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Observing the Sky The Birth of Astronomy. Pre-Historic Astronomers.

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Presentation on theme: "Observing the Sky The Birth of Astronomy. Pre-Historic Astronomers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Observing the Sky The Birth of Astronomy

2 Pre-Historic Astronomers

3 Need for Astronomy Predicting seasons enables Survival –Migration –Store food (like squirrels) –Plant crops in spring (after last frost?) –Predict seasonal flooding Knowing time of day enables Survival –Hide in cave at night (lions, tigers & bears!) What else is there to do at night without a light?

4 Astronomy tells time of year Which stars are up at night –Star patterns = Constellations Orion high in winter Cygnus high in summer Altitude of sun at noon –High in summer –Low in winter Location of sunrise/sunset –NE/NW in summer –SE/SW in winter –E/W on 1 st day of spring/fall

5 Constellations and Star Maps

6 Constellations 88 Official Constellations –Examples: Ursa Major, Taurus,... –Often drawn as “stick figures” (stick figures not official; may vary) –Official Constellations are regions of the sky (like states) Asterism –a popular name for a group of stars that is not an official constellation –Examples: The Big Dipper, The Pleiades

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9 The Celestial Sphere

10 Earth inside Celestial Sphere

11 Locations on Celestial Sphere Zenith –straight up (overhead) Nadir –straight down (beneath your feet) Horizon –lowest place you see the sky –Shape: a circle (you are at the center) –Location: halfway between Zenith and Nadir North Celestial Pole

12 Directions in the Sky Azimuth = direction (N, S, SSW, etc) you face –Measured in degrees along horizon turning eastward from N –Examples: 45 º azimuth = NE; 90º = E; 270º = W Altitude = how high in sky –Measured in degrees above horizon

13 Motion of Objects in the Sky What do you know about the motion of: –the Sun? –the Stars?

14 You observe a star rising due east. When this star reaches its highest position above the horizon, where will it be? a)high in the northern sky b)high in the eastern sky c)high in the southern sky d)high in the western sky e)directly overhead c)high in the southern sky

15 In-class exercise #1 - “Position” Pages 1-2 in workbook

16 1) How much of the celestial sphere can an Earth observer see at one time? a) less than half b) exactly half c) more than half b) exactly half

17 The Spinning Celestial Sphere Looking NorthLooking South

18 Why do the stars move? The Earth Rotates (from W to E) –appears to us as if the sky (the Celestial Sphere) rotates (from E to W) Path of Stars –Stars “attached” to celestial sphere –Path is a circle (like latitude circle) –Called diurnal circle (diurnal = daily)

19 Earth inside Celestial Sphere

20 Locations on Celestial Sphere Projection of Earth’s rotation axis –North Celestial Pole / South Celestial Pole Projection of Earth’s Equator –Celestial Equator –Shape: circle –Location: halfway between the Celestial Poles

21 Rise / Set / Transit Rise - move above horizon (appear) Set - move below horizon (disappear) Objects rise “in east” and set “in west” Transit - moving past highest point in path ESW

22 Circumpolar Some stars never rise or set –These stars are circumpolar

23 Rotation at Different Latitudes Altitude of Pole = Latitude of Observer Circumpolar zone depends on latitude

24 Imagine you are standing at the North Pole. Of the stars that you can see, roughly how many of these stars are circumpolar? a)None b)less than half c)more than half d)all

25 Imagine you are standing on the Equator. Of the stars that you can see, roughly how many of these stars are circumpolar? a)None b)less than half c)more than half d)all a)None

26 In-class exercise #2 - “Motion” Pages 3-6 in workbook

27 1. You are looking toward the north and see the Big Dipper to the right of Polaris. Fifteen minutes later, the Big Dipper will appear to have moved in roughly what direction? a) east (to your right) b) west (to your left) c) up (away from the horizon) d) down (closer to the horizon) ?

