Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Astrometric Calibration of the Clementine Meridian Line (1702) of S. Maria degli Angeli on the Zodiacal Signs, in the IGEA Observational Campaign (2018/21)

Version 1 : Received: 30 April 2021 / Approved: 6 May 2021 / Online: 6 May 2021 (14:55:08 CEST)

How to cite: Sigismondi, C. Astrometric Calibration of the Clementine Meridian Line (1702) of S. Maria degli Angeli on the Zodiacal Signs, in the IGEA Observational Campaign (2018/21). Preprints 2021, 2021050092 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0092.v1). Sigismondi, C. Astrometric Calibration of the Clementine Meridian Line (1702) of S. Maria degli Angeli on the Zodiacal Signs, in the IGEA Observational Campaign (2018/21). Preprints 2021, 2021050092 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0092.v1).

Abstract

The meridian line is a basic instrument for positional astronomy, it was used to study the motion of Sun, Moon, planets and the position of stars by measuring position and time of their passage through the meridian plane. The accuracy of such positions was dependent on precise theories of the atmospheric refraction (Cassini, 1655 and Laplace, 1825) and by the use of reference marks present originally on the meridian line, and now cancelled by the centuries. From October 27, 2018 the new pinhole of the meridian line in the Basilica of S. Maria degli Angeli in Rome (1702) is a circle 25 mm wide and 6.11 mm thick and its position is fixed, in order to perform a series of observations of astrometric quality, the IGEA campaign. The comparison of the observed positions of the meridian passages of the Sun, Southern and Northern limbs, with the ephemerides of Calsky.org and Stellarium 0.20.2 for the Sun are examined for the dates of the ingresses into the zodiacal signs, when the ecliptic longitude is exactly 0°/180° (Aries and Libra, spring and fall equinox), 30°/150° (Taurus, Virgo), 60°/120° (Gemini, Leo), 90° (Cancer), 330°/210° (Pisces, Scorpio), 300°/240° (Aquarius/Sagittarius), 270° (Capricorn). The former geometrical calibration of the marks present on the line, with a total station, is compared with another calibration done with a metal and laser meter. The first star on the floor of the Basilica representing the position of the Sun on August 20, 1702 when the pope Clement XI visited the meridian line, financed by him, has been calibrated with the solar image. The present pinhole is 4.4±0.1 mm South with respect to the original one of 1702.

Subject Areas

ephemerides; refraction; solstices; equinoxes; equation of time; Earth’s rotation; obliquity; eccentricity; penumbra; zodiacal sign; gnomonics; ecliptic longitude; declination; meridian transit.

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