Repsold Vertical Circle
2012-01-23 15:46:26

Vertical Circle is an astronomical instrument for measuring of zenith distances of celestial bodies that serve as material for the calculation of declinations. It is used in the preparation of catalog of absolute declinations of stars. It allows observer to obtain zenith distance of star from one observation of two positions of circle . The Half sum of the same zenith distance at the upper and lower culmination of the star gives the latitude of observing site, using which, the declination is derived.

The history of the instrument

In 1897, O. Backlund, the director of Pulkovo Observatory ordered Repsold Vertical Circle in Repsold firm (Munich) to instal it on the south. In February 1899, the Vertical Circle was taken to Odessa and in April 1899, A. Orbinskij started test observations of stars and the Sun. Before 1909, observations on the Vertical Circle were made ​​by Peters method.

By the time of the official transfer to Naval Observatory, Nikolaev Society of the factories and shipyards developed a project and built the pavilion for the Vertical Circle and transit instrument. The building was started in summer 1912, and fully completed in September 1913. At the beginning of June 1913, Messer, the Pulkovo mechanic, brought the vertical circle to Nikolaev. The observations were started in late December 1913, and continued until 1985, after which the instrument was preserved and handed over to the museum. In 2009 After restoration and repairment of the pavilion it has became a museum exhibit.

The construction of the telescope and pavilion

The Repsold Vertical Circle has Shtayngel lens (D = 108 mm and F = 1400 mm). Originally the reticle eyepiece was fixed and consisted of two vertical and three horizontal, two of which were close together. The optical tube of the instrument for setting to the celestial body can be rotated about horizontal axis. For setting the tube to the celestial body there are long handles through the cardan clutch connected with the micrometer screw, allowing continuously change zenith distance. Planted on the horizontal axis divided circle (2-minute, D = 700mm) is designed to measure vertical angles. Auxiliary Horizontal 10th minute limb (D = 300 mm) was used for the installation and the calculation of instrument's azimuth. The Vertical Circle was equipped with 4 microscope-micrometers fixed to the cylinder, and the horizontal with two microscopes, with the vernier scales is also connected with cylinder. To determine the inclination of the vertical axis in the plane of the meridian, two picosecond level were installed on the cylinder. The main structure, carrying on all the measuring devices, was cylinder with diameter of 600mm and the width of 285 mm. This vertical circle is used for observations in the meridian.

The pavilion consists of two parts, separated by a double metal barrier. The upper part of the pavilion is a half-cylinder generatrices of which are parallel to the first vertical and from a height of the horizontal axis (1.8 m) to the floor walls are vertical. The walls and floor of the pavilion are based on the basic foundation that is not connected with instrumental. The floor of the pavilion is raised to the level of ground for 2m, and the basic foundation filled with soil. During the observations the western part of the roof is moved from the floor to the west, forming a slit width of 2.2m.

Scientific programs and results

Since March, 1914, observations of absolute declination catalog of 1904 stars from Backlund-Hof list of the epoch and equinox 1915.0 were conducted (in the framework of first international project "Sky Map"). 279 stars of the catalog were observed in both culminations. Observers: B. Ostaschenko-Kudryavtsev, B. Zaleskij. 1918, observations of the flashed stars, New Eagle, observations of the Sun and major planets were made.

1925-1927, observations of new catalog of absolute declinations for the epoch and equinox 1925.0 (Nik25). In general, for the Nik25 catalog 2929 observations of stars were made. All the stars were observed for at least 8 times and more than 80% was observed 12 times or more. The observer: G. Zimmerman.

1929-1939, the observations of Nik30 catalog, which included declination of 707 stars. The catalog was published in 1951. The observer: G. Zimmerman. 1935-39, observations of 1334 geodetic stars by the differential method. The results of observations were included to the Catalog of 2957 bright stars, N. Zimmerman. The observer: G. Zimmerman.

Since 1939, observations of additional stars of FK3 list in declinations zone of +80 º to -30 º. In addition, 62 stars from the main FK3 list were observed. From 587 stars, which were included to the program, 75 were observed in both culminations. The observer: G. Zimmerman.

1945 -1951, observations of Nik50 catalog. Sun was also observed after the development of method for determining the bend involving observations of Sun. In a total, 8652 observations of stars and 380 observations of Sun were made. The catalog was published in 1958. The observer: G. Zimmerman.

1957-1964, the last catalog of absolute declinations Nik60 (744 stars), observed on the Repsold Vertical Circle, differed from the previous catalogs with the attempt of laboratory determination of flexure and the complete reversion to reinstall the ocular and objective lens. The catalog was published in 1977. Observers: I. Bojko (5933 observations) and G. Zimmerman (5367 observations).

1920-1985, observations of Solar System bodies: Sun - 4056, Moon – 225, Mercury - 436, Venus - 2319​​, Mars - 283, Jupiter – 339, Saturn - 282, Uranium - 173, Neptune - 100 etc. Observers: G. Zimmerman (50%), I. Bojko, V. Sibilev and others.

1975-1982, the study of astronomical refraction in daytime observations, which had improved the accuracy of the declinations of Sun and Venus. The observer: V. Sybil.

