.6

4.6.8

35'

4.6.8.10,
3.5.7.9

Hence we obtain

and, in like manner,

^BWs*^B^^
which, for brevity,

may

be written

sind

= JC' sin

i,

>&C

'

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.


Combining

343

and substituting for sin^s and


by the equations (60), there results

these expressions with (61),

sin ^3 their values given


6r'

= Q (r + r" + x)* + q (r + r" -

(65)

x)t,

the upper sign being used when the heliocentric motion of the body
is less than 180, and the lower sign when it is greater than 180.
The coefficients Q and Q f represent, respectively, the series of terms
enclosed in the parentheses in the second members of the equations
(62) and (63), and it is evident that their values may be tabulated

with the argument


however, that the

or

as the case

d,

may

be.

two terms of the value of

first

It will be observed,

are identical with

first two terms of the expansion of


(cosje)"^ into a series of
ascending powers of sin Je, while the difference is very small between
the coefficients of the third terms.
Thus, we have

the

(cosle)-V

= (1 _ sin'ie)-* = 1 + f sm'le + |^ sin^e


6

11

16

+ 5.10.15 Sm

+ &C "

and

if

we put

Q=
we

shall

(66)

*\...
(cos Je) *

have
JS

= 1 + Tf

In a similar manner,

if

sm* ie

-f-

6
3
2 2 5 sin Je -f Ac.

(67)

we put

g=

*'i..

(68)

(cos|<5)s

we

find
-Bo'

Table
to

XV.

= 1 -f T?5 sin

+ 3V& sin ^ + Ac.


6

i*

gives the values of J5 or JB

'

corresponding to

(69)
e

or d from

60.

For the

case of parabolic motion

we have

and the equation (65) becomes identical with (56) 3


In the application of these formulae, we first compute and 3 by
means of the equations (60), and then, having found ^ and BJ by
means of Table XV., we compute the values of Q and Q from (66)
and (68). Finally, the time T '=k(t"t) will be obtained from (65),
and the difference between this result and the observed interval will
.

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

344

indicate whether the

assumed value of x must be increased or di-

A few trials will give the correct result.

minished.

117. Since the interval of time t"


sufficient

cannot be determined with

JC
is
accuracy from (65) when
very small, it
effect a further transformation of this
equation.
us put

the chord

becomes necessary to
Thus,

let

q = 6P,

Q
and we

shall

= sin

ie,

= sin

\d,

have

Now, when K

is

very small, we

may put
COS \d,

COS^e

and hence
/

x'

= sin

...2

- 4e sin ^d
= sn
4 COS
a

4e

sm

,
2

4<J

-,

which, by means of equations (60), becomes

Therefore

If

we

have,

when x

is

very small,

we put
4- r"
V=- PO-^r'

x")t

(7r>

the equation (65) becomes,


using only the upper sign,
(r

which

is

+ r" + x)i - (r + r" - x)t = 6r

of the same form as


(56) 3

tions (63) 3

and

(66) 3 ,

we

shall

the value of

p.

',

(72)

Hence, according to the equa-

have

=vl|^>

< 73 >

being found from Table XI. with the argument


1

= -.

2T
,

a-

(74)

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.

345

It remains, therefore, simply to find a convenient expression for r/,


and the determination of K is effected by a process precisely the same
as in the special case of parabolic motion.

Let us now put

P_~ _x_
~Q

and we

shall

have
.

2.8

or, substituting for

N= + A

3.8.10

its

4.8.10.12

value in terms of sin Je,

Therefore^ if

N
'

40a costs'

sin |e

4
sin ^e

+ gj^\ sin

Je -f &c.

(75)

we put

the expression for r

'

becomes

V = ^-Ar
T

Table

XV.

from

If

the.

