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EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM THE MOST COMMONLY USED ASTRONOMICAL COORDINATE SYSTEM FOR INDICATING THE POSITIONS OF STARS OR OTHER CELESTIAL OBJECTS ON THE CELESTIAL SPHERE The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center. It represents the entire sky; all celestial objects other than the earth are imagined as being located on its inside surface. If the earth's axis is extended, the points where it intersects the celestial sphere are called the celestial poles; the north celestial pole is directly above the earth's North Pole, and the south celestial pole directly above the earth's South Pole. The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator; it can be thought of as the earth's equator projected onto the celestial sphere. It divides the celestial sphere into the northern and southern skies. Sfera cereasca este o sfer imaginar cu observatorul la centru. Ea reprezint ntregul cer; toate obiectele cereti, altele dect pmntul sunt imaginate ca fiind situate n interior pe suprafaa acesteia. Dac axa Pmntului este prelungit, punctele n care se intersecteaz sfera cereasca sunt numite poli cereti; polul Nord ceresc estedirect deasupra Polului Nord al pmntului, i Polul Sud ceresc direct deasupra Polul Sud al pmntului. Cercul mare pe sfera cereasca la jumtatea distanei dintre polii cereti este numit ecuatorul ceresc, ei poate fi gndit ca ecuatorul Pmntului proiectat pe sfera cereasca. Acesta mparte sfera cereasca n emisfera nordic i sudic.

AN EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM THE MOST COMMONLY USED ASTRONOMICAL COORDINATE SYSTEM FOR INDICATING THE POSITIONS OF STARS OR OTHER CELESTIAL OBJECTS ON THE CELESTIAL SPHERE The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center. It represents the entire sky; all celestial objects other than the earth are imagined as being located on its inside surface. If the earth's axis is extended, the points where it intersects the celestial sphere are called the celestial poles; the north celestial pole is directly above the earth's North Pole, and the south celestial pole directly above the earth's South Pole. The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator; it can be thought of as the earth's equator projected onto the celestial sphere. It divides the celestial sphere into the northern and southern skies. An important reference point on the celestial equator is the vernal equinox , the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator in March. Sfera cereasc este o sfer imaginar cu observator la centru. Ea reprezint ntregul cer; toate obiectele cereti, altele dect pmntul suntimaginate ca fiind situate pe suprafaa acestei a, n interiorul. Dac axa Pmntului este prelungit, punctele n care se intersecteaz sfera cereascasunt numite poli cereti; polul nord ceresc estedirect deasupra pmntului Polul Nord, i polul sud ceresc direct deasupra pmntului Polul Sud. Cercul mare pe sfera cereasca la jumtatea distanei ntre polii cereti este numit ecuatorul ceresc, ea poate fi gndit ca ecuatorul Pmntului proiectate pesfera cereasca. Acesta mparte sfera cereasc ncer de nord i de sud. Un important punct de referin pe ecuatorul ceresc este echinociul de primvar, la punctul n care soarele traverseaz ecuatorul ceresc n luna

martie.

To designate the position of a star, the astronomer considers an imaginary great circle passing through the celestial poles and through the star in question. This is the star's hour circle , analogous to a meridian of longitude on earth. The astronomer then measures the angle between the vernal equinox and the point where the hour circle intersects the celestial equator. This angle is called the star's right ascension and is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds rather than in the more familiar degrees, minutes, and seconds. (There are 360 degrees or 24 hours in a full circle.) The right ascension is always measured eastward from the vernal equinox. Next the observer measures along the star's hour circle the angle between the celestial equator and the position of the star. This angle is called the declination of the star and is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds north or south of the celestial equator, analogous to latitude on the earth. Right ascension and declination together determine the location of a star on the celestial sphere. The right ascensions and declinations of many stars are listed in various reference tables published for astronomers and navigators. Because a star's position may change slightly (see proper motion and precession of the equinoxes ), such tables must be revised at regular intervals. By definition, the vernal equinox is located at right ascension 0 h and declination 0.

