lecture02spring2009 - Astronomy100Dr.Rhodes Lecture Chapter...

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Astronomy 100 - Dr. Rhodes Lecture # 2 1/14/2009
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Chapter 1: The Quest Ahead The Celestial Sphere The stars appear to be fixed on inside of an immense hollow bowl centered on observer. The Celestial Sphere is a huge imaginary sphere which holds all the celestial objects. The Celestial Sphere appears to pivot about two points in the sky which are called the Celestial Poles. Celestial Poles are on extensions of Earth’s spin axis at great distances from the Earth.
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Chapter 1: The Quest Ahead The Celestial Sphere A straight line intersects a sphere in two points located 180 degrees apart on opposite sides of the sphere. A flat plane intersects a sphere in a circle. A great circle is one whose plane passes through the center of the sphere. A small circle is one whose plane does not pass through the center of the sphere.
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Chapter 1: The Quest Ahead The Celestial Poles The celestial poles are the points on the celestial sphere directly above the two geographic poles of the Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere one can see the North Celestial Pole directly above the North Pole. In the Southern Hemisphere the South Celestial Pole sits above the South Pole.
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Chapter 1: The Quest Ahead Motion of The Celestial Sphere The extension of earth’s equatorial plane intersects the celestial sphere in a great circle called the Celestial Equator . The rotation of earth toward the east makes the heavens appear to be moving toward the west during each day. (This is the so-called diurnal motion ).
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Chapter 1: The Quest Ahead The Celestial Sphere Constellations A constellation (from the Latin, meaning “stars together”) is an area of the sky containing a pattern of stars named for a particular object, animal, or person.
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