lec2 su06 obsastro

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Published on November 13, 2007

Author: Nellwyn

Source: authorstream.com

Questions of the Day:  Questions of the Day What is the celestial sphere? How are constellations useful? Define the following: meridian, equator, ecliptic, cardinal points, zenith, celestial poles What are right ascension and declination? Looking up:  Looking up Astronomy/Astrology began as the same thing People looking at sky, telling stories Today we know more, but some concepts still useful Latitude and Longitude:  Latitude and Longitude Latitude and longitude are just ways of pinpointing where we are on the surface of the earth Longitude Latitude Equator We specify our location with numbers, relative to some “special” locations:  We specify our location with numbers, relative to some “special” locations Prime Meridian Equator The Celestial Sphere:  The Celestial Sphere Space is 3D, but looks flat from Earth Imagine a sphere surrounding Earth, with a map of the sky on it We can use this imaginary surface to find things! The Celestial Sphere:  The Celestial Sphere For every feature of Earth’s coordinate system, there is an equivalent feature on the celestial sphere Celestial Equator North Celestial Pole South Celestial Pole The Celestial Sphere also has latitude and longitude…:  The Celestial Sphere also has latitude and longitude… Declination (Latitude) Right Ascension (Longitude) Celestial Equator Using the Celestial Sphere here on Earth:  Using the Celestial Sphere here on Earth N W S E Azimuth Altitude 88 Constellations:  88 Constellations Constellations are to the sky like states are to the country Star “Alpha” in constellation Leo Seattle, WA The Ecliptic:  The Ecliptic The line the Sun travels along through the sky in the course of the year The earth moves around the sun during the year… …so the sun appears to be in different locations in the sky over the year The Ecliptic is really the plane of the Solar System slicing through the Earth…:  The Ecliptic is really the plane of the Solar System slicing through the Earth… Sun Earth The constellations that fall along the ecliptic are called the zodiac!:  The constellations that fall along the ecliptic are called the zodiac! The Ecliptic and Seasons:  The Ecliptic and Seasons Ecliptic is half above equator, half below Sun is on the part of the ecliptic above the equator in summer, below in winter Equinoxes :  Equinoxes Two times during the year, the ecliptic intersects the equator-- neither above nor below Day/night equal length Transition between long summer days and short winter ones! Solstices:  Solstices Solstices occur when Sun is at either highest or lowest points These correspond to the longest and shortest day of the year! The Seasons:  The Seasons The Celestial Sphere in practice: Daily Motion:  The Celestial Sphere in practice: Daily Motion Earth rotates on its axis-- we see different parts of the sky over the course of 24 hours Because of direction of rotation, things rise in the east and set in the west. Summer Winter Spring/Fall Path of the Sun during: The Celestial Sphere in practice: Daily Motion:  The Celestial Sphere in practice: Daily Motion Height (angle) of pole above horizon = your latitude on Earth! Meridian North Celestial Pole Stars rise in the East, cross the Meridian, and set in the West Here in northern hemisphere, sky seems to rotate around North Celestial Pole.:  Here in northern hemisphere, sky seems to rotate around North Celestial Pole. Stars that never dip below horizon are “circumpolar” Pole star a coincidence! No star at southern celestial pole Precession:  Precession Earth’s axis wobbles like a top as it spins, making a circle in the sky Pole happens to point to Polaris now, but in ~13,000 years, Vega will be the north star. Other stuff in the sky: Planets:  Other stuff in the sky: Planets Planets also fall along the ecliptic… can you explain why? Planets appear at different points along the ecliptic depending on: where they are in their orbit where we are in our orbit Retrograde motion:  Retrograde motion If we pass them, they appear to move backward-- just as a car you pass on the highway looks like it’s moving backwards. The Moon!:  The Moon! Easily observable (even in Seattle) Changes often: phases, eclipses Interesting surface features (“Man in the Moon”) And hey, we’ve even been there.:  And hey, we’ve even been there. Today’s Activity: Moon Phases:  Today’s Activity: Moon Phases Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not: Understand: What causes the phases of the moon What causes eclipses When certain moon phases are visible

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