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ANALYSIS OF TIME DATA IN KOREAN ALMANACS OF 1913 - 1945

  • Lee, Ki-Won
  • Received : 2017.12.07
  • Accepted : 2017.12.12
  • Published : 2017.12.31

Abstract

We analyze the time data recorded in Korean astronomical almanacs for the years from 1913 to 1945, which belong to the period in which Japan occupied Korea (1910-1945). These almanacs, published by Japanese scholars, differ from previous almanacs in terms of organization, content, and calendrical methods. In this study, we first extract twelve kinds of time data from the almanacs at the following times: solar terms, rising and setting of the Sun and Moon, transit of the Sun, phases of the Moon (i.e., new Moon, first quarter Moon, full Moon, and last quarter Moon), and eclipses of the Sun and Moon. Then, we compare the time data with that obtained from modern calculations. Even though all time data in the almanacs are tabulated in units of minutes, we calculate the data in units of seconds and determine the root mean square (RMS) deviation values for each kind of time data to estimate the accuracy of the data. Our findings are as follows: First, the kind and tabulation method of time data changes several times. For instance, solar transit time is listed only for six years from 1937 to 1942. Second, the times of two equinoxes and those of a new Moon are considerably close to midnight. Third, there are some typographical errors in the almanacs, particularly in the times of moonrise and moonset. Fourth, the contact times for lunar eclipses represent the times of the umbra and not of the penumbra, which is different from the times for solar eclipses. Finally, the RMS deviation values are approximately 0.5 min on average in all kinds of time data, even though they show slightly large differences in the times related to the Moon. In conclusion, we believe that this study is useful for investigating the time data in the almanacs of other East Asian countries that were published during the same period, such as China, Japan, and Manchuria.

Keywords

history and philosophy of astronomy;astronomical data bases: almanacs;ephemerides;time

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Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)