Pentru a desemna poziia unei stele, astronomul consider un cerc imaginar mare care trece prin polii cereti i prin stele n cauz. Acesta este cercul orar al stelei, analog unei meridianul de longitudine de pe pmnt. astronom Msurile apoi unghiul dintre echinociul vernal i punctul n care intersecteaz cercul or ecuatorul ceresc. Acestun ghi este numit ascensiunea stelei dreapta i se msoar n ore, minute i secunde, mai degrab dect n grade mai familiar, minute i secunde. (Nu sunt de 360 de grade sau 24 de ore ntr-un cerc complet.) Ascensiunea dreapta este ntotdeauna msurat est de la echinociul de primvar. Lng msurile de observator de-a lungul cerculu istelei ora unghiul dintre ecuatorul ceresc i poziia de stele. Acest unghi este numit declinaia de stele i se msoar n grade, minute i secunde la nordsau la sud de ecuatorul ceresc, analog la latitudinea pe pmnt. Ascensiunea dreapt i declinaia stabili mpreun locaia de o stea pesfera cereasca. ascensiuni dreptul i declinationsde multe stele sunt enumerate n diverse tabele de referin publicat de astronomi i navigatori.Deoarece poziia unei stele se poate schimba uor (a se vedea micare corect i echinoctiilor),astfel de tabele trebuie s fie revizuite la intervale regulate. Prin definiie, echinociul de primvar se afl la dreapta ascensiunea 0 h i declinaia 0 .

Another useful reference point is the sigma point, the point where the observer's celestial meridian intersects the celestial equator. The right ascension of the sigma point is equal to the observer's local sidereal time . The angular distance from the sigma point to a star's hour circle is called its hour angle ; it is equal to the star's right ascension minus the local sidereal time. Because the vernal equinox is not always visible in the night sky (especially in the spring), whereas the sigma point is always visible, the hour angle is used in actually locating a body in the sky.

Un alt punct de referin util este punctul sigma, punctul n care meridianul observatorului cerescintersecteaz ecuatorul ceresc. ascensiune adreapta punctului de sigma este egal cu timpul observatorului sideral local. distana unghiular din punctul de sigma la cercul unei stele or se numete unghiul su or; este egal cu ascensiunea stelei dreptul de minus timp sideral local. Deoarece echinociul de primvar nu este ntotdeauna vizibil n cerul de noapte (mai ales nprimvar), n timp ce punctul de sigma estentotdeauna vizibil, unghiul de or este folosit nlocalizarea de fapt, un organism n cer.

CELESTIAL SPHERE

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright CELESTIAL SPHERE IMAGINARY SPHERE OF INFINITE RADIUS WITH THE EARTH AT ITS CENTER It is used for describing the positions and motions of stars and other objects. For these purposes, any astronomical object can be thought of as being located at the point where the line of sight from the earth through the object intersects the surface of the celestial sphere. In astronomical coordinate systems , the coordinate axes are great circles on the celestial sphere. In most systems of this type, the reference points are fixed on the sphere, so the two coordinates needed to locate a body are relatively constant. Este folosit pentru descrierea poziiilor i propuneri de stele i alte obiecte. Pentru aceste scopuri, orice obiect astronomic pot fi considerateca fiind situat la punctul n care linia de vedere de la pmnt prin intermediul obiectului intersecteazsuprafaa sferei cere sti. n sistemele de coordonate astronomice, axe de coordonate sunt cercuri mari pe sfera cereasca. n cele mai multe sisteme de acest tip, punctele de referin sunt fixate pe sfera, astfel nct cele dou coordonatenecesare pentru a localiza un organism sunt relative constante.

