Clock position

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The twelve clock positions

A clock position is the relative direction of an object described using the analogy of a 12-hour clock to describe angles and directions. One imagines a clock face lying either upright or flat in front of oneself, and identifies the twelve hour markings with the directions in which they point.

Relative direction up, down, right, left, forwards or backwards relative to an observer

The most common relative directions are left, right, forward(s), backward(s), up, and down. No absolute direction corresponds to any of the relative directions. This is a consequence of the translational invariance of the laws of physics: nature, loosely speaking, behaves the same no matter what direction one moves. As demonstrated by the Michelson-Morley null result, there is no absolute inertial frame of reference. There are definite relationships between the relative directions, however. Left and right, forward and backward, and up and down are three pairs of complementary directions, each pair orthogonal to both of the others. Relative directions are also known as egocentric coordinates.

The 12-hour clock is a time convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods: a.m. and p.m.. Each period consists of 12 hours numbered: 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The 24 hour/day cycle starts at 12 midnight, runs through 12 noon, and continues just before midnight at the end of the day. The 12-hour clock has been developed from the middle of the second millennium BC to the 16th century AD.

Clock face dial of an analogue clock or watch

A clock face, or dial, is the part of an analog clock that displays the time through the use of a fixed-numbered dial or dials and moving hands. In its most basic form, recognized throughout the world, the periphery of the dial is numbered 1 through 12 indicating the hours in a 12-hour cycle, and a short hour hand makes two revolutions in a day. A long minute hand makes one revolution every hour. The face may also include a second hand, which makes one revolution per minute. The term is less commonly used for the time display on digital clocks and watches.

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Using this analogy, 12 o'clock means ahead or above, 3 o'clock means to the right, 6 o'clock means behind or below, and 9 o'clock means to the left. The other eight hours refer to directions that are not directly in line with the four cardinal directions.

In aviation, a clock position refers to a horizontal direction; it may be supplemented with the word high or low to describe the vertical direction which is pointed towards your feet. 6 o'clock high means behind and above the horizon , while 12 o'clock low means ahead and below the horizon. [1]

Aviation Design, development, production, operation and use of aircraft

Aviation, or air transport, refers to the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. Aircraft includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as balloons and airships.

Horizon apparent line that separates earth from sky

The horizon or skyline is the apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth's surface, and those that do not. The true horizon is actually a theoretical line, which can only be observed when it lies on the sea surface. At many locations, this line is obscured by land, trees, buildings, mountains, etc., and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon. When looking at a sea from a shore, the part of the sea closest to the horizon is called the offing.

In media and culture

The 1949 movie Twelve O'Clock High takes its title from the system. In this case, the position would be ahead and above the horizon.

<i>Twelve OClock High</i> 1949 film by Henry King

Twelve O'Clock High is a 1949 American war film about aircrews in the United States Army's Eighth Air Force who flew daylight bombing missions against Nazi Germany and occupied France during the early days of American involvement in World War II, including a thinly disguised version of the notorious Black Thursday strike against Schweinfurt. The film was adapted by Sy Bartlett, Henry King (uncredited) and Beirne Lay Jr. from the 1948 novel 12 O'Clock High, also by Bartlett and Lay. It was directed by King and stars Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell and Dean Jagger.

The phrase "on your six" refers to the system, six referring to the six o'clock or following position.

See also

Related Research Articles

Angle an angle is something that is formed when two rays meet at a single or same point

In plane geometry, an angle is the figure formed by two rays, called the sides of the angle, sharing a common endpoint, called the vertex of the angle. Angles formed by two rays lie in a plane, but this plane does not have to be a Euclidean plane. Angles are also formed by the intersection of two planes in Euclidean and other spaces. These are called dihedral angles. Angles formed by the intersection of two curves in a plane are defined as the angle determined by the tangent rays at the point of intersection. Similar statements hold in space, for example, the spherical angle formed by two great circles on a sphere is the dihedral angle between the planes determined by the great circles.

Declination Astronomical coordinate analogous to latitude

In astronomy, declination is one of the two angles that locate a point on the celestial sphere in the equatorial coordinate system, the other being hour angle. Declination's angle is measured north or south of the celestial equator, along the hour circle passing through the point in question.

Equinox Astronomical event where the Sun is directly above the Earths equator

An equinox is commonly regarded as the instant of time when the plane of Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. This occurs twice each year: around 20 March and 23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the Equator.

Lunar phase appearance of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon as seen by an observer

The lunar phase or phase of the Moon is the shape of the directly sunlit portion of the Moon as viewed from Earth. The lunar phases gradually and cyclically change over the period of a synodic month, as the orbital positions of the Moon around Earth and of Earth around the Sun shift.

Horoscope astrological chart or diagram

A horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, astrological aspects and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person's birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words hõra and scopos meaning "time" and "observer". Other commonly used names for the horoscope in English include natal chart, astrological chart, astro-chart, celestial map, sky-map, star-chart, cosmogram, vitasphere, radical chart, radix, chart wheel or simply chart. It is used as a method of divination regarding events relating to the point in time it represents, and it forms the basis of the horoscopic traditions of astrology.

Zenith

The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction in which gravity pulls, is toward the nadir. The zenith is the "highest" point on the celestial sphere.