N corresponding

gives the value of log


to e

= 60.

chord K

is

given, and the interval of time t"

we compute AT/ by means of


T

(76),

to values of e

r</

is

required,

from

+ r"

-*T-*

as in the case of parabolic motion,

f,

and, having found

xl/r

(77)

'.

we have

+A
~~

eOo'

It should be observed that although equation (76) is derived for the


case of a small value of x, yet it is applicable whenever the difference e
S is very small, whatever may be the value of x.
For

which

from the parabolic form, it will in all


Ar/; and for cases in
which the difference between e and d is such that the assumption of
xf
cos <5, x
cos Je
2x, &c., made in deriving equation (70), does
orbits

differ

but

little

cases be sufficient to use this expression for

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

346

not afford the required accuracy,


directly, and then we have

we may compute both Q and Q'

+
The

values of the factor J

---

"-x)l.

(78)

be tabulated directly with

may
x

r-4-r"

argument and

as the vertical

as the horizontal

-j

but for the few cases in which the value of

argument;

given by the equation


r
it
be
will
not
easy to compute Q and Q
sufficiently accurate,
(75)
'
by means of the formula? (66) and (68), and then find Ar from (78).
is

when

as to the accuracy of the result


given by (76), for the final trial in finding x from r -f- r" and r by
means of the equations (73) and (74), it will be advisable to compute

Further,

Ar

'

from

there

any doubt

is

(78).

It appears, therefore, that for nearly all the cases which actually
occur the determination of the value of x, corresponding to given

M=

values of a and

the method which

The

>

is

reduced by means of the equation (72) to

adopted in the case of parabolic orbits.


r"-\- x and r -f r"

is

calculation of the numerical values of r

will be

most conveniently

traction logarithms.

we may

first

by the aid of addition and subIf the tables of common logarithms are used,
effected

compute

and then we have


r

+ r" -f x = 2 (r + r") sin (45 +


x = 2 (r + r") cos (45 +
2

/),

r -f r"

/).

118. In the case of


hyperbolic motion, the semi-transverse axis is
and
the
values
of sin e and sin J# given by the equations
negative,
become
so
that it is no longer possible to compute
(60)
imaginary,
the interval of time from r -f r" and x
by means of the auxiliary
Let us, therefore, put
angles e and 3.
sin

then,

when a
s

and

is

negative,

= sn

2
,

m and n will
m*

sin 2

be
id

^ ==
real.

= sin ~

ri*

Now we

have

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.

347

Hence we derive
e

= 2 sin V
= 2 sin ~

log e (l/l

+m

sin e

shall

-f m),

l-^tf =
and writing

Substituting these values in the equation (61),


stead of a, since

we

==

2m 1/^T

l/l

in-

+ m*,

have

= 2m i/l + m - 2 log (l/I+^ -f m)


+7? - 2
*

(79)
lo ge

(1r+TT

the upper sign being used when the heliocentric motion


180, and the lower sign when it is greater than 180.

we compute

if

+ n)),

is less

than

Therefore,

m and n from

regarding the hyperbolic semi-transverse axis a as positive, the forff


mula (79) will determine the interval of time T'
Jc
(t
t).

The

two terms of the second member of equation (79) may


be expressed in a series of ascending powers of m, and the last two
terms in a series of ascending powers of n. Thus, if we put
first

loge

we

get,

by

(/I

+ m + m) = am -f /?m + ?-m + (5m


2

-f-

&c.,

differentiation,

3/m

s
-f 4<?m

+ 5em* + &c.

2-4-6

we have

Hence we obtain
2 loge (1/1

+m

-f

m)

= 2m

>+
3

|m

^m + Ac.
T

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

348

We have,

also,

= 2m + m

2m l/r+m

\m

^m

&c.

Therefore,

2m i/l

4-

2 loge (l/l

+ m + m) =
2

A.'m'

(l

+*

m*&C

^)

and similarly
1/1

+ n*

2 loge (1/1

+ n* + n) =

the
Substituting these values in the equation (79), and denoting
f
and Q , respectively,
series of terms enclosed in the parentheses by

we

get
6r'

= Q + r" + x)i +

'

(r

(r

+ r" - x)f

(83)

2
2
sin ^e
which is identical with equation (65). If we replace m by
2
2
as given by (81)
and n by
sin ^5 in the expressions for Q and
',
and (82), we shall have the expressions for these quantities in terms
of sin |e and sin |<J, respectively, instead of sin \e and sin \d as given

by the equations

= 1 + f 'i sin

and

(62)
2

je

(63),

namely,

+|

For the

case of an elliptic orbit


equations (66) and (68) in finding

hyperbolic motion are

rare,

+|i

sin $e

it

while for

6
sin ie

+ &c.,

is most convenient to use the


and Q ; but, since the cases of
those which do occur the eccenf

greater than that of the parabola, it will be sufficient to tabulate Q


The same table,
directly with the argument m.

tricity is

using

very

little

as the argument, will give the value of Q'.


