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AMPLITUDE

THE AMPLITUDE OF A BODY IS THE ANGLE AT THE OBSERVERS ZENITH OR THE ARC
OF HIS RATIONAL HORIZON
CONTAINED BETWEEN THE OBSERVERS PRIME VERTICAL AND THE VERTICAL
CIRCLE THROUGH THE BODY, AT THEOROTICAL RISING OR SETTING.
WHEN OBSERVING THE AMPLITUDE OF A BODY, ITS CENTRE SHOULD BE ON THE
RATIONAL HORIZON,
THAT IS, ITS TRUE ALTITUDE SHOULD BE EXACTLY 0 WHICH IMPLIES THAT ITS
ZENITH DISTANCE WILL BE EXACTLY 90.
AMPLITUDE IS MEASURED FROM THE OBSERVERS PRIME VERTICAL, AS SHOWN IN
THE FIGURE, AND NOT FROM THE OBSERVERS MERIDIAN.
AMPLITUDE IS THEREFORE NAMED FROM EAST TOWARDS N or S WHEN RISING AND
FROM WEST TOWARDS N or S WHEN SETTING.
AND THEN COVERTED TO 360 NOTATION.
FOR A BODY WITH NORTHERLY DECLINATION, THE AMPLITUDE WILL BE
NORTHWARD OF E or W AND
FOR A BODY WITH SOUTHERLY DECLINATION, THE AMPLITUDE WILL BE
SOUTHWARD OF E or W
WHEN THE DECLINATION OF THE SUN REMAINS UNCHANGED BETWEEN RISING AND
SETTING,
THE TRUE AMPLITUDE AT RISING SHOULD EQUAL THE TRUE AMPLITUDE AT
SETTING.

THEREFORE SUM OF THE TRUE RISING BEARING AND TRUE SETTING BEARING IS
ALWAYS EQUAL TO 360.
THE MEAN BETWEEN THE TWO BEARINGS WILL THEREFORE ALWAYS BE EQUAL TO
180.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 180 AND THE MEAN OF THE TWO COMPASS BEARINGS
WILL THEREFORE GIVE THE ERROR.

Prove :

Sin amp= sin Dec . sec lat

Using Napiers Rule, IN QUADRANTAL SPHERICAL PZX,

Sin(90-PX)=cos(90-PZ).cosZ
Sin dec = cos lat . Sin(90-Z)
Sin dec = cos lat . Sin Amp
Sin Amp = Sin dec / cos lat
Sin Amp = Sin dec . sec lat

Obtain GMT
Obtain declination of body
Calculate amp as per above.
Convert to 360 notation.

The amplitude of a rising body and also setting body will be the same for a
particular declination
for a stationary observer
at a particular latitude in the north and
also for the same value latitude in the south.
e.g. Consider a body having a declination 15 N
and an observer at lat 20 N or 20 S
Amplitude of the body will be the same in both the latitudes because,
SIN AMP = SIN DEC . SEC LAT

THEREFORE IT IS IRRESPECTIVE WHETHER THE LAT IS NORTH OR


SOUTH
For a particular declination, the amplitude will be the same, whether the lat is
N or S provided they are of the same value.

1. Required the declination of the Sun, if at theoretical rising it bore 080(T) in latitude
12N?

At theoretical sunrise,
Az = 080(T), Amplitude = E10N
Sin Amp = Sin Dec / Cos lat
Sin Dec = Sin Amp x Cos lat
= Sin 10 x Cos 12
Declination =
2. A vessel moored between two buoys found the compass bearing of the Sun at
Sunrise to be 104(C), and that at sunset, 243(C). If the variation at the place was
7W, find the deviation of the compass.
Assuming the declination of the Sun remained unchanged between rising and setting, the
true Amplitude at rising should equal the true Amplitude at setting.
Therefore the sum of the true rising bearing and true setting bearing is always equal to 360
The mean of the two will therefore always be equal to 180.
The difference between 180 and the mean of the two compass bearings will therefore give
the error.
Rising bearing
104(C)
Setting bearing
243(C)
Sum of brgs
347(C)

Mean of brgs
173.5(C)
Mean of True brgs 180.0(C)
Compass Error
6.5(E)
Variation
7.0(W)
Deviation
11.5(E)
3. To an observer in the Northern hemisphere, in May of a certain year, the Sun bore
059(T) at theoretical rising, Suns declination 20 10N. The vessel then steered
050(T), 140miles, till sunset, during which period the Suns declination altered by 5.
Calculate the bearing of the Sun at theoretical sunset.
059(T) = E31N = amp
Sin amp = Sin Dec / Cos Lat
Cos Lat = Sin amp / Sin Dec = Sin 31 / Sin 20 10
Lat
= 47 58.85 N
Dlat = Cos Co. x dist = Cos 50 x 140 = 1 30.00N
Lat at Sunset
= 49 28.85N
Dec at Sunrise
= 20 10N
Change in dec
=
5(in May, the Suns dec increases northwards)
Dec at Sunset
= 20 15N
At Sunset, Sin amp = Sin Dec / Cos lat = Sin 20 15 / Cos 49 28.85
Amp = W32 11.4N
Bearing = 302 11.4(T)
MMD Questions:
1. For a stationary vessel on a fixed heading Sun rose bearing 095(C) and set
bearing 082(T). If the variation was 10E, calculate the deviation.
2. To an observer in S-hemisphere in November of a certain year, the rising Sun bore
121(T). Suns declination was 20 10S. The vessel then steered 050(T), 150 miles
till sunset. If during that time, the Suns declination by 5, calculate the Suns
bearing at sunset ?
3. If the sun rose at 0645hrs LMT and set at 1745hrs LMT, at a place, calculate the
equation of time.