Getting your bearings....
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Finding your way around the sky.....

The material on the following web site is as good as any I've seen for explaining coordinate systems used in astronomy.

A. Go to the following web site. Open the link separate from this page so that you can toggle back and forth from questions to answers without having to click "back".


http://www.synapses.co.uk/astro/astro.html


B. Answer the following questions using information found on the web site.

1. How close is Polaris to true north?
2. How can our latitude be determined by using Polaris?
3. The "Big Dipper" Is part of what constellation?
4. Draw the dipper, and label the 2 stars which point at
Polaris.
5. Name the star nearest the sun.
6. The "Little Dipper" is part of what constellation?
7. What is the term astronomers use for sky longitude?
8. Chaph is part of what constellation?
9. Whether or not a star is circumpolar depends upon what?
10. How can you determine which stars are circumpolar for
your latitude?

Now click on "The Earth's Motion" at the page bottom.

11. A. Define "Zenith". B. Define Nadir
12. Where would you be if the stars revolved around your Zenith?
13. Why is your meridian important in observational astronomy?
14. A. Define altitude. B. Define Azimuth
15. Why does a stars altitude and azimuth change?
16. What is apparent motion?
17. When would the altitude and azimuth of 2 different observers in different cities be the same?
18. What is UT?
19. What is meant by "Zulu time"?
20. What direction does the sun rotate if you were watching Earth from Polaris?
21. In what direction does Earth orbit the sun?
22. Why can't we see all the stars in every direction all year long?
23. Who wrote the first book on astronomy?
24. What is meant by geocentric?
25. Sketch the Ptolemaic universe.
26. Why does everything appear to rise in the east and set in the west?

Click on "Next Lesson" or "Optics".
27. Who made the first telescope?
28. List at least 3 of Galileo's discoveries.
29. What is refraction?
30. Describe a refractor telescope.
31. What does the letter "c" stand for in astronomy?
32. What is the formula for calculating the absolute index of refraction?
33. What is meant by the term "medium" when talking about refraction?
34. What make the image seen through a telescope larger?
35. Explain the difference between single convex and double convex.

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Lowell Bailey

Bedford-North Lawrence High School
595 N. Stars Boulevard
Bedford
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