Abstract

The first recordings of the Novaya Zemlya (NZ) effect were made during Willem Barents’ third Arctic expedition. Ray-tracing analyses of the three key observations, on 24–27 January 1597, show that all the reported details can be explained by adopting one common and realistic type of temperature inversion. In particular, the Moon-Jupiter conjunction could have been visible over the central mountain ridge of the island. We show that the NZ effect distorts the relative positions of Jupiter and the Moon in such a way that the looked-for fingerprint of the conjunction occurred almost 2 h after the true conjunction. The quoted direction for the apparent Moon-Jupiter conjunction is then found to be accurate to within 1°. This delay of the apparent conjunction largely explains the error of 29° in their longitude determination. The truthfulness of these observations, debated for four centuries, now appears to be beyond doubt.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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  2. G. De Veer, The True and Perfect Description of Three Voyages, so Strange and Woonderfull That the Like Hath Neuer Been Heard of before, translation of Ref. 1 by William Phillip, ed. (Pauier, London, 1609).
  3. S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.
  4. S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.
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    [CrossRef]
  7. I. Scala, Ephemeridae (Venice, 1589). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Amsterdam.
  8. F. Nansen, Fram over polhavet: den Norske polarfaerd 1893–1896; med en tillaeg af Otto Sverdrup, H. Aschehoug, ed. (Kristiania, Oslo, 1897).
  9. E. Shackleton, South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914–1917 (MacMillan, New York, 1920).
  10. G. H. Liljequist, Refraction Phenomena in the Polar Atmosphere, scientific results, Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic expedition, 1949–1952 (Oslo University, Oslo, 1964), Vol. 2, Part 2.
  11. J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, C. Marne, H. J. Auber, eds. (Frankfurt, 1604).
  12. J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, reedited in Gesammelte Werke band II, W. von Dyck, M. Caspar, eds. (C. H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich, 1939).
  13. Optics, Paralipomena to Witelo and Optical Part of Astronomy, W. H. Donahue, trans. (Green Lion Press, Santa Fe, N.Mex., 2000).
  14. M. Baills, “Sur les phénomènes astronomiques observés en 1597 par les Hollandais à Nouvelle-Zemble,” C. R. Acad. Sci. LXXXI(23) (1875).
  15. S. W. Visser, “The Novaya Zemlya phenomenon,” in Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Proceedings, Series BLIX (1956), pp. 375–385.
  16. W. H. Lehn, “The Novaya Zemlya effect: an arctic mirage,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 776–781 (1979).
    [CrossRef]
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  18. P. De Medina, Arte de Navigar (Valladolid, 1545).
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  20. W. Barents, Nieuwe Beschryvinghe ende Caertboeck van de Midtlandtsche Zee, C. Claesz, ed. (Amsterdam, 1595). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Groningen.
  21. S. Y. van der Werf, “Astronomical observations during Willem Barents’ third voyage to the North (1596–97),” Arctic 51, 142–154 (1998).
  22. S. Y. van der Werf, “Ray tracing and refraction in the modified US1976 atmosphere,” Appl. Opt. 42, 354–366 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. W. H. Lehn, B. A. German, “Novaya Zemlya effect: analysis of an observation,” Appl. Opt. 20, 2043–2047 (1981).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights and Evening Skies (Cambridge University, Cambridge, New York, 1983).
  25. C. A. Marriott, Computer program SkyMap, PC version under Windows. Obtainable from the author: 9 Severn Road, Culcheth, Cheshire WA3 5ED, UK. Unregistered versions may be found on the Internet.
  26. S. M. Schimpf, Computer program CyberSky, PC version under Windows. Obtainable from the author: 2444 West 230th Street, Torrance, Calif. 90501-5242. Unregistered versions may be found on the Internet.
  27. J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

2003

1998

S. Y. van der Werf, “Astronomical observations during Willem Barents’ third voyage to the North (1596–97),” Arctic 51, 142–154 (1998).

1981

1979

1875

M. Baills, “Sur les phénomènes astronomiques observés en 1597 par les Hollandais à Nouvelle-Zemble,” C. R. Acad. Sci. LXXXI(23) (1875).

Baills, M.

M. Baills, “Sur les phénomènes astronomiques observés en 1597 par les Hollandais à Nouvelle-Zemble,” C. R. Acad. Sci. LXXXI(23) (1875).

Barents, W.

W. Barents, Nieuwe Beschryvinghe ende Caertboeck van de Midtlandtsche Zee, C. Claesz, ed. (Amsterdam, 1595). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Groningen.

Beke, Ch. T.

Ch. T. Beke, The Three Voyages of Willem Barents to the Arctic Regions (1594, 1595 and 1596) by Gerrit de Veer, 2nd ed. with an introduction by Koolemans Beynen. William Phillip, trans. (Hakluyt Society, London, 1876).

Beynen, Koolemans

Ch. T. Beke, The Three Voyages of Willem Barents to the Arctic Regions (1594, 1595 and 1596) by Gerrit de Veer, 2nd ed. with an introduction by Koolemans Beynen. William Phillip, trans. (Hakluyt Society, London, 1876).