Table
from
corresponding to values of

gives the values of

m = 0.2.
When
is

% from

r',

the values of r

required,

+r

ff
,

r',

XVI.

m=

to

and a are given, and the chord Jt


from (77), and finally
(78), r

we may compute Ar/ from

(73).

It

may

+ r",

be remarked, also, that the formulae for the relation between


r"
x, and a suffice to find by trial the value of a when r

and x are given.

Hence, in the computation of an orbit from assumed

RELATION BETWEEN TWO PLACES IN THE ORBIT.

349

J and J", the value of x may be computed from r, r", and


then a may be found in the manner here indicated.
and
u,
If we substitute in the equations (84) the values of sin Je and sin
r" i x> and a, and then substitute the resulting values
in terms of r
values of

u"

of

and Q' in the equation

(65),

we

obtain

+ sis -, ((? + r" + x)* =p (r + r" - x)*) + &c.,


1

the lower sign being used

when u"

u exceeds 180.

eccentricity is very nearly equal to unity, this series

In the

great rapidity.

(85)

When

the

converges with

case of hyperbolic motion, the sign of

a must

be changed.
119.

The

formulae thus derived for the determination of the chord K

for the cases of elliptic

and hyperbolic

orbits, enable us to correct

an

approximate orbit by varying the semi-transverse axis a and the


of two curtate distances. But since the formula? will generatio

rally be applied for the correction of

or those which are nearly parabolic,

/=-;

first place,

will be expedient to use

and

be determined.

as the quantities to

In the

approximate parabolic elements,


it

we compute

a system of elements from

M and

and, for the determination of the auxiliary quantities pre-

liminary to the calculation of the values of r, r", and x, the equations (41) 3 (50) 3 , and (51) 3 will be employed when the ecliptic is the
fundamental plane. But when the equator is taken as the funda,

mental plane, we must first compute g, K, and G by means of the


Then, by a process entirely analogous to that by
equations (96) 3
which the equations (47) 3 and (50) 3 were derived, we obtain
.

h COS C COS
h cos C sin

(H
(H

a")

cos

<p

COS (a"

a") =? sin (a"

h sin C

from which to find

=M

= M tan 8"

and h ; and

= cos C cos K cos

a),

(86)

a),

tan

8,

also

H)

-f sin C sin

K,

(87)

will be referred to the


and
from which to find tp. In this case,
The angles ^ and ty f will be
equator as the fundamental plane.
obtained from the equations (102) 3 or from equations of the form
,

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

350

of (26), and finally the auxiliary quantities A, 5, J5", &c. will be


obtained from (51) 3 , writing d and d" in place of /9 and /?", respectively.

-As soon as these auxiliary quantities have been determined, by


the value of K must be found which will exactly
means of
3
(52)

satisfy equation (65).

and, if

it

To

effect this,

we

first

from

compute

be required, we also find d from

using approximate values of r

+ r"

and

x.

Then we

find

from

or from (78), the logarithms of the auxiliary


(66), and Ar/ from (76)
found by means of Table XV. with the
and
B
being
Q
quantities
r ' having been found from (77), the
of
The
value
e.
argument

equations (73) and (74), in connection with Table XI., enable us to


With this
obtain a closer approximation to the correct value of K.

we compute new
trials

values of r and r", and repeat the determination


generally give the correct result, and these

A few trials will

of K.

may be

facilitated

by the use of the formula

(67) 3

It will be

'
are very slightly changed by a small
observed, also, that Q and Ar
r
r" and tf, so that a repetition of the
change in the values of

calculation of these quantities only becomes necessary for the final


trial in finding the value of Jf which completely satisfies the equaWhen the value of a is such that the values
tions (52) 3 and (65).

