Astronomy Vocabulary Review

Astronomy Vocabulary Review - constellations and hence...

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Astronomy Vocabulary Review Altitude- the angular distance of a heavenly body above the horizon. Azimuth- the arc of the horizon measured clockwise from the south point, in astronomy, or from the north point, in navigation, to the point where a vertical circle through a given heavenly body intersects the horizon. Right Ascension- the arc of the celestial equator measured eastward from the vernal equinox to the foot of the great circle passing through the celestial poles and a given point on the celestial sphere, expressed in degrees or hours. Declination- the angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator, measured on the great circle passing through the celestial pole and the body. Ecliptic- the great circle formed by the intersection of the plane of the earth's orbit with the celestial sphere; the apparent annual path of the sun in the heavens. Zodiac- an imaginary belt of the heavens, extending about 8° on each side of the ecliptic, within which are the apparent paths of the sun, moon, and principal planets. It contains twelve
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Unformatted text preview: constellations and hence twelve divisions called signs of the zodiac. Each division, however, because of the precession of the equinoxes, now contains the constellation west of the one from which it took its name. Meridian- the great circle of the celestial sphere that passes through its poles and the observer's zenith. Transit- the passage of a heavenly body across the meridian of a given location or through the field of a telescope. Midday- the middle of the day; noon or the time centering around noon. Local (Apparent) Solar Noon- number of hours before or past meridian (noon) Sidereal Time- meridian hours (when local time is noon) Zenith- The point on the celestial sphere that is directly above the observer (90 degrees above the celestial horizon ). (the disco ball point) North Celestial Pole- the celestial pole above the northern hemisphere; near Polaris Celestial Equator- the great circle of the celestial sphere, lying in the same plane as the earth's equator....
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course AST 101 taught by Professor Batch during the Fall '07 term at Michigan State University.

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