Blaeu, J.

J. Blaeu, Grooten Atlas oft Wereltbeschrijving (Amsterdam, 1664).

Braat, J.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

De Medina, P.

P. De Medina, Arte de Navigar (Valladolid, 1545).

P. De Medina, De Zeevaert oft Conste van ter Zee te varen. Extended: met noch een ander nieuwe Onderwijsinghe op de principaelste puncten der Navigatien, Dutch translation of Ref. 18 by Michiel Coignet (Antwerp, 1580).

De Veer, G.

G. De Veer, Waerachtige Beschryvinge van drie seylagiën ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort, Cornelis Claesz, ed. (Amsterdam, 1598).

G. De Veer, The True and Perfect Description of Three Voyages, so Strange and Woonderfull That the Like Hath Neuer Been Heard of before, translation of Ref. 1 by William Phillip, ed. (Pauier, London, 1609).

Gawronski, J. H. G.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

German, B. A.

Kepler, J.

J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, C. Marne, H. J. Auber, eds. (Frankfurt, 1604).

J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, reedited in Gesammelte Werke band II, W. von Dyck, M. Caspar, eds. (C. H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich, 1939).

Kist, J. B.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

Können, G. P.

l’Honoré Naber, S. P.

S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.

S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.

Lehn, W. H.

Liljequist, G. H.

G. H. Liljequist, Refraction Phenomena in the Polar Atmosphere, scientific results, Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic expedition, 1949–1952 (Oslo University, Oslo, 1964), Vol. 2, Part 2.

Meinel, A.

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights and Evening Skies (Cambridge University, Cambridge, New York, 1983).

Meinel, M.

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights and Evening Skies (Cambridge University, Cambridge, New York, 1983).

Nansen, F.

F. Nansen, Fram over polhavet: den Norske polarfaerd 1893–1896; med en tillaeg af Otto Sverdrup, H. Aschehoug, ed. (Kristiania, Oslo, 1897).

Scala, I.

I. Scala, Ephemeridae (Venice, 1589). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Amsterdam.

Shackleton, E.

E. Shackleton, South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914–1917 (MacMillan, New York, 1920).

Sigmund, J. P.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

van de Put, A. E. D. M.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

van der Werf, S. Y.

Visser, S. W.

S. W. Visser, “The Novaya Zemlya phenomenon,” in Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Proceedings, Series BLIX (1956), pp. 375–385.

Appl. Opt.

Arctic

S. Y. van der Werf, “Astronomical observations during Willem Barents’ third voyage to the North (1596–97),” Arctic 51, 142–154 (1998).

C. R. Acad. Sci.

M. Baills, “Sur les phénomènes astronomiques observés en 1597 par les Hollandais à Nouvelle-Zemble,” C. R. Acad. Sci. LXXXI(23) (1875).

J. Opt. Soc. Am.

Other

J. Blaeu, Grooten Atlas oft Wereltbeschrijving (Amsterdam, 1664).

P. De Medina, Arte de Navigar (Valladolid, 1545).

P. De Medina, De Zeevaert oft Conste van ter Zee te varen. Extended: met noch een ander nieuwe Onderwijsinghe op de principaelste puncten der Navigatien, Dutch translation of Ref. 18 by Michiel Coignet (Antwerp, 1580).

W. Barents, Nieuwe Beschryvinghe ende Caertboeck van de Midtlandtsche Zee, C. Claesz, ed. (Amsterdam, 1595). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Groningen.

G. De Veer, Waerachtige Beschryvinge van drie seylagiën ter werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort, Cornelis Claesz, ed. (Amsterdam, 1598).

G. De Veer, The True and Perfect Description of Three Voyages, so Strange and Woonderfull That the Like Hath Neuer Been Heard of before, translation of Ref. 1 by William Phillip, ed. (Pauier, London, 1609).

S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.

S. P. l’Honoré Naber, Reizen van Willem Barents, Jacob van Heemskerck, Jan Cornelisz Rijp en anderen naar het Noorden (1594–1597), M. Nijhoff, ed. (Linschoten Vereniging, The Hague, 1917), Vol. XV.

Ch. T. Beke, The Three Voyages of Willem Barents to the Arctic Regions (1594, 1595 and 1596) by Gerrit de Veer, 2nd ed. with an introduction by Koolemans Beynen. William Phillip, trans. (Hakluyt Society, London, 1876).

I. Scala, Ephemeridae (Venice, 1589). Available in the collection of the University Library of the University of Amsterdam.

F. Nansen, Fram over polhavet: den Norske polarfaerd 1893–1896; med en tillaeg af Otto Sverdrup, H. Aschehoug, ed. (Kristiania, Oslo, 1897).

E. Shackleton, South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914–1917 (MacMillan, New York, 1920).

G. H. Liljequist, Refraction Phenomena in the Polar Atmosphere, scientific results, Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic expedition, 1949–1952 (Oslo University, Oslo, 1964), Vol. 2, Part 2.