Q and exceed the limits of Table XV., the equation (61) may
be employed, and, in the case of hyperbolic motion, when Q and Q f
exceed the limits of Table XVI., we may employ the complete exand n as given by (79).
pression for the time r' in terms of
of

The

values of

r,

r ff ,

and x having thus been found, the equations

will determine the curtate distances

the fundamental plane,


P

p and p".

When

the equator

is

we have

= A cos

"
<S,

= A" cos

3".

From /?, p", and the corresponding geocentric spherical co-ordinates,


the radii-vectores and the heliocentric spherical co-ordinates I, I", b,
and b" will be obtained, and thence &,

i,

u, u",

and the remaining

VARIATION OF THE SEMI-TRANSVERSE AXIS.

351

In the case of elliptic


elements of the orbit, as already illustrated.
if
we compute the auxiliary quantities e and d by means of
motion,
the equations (60), we shall have

(E" + E)

e cos

from which

\(E"
may

and \(E ff -\-

E} = i(e

3),

we

= cos J +
(e

d),

be found, and hence, since


and E". The values of q and
from these and quantities already

E} may

derive

then be found directly


obtained.
Thus, the last of equations (43)! gives

cos

_ cos \E

-Jv

v"

cos

'

V~r

V~q

_ cos &E"
1/7

V~q

first of these expressions by sin Ju", and the second


adding the products, and reducing, we obtain

Multiplying the

by

sin Jv,

sin J

v) sin \v

(i/'

_ cos

j-

(i/'

V~q
Therefore,

we

shall

cos | J?

E"
1/7

cos

have
cos

cos Av =

Vq

i;)

Vv

1/r tan
cos i-E

E
(u"

cos

u)

Vr" sin

E"
(it"

w)

1/ r

from which q and v may be found as soon as cos \E and cos \~E" are
known. In the case of parabolic motion the eccentric anomaly is
The
equal to zero, and these equations become identical with (92) 3
from
the
node
be
the
will
of
distance
perihelion
ascending
angular
.

obtained from

=u
ae cos E, and q = a(1
to

Since r = a

v.

1-1

e),

we have

1-1

and hence

(89)

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

352

is nearly equal to unity, the value of q given


will be sufficient to compute cos^E and
elements
by approximate
these
of
means
equations, and the results thus derived
cos^E" by

When

the eccentricity

from which a new value of


considerably from that used in com-

will be substituted in the equations (88),

If this should

q results.

differ

puting cos \E and cos \E", a repetition of the calculation will give
the correct result.

and E" are imagiIn the case of hyperbolic motion, although


numerical
of
the
values
we
cos^E and cos^E"
may compute
nary,
from the equations (89), regarding a as negative, and the results will
be used for the corresponding quantities in (88) in the computation
of q and v for the hyperbolic orbit.

Next, we compute a second system of elements from


and /, df and
and a third system from

M + 8M

'

M and/-f-

dM

8f,

denoting the

The comrespectively.
arbitrary increments assigned to / and
parison of these three systems of elements with additional observed
places of the comet, will enable us to form the equations of condition
for the determination of the most probable values of the corrections

&M and

A/ to be applied

to

M and /respectively.

The formation of

these equations is effected in precisely the same manner as in the case


of the variation of the geocentric distances or of Q, and i, and it does

not require any further illustration.

The

final

elements will be ob-

tained from M-\- Ajf,

We

may

and/H- A/, either directly or by interpolation.


as
remark, further, that it will be convenient to use log

the quantity to be corrected, and to express the variations of log


in units of the last decimal place of the logarithms.
When the orbit differs very little from the parabolic form, it will

be most expeditious to
in each case

make two hypotheses

in regard to

M,

putting

= 0, and only compute elliptic or hyperbolic elements

which we use
and f=8f.
and second systems of elements will thus be parabolic.

in the third hypothesis, for

120. Instead of

M and - we

may

use

A and -

The

first

as the quantities to

In this case we assume an approximate value of A by


means of elements already known, and by means of (96) 3 (98) 3 (102) 3
and (103) 3 we compute the auxiliary quantities C, J5, B", &c., re-

be corrected.

