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Week #1

by: Morgan Hatch
Morgan Hatch
Utah State University

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About this Document

Lecture #2
Elementary Astronomy
Dr. Michael Taylor
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Elementary Astronomy

Popular in Astronomy and Astrophysics

This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Hatch on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phys 1040 at Utah State University taught by Dr. Michael Taylor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Elementary Astronomy in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Utah State University.

Similar to Phys 1040 at Utah State University

Popular in Astronomy and Astrophysics


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Date Created: 10/03/16
Astronomy Lecture #2 9/1/2016 • The celestial sphere  ­ The 88 official constellations cover the whole celestial sphere  • The Milky Way  ­ A band of light that makes a complete circle around the celestial sphere  ­ What is it? ­ Our view into the plane of our galaxy  ­ The milky way lies in the Galactic Plane and makes a complete circle around the  celestial sphere  • The local sky our view of the celestial sphere  ­ Stars no matter how distant, are pictured as being on a single crystalline sphere  ­ We only View half of the celestial sphere at a time, if you are on the equator you can see all the stars throughout the year  • Horizon  ­ Boundary between Earth & Sky • Zenith ­ The point directly overhead  ­ We can measure the using angles  • Meridian  ­ Line connecting North and South points on the horizon that passes through the zenith  • Angular Size ­ Angular size = physical size x 360 degrees/ 2pi x distance  • Why do stars rise and set  ­ The stars rise and set each night due to Earth’s Rotation  ­ Earths rotates anti­clockwise from the north pole  ­ Circumpolar stars never set (by the north pole) ­ The south pole stars never rise  • Latitude ­ Position north or south of equator  • Longitude  ­ Position east or west of prime meridian  • Prime Meridian ( 0 degrees longitude)  ­ Runs through Greenwich, U.K. • Southern Cross points to Southern celestial pole  • Constellations visible at night change with the seasons  • Annual Motion of the Heavens  ­ The Earth orbits around the sun in one year 360 degrees in 365 days, on average of about 1  degree per day or 30 degrees a month  ­ Different constellations as the Earth moves around the sun, revealing ones hidden by the  suns glare  • Seasons  ­ What causes the seasons? ­ The tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis ­ Seasons depend on how axis’ tilt affects the directness of sunlight  ­ Sun’s position at 12pm in summer = higher altitude means more direct sunlight  ­ Sun’s position at 12pm in winter = lower altitude means less direct sunlight  • How do we mark the progression of the Seasons  ­ 4 points  ­ Summer = June 21st ­ Winter   =  December 21st  ­ Spring(vernal) equinox = March 21st ­ Fall(autumnal) equinox = September 21st • Summer Solstice ­ Highest path, rise and set at most extreme North of due East  • The Earth is spinning and “wobbling” (precessing) like a toy top ­ Precession happens because the Earth is not a perfect circle  • Although the axis seems fixed on human time scales it actually precesses over about 26,000  years 


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