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Apparent Time and Mean Solar Time - 14221_149
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Definition of Terms - 14221_151
Apparent and Mean Solar Time, Continued Figure  5-l  Difference  in  the  time  of  an  apparent  day. Mean  Solar Time To  remedy  the  situation  created  by  apparent  solar  time,  mean  solar  time was  introduced.  Mean  solar  time  is  based  on  a  fictional  Sun  that  is considered to move at a constant rate of 360° in 24 hours along the celestial  meridian.  One  mean  day  is  24  hours  in  length,  each  hour consisting of 60 minutes, and each minute consisting of 60 seconds. Mean solar time and apparent solar time are nearly equal, but mean solar time  is  the  time  used  in  everyday  life  (fig.  5-1).  It  is  the  time  kept  by  our ship’s  chronometers  and  clocks,  even  our  own  wristwatch.  It  is  also  the time  used  in  various  almanacs  that  we  use  for  tabulating  the  positions  of celestial bodies. Equation of Time The difference between the apparent day and the mean day is never more than  a  minute.  This  difference  is  cumulative  and  amounts  to  as  much  as  a quarter-hour  at  certain  times  of  the  year  (fig.  5-2  ).  The  difference between  mean  and  apparent  time  at  any  instant  is  called  the  equation  of time. Figure 5-2. Difference of mean time and solar time. 5-4

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