AST2002 STUDY GUIDE
AST2002 STUDY GUIDE Ast 2002
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Alexa Marie on Wednesday February 10, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Ast 2002 at University of South Florida taught by Dr. Kevin McKay in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 1111 views. For similar materials see Descriptive Astronomy in Astronomy at University of South Florida.
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I was sick all last week and these notes were exactly what I needed to get caught up. Cheers!
-Dr. Dejuan Rosenbaum
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Date Created: 02/10/16
Descriptive Astronomy Study Guide Dr. McKay’s AST 2002 Class This study guide will cover the first section of “The Night Sky” and what will potentially be on the test that will be on February 11, 2016. Topics that will be covered in this guide will be: • Key terms • Observer’s hemisphere • Circumpolar constellations • First Point of Aries • Right ascension and declination • Culmination of stars • Crossword Statements Key Terms -‐Constellations: the brightest stars in the sky that form groups. Believed to represent heroes and mythological figures. They tell stories that have been passed down from generations. There are 88 different constellations and 13 of the zodiac. -‐Pole Star: Polaris lies half way between the big dipper and the constellation Cassiopeia. All the stars appear to rotate around the Pole Star and the Earth’s axis points towards Polaris. Looking towards the Pole Star you are facing North. -‐Circumpolar: situating around or inhabiting one of the earth’s poles. Above the horizon at all times in a given latitude. -‐Culminate: reach the highest point at the meridian -‐Zenith: once stars culminate they reach Zenith, which is the highest point. -‐Celestial Equator: the projection into space of the earth’s equator; an imaginary circle equidistant from the celestial poles. A circle around the sky directly above the earth’s equator. -‐Celestial Coordinates: when stars appear to be suspended in a sphere above the earth the points on this sphere can be marked out with reference to the earth. -‐Celestial Poles: directly above the earth’s poles What makes a planet a planet? 1. It must be orbiting the n 2. It must have a round sh 3. It must be clear of debris around it Observer’s Hemisphere An observer can see only half of the sky since the earth blocks the other half out. In order to understand the observer’s hemisphere you must know the positions of the pole star, zenith, celestial equator, and the north and south hemisphere. The equation to figure out the exact point of the position of stars is finding the declination of </ 90-‐latitude (position of the observer’s viewpoint). If any stars are greater than the declination it will be circumpolar and they never set. Stars that are less than the declination are not considered circumpolar and can never be seen from the observer’s view unless they changed latitudes. The following diagram will help understand how you can read the observer’s hemisphere. Note: When given a point always Key: remember to plug in the NH/SH: North/South Hemisphere declination equation: Dec </ (90-‐lat) P.S.: Pole Star (Polaris) Dec > then = circumpolar Z: Zenith C.E.: Celestial Hemisphere Dec </ then = never be seen Circumpolar Constellations Circumpolar constellations consist of Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Perseus, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Draco, Lynx, Camelopardalis. Ursa Major: Also known as the “Great Bear” and part of the “Big Dipper” Ursa Minor: the “Little Dipper” has the pole star, Polaris, connected to this constellation at the end Perseus: named after the hero of Greek mythology Cepheus: shaped like a broken house Cassiopeia: has a “W” liked shape Draco: its name is Latin for “Dragon” and is shaped as such Lynx: is named after the Lynx, a genus of cats Camelopardalis: this giraffe shaped constellation borders all the constellations listed above First Point of Aries -‐First Point of Aries: the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator heading in a northerly direction. The zero point of right ascension is arbitrary just like the zero point of longitude. It is called the first point of Aries because when discovered, the point was in the constellation of Aries at the time. -‐Vernal Equinox: another term for First Point of Aries but the equinox occurs twice a year. In spring it is March 21 and September 21, the sun crosses the point at that time of the year. -‐Declination: the angular distance of a point north or south of the celestial equator -‐Right Ascension: the distance of a point east of the First Point of Aries, measured along the celestial equator and is expressed in hours, minutes, and seconds. Crossword Statements • The Universe is 13.7 BILLION YEARS OLD • The hunter never gives up on the chase of these maidens: Pleiades • The vernal equinox: First Point of Aries • Largest companion in the local group: Andromeda • Sun’s neighborhood: Orion Spur • Discovered that the milky way is full of stars: Galileo • They make a valid point: Merak + Dubhe • Distance to the sun is measured in: Astronomical Unit • Number of constellations in the sky: Eighty-‐eight • Arbiter of all things astronomical: International Astronomer’s Union • Best place to view a star: Observer’s Meridian • 63.241 Astronomical Units= One Light year • The sun and the moon have the same angular size in the sky • The magnitude of his name is great: Hipparchus • Modern constellation circumpolar: Camelopardalis • The instrument that enabled Galileo’s discoveries: Telescope • A grouping of stars in the sky is known as: Asterism • An astronomer is never lost with this: Polaris • Where you will always find the sun, but the moon’s presence brings darkness: Ecliptic
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