We

quired in the solution of the equations (104) 3


assume, also, an
approximate value of A" and compute the corresponding value of r" 9
.

the value of r having been already found from the assumed value of
A.
Then, by trial, we find the value of K which, in connection with

EQUATIONS OF CONDITION.
the assumed value of

-,

and

will satisfy the equations (104) 3

A"

The corresponding value of

(61).

353

= cVx

A"

is

(65) or

given by

C\

When A" has thus been determined, the heliocentric places will be
obtained by means of the equations (106) 3 and (107) 3 and, finally,
If the
the corresponding elements of the orbit will be computed.
,

taken as the fundamental plane, we put


and write A and /9 in place of a and d respectively.
ecliptic is

If

we now compute

f=-,

D = 0, A = O,

a second system of elements from

and a third system from A

and/+

<?/",

-f-

d A and

the comparison of the

three systems of elements with additional observed places will furnish


the equations of condition for the determination of the corrections

A A and A/ to be applied to A and

respectively.

When the eccentricity is very nearly equal to unity, we may asfor the first and second hypotheses, and only compute
sume / =
elliptic or

121.

hyperbolic elements for the third hypothesis.

The comparison of

the several observed places of a heavenly

body with one of the three systems of elements obtained by varying


the two quantities selected for correction, or, when the required dif-

known, with any other system of elements


such that the squares and products of the corrections may be neglected, gives a series of equations of the form
ferential coefficients are

mx

-f- ny
p,
m'x -f n'y =p', &c.,

which x and y denote the final corrections to be applied to the two


assumed quantities respectively. The combination of these equations
which gives the most probable values of the unknown quantities, is
in

eifected according to the

Thus, we multiply
of x in that equation, and the sum

method of

least squares.

each equation by the coefficient


of all the equations thus formed gives the first normal equation.
Then we multiply each equation of condition by the coefficient of y
in that equation, and the sum of all the products gives the second

normal equation.

Let these equations be expressed thus

[mm] x
\_mn~]

-j-}-

= [mp],
=
[nn\ y
[mri] y

[lip},

23

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.

354

m2 +ra' -f-m' -f-&c., [mn]=mn+m'n +m"n"-\-&G.,


which [mra]
and similarly for the other terms. These two final equations give,
by elimination, the most probable values of x and y, namely, those
in

for

It

/2

which the sum of the squares of the residuals will be a minimum.


often convenient to determine x in terms of y, or y
is, however,

we may find the influence of a variation of one


unknown quantities on the differences between computation
and observation when the most probable value of the other unknown
in terms of x, so that

of the

is used.
Thus, if it be desired to find x in terms of
most probable value of x will be

quantity

we

substitute this value of

the

__

[mm]
If

y,

[mm]

x in the original equations of condition,

the remaining differences between computation and observation willbe expressed in terms of the unknown quantity y, or in the form

*0

= m +n

(90)

y.

Then, by assigning different values to yy we may find the corresponding residuals, and thus determine to what extent the correction y may
be varied without causing these residuals to surpass the limits of the
probable errors of observation.
In the determination of the orbit of a comet there must be more
or less uncertainty in the value of a,
to be applied to the

and

assumed value of

-,
CL

if

y denotes the correction

we may thus determine

the

probable limits within which the true value of the periodic time
must be found. In the case of a comet which is identified, by the

which has previously appeared, if


the system of elements which will best satisfy the series
of observations, the supposition being made that the comet has per*brmed but one revolution around the sun during the intervening

similarity of elements, with one

we compute

interval, it will be easy to determine whether the observations are


better satisfied by
assuming that two or more revolutions have been

completed during this interval. Thus, let T denote the periodic


time assumed, and the relation between T and a is
expressed by

in

which n denotes the semi-circumference of a

circle

whose radius

A COMET.

