Celestial Motions

Celestial Motions - Celestial Motions Chapter 2 Fig 2.1 The...

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Chapter 2 Celestial Motions
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Fig. 2.1
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The Celestial Sphere The Celestial Sphere To understand the idea of the celestial sphere first think of the earth in space. The stars all around us look as if they could be on the inside of a huge distant sphere. Even though the stars are really at different distances this idea of the celestial sphere is very useful for getting positions on the sky. Now imagine you are close to the north pole . Here it is like being on a rowing boat, because the earth is spinning on its axis once a day. Every day, each star circles all around you and around the point overhead, which is the celestial north pole. There is of course a celestial south pole as well and the celestial equator circles the sky half way between the poles. Positions on the celestial sphere are specified by two coordinates. Declination , like latitude on earth is measured in degrees north or south of the celestial equator. Positive declinations are north of the celestial equator, negative declinations are south of the equator.
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