Astronomy

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By Nick Strobel

Astronomy Notes

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5◦ ? 7. What is the altitude of the NCP at Fairbanks, Alaska (lat. = 65◦ N)? 8. How do the positions of the equinoxes and solstices with respect to the horizon depend on the latitude? 9. What is the maximum altitude of the Sun on the vernal equinox for people on the equator? What is the Sun’s azimuth and right ascension at that time? 10. What will the Sun’s declination be on the following dates: June 21, March 21, September 22, and December 21? 11. What will the Sun’s approximate declination be on the following dates: April 10, July 20, and October 31?

How about Singapore (on the Equator)? Why? 5. On what date is the Sun above the horizon the shortest amount of time for the Southern Hemisphere? Why? Strobel: Astronomy Notes, 2007 Edition © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2007 3. 5 41 37 Coordinates Early astronomy concentrated on finding accurate positions of the stars and planets. This was due in part to the influence of astrology, but later, accurate positions came to be important for determining the physical characteristics of the stars and planets.

This time period is called the sidereal day because it is measured with respect to the stars. This is also the true rotation rate of the Earth and stays the same no matter where the Earth is in its orbit—the sidereal day = 23 hours 56 minutes on every day of the year. One month later (30 days) a given star will rise 2 hours earlier than it did before (30 days × 4 minutes/day = 120 minutes). A year later that star will rise at the same time as it did today. 9:20 on July 31 9:20 on Aug 07 9:20 on Aug 01 -12d -12d -14d -14d SERPENS CAUDA SCUTUM SERPENS CAUDA SCUTUM -16d -16d -18d -18d -20d Albaldah -20d Albaldah -22d -22d -24d Kaus Borealis -24d Kaus Borealis -26d Nunki -26d Nunki -28d Ascella gal cent Nash -30d -28d Ascella gal cent Nash -30d -32d -32d -34d Kaus Australis -34d Kaus Australis -36d -36d Shaula Shaula -38d -38d -40d -40d -42d -42d Sargas CORONA AUSTRALIS SCORPIUS Sargas -44d CORONA AUSTRALIS SCORPIUS -46d -46d -48d 19h 18h40m 18h20m 18h 17h40m West -50d -44d -48d 19h 18h40m 18h20m 18h 17h40m West A star will rise and cross your meridian 4 minutes earlier than it did the night before because of the Earth’s motion around the Sun.

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