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Celestial Sphere

Local View
• On earth objects are usually viewed in flat
Euclidean geometry.
• From the earth the stars appear to be fixed on a
sphere that rotates.
– Great distance to objects
– Earth’s rotation

A O X Q B . P – AXB – PAQB • Points are opposite if for any great circle that passes through one it passes through both.Great Circles • Any plane through the center of a sphere intersects the sphere in a great circle.

A O X Q B .Spherical Angles • The angle APX projects onto the plane of a great circle AOX. P – Defines angle APX – PAX right angle • The distance between two points is the angle between the points.

– Defines a plane that excludes the origin c • Each angle is less than 180°. but the sum exceeds 180°.Triangles • Three points not on the same great circle define a spherical triangle. – Triangle PAX from before A B a b C .

Small Circles • A parallel circles have centers on the same axis. – Great circle PEF – PE =    A P S E C O F Q B D . – AB and CD – Arc AP =  – AS = AO sin(AOS) • Pick E on AB.

Small Circle Arc • Spherical angle  is defined by APE. – ASE =  – AE =  sin P S E C O F Q B D . – Same as CPF – Matches COF   A • AS and ES parallel CO and FO.

Polar Coordinates • Spherical polar coordinates are a 3-D vector.  on unit sphere x  sin  cos y  sin  sin z  cos  Z  – r R S A X B  Y O S . – Reduce to .

sin b sin A.  rA   0.1  rB   sin c.0.Spherical Trigonometry • Set A at a pole and AB on a great circle. cos b  cos a  cos b cos c  sin b sin c cos A sin A sin B sin C   sin a sin b sin c A c B b a C . cos c   rC   sin b cos A.0.

N  X  • The latitude is measured from the equator. S poles. • The equator is the great circle at 90° from N. –  = 90° – NX S E .Latitude • Orient the sphere of the earth with N.

– Defined at Greenwich Observatory.Longitude • The prime meridian is at right angles to the equator. NGKS N G • Longitude is the angle  = GNX. – 180° < <° X O K  S E .

Q – Celestial equator E • East orientation is defined by the sun’s position ϒ at vernal equinox.Projection • Project the earth outward into space. – Crosses equator from S to N – March 21 P X O ϒ  Q E . – North and south celestial poles P.

–  = ϒPX X O  ϒ  Q E .Declination and Right Ascension • Declination is the celestial equivalent of latitude. –  = 90° – PX P • Right ascension is the celestial equivalent of longitude.

– 24 hours = 360° – 1h = 15° 1° = 4m – 1m = 15' 1' = 4s – 1s = 15'' 1'' = 1/15 s .Heavenly Time • Right ascension is not measured in degrees. • Degrees are converted to time.

Stellar Coordinates • Stellar coordinates use right ascension and declination. – X’(d. d) X ϒ  Q E .) X’ • Displacement is measured as a difference of coordinates. P – X(.

Alt-Azimuth • The alt-azimuth system is fixed to an observer on earth. – A = PZX Z P N X S O W Q . • Zenith distance is measured from vertical. – z = ZX – Altitude a = 90°  z • Azimuth is measured west of north.

• Tables of rising and setting objects are computed for z = 90°.Rising Star • Stars are visible to an observer when z > 90°. .

• Hour angle is measured from zenith and celestial north. • PZ was fixed by the transformation.Hour Angle • Alt-azimuth moves with the stars. – HA = ZPX to the west – PZSQ is the observer’s meridian Z equator P X N S O W Q .

• A small circle that does not intersect the horizon does not set – circumpolar stars.Circumpolar • Declination remains the same. –  = 90° – PX Z • The small circle through X is a parallel of declination. equator P X N S O W Q .

– Hour angle at Greenwich GHA – Observer hour angle is HA = GHA +  N G X O K • Sidereal time is defined by the hour angle.  S E .Relative Time • Project points from Greenwich G and an observer X onto the celestial sphere.

• Moves with the stars • LST = HA + RA • A sidereal day is shorter than a solar day.Sidereal Time • Sidereal time is defined by the