Astronomy Before the Telescope
Chronology - W. Kast

December 2018

Dec 21 Determined true north without a compass
Dec 22 Construct hand held quadrant
Dec 23 Elevation observations: hand held quadrant (sector) -- 00:00 MST Polaris 41o, 00:28 Moon 72o, 11:54 -    Sun 26.6o,
Dec 27 Construct first sundial (equatorial)
Dec 28-29 Test equatorial sundial
Dec 29 Aurorahenge - calendar predictor. Initial "post solstice" observations.
                     cross staff

January 2019

Jan 1-13 Website construction, study.  Construct cross staff.
Jan 14  Observe and record Jupiter-Venus angular separation, Sun-Venus angular separation.
Jan 19  Measured Sun-Venus angular separation.
Jan 20  Observe lunar eclipse.
Jan 21  00:10 MST Record full moon lunar altitude at transit. 12:15 MST Record solar altitude at solar noon.
Jan 22  Jupiter-Venus closest conjunction. Unobserved, unfavorable weather
Jan 23-24  Work on paper astrolabe and nocturnal celestial star dial. Both completed.
Jan 25  Studied astrolabe, sundials
Jan 26  Measured angular separation Jupiter-Venus
Jan 28  Analemma planning. Study local noon determination, equation of time.
Jan 30  Observed Venus-Jupiter-Lunar conjunction.  Measured angles between the three pairs. Measured Venus-   Sun angle at sunrise.


February 2019

Feb 1  Measured Great Square, Orion's belt,  Betelgeuse-Rigel, Castor-Pollux angular separations.  First time measurement with nocturnal.
Feb 8  Measured Jupiter-Venus conjunction, Venus-Sun angle, Venus obscured by clouds.
Feb 20  00:55 MST - Record full moon lunar altitude at transit.  06:46 - Attempted Sun-Venus angular separation. Light haze prevented locating Venus just before sunrise.  Measured Moon diameter. 12:14 - Record solar altitude at transit.  A day late on my full moon observations due to cloud cover.
Feb 24  Added tripod adapter to cross staff.  Nocturnal reading at 23:10.
Feb 25  Measured Jupiter-Venus conjunction, Venus-Sun angle


MARCH 2019

Mar 17  Measured Venus-Sun angle.  Just barely. Venus extinguishes quickly at sunrise.  Probably last reading for the end of this part of the cycle.  I have plans for extending these readings by constructing and using a dioptra to record times and positions of Venus prior to sunrise (and later on, after sunset).  I can use this data to extrapolate the position of Venus at sunrise.  By recording the solar altitude and azimuth at sunrise, I should be able to calculate the separation angle.
Mar 20  Vernal Equinox; Full Moon  Measured solar altitude at transit.  Attempted measuring lunar rising azimuth with astrolabe.  Measured lunar altitude 1 hour after moonrise and at transit.


APRIL 2019

Apr 19  Measured lunar and solar transit altitudes at full moon.


MAY 2019 -- A lousy cloudy cold snowy month in Colorado.

May 26  Mounted, leveled and aligned newly constructed analemma (activity #4), marked first observation at mean noon (13:00 MDT).  I will try for weekly readings over the course of the next 12 months.
May 27  Measured lunar and solar transit altitudes, updated Lunar and Solar declinations.  Published equation of time page.  Added a remark to sundials.


June 2019

Jun 2  Sunday - Analemma mark #2
Jun 10 Monday - Analemma mark #3
Jun 16 Sunday - Analemma mark #4  
Jun 17  Lunar and Solar declinations at full moon clouded out.
Jun 24 Monday - Analemma mark #5
Jun 24 Monday -  Aurorahenge Calendar predictor, observe summer solstice sunset (late due to clouds)
Jun 30 Sunday - Analemma mark #6

July 2019

Jul 7 Sunday - Analemma mark # 7
Jul 14 Sunday - Analemma mark #8
Jul 16 Tuesday - Full Moon lunar and solar declinations measured.
Jul 21 Sunday - Analemma mark #9
Jul 29 Monday - Analemma mark #10


August 2019

Aug 4 Sunday - Analemma mark #11
Aug 11
Sunday - Analemma mark #12
Aug 18 Sunday - Analemma mark #13
Aug 25 Sunday - Analemma mark #14


September 2019

Sep 1 Sunday - Analemma mark #15
Sep 13
Friday - Analemma mark #16, Full Moon transit altitude measurement, solar transit measured on following day.
Sep 16
Monday - Analemma mark #17
Sep 23 - Autumnal Equinox
Monday - Analemma mark #18
Sep 29
Sunday - Analemma mark #19


October 2019

Oct 6 Sunday - Analemma mark #20
Oct 13
Sunday - Analemma mark #21, Full Moon rising azimuth and altitude measurements, Full Moon Transit altitude measurement
Oct 14 Monday - First Observation of Venus for new cycle.  Estimated 14o angular separation from Sun using arm length estimates.
Oct 15 Tuesday - Full Moon Solar Transit altitude measurement
Oct 20
Sunday - Analemma mark #22 - hazy conditions
Oct 25
Friday - Venus/Sun angular separation measured with armillary sphere
Oct 26 Saturday - Analemma mark #23