CELESTIAL SPHERE IMAGINARY SPHERE OF INFINITE RADIUS WITH THE EARTH AT ITS CENTER

EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM THE MOST COMMONLY USED ASTRONOMICAL COORDINATE SYSTEM FOR INDICATING THE POSITIONS OF STARS OR OTHER CELESTIAL OBJECTS ON THE CELESTIAL SPHERE The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center. It represents the entire sky; all celestial objects other than the earth are imagined as being located on its inside surface. If the earth's axis is extended, the points where it intersects the celestial sphere are called the celestial poles; the north celestial pole is directly above the earth's North Pole, and the south celestial pole directly above the earth's South Pole. The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator; it can be thought of as the earth's equator projected onto the celestial sphere. It divides the sfera cereasca este o sfer imaginar cuobservator la centru. Ea reprezint ntregul cer; toate obiectele cereti, altele dect pmntul sunt imaginate ca fiind situate pe suprafaa acesteia, n interiorul. Dac axa Pmntului este prelungit, punctele n care se intersecteaz sfera cereasca sunt numite poli cereti; polul nord ceresc este direct deasupra pmntului Polul Nord, i polul sudceresc direct deasupra pmntului Polul Sud. cercmare pe sfera cereasca la jumtatea distanei ntrepolii cereti este numit ecuatorul ceresc, ea poatefi gndit ca ecuatorul Pmntului p roiectate pesfera cereasca. Acesta mparte sfera ce

celestial sphere into the northern and southern skies.

reasca ncer de nord i de sud.

AN EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM THE MOST COMMONLY USED ASTRONOMICAL COORDINATE SYSTEM FOR INDICATING THE POSITIONS OF STARS OR OTHER CELESTIAL OBJECTS ON THE CELESTIAL SPHERE

The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center. It represents the entire sky; all celestial objects other than the earth are imagined as being located on its inside surface. If the earth's axis is extended, the points where it intersects the celestial sphere are called the celestial poles; the north celestial pole is directly above the earth's North Pole, and the south celestial pole directly above the earth's South Pole. The great circle on the celestial sphere halfway between the celestial poles is called the celestial equator; it can be thought of as the earth's equator projected onto the celestial sphere. It divides the celestial sphere into the northern and southern skies. An important reference point on the celestial equator is the vernal equinox , the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator in March.

sfera cereasca este o sfer imaginar cuobservator la centru. Ea reprezint ntregul cer; toate obiectele cereti, altele dect pmntul sunt imaginate ca fiind situate pe suprafaa acesteia, n interiorul. Dac axa Pmntului este prelungit,punct ele n care se intersecteaz sfera cereasca sunt numite poli cereti; polul nord ceresc este direct deasupra pmntului Polul Nord, i polul sudceresc direct deasupra pmntului Polul Sud. cercmare pe sfera cereasca la jumtatea distanei ntrepolii cereti este numit ecuatorul ceresc, ea poatefi gndit ca ecuatorul Pmntului p roiectate pesfera cereasca. Acesta mparte sfera ce reasca ncer de nord i de sud. Un important punct de referin pe ecuatorul ceresc este echinociul deprimvar, la punctul n care soarele traverseazecuatorul ceresc n luna martie.

To designate the position of a star, the astronomer considers an imaginary great circle passing through the celestial poles and through the star in question. This is the star's hour circle , analogous to a meridian of longitude on earth. The astronomer then measures the angle between the vernal equinox and the point where the hour circle intersects the celestial equator. This angle is called the star's right ascension and is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds rather than in the more familiar degrees, minutes, and seconds. (There are 360 degrees or 24 hours in a full circle.) The right ascension is always measured eastward from the vernal equinox. Next the observer measures along the star's hour circle the angle between the celestial equator and the position of the star. This angle is called the declination of the star and is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds north or south of the celestial equator, analogous to

Pentru a desemna poziia unei stele, astronomul consider un cerc imaginar mare care trece prinpolii cereti i prin stele n cauz. Acesta estecercul stelei or, analog unei meridianul delongitudine de pe pmnt. Astronom Msurile apoiunghiul dintre echinociul vernal i pu nctul n careintersecteaz cercul or ecuatorul ceresc. Acestunghi este numit ascensiunea stelei d reapta i se msoar n ore, minute i secunde, mai degrabdect n grade mai familiar, minute i secunde. (Nusunt de 360 de grade sau 24 de ore ntr-un cerccomplet.) inaltarea dreapta este ntotdeaunamsurat est de la echinociul de primvar.Lng msurile de observator de-a lungul cerculuistelei ora unghiul dintre ecuatorul cer esc i poziiade stele. Acest unghi este numit declinaia de stelei se msoar n grade, minute i secunde la nordsau la sud de ecuatorul ceresc, analog lalatitudinea pe pmnt. Ascensie dreapt i declinaia stabili mpreun locaia de o stea pe

latitude on the earth. Right ascension and declination together determine the location of a star on the celestial sphere. The right ascensions and declinations of many stars are listed in various reference tables published for astronomers and navigators. Because a star's position may change slightly (see proper motion and precession of the equinoxes ), such tables must be revised at regular intervals. By definition, the vernal equinox is located at right ascension 0 h and declination 0.