J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, C. Marne, H. J. Auber, eds. (Frankfurt, 1604).

J. Kepler, Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena, quibus Astronomiae pars optica traditur, reedited in Gesammelte Werke band II, W. von Dyck, M. Caspar, eds. (C. H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich, 1939).

Optics, Paralipomena to Witelo and Optical Part of Astronomy, W. H. Donahue, trans. (Green Lion Press, Santa Fe, N.Mex., 2000).

S. W. Visser, “The Novaya Zemlya phenomenon,” in Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Proceedings, Series BLIX (1956), pp. 375–385.

A. Meinel, M. Meinel, Sunsets, Twilights and Evening Skies (Cambridge University, Cambridge, New York, 1983).

C. A. Marriott, Computer program SkyMap, PC version under Windows. Obtainable from the author: 9 Severn Road, Culcheth, Cheshire WA3 5ED, UK. Unregistered versions may be found on the Internet.

S. M. Schimpf, Computer program CyberSky, PC version under Windows. Obtainable from the author: 2444 West 230th Street, Torrance, Calif. 90501-5242. Unregistered versions may be found on the Internet.

J. Braat, J. H. G. Gawronski, J. B. Kist, A. E. D. M. van de Put, J. P. Sigmund, Behouden uit het Behouden Huijs. Catalogus van de voorwerpen van de Barentsexpeditie (1596), gevonden op Nova Zembla. De Rijksmuseumcollectie, aangevuld met Russische en Noorse vondsten (De Bataafse Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1998).

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Figures (8)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Northern part of Novaya Zemlya, indicating the location of Het Behouden Huijs, where the crew of Willem Barents survived the winter. Height contours are given in steps of 100 m. The inset shows the location of Novaya Zemlya on a larger scale. Compasses are shown in the lower right-hand corner: The inner compass indicates the true bearings. The outer compass corresponds to the magnetic common compass, referred to in the text.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Lower part of the parameterized temperature profile. h ciso denotes the height of the central isotherm; ΔT, the temperature jump.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

A, Backward ray-tracing from the observer’s position (left) for the Sun (solid curves). Isotherms are shown as dashed curves for 245, 250 (central isotherm), and 255 K. B, The transformation curve between the apparent altitude for the observer, β0, and the geometrical altitude, ALT, of the celestial source that emits the ray. The image of the Sun, as seen by the observer, is the point-to-point mapping on the β0 axis of all ALT values subtended by the solar disk. Horizontal angles are unaffected by this transformation. On 24 January, at local noon, the Sun’s center had a geometrical altitude of -5° 26′ at Het Behouden Huijs. The part of the transformation curve that matches the Sun is indicated in white.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Images of the Sun, as seen at Het Behouden Huijs, calculated from the β0 versus ALT transformation curve in Fig. 3B for different solar altitudes. The boxes are 35 × 15 arc min, their bottoms corresponding to the apparent horizon.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

NZ effect, seen at Resolute Bay (74° 44′ N, 94° 57′ W) on 15 November 2001. Observer’s height, 100 mm above sea level. Ground temperature, -27 °C; ground pressure, 1015.5 hPa. Average temperature gradient, 0.069 °C/m up to ∼200 m, leveling off to 0.0 °C/m near 300 m. (a) 18:05 UT, local noon. Sun’s true altitude, -3° 22′; true bearing, 180° 1′. Photo by Wayne Davidson. (b) 18:41 UT. Sun’s true altitude, -3° 34′; true bearing 188° 40′. From a video recording by Julie Crowther.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Ray tracings and β0 versus ALT transformation curves for Jupiter at the times of the ecliptic conjunction (A, B) and the azimuthal conjunction (C, D). The isotherms (dashed) are for 245, 250, and 255 K. The distances over which the rays are followed are chosen 225 and 185 km, respectively. Jupiter’s geometrical altitudes at Het Behouden Huijs are ALT = -2° 1.5′ (A, B), respectively, -1° 39.9′ (C, D). The transformation curves (B, D) are narrow and though Jupiter’s images were multiple; they would have appeared as single to the naked eye.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

View from Het Behouden Huijs during the early morning of 25 January 1597. Apparent positions of Jupiter and the Moon; the slight flattening of the latter and also the appearance of the mountain ridge were obtained by ray-tracing calculations for the same temperature inversion. The Moon is shown at twice its real size. The ecliptic conjunction occurred at 00:14 UT, arrow (a), but only around 02:00 UT, arrow (b), could the looked-for alignment be seen. The scales at the bottom give true bearings and magnetic bearings on the ship’s compass.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Leaden compass rose that at Het Behouden Huijs had been adjusted to read true bearings. It is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Equations (6)

Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.

vert.diam.hor.diam.=0.79-6.13 dTdh0,
1r=1nh, xcosβnh, xh-sinβnh, xx,
dRdϕ=R tanβ,
dβdϕ=1+1rRcosβ.
nh, x=1+AP0, xTh, xexp-B 0hghg0dhTh, x.
Th, x=Tciso-0.0065h-hcisox-ΔTx+ΔTx1+exp-h-hcisox/ax.

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