Lab 1 - Coordinates and Time Laboratory 1 Objective: In...

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Coordinates and Time Laboratory 1 Objective: In this laboratory the student will start becoming familiar with coordinates commonly used in astronomy. Students will learn what units are associated with each coordinate system and some basic vocabulary words. In addition a quick introduction to 24-hour time will be given. Background: Coordinates Whether viewing the night sky with the naked eye or with the most powerful telescope on Earth, all of the stars observed are within an imaginary sphere, called the celestial sphere , centered on the Earth. The celestial sphere is divided into two hemispheres by the celestial equator . Since the celestial sphere is centered on the Earth, the celestial equator is simply a projection of the Earth’s equator onto the celestial sphere. The celestial equator is a great circle , just as the Earth’s equator is, because its center is located exactly at the center of the celestial sphere. To get a more visual idea, imagine an orange. The orange represents the celestial sphere. Slice the orange in half making sure to slice directly through the center of the orange. Set one half down, take the other half and look at it where it has been sliced; that is a great circle. When determining the location of a celestial object the coordinates of that object are very important. There are several different coordinate systems used in astronomy. The three most important are introduced in this class. The Terrestrial System The terrestrial coordinate system is based on latitude and longitude, which is commonly used for navigation here on Earth. (Figure 1) Latitude: Lines of latitude are measured ° N or ° S (degrees North or degrees South). Lines of latitude run east and west. The Earth’s equator is 0° latitude. The North Pole is 90° N latitude and the South Pole is 90° S Latitude.
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Lab 1 - Coordinates and Time Laboratory 1 Objective: In...

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