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by: Alexa Marie

AST2002 STUDY GUIDE Ast 2002

Alexa Marie
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

This study guide covers everything that has been talked about in class, as well as the crossword we did in class and the notes to be remembered.
Descriptive Astronomy
Dr. Kevin McKay
Study Guide
astronomy, stars, Circumpolar, planets, constellations
50 ?




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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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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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