ORBIT OF

355

Let the periodic time corresponding to &


then we shall have

unity.

is

by
J

+ y be

denoted

and the equations

= a1-

33

_,

form

for the residuals are transformed into the

*0

= (m

nJ)+nJz*.

(91)

If we now assign to z, successively, the values 1, 2, 3, &c., the residuals thus obtained will indicate the value of z which best satisfies
the series of observations, and hence how many revolutions of the
comet have taken place during the interval denoted by T.
122. In the determination of the orbit of a comet from three ob-

served places, a hypothesis in regard to the semi-transverse axis may


with facility be introduced simultaneously with the computation of
The numerical calculation as far as the formthe parabolic elements.
ation of the equations (52) 3 will be precisely the
parabolic and the elliptic or hyperbolic elements.
case

we

find the values of r, r ff ,

and K which
we find those which

(56) 3 , and in the other case


tion (65), as already explained.

two systems of elements

From

for both the

Then

in the one

will satisfy equation


will satisfy the equa-

the results thus obtained, the

will be computed.

case of the system of parabolic elements


parison of the middle place with these

same

Let

/=-

then in the

we have/=0, and
and

also

with the

the com-

elliptic or

hyperbolic elements will give the value of

dO

which 6 l denotes the geocentric spherical co-ordinate computed


from the parabolic elements, and 2 that computed from the other
system of elements. Further, let A# denote the difference between
computation and observation for the middle place, and the correction
to be applied to /, in order that the computed and the observed
in

values of 6

may

agree, will be given

by

r/+^=oHence, the two observed spherical co-ordinates for the middle place
will give two equations of condition from which A/ may be found,

THEORETICAL, ASTRONOMY.

356

and the corresponding elements will be those which best represent


to be correct.
the observations, assuming the adopted value of

123.

The

orbit of a

first

comet

determination of the approximate elements of the


most readily effected by adopting the ecliptic as

is

In the subsequent correction of these

the fundamental plane.

- and

ments, by varying

or J,

it

ele-

will often be convenient to use

and the first .assumption in


made by means of the values of the distances
approximate elements already known. But if it be

the equator as the fundamental plane,

regard to

will be

given by the

desired to compute
directly from three observed places in reference
to the equator, without converting the right ascensions and declinations into longitudes and latitudes, the requisite formulae may be

derived by a process entirely analogous to that


curtate distances refer to the ecliptic.
The case

employed when the


may occur in which

only the right ascension for the middle place is given, so that the
It will then be necessary
corresponding longitude cannot be found.

fundamental plane in determining a


of
elements
system
parabolic
by means of two complete observations
and this incomplete middle place. If we substitute the expressions

to adopt the equator as the

for the heliocentric co-ordinates in reference to the


equator in the

equations (4)3 and (5) 3 ,

= n (p cos a

we

shall

RcosD cos A)

have
(//

cos

a'

-f n"

0"

cos

sin a"

D' cos A'}

R"

cos

D" cos A"\

= n (p sin a R cos D sin A) (p sin R' cos D' sin A')


(92)
R" cos D" sin A"),
-f n" (p" sin a"
= n(ptsmd~R sin D) (p tan R' sin D')
r

a'

+ n" (p" tan


which

in

/>,

p' t

p" denote

A"

<5"

R" sin D"),

the curtate distances with respect to the

and D, D', D"


These equations correspond to (6) 3 and may be
treated in a similar manner.
From the first and second of equations (92) we get
equator,
its

A, A',

the. right ascensions of the sun,

declinations.

= n (p sin

(a'

a)

R cos D sin (of

and hence

nR cos D sin (a'

+ R' cos D' sin


A*)
a') + R" cosD" sin

4")),

R' cos D' sin (a!A'}-\-n"R" cos D" sin (a!


~

A")

A))

- n" (p" sin (a!'

A)-

pn" sin (a"

(a'

(a'

a')

VARIATION OF TWO RADII-VECTORES.