sfera cereasca. ascensiuni dreptul i declinations de multe stele sunt enumerate n diverse tabele de referin publicat de astronomi i navigatori.Deoare ce poziia unei stele se poate schimbauor (a se vedea micare corect i echinoctiilor),astfel de tabele trebuie s fie revizuite la intervale regulate. Prin definiie, echinociul de primvar se afl la dreapta ascensiunea 0 h i declinaia 0 .

Another useful reference point is the sigma point, the point where the observer's celestial meridian intersects the celestial equator. The right ascension of the sigma point is equal to the observer's local sidereal time . The angular distance from the sigma point to a star's hour circle is called its hour angle ; it is equal to the star's right ascension minus the local sidereal time. Because the vernal equinox is not always visible in the night sky (especially in the spring), whereas the sigma point is always visible, the hour angle is used in actually locating a body in the sky.

Un alt punct de referin util este punctul sigma, punctul n care meridianul observatorului ceresc intersecteaz ecuatorul ceresc. Ascensiunea dreapta punctului de sigma este egal cu timpul observatorului sideral local. distana unghiular din punctul de sigma la cercul unei stele or senumete unghiul su or; este egal cu ascensiunea stelei dreptul de minus timp sideral local. Deoarece echinociul de primvar nu este ntotdeauna vizibil n cerul de noapte (mai ales nprimvar), n timp ce punctul de sigma este ntotdeauna vizibil, unghiul de or este folosit nlocalizarea de fapt, un organism n cer.

HOUR CIRCLE The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright HOUR CIRCLE IN ASTRONOMY, A SECONDARY AXIS IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM The hour circle of a celestial body is the great circle on the celestial sphere that passes through both the body and the north celestial pole. A star's hour circle is used in determining its right ascension and declination . Cercul or a unui corp ceresc este cerc mare pesfera cereasca care trece att prin corp si polul nord ceresc. O stea cercul lui or este folosit n determinarea ascensiune dreapt i declinaia.

http://www.esotericarchives.com/gifs/heptam2.gif

RIGHT ASCENSION The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright RIGHT ASCENSION IN ASTRONOMY, ONE OF THE COORDINATES IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM The right ascension of a celestial body is the angular distance measured eastward from the vernal equinox along the celestial equator to its intersection with the body's hour circle . ascensia dreapt a unui corp ceresc este distanaunghiular msurat spre est de la echinociul de primvar de-a lungul ecuatorului ceresc pn la intersecia sa cu cercul organismului or.

RIGHT ASCENSION IN ASTRONOMY, ONE OF THE COORDINATES IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM

The right ascension of a celestial body is the angular distance measured eastward from the vernal equinox along the celestial equator to its intersection with the body's hour circle .

ascensia dreapt a unui corp ceresc este distanaunghiular msurat spre est de la echinociul de primvar de-a lungul ecuatorului ceresc pn la intersecia sa cu cercul organismului or.

CELESTIAL SPHERE, RIGHT ASCENSION (in hours), AND DECLINAT ION (in deg. + or -)

A Celestial meridian is half a great circle (cuts celestial sphere in half) through the north and south celestial ples, analogous to a meridian on Earth. The celestial equator and ecliptic are great circles that intersect at two points. The intersection near the sun's position on March 21 is called the First Point of Aries, or the Vernal Equinox. Its meridian is the prime meridian, analogous to the Greenwich meridian. The analog of longitude in the celestial