Repsold Meridian Circle
2012-01-20 12:02:48

Meridian Circle is an astronomical instrument the constraction of which consists of a telescope that rotates only in the plane of the celestial meridian about a horizontal axis based on a special support. It is used for accurate determination of right ascension and declination of celestial bodies by recording the moments of star passing through the celestial meridian and measuring the meridian zenith distances.

Design and technical characteristics of the instrument

Lens diameter D = 150 mm, focal length F = 2150mm. Two limbs (A and B) are tightly planted on the horizontal axis diameter D = 1200mm, which rotates with the pipe. The pavilion was built in 1955 specially for the instrument. Width is of 11m, length is of 7.3m and height is of 4.4 m. The roof of the pavilion is gable and sliding.The shutter opening size when it is open is of 2.5m in the meridian plane for observation. The foundation under the MC, have a look of truncated pyramid of red brick, lies at the depth of 1.5 m below ground level. The monolithic granite columns with fixed metal plates are installed on them. These plates are attached by lagers pins of horizontal axis of the telescope, located in the first vertical plane. The distance between the working sections of pins is of 105.9cm. Columns of red brick for collimator and lens are installed at the distance of 2m to the north and south of the MC.

Initially, the moment of stars passage through the meridian was made by self-recording ocular micrometer on a paper tape printing chronograph. The moment of starpassing was determined from 10 pairs of contacts at the 4-speed screw of ocular micrometer. A position of the star in the field of view at a height was determined by two readings of the micrometer screw in declination. As a reference clock the free pendulum stellar clock by British firm Short#35 was used, the corrections were regulary determined by Nikolaev Time Service.

The history of the instrument

Repsold Meridian Circle (RMC) was ordered in 1834 for Pulkovo Observatory by its director Vasily Yakovlevich Struve, in the Repsold firm (Germany,Hamburg). Regular observations of stars by the differential method began in 1840 and successfully operated for 100 years. During the Great Patriotic War, the instrument was kept in the basement of the USSR, and was badly damaged. In 1955 it was brought to Nikolaev Observatory. Master I.I. Ponomarenko restored the telescope and researched limbs. After that it was installed in a specially built pavilion.

In 1955-1956 years, the study of limbs showed that on A limb in some places lines of measuring reference was faded. It was decided not to use a limb and take off measurements only from B limb.

In 1964, four photographic microscope for counting limbs were installed, which significantly accelerate the process of stars observations. Cameras of these microscopes contained photographic film of 150 cm, which was enough for 125 stars observations.

In 1970th, the construction of semi-automatic device for measuring limb's image was improved, which greatly increased the accuracy, mean square error of one image measurement was equal to 0 ˝ .07 (A.D. Pogonij)

In 1977-79 years, the work on the separation of limbs by 2' in the laboratory of angular high-precision measurements of the NAO was carried out (led by N.A. Ilkiv)

In 1980, the two-axis photoelectric ocular micrometer was set up (V.V. Konin, A.D. Pogonij), photographic microscopes of the limb were improved (A.V. Shulga)

1990 - replacement of the photographic micrometers of microscopes to CCD cameras

2002 – the end of observations on RMC and transfer of the instrument to the museum of NAO.

Scientific programs and results.

For more then 40 years of exploitation in NAO, nine different star position catalogs were obtained using RMC.

In 1956 - 1966 years. - observations of 9994 stars on the international program AGK3R declination zone from -5 ° to +25 °, 2605 stars of CSC program in zone from -5 ° to -20 ° and 125 stars near extragalactic nebulae. Observers: Ya. Gordon, G. Petrov, A. Kharin, I. Dzuba, O. Garmash, R. Tkachev, G. Gorel, L. Grabar. The results of observations on the program AGK3R was published in the Proceedings of Main Astronomical Observatory, USSR Academy of Sciences (1966). In 1969, L. Gorel (Grabar) published the catalog of positions of 2600 stars CSC in the zone of declinations between -5 ° and -20 ° and a catalog of 117 stars around the extragalactic nebulae.

In 1964-1966 years – the observations on SRS (South Reference Stars) and BS (Bright Stars)international programs . Observers: G. Gorel, V. Konin and E. Khrutskaya. The results are presented in the form of catalogs of positions of 5976 SRS stars and 727 BS stars.

In 1969-1972 years - observations of stars in the ecliptic zone (3539 stars of Robertson zodiacal catalog, including 313 stars fainter than 8.5m; all stars from FCSC list and stars brighter then 8m from CSC list in zone of ± 15 ° from the ecliptic). Observers: Ya. Gordon, L. Gorel and E. Khrutskaya.

In 1974 - 1976 years – the observations of right ascensions of 586 stars of FCSC program in ​​declination zone from -20 ° to +90 °. There were obtained 2525 stars observations of FCSC and 5227 stars observations FK4. Observers: Ya. Gordon, L. Gorel and E. Khrutskaya.

In 1984 - 1986 years - observations of 1575 stars with high brightness (HLS) and 1314 stars from the Equatorial Zone of Kortatstsi catalog. Observers: L. Gorel and A. Shulga.