357

This formula, being independent of the declination S f , may be used


when only the right ascension for the middle place is
compute

to

For the

given.

first

assumption in the case of an unknown

orbit,

we take
"

M=

sin (a'

if

a)

'

sin (a"

if

a')'

and, by means of the results obtained from this hypothesis, the complete expression (93) may be computed.
By a process identical with
that employed in deriving the equation
the expression

_i ^_(
*?TV*

(36) 3 ,

^x/ 1

we

derive,

1 \ -R' cos

;\/3

D'

from

sin (a'

sin (a"

jpjj

(93),

A')

a')

and, putting

-..

sin (a'

a)

'

77

~~^
__

Sin (a"

a')'

_ ^ 'T"
IlV
1

cos

'

"-)

D'

sin (a/

A')
'

sin(a'

a)

R_l^
p \r'

1_\
K'*}'

we have

M= P~==M F.
The

calculation of the auxiliary quantities in the equations (52) 3

by means of the formula (96) 3

and
, (86), (87), (102) 3 ,
heliocentric places for the times t and t" will be given
and (107) 3? and from these the elements of the orbit will

will be effected
(51) 3 .

(95)

The

by (106) 3

be found according to the process already

illustrated.

124. The methods already given for the correction of the approximate elements of the orbit of a heavenly body by means of additional
observations or normal places, are those which will generally be
applied.

There

are,

however, modifications of these which

and

may be

special cases, and which will readily suggest


if
it
be
desired to correct approximate elements
themselves.
Thus,
two
r and r fr we may assume an approxiradii-vectores
by varying
mate value of each of these, and the three equations (88)! will contain only the three unknown quantities J, 6, and I.
By elimination,
these unknown quantities may be found, and in like manner the

advantageous in rare

THEORETICAL ASTRONOMY.
It will be most convenient to compute
values of J", b", and I".
and $", and then find z and z" from
the angles

sin 2

putting a?

or,

The

r*

tan

$
= E sin
r

sin

2
^, and x"

*
= R sin
x

sin z

,,

-4"
= R" sin
T
Tt

= r"

curtate distances will be given

sin 4/',

from

R" sin 4"

tan z"

R"

by the equations

(3),

and the

heliocentric spherical co-ordinates by means of (4), writing r in place


u may be found, and by means of the values
of a. From these u"

of

r,

r ff y and

u"

u the determination of the elements of the

orbit

may be completed. Then, assigning to r an increment dr, we compute a second system of elements, and from r and r" -f dr" a third
The comparison of these three systems of elements with an
system.
additional or intermediate observed place will furnish the equations
for the determination of the corrections Ar and Ar" to be applied to

The comparison of the middle place may be


r and r", respectively.
made with the observed geocentric spherical co-ordinates directly, or
with the radius-vector and argument of the latitude computed directly
from the observed co-ordinates; and in the same manner any number
of additional observed places may be employed in forming the equations of condition for the determination of

Instead of r and r r/ ,

Ar and Ar".

we may

take the projections of these radiivectores on the plane of the ecliptic as the quantities to be corrected.
Let these projected distances of the body from the sun be denoted

by r and r

we

", respectively

then,

riri-.Q =
from which
I".

by means of the equations (88)^

obtain

If

I
may be found
we put

we have

Brin <'- g

(96)

and in a similar manner we may find

=r

-^sm'(A-0),

tan(;-A)

= * sin X (A

).

(97)

Let S denote the angle at the sun between the earth and the
place
of the planet or comet projected on the
plane of the ecliptic ; then

we

shall

have

VARIATION OF TWO RADII-VECTORES.

=180-}P

359

I,

0)

*(l

(98)

sin (I

and

tenb^-^Z,
r

(99)

by means of which the heliocentric latitudes b and b" may be found.


" are
calculation of the elements and the correction of rQ and r
then effected as in the case of the variatioVi of r and r".

