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1 Language Objective: This activity introduces the concept of universal time and how it relates to local time. Also introduced are different means of expressing angular and time measurements. By the completion of this unit the student should be able to: 1. Convert time between local and universal times. 2. Convert angular measurements between arc units and decimal form. Background: Time Units: hours [h], minutes [m], seconds [s] Time Unit Conversions: 1h = 60m 1m = 60s Arc Units: degrees [], arc minutes ['], arc seconds ["] One circle contains 360 Arc Unit Conversions: 1 = 60' 1' = 60" Time measures the passage of events. For us the most dominating recurrent change is the rising and setting of the Sun. It naturally follows that our time scales would be referenced to the position of the Sun. Our current system of time divides the day into 24 hours. There are 360 in a circle and 24 hours in a day, so in one hour the Earth will rotate 15 degrees. It then takes 4 minutes for the Earth to rotate one degree. Universal Time: In astronomy it is convenient to have a time that is the same everywhere on Earth. This is called Universal Time (UT) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It ranges from 0h to 24h. When it is midnight at Greenwich, in England it is 0 UT. Standard Time: For civilization to work, the time has to be the same for a fairly large geographical area centered on the same Longitude. We would not want San Francisco to be say 15min behind us in time. For this reason time zones where invented that span 15 degrees of Longitude. We are located in the Pacific Time Zone, and our time is called Pacific Standard Time (PST). We have an 8 hour time difference from Universal Time. In the Spring, when we switch over to Daylight Savings time it is a 7 hour difference from UT. This time is called Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).... View Full Document

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