[LEAPSECS] Mean ... Orbits

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri Feb 4 11:44:37 EST 2011

On 02/04/2011 07:09, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:

> On 2 Feb 2011 at 22:09, Steve Allen wrote:


>> This is not an argument about "mean" but about "meaning".

> So don't get mean about it! :-)


> "That depends on what the meaning of "mean" means!" (Positively

> Clintonian!)

After reading over the equations of time and the various reference shown
here (and likely understanding only a small fraction of it), it looks
like the answer is 'anything you want it to be based on the constants
you choose' and 'the constants that are universally chosen are based on
smoothing out the variations over the course of a year, with long term
trends factored in.'

It looks like it would be possible to define a mean solar time that had
different averaging characteristics, or tweaked the parameters of the
model used in either simpler or more complicated ways than Newcomb's
equations, but nobody has done it (or if they have, it isn't widely
enough adopted to warrant mentioning in the references people have sent
to the list).

Now I understand the reluctance to give a simple answer, because the
answer isn't a simple, single variable.


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