The

In the case of parabolic motion, the eccentricity being known, we


may take q and T as the quantities to be corrected. If we assume
/r
and #, v v" will be
approximate values of these elements, r, r r
ff
r
and
the
observed spherical
Then
from
r, r',
given immediately.
1'
u and
co-ordinates of the body we may compute the values of u
the
means
of
observed
u
In the same manner, by
u.
places, we
compute the angles u" u and u' u corresponding to q-\-dq and T,
r

to q and T -\- STy dq and dT denoting the arbitrary increments


The comparison of the helioassigned to q and T, respectively.
f
t
and t'
thus obtained,
centric motion, during the intervals t"
t,
in the case of each of the three systems of elements, from the ob-

and

served geocentric places with the corresponding results given by

enables us to form the equations

by which we may

AT to

find the cor-

be applied to the assumed values of q and T,


ff
u r and u f
u computed
in
order
that
the values of u
respectively,
with
those
shall
means
of
the observed places
agree
given by the
by
rections

Ag and

true anomalies computed directly from q and T.

THEOEETICAL ASTRONOMY.

360

CHAPTER VIL
METHOD OF LEAST SQUARES, THEORY OF THE COMBINATION OF OBSERVATIONS, AND
DETERMINATION OF THE MOST PROBABLE SYSTEM OF ELEMENTS FROM A SERIES
OF OBSERVATIONS.

125.

WHEN the elements of the orbit of a heavenly body are known

to such a degree of approximation that the squares and products of


the corrections which should be applied to them may be neglected,

by computing the

partial differential coefficients of these elements

with respect to each of the observed spherical co-ordinates, we may


form, by means of the differences between computation and observation, the equations for the

determination of these corrections.

Three

complete observations will furnish the six equations required for the
determination of the corrections to be applied to the six elements of
the orbit; but, if more than three complete places are given, the

number of equations

will exceed the

number of unknown

and the problem will be more than determinate.

quantities,

If the observed

places were absolutely exact, the combination of the equations of


condition in any manner whatever would furnish the values of these
corrections, such that each of these equations

would be completely

The

conditions, however, which present themselves in the


actual correction of the elements of the orbit of a
heavenly body by
satisfied.

means of given observed places, are entirely different. When the


observations have been corrected for all known instrumental errors,
and when all other known corrections have been duly applied, there
remain those accidental errors which arise from various causes,
such as the abnormal condition of the
atmosphere, the imperfections
of vision, and the imperfections in the
performance of the instrument
employed. These accidental and irregular errors of observation cannot
be eliminated from the observed data, and the
equations of condition
for the determination of the corrections to be
applied to the elements
of an approximate orbit cannot be
completely satisfied by any system
of values assigned to the unknown
quantities unless the number of
equations is the same as the number of these unknown
still

quantities.

becomes an important problem, therefore, to determine the


particular combination of these
equations of condition, by means of which
It

METHOD OF LEAST SQUARES.

361

the resulting values of the unknown quantities will be those which,


while they do not completely satisfy the several equations, will afford
the highest degree of probability in favor of their accuracy.
It will

be of interest also to determine, as far as it may be possible, the


degree of accuracy which may be attributed to the separate results.
But, in order to simplify the more general problem, in which the
quantities sought are determined indirectly by observation, it will be
expedient to consider first the simpler case, in which a single quantity
is

obtained directly by observation.


126. If the accidental errors of observation could be obviated, the
magnitude directly by observation would

different determinations of a

be identical
precision

is

but since this

sought,

is

we adopt

impossible when an extreme limit of


mean or average value to be derived

from the separate results obtained. The adopted value may or may
not agree with any individual result, since it is only necessary that
the residuals obtained by comparing the adopted value with the
observed values shall be such as to make this adopted value the most
It is evident, from the very nature of the case, that
probable value.
here the confines of the unknown, and, before we proceed further, something additional must be assumed.

we approach
However

and uncertain the law of the accidental errors


may be, we may at least assume that small errors are
more probable than large errors, and that errors surpassing a certain
We may also assume that in the case of a large
limit will not occur.
irregular

of observation

number of

observations, errors in excess will occur as frequently as


errors in defect, so that, in general, positive and negative residuals
It appears, therefore,
of equal absolute value are equally probable.
that the relative frequency of the occurrence of an accidental error J

depend on the magnitude of this error,


This function will also express the
<p ( J).

in the observed value will

and may