Un meridian Celestial este o jumtate de cercmare (reduceri sfera cereasca n jumtate) , prinnord i sud poli cereti, analog la un meridian pePamant. ecuatorul ceresc si ecliptica sunt cerc urimari care se intersecteaz n dou puncte.Intersecia lng poziia soarelui p e 21 martie se numete primul punct de Berbec, sau echinociul de primvar. Meridian sa este primul

sphere is RIGHT ASCENSION. Each 15 degrees along the celestial equator is marked as ONE HOUR OF RIGHT ASCENSION, increasing toward the east. As the Earth rotates toward the east, the celestial sphere seems to move from east to west. This motion brings successive hours of right ascension on to your local meridian. Your local sidereal time is the right ascension of your local meridian.

meridian,analog la meridianul Greenwich. analog delongitudine n sfera cereasca este ascensia dreapt. Fiecare 15 grade de-a lungul ecuatoruluiceresc este marcat ca o or de ascensia dreapt,crescnd spre est. Ca Pamantul se roteste sprersrit, sfera cereasca pare s se mute de la estla vest. Aceast micare aduce or succesiv e aleascensiunii chiar pe la meridianul de local. Timpulsideral local este ascensiunea dreptul demeridianul local.

DECLINATION The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright

DECLINATION IN ASTRONOMY, ONE OF THE COORDINATES IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM The declination of a celestial body is its angular distance north or south of the celestial equator measured along its hour circle .

DECLINATION IN ASTRONOMY, ONE OF THE COORDINATES IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM

The declination of a celestial body is its angular distance north or south of the celestial equator measured along its hour circle .

CELESTIAL SPHERE

A Celestial meridian is a great circle (cuts celestial sphere in half) through the north and south celestial poles, analogous to a rneridian on Earth. The DECLINATION of a star is the angle "d" from the celestial equator to the star rneasured along the celestial meridian of the star.

Use diagram only to obtain numencal values APPROXIMATE MEAN DECLINATION 1975 FOR CENTRE OF MAP Annual change decreasing 1.4' N'utiliser le diagramme que pour obtenir les valeurs numriques DCLINAISON MOYENNE APPROXIMATIVE AU CENTRE DE LA CARTE EN 1975 Variation annuelle dcroissante 1.4' ONE THOUSAND METRE UNIVERSAl TRANSVERSE MERCATOR GRID ZONE 20 QUADRILLAGE DE MILLE MTRES TRANSVERSE UNIVERSEL DE MERCATOR

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CIRCLE

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HOUR ANGLE

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright HOUR ANGLE IN ASTRONOMY, A COORDINATE IN THE EQUATORIAL COORDINATE SYSTEM The hour angle of a celestial body is the angular distance, expressed in hours, minutes, and seconds (one hour equals 15 degrees), measured westward along the celestial equator from the observer's celestial meridian to the hour circle of the object being located. The hour angle is used in measuring astronomical time; local sidereal time is equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox.

hour angle in astronomy, a coordinate in the equatorial coordinate system .

The hour angle of a celestial body is the angular distance, expressed in hours, minutes, and seconds (one hour equals 15 degrees), measured westward along the celestial equator from the observer's celestial meridian to the hour circle of the object being located. The hour angle is used in measuring astronomical time; local sidereal time is equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox.

The four stars at the corners of the Great Square of Pegasus are:

And 00 h 08 m1 + 29O 05 Peg 23 h 04 m1+ 28O 05 Peg 23 h 05 m1+ 15O 12 Peg 00 h 13 m1+ 15O 11

It is necessary to plot the four stars, at least approximately, to find out which pairs form the diagonals !

Then to find the length of each diagonals,use the cosine rule: cos S1S2=cos S1P cos S2P + sin S1P sin S2P cos P This gives And to Peg = 20.1O and Peg to Peg = 20.5O

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/sidereal_time.aspx#1E1-sidrltim SIDERAL TIME The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright

sidereal time (ST), time measured relative to the fixed stars; thus, the sidereal day is the period during which the earth completes one rotation on its axis so that some chosen star appears twice on the observer's celestial meridian . Because the earth moves in its orbit about the sun, the sidereal day is about 4 min shorter than the solar day (see solar time ). Thus, a given star will appear to rise 4 min earlier each night, so that different stars are visible at different times of the year. The local sidereal time of an observer is equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox.

sidereal time (ST), time measured relative to the fixed stars; thus, the sidereal day is the period during which the earth completes one rotation on its axis so that some chosen star appears twice on the observer's celestial meridian . Because the earth moves in its orbit about the sun, the sidereal day is about 4 min shorter than the solar day (see solar time ). Thus, a given star will appear to rise 4 min earlier each night, so that different stars are visible at different times of the year. The local sidereal time of an observer is equal to the hour angle of the vernal equinox.

