HM Nautical Almanac Office

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Nautical Almanac Office
Office overview
Formed1832–current
Jurisdiction Government of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersAdmiralty Building
Whitehall
London
Parent Office United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO), now part of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, was established in 1832 on the site of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG), where The Nautical Almanac had been published since 1767. HMNAO produces astronomical data for a wide range of users, such as astronomers, mariners, aviators, surveyors, the military, Police, lawyers, religious groups, architects, schools, diary and calendar manufacturers, photographers and film crews.

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is the UK's agency for providing hydrographic and marine geospatial data to mariners and maritime organisations across the world. The UKHO is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and is located in Taunton, Somerset with a workforce of approximately 900 staff.

The Nautical Almanac has been the familiar name for a series of official British almanacs published under various titles since the first issue of The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris, for 1767: this was the first nautical almanac to contain data dedicated to the convenient determination of longitude at sea. It was originally published from the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England. A detailed account of how the publication was produced in its earliest years has been published by the National Maritime Museum.

Contents

In 1937, it became part of ROG and moved with it, when it moved away from Greenwich (and was renamed the Royal Greenwich Observatory) first to Herstmonceux Castle, near Hailsham in East Sussex in 1948, then to Cambridge in 1990. When the RGO closed in 1998 HMNAO was transferred to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, near Abingdon in Oxfordshire. In December 2006, HMNAO was transferred to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, which is based in Taunton in Somerset.

Herstmonceux Castle castle near Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England; formerly a manor

Herstmonceux Castle is a brick-built castle, dating from the 15th century, near Herstmonceux, East Sussex, England. It is one of the oldest significant brick buildings still standing in England. The castle was renowned for being one of the first buildings to use that material in England, and was built using bricks taken from the local clay, by builders from Flanders. It dates from 1441. Construction began under the then-owner, Sir Roger Fiennes and then, from his death in 1449, by his son, Lord Dacre.

Hailsham town

Hailsham is a civil parish and the largest of the five towns in the Wealden district of East Sussex, England. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book, where it is called Hamelesham. The town of Hailsham has a history of industry and agriculture.

East Sussex County of England

East Sussex is a county in South East England. It is bordered by the counties of Kent to the north and east, Surrey to the north west and West Sussex to the west, and to the south by the English Channel.

Leaders of HMNAO

Superintendents of the Nautical Almanac

Thomas Young (scientist) English polymath

Thomas Young FRS was a British polymath and physician. Young made notable scientific contributions to the fields of vision, light, solid mechanics, energy, physiology, language, musical harmony, and Egyptology. He "made a number of original and insightful innovations" in the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs before Jean-François Champollion eventually expanded on his work. He was mentioned by, among others, William Herschel, Hermann von Helmholtz, James Clerk Maxwell, and Albert Einstein. Young has been described as "The Last Man Who Knew Everything".

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Polymath person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas

A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of subject areas, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.

Heads of HM Nautical Almanac Office

Publications

United States Naval Observatory scientific agency in the United States

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States, with a primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) for the United States Navy and the United States Department of Defense. Located in Northwest Washington, D.C. at the Northwestern end of Embassy Row, it is one of the pre-1900 astronomical observatories located in an urban area; at the time of its construction, it was far from the light pollution thrown off by the (then-smaller) city center. Former USNO director Gernot M. R. Winkler initiated the "Master Clock" service that the USNO still operates, and which provides precise time to the GPS satellite constellation run by the United States Air Force. The USNO performs radio VLBI-based positions of quasars with numerous global collaborators, in order to produce Earth Orientation parameters.

Related Research Articles

Astronomer Royal position in the Royal Households of the United Kingdom

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Royal Observatory, Greenwich observatory in Greenwich, London, UK

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames. It played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known for the fact that the prime meridian passes through it, and thereby gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. The ROG has the IAU observatory code of 000, the first in the list. ROG, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and Cutty Sark are collectively designated Royal Museums Greenwich.

John Pond FRS was a renowned English astronomer who became the sixth Astronomer Royal, serving from 1811 to 1835.

Arthur Matthew Weld Downing FRAS was an Irish mathematician and astronomer. Downing's major contribution to astronomy is in the calculation of the positions and movements of astronomical bodies, as well as being a founder of the British Astronomical Association.

Newcomb's Tables of the Sun is the short title and running head of a work by the American astronomer and mathematician Simon Newcomb entitled "Tables of the Motion of the Earth on its Axis and Around the Sun" on pages 1–169 of "Tables of the Four Inner Planets" (1895), volume VI of the serial publication Astronomical Papers Prepared for the Use of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. The work contains Newcomb's mathematical development of the position of the Earth in the Solar System, which is constructed from classical celestial mechanics as well as centuries of astronomical measurements. The bulk of the work, however, is a collection of tabulated precomputed values that provide the position of the sun at any point in time.

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Philip Herbert Cowell FRS was a British astronomer.

Leslie John Comrie FRS was an astronomer and a pioneer in mechanical computation.

Nautical almanac publication describing the positions of selected celestial bodies for help in navigation

A nautical almanac is a publication describing the positions of a selection of celestial bodies for the purpose of enabling navigators to use celestial navigation to determine the position of their ship while at sea. The Almanac specifies for each whole hour of the year the position on the Earth's surface at which the sun, moon, planets and first point of Aries is directly overhead. The positions of 57 selected stars are specified relative to the first point of Aries.

The U.S. Navy's Bureau of Navigation was established in 1862 as part of the reorganization of the Navy Department. Principal responsibilities were to provide nautical charts and instruments and to oversee several activities involved navigation research, including the Naval Observatory. In 1889, the Bureau gained responsibilities for personnel management, and this eventually became its primary function. In 1942, the Bureau was renamed the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BuPers), under which name it continues today.

The Astronomical Almanac is an almanac published by the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO); it also includes data supplied by many scientists from around the world. It is considered a worldwide resource for fundamental astronomical data, often being the first publication to incorporate new International Astronomical Union resolutions. The almanac largely contains solar system ephemeris and catalogs of selected stellar and extragalactic objects. The material appears in sections, each section addressing a specific astronomical category. The book also includes references to the material, explanations, and examples. It is available one year in advance of its date.

The American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac was published for the years 1855 to 1980, containing information necessary for astronomers, surveyors, and navigators. It was based on the original British publication, The Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris, with which it merged to form The Astronomical Almanac, published from the year 1981 to the present.

Erland Myles Standish, Jr. is a mathematical astronomer and a former professor at Yale University. He worked for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has published over 300 articles, mostly in the field of solar system dynamics and celestial mechanics.

Edwin Dunkin FRS, FRAS was an Cornish astronomer and the president of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Institution of Cornwall.

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Alan Hunter CBE was an English astronomer who spent his career at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, serving as Director between 1973 and 1975.

Donald Harry Sadler (1908–1987) was an English astronomer and mathematician who developed an international reputation for his work in preparing astronomical and navigational almanacs. He worked as the Superintendent of His Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office from 1937 to 1971.