Monday, May 07, 2018

contacted by Meeus

I was contacted by Jean Meeus from Belgium regarding my April RASC Journal article!

He spotted something odd in one of the screen snapshots from the Sky Events app that I reviewed. The Daily Data screen showed the Sun and Moon times, all eight, with a seconds value of 00. It would be remarkable coincidence; he suspected the two zeroes were added just to fill the space. Mr Meeus was concerned this could mislead a user and give a false impression of accuracy. He wondered if it would be better to drop the seconds entirely.

I thanked the reader for the observation and follow-up. I concurred with all his impressions and recommendations. I noted that other screens showed seconds but the different values gave the sense that it was accurate to this level in other parts of the application. I suspected it was ultimately due to the source data. I said I would try to reach out to the software author. And I made a note to advise my readers in a future column.

I was most honoured to be contacted by the honorary RASC member and astronomical legend.

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