November 2019

Nov 3 Sunday - Analemma mark #24
Nov 9
Saturday - Analemma mark #25
Nov 12 
Tuesday - Full Moon rising azimuth and altitude measurements, Full Moon Transit altitude measurement
Nov 13
Wednesday - Analemma mark #26, full Moon solar transit measurement
Nov 17
Sunday - Analemma mark #27
Nov 24
Sunday - Analemma mark #28, very hazy
Nov 13-30 Construction of Dioptra

December 2019
With the Winter Solstice approaching, I've accelerated my analemma marks from weekly on Sunday to every 3-6 days weather permitting.  Sundays haven't been consistently good Sun days.  Also I hope to get a better curve as the analemma rounds the Solstice.

Dec 1 Sunday - Analemma mark #29
Dec 3 Tuesday - Venus/Sun angular separation measured with Dioptra
Dec 7 Sunday - Analemma mark #30
Dec 9 Monday - Established true North landmark and benchmark at Buckley Overlook observation point.
Dec 11 Wednesday - Rising full Moon azimuth and altituded measurements.  Full Moon transit measurement.
Dec 12 Thursday - Full Moon solar transit measurement.  Analemma mark #31, overcast clouds forecast for weekend.
Dec 18 Wednesday - Anelemma mark #32 High cirrus clouds, persistent contrails
Dec 20 Friday - Photographed setting Sun at Aurorahenge in case Solstice clouded out.  Mostly cloudy.
Dec 21 Saturday - Winter Solstice @ 21:19 MST.  Solstice Analemma mark #33 at noon MST civil time. Photographed Solstice sunset at Aurorahenge, very clear, thin high cirrus clouds.
Dec 25  Wednesday - Snowmelt photos for measuring Solstice
Dec 26 Thursday - Analemma mark #34; Venus/Sun elongation.
Dec 29 Sunday - Analemma mark #35.  Shorter interval between analemma markings around the Winter Solstice.


January 2020

Jan 3 Friday - Analemma mark #36; Venus/Sun elongation
Jan 4 Saturday -  Using the Summer Triangle and Orion to find Polaris
Jan 8 Wednesday - Analemma mark #37
Jan 10 Friday - Venus/Sun elongation, rising full Moon azimuth and altitude, full Moon transit altitude and next day Solar transit altitude
Jan 14 Tuesday - (Kline) Analemma mark #38, Nocturnal readings, Venus/Sun elongation
Jan 19 Sunday - Analemma mark #39
Jan 23 Thursday - Analemma mark #40
Jan 28 Tuesday - Analemma mark #41


February 2020

Feb 2 Sunday - Analemma mark #42;  Venus/Sun elongation (back yard)
Feb 8 Saturday - Analemma mark #43; Venus/Sun elongation, Mercury/Sun elongation, rising full Moon azimuth and altitude, full Moon transit altitude and next day Solar transit altitude.
Feb 14 Friday - Analemma mark #44

Feb 18 Tuesday - Analemma mark #45

The trail of the dedicated astronomer.
Footprints in the snow from my last three
analemma markings. 
The analemma is on a fence post, in this
picture it is covered with a white plastic
bag for protection from the elements.
Snow on the ground from three storms
in eleven days.  I've learned to take
advantage of the sunny days. 

February 25 Tuesday - Analemma mark #46


March 2020

March 1 Sunday - Analemma mark #47
March 6
Friday - Analemma mark #48
March 9 Monday - Full Moon transit altitude and next day Solar transit altitude observed at home.  Missed Full Moon Rising observations, unable to travel to Buckley Overlook due to self imposed Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.
March 15 Sunday - Analemma mark #49
March 23 Monday - Analemma mark #50
March 24 Tuesday - Venus/Sun elongation measured with cross staff and dioptra. Day of maximum elongation.
March 31 Tuesday - Analamma mark #51

April 2020

April 4 Saturday - Analemma mark #52
April 6 Monday  - Analemma mark #53; Venus/Sun elongation measured with cross staff and dioptra
April 8 Wednesday - Full Moon transit altitude and next day Solar transit altitude observed at home.  Once again unable to make full moon rising measurements.
April 11 Saturday - Analemma mark #54
April 11-25 I managed to neglect marking my calendar for analemma markings during this period, so I have lost track of the count.  The year long markings will be completed in about a month.  When I image the completed analemma and crunch the data, I will correct the count.  Until then I will just record markings with no sequence number.
April 25 Saturday - Venus/Sun elongation measured with cross staff and dioptra
April 26
Sunday - Analemma mark
April 28 Tuesday - Venus/Sun elongation measured with cross staff

May 2020

May 1 Friday - Analemma mark
May 4 Monday - Analemma mark, Venus/Sun elongation measured with dioptra and cross staff.

July 2020

July Using dioptra, recorded positions of naked eye comet Neowise.  Three observations on different dates.

December 2021

December 21 Tuesday  Returned to Aurorahenge, observed and photographed Winter Solstice sunset.

January 2022

Worked on activities of Astronomical League Analemma observing program. (Equation of Time)







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