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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 4:39 pm 
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I have an astronomy project that a reader has a question about how to read a particular number. Here is the passage.


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Inquiries of this kind were, for some years, successfully pursued at the observatory of Dunsink, near Dublin. Annual perspective displacements were by Dr. Brünnow detected in several stars, and in others remeasured with a care which inspired just confidence. His parallax for α Lyræ (0·13′) was authentic, though slightly too large (Elkin's final results gave π = 0·082′); and the received value for the parallax of the swiftly travelling star "Groombridge 1,830′ scarcely differs from that arrived at by him in 1871 (π = 0·09′).



I have added the bold to the numbers. How would someone read those numbers? The thought is 0.082 minutes, but the 'dot' is not a decimal, so is that a ratio number? Thank you!


ETA: Of course, I put this in the wrong sub forum! Duh! :shock:

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 4:44 pm 
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I think jo mentioned that in one of my projects: the dot IS the decimal dot, just moved up a little.

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 4:45 pm 
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OK, good, that problem is solved. What about the ' at the end of the number? Is that minutes, or degrees, or something else entirely?

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 4:47 pm 
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' means minutes and

" means seconds.

Degree would be °

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 4:49 pm 
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Perfect! Thanks Ava!

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 9:20 pm 

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It's funny about the dot: when I was at school, fifty years or so ago, when writing numbers by hand, the decimal point was always placed half way up, like that. It only dropped down to the bottom for typing (as typewriters couldn't easily handle the elevated dot). When computers became more widespread, that convention took over. I can just remember the transition point.

Peter

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Post Posted:: September 3rd, 2017, 9:23 pm 
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Must be an English language thing.

In German, the decimal point is not a point but a comma.
We use points to designate thousands, and even there it's mostly in currency amounts: 1.000,01 EUR for example.

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Post Posted:: September 5th, 2017, 4:05 pm 

Joined: December 17th, 2014, 10:57 pm
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Peter Why wrote:
It's funny about the dot: when I was at school, fifty years or so ago, when writing numbers by hand, the decimal point was always placed half way up, like that. It only dropped down to the bottom for typing (as typewriters couldn't easily handle the elevated dot). When computers became more widespread, that convention took over. I can just remember the transition point.

Peter


that is fascinating! typewriters have had all these effects on the way things are now. as will all the shiny new technologies of today on the future, I'm sure.

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