28 2. At what time will star B appear highest in the sky? a) early in the morning b) around noon c) in the afternoon d) in the evening e) around midnight Midnight 6am Noon

29 3. When star A is just above the eastern horizon, in what direction is star A moving? a) up and to the north b) west c) up and to the south d) south

30 4) You are observing the sky from your southern hemisphere location in Australia. You see a star rising directly to the east. When this star reaches its highest position above the horizon, where will it be? a) high in the northern sky b) high in the eastern sky c) high in the southern sky d) high in the western sky e) directly overhead a) high in the northern sky

31 Motion of the Sun Diurnal (daily) motion like stars –Sunrise “in east” –Transits “high” in south = Noon –Sunset “in west” –Altitude at noon depends on time of year

32 Time of Day Meridian: –circle halfway between east and west –Stars, etc. are highest when they Transit the meridian Time of day = solar position w.r.t transit (Noon) –am = ante meridian –pm = post meridian 11 am 10 am 2 pm 1 pm Meridian S (6am)E (6pm) W

33 Motion of the Sun Annual (yearly) motion –Earth orbits Sun once per year –Sun seen in front of different constellations throughout year

34 Annual Motion of Sun

35 Motion of the Sun Annual (yearly) motion –From day to day, Sun “slips” a little bit on Celestial Sphere –Appears to shift all the way around the Celestial Sphere once per year –Appears to move “from W to E” relative to the background of stars –So from day to day, any given star rises earlier

36 SOHO Observes Solar Motion E W

37 Annual Path of Sun Ecliptic –path of sun around celestial sphere –shape: circle Zodiac –Set of 12 Constellations containing Ecliptic –Sun in each constellation for about one month (solar) signs of the zodiac

38 For today, you should have done: Homework: “Seasonal Stars” Exercise in workbook (p. 7-10) Let’s go over the workbook exercise…

39 One evening at midnight, you observe Leo high in the southern sky at midnight. Virgo is to the east of Leo and Cancer is to the west. One month earlier, which of these constellations was high in the southern sky in at midnight? a) Leo b) Virgo c) Cancer

40 You go out tonight and see the brightest star in the constellation Orion just rising above your eastern horizon at 10 PM. One week later at 10 PM this same star will be a) slightly higher in the sky. b) at the same height as before. c) below your horizon. d) setting on your western horizon.

41 One night, you see the star Sirius rise at exactly 7:36pm. The following night it will rise a) slightly earlier. b) at the same time. c) slightly later.

42 The Day 1 day = time for object to return to same point on sky (e.g. transit to transit) Solar (Sun) day –Time from noon until next noon Sidereal (star) day –Time for a star to return to same point. Solar day is ~4 min longer than Sidereal day

43 In-class exercise“Solar vs. Sidereal Day” Pages in workbook

44 What component of Earth’s motion causes the stars to rise earlier on successive nights? a) its rotation about its axis b) its orbit around the Sun c) the tilt of its rotation axis

45 Which takes longer to complete? a) one solar day b) one sidereal day c) Both take the same amount of time. Solar Day = 24 hoursSidereal Day = 23 hrs 56 min

46 Ecliptic on Celestial Sphere Earth’s axis tilted 23º with respect to orbit

47 Locations on Ecliptic Solstice: sun stops (moving N or S) –Summer Solstice Jun 21=1 st day of summer Sun farthest N (from celestial equator) Longest day of year –Winter Solstice Dec 21=1 st day of winter Sun farthest S (from celestial equator) Shortest day of year

48 Locations on Ecliptic Equinox: equal night and day –Vernal Equinox ~March 21 = 1st day of spring Sun on equator (crossing from S to N) –Autumnal Equinox ~Sept 21 = 1st day of fall (autumn) Sun on equator (crossing from N to S) –Equinoxes are intersection points of Ecliptic and Celestial Equator

49 Diurnal Path of Sun Revisited Summer: Sun above Celestial Equator –Sun high in south at noon –Days are long Winter: Sun below Celestial Equator –Sun low in south at noon –Days are short Zenith N S E W

50 For today, you should have done: Homework: “Path of the Sun” Exercise in workbook (p ) Let’s go over the workbook exercise…


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