Archive for October 12, 2021

10/12/2021 – Ephemeris – It’s Ada Lovelace Day!

October 12, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Ada Lovelace Day, Tuesday, October 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 7:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:56. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 11:50 this evening.

Saturn has stopped its retrograde or westward motion against the stars of Capricornus and today has resumed its normal eastern motion.

Ada Lovelace, or more properly Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, was the daughter of Lord Byron and worked for Charles Babbage, and is considered the first computer programmer. She devised a way to use the same punch cards that were used on the Jacquard loom to store and run her programs, even though Babbage was unable to complete his mechanical computer the Analytic Engine in the mid 1800s. This day is set aside to celebrate the accomplishments of all the women of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, (STEM). The computer language Ada, named after her, was created for the US Department of Defense.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT-4 hours). They may be different for your location.


Ada Lovelace

Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852) considered the first computer programmer, even though the machine she wrote code for was never completed. Credit: Science & Society Picture Library.

Part of the Analytical Engine

Part of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine on display, in 1843, left of center in this engraving of the King George III Museum in King’s College, London. Unknown engraver.