Sundial Device that tells the time of day by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky

A sundial is a device that tells the time of day when there is sunlight by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky. In the narrowest sense of the word, it consists of a flat plate and a gnomon, which casts a shadow onto the dial. As the Sun appears to move across the sky, the shadow aligns with different hour-lines, which are marked on the dial to indicate the time of day. The style is the time-telling edge of the gnomon, though a single point or nodus may be used. The gnomon casts a broad shadow; the shadow of the style shows the time. The gnomon may be a rod, wire, or elaborately decorated metal casting. The style must be parallel to the axis of the Earth's rotation for the sundial to be accurate throughout the year. The style's angle from horizontal is equal to the sundial's geographical latitude.

Celestial navigation navigation using astronomical objects to determine position

Celestial navigation, also known as astronavigation, is the ancient and modern practice of [position fixing] that enables a navigator to transition through a space without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position. Celestial navigation uses "sights", or angular measurements taken between a celestial body and the visible horizon. The Sun is most commonly used, but navigators can also use the Moon, a planet, Polaris, or one of 57 other navigational stars whose coordinates are tabulated in the nautical almanac and air almanacs.

Cardinal direction Directions of north, east, south, and west

The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are perpendicular to north and south, with east being in the clockwise direction of rotation from north and west being directly opposite east. Points between the cardinal directions form the points of the compass.

Midnight sun Natural phenomenon when daylight lasts for more than 24 hours, occurring only inside or close to the polar circles

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the Sun remains visible at the local midnight. It only occurs when the latitude is greater than 65°44’ North or South.

Twilight illumination of the Earths lower atmosphere when the Sun itself is not directly visible because it is below the horizon


Twilight on Earth is the illumination of the lower atmosphere when the Sun itself is not directly visible because it is below the horizon. Twilight is produced by sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere, illuminating the lower atmosphere so that Earth's surface is neither completely lit nor completely dark. The word twilight is also used to denote the periods of time when this illumination occurs.

Striking clock

A striking clock is a clock that sounds the hours audibly on a bell or gong. In 12-hour striking, used most commonly in striking clocks today, the clock strikes once at 1:00 A.M., twice at 2:00 A.M., continuing in this way up to twelve times at 12:00 P.M., then starts again, striking once at 1:00 P.M., twice at 2:00 P.M., up to twelve times at 12:00 A.M.

Basic fighter maneuvers

Basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) are tactical movements performed by fighter aircraft during air combat maneuvering, to gain a positional advantage over the opponent. BFM combines the fundamentals of aerodynamic flight and the geometry of pursuit, with the physics of managing the aircraft's energy-to-weight ratio, called its specific energy. Maneuvers are used to gain a better angular position in relation to the opponent. They can be offensive, to help an attacker get behind an enemy or defensive, to help the defender evade an attacker's air-to-air weapons. They can also be neutral, where both opponents strive for an offensive position or disengagement maneuvers, to help an escape. Awareness is often taught as the best tactical defense, removing the possibility of an attacker getting or remaining behind the pilot; even with speed a fighter is open to attack from the rear.

Solar tracker Device that orients a payload towards the sun.

A solar tracker is a device that orients a payload toward the Sun. Payloads are usually solar panels, parabolic troughs, fresnel reflectors, lenses or the mirrors of a heliostat.

Minkowski diagram

The Minkowski diagram, also known as a spacetime diagram, was developed in 1908 by Hermann Minkowski and provides an illustration of the properties of space and time in the special theory of relativity. It allows a qualitative understanding of the corresponding phenomena like time dilation and length contraction without mathematical equations.

Sun path

Sun path, sometimes also called day arc, refers to the daily and seasonal arc-like path that the Sun appears to follow across the sky as the Earth rotates and orbits the Sun. The Sun's path affects the length of daytime experienced and amount of daylight received along a certain latitude during a given season.

Multiview projection

In technical drawing and computer graphics, a multiview projection is a technique of illustration by which a standardized series of orthographic two-dimensional pictures is constructed to represent the form of a three-dimensional object. Up to six pictures of an object are produced, with each projection plane parallel to one of the coordinate axes of the object. The views are positioned relative to each other according to either of two schemes: first-angle or third-angle projection. In each, the appearances of views may be thought of as being projected onto planes that form a six-sided box around the object. Although six different sides can be drawn, usually three views of a drawing give enough information to make a three-dimensional object. These views are known as front view, top view and end view. Other names for these views include plan, elevation and section.

Rayleigh sky model

The Rayleigh sky model describes the observed polarization pattern of the daytime sky. Within the atmosphere Rayleigh scattering of light from air molecules, water, dust, and aerosols causes the sky's light to have a defined polarization pattern. The same elastic scattering processes cause the sky to be blue. The polarization is characterized at each wavelength by its degree of polarization, and orientation.

12 o'clock usually refers the time as shown on a 12-hour clock, either noon - 12 o'clock at daytime - or midnight - 12 o'clock at nighttime.

Many animals are able to navigate using the Sun as a compass. Orientation cues from the position of the Sun in the sky are combined with an indication of time from the animal's internal clock.

References

  1. Mariner, Liz (2007), Cleared for Takeoff: English for Pilots, Book 1, AE Link Publications, pp. 89–90, ISBN   978-0-9795068-0-2