a135-HW2

a135-HW2 - Astronomy 135: Archaeoastronomy Problem Set 2...

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Astronomy 135: Archaeoastronomy Problem Set 2 Due at the beginning of class, Thursday, Jan. 31 Reading assignment: Krupp, Ch. 7, “The Days We Tally”, pp. 157-175 Aveni, Ch. 2, “The Naked Sky,” pp. 11-56 For an online reference on sundials, I recommend www.mysundial.ca 1. a) The Right Ascension circle on the Local Meridian at any given time is known to astronomers as “Local Sidereal Time,” or local star time. Given this information, should the Right Ascension coordinates increase to the east on the Celestial Sphere or towards the west? Explain your answer. b) Moving through 24 hours of Right Ascension carries you all the way around the Celestial Sphere, since 24h = 360°. What is the angular separation in the sky (in degrees) between Star A at RA = 8h 0m 0s, Dec = 0° 0’ and Star B at RA = 11h 20m 0s, Dec = 0° 0’ ? c) Astronomers typically want to observe a celestial object when it is as high in the sky as possible, in part to minimize the distortion effects of the atmosphere that are especially strong near the horizon. Hence, the best time to observe a star is when the angle between the star and the horizon is as great as possible, or in other words, when the altitude of the star is as large as possible. If Star A is to be observed from New Haven, what is the altitude and azimuth of the star when it is at its highest altitude? d) If Star A transits at 12:30 am EST, at what time does Star B reach
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a135-HW2 - Astronomy 135: Archaeoastronomy Problem Set 2...

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