SOLAR TIME The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright SOLAR TIME TIME DEFINED BY THE POSITION OF THE SUN The solar day is the time it takes for the sun to return to the same meridian in the sky. Local solar time is measured by a sundial . When the center of the sun is on an observer's meridian, the observer's local solar time is zero hours (noon). Because the earth moves with varying speed in its orbit at different times of the year and because the plane of the earth's equator is inclined to its orbital plane, the length of the solar day is different depending on the time of year. It is more convenient to define time in terms of the average of local solar time. Such time, called mean solar time, may be thought of as being measured relative to an imaginary sun

(the mean sun) that lies in the earth's equatorial plane and about which the earth orbits with constant speed. Every mean solar day is of the same length.

The difference

solar time time defined by the position of the sun. The solar day is the time it takes for the sun to return to the same meridian in the sky. Local solar time is measured by a sundial . When the center of the sun is on an observer's meridian, the observer's local solar time is zero hours (noon). Because the earth moves with varying speed in its orbit at different times of the year and because the plane of the earth's equator is inclined to its orbital plane, the length of the solar day is different depending on the time of year. It is more convenient to define time in terms of the average of local solar time. Such time, called mean solar time, may be thought of as being measured relative to an imaginary sun (the mean sun) that lies in the earth's equatorial plane and about which the earth orbits with constant speed. Every mean solar day is of the same length. The difference between the local solar time and the mean solar time at a given location is known as the equation of time. Tables used by navigators list the equation of time for different times of year so that an observer can calculate his mean solar time from his local solar time (found by determining the sun's hour angle ). Mean solar time is the basis for civil time and standard time .

day The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright day period of time for the earth to rotate once on its axis. The ordinary day, or solar day, is measured relative to the sun, being the time between successive passages of the sun over a stationary observer's celestial meridian. The length of a solar day varies during the course of a year, so for purposes of time measurement an average, or mean, solar day is used (see solar time ), equal to exactly 24 hr. The sidereal day, used by astronomers, is measured relative to the fixed stars rather than the sun (see sidereal time ); it is about 4 min shorter than the mean solar day. The term day is also used to refer to that part of each 24-hr period during which the sun's direct rays are not blocked by the earth, this period of daylight hours extending from sunrise to sunset; the remaining portion of the 24 hr is called night. If the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun coincided day period of time for the earth to rotate once on its axis.

The ordinary day, or solar day, is measured relative to the sun, being the time between successive passages of the sun over a stationary observer's celestial meridian . The length of a solar day varies during the course of a year, so for purposes of time measurement an average, or mean, solar day is used (see solar time ), equal to exactly 24 hr. The sidereal day, used by astronomers, is measured relative to the fixed stars rather than the sun (see sidereal time ); it is about 4 min shorter than the mean solar day. The term day is also used to refer to that part of each 24-hr period during which the sun's direct rays are not blocked by the earth, this period of daylight hours extending from sunrise to sunset; the remaining portion of the 24 hr is called night. If the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun coincided with the plane of the equator, day and night would each be 12 hr long everywhere on the earth all year long. However, because of the tilt of the earth's axis of rotation, the times of sunrise and sunset vary from day to day, with the result that in the Northern Hemisphere there are long days and short nights in the summer and short days and long nights in the winter. See equinox ; solstice .

celestial meridian The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 | Copyright celestial meridian vertical circle passing through the north celestial pole and an observer's zenith . It is an axis in the altazimuth coordinate system .

CELESTIAL MERIDIAN VERTICAL CIRCLE PASSING THROUGH THE NORTH CELESTIAL POLE AND AN OBSERVER'S ZENITH It is an axis in the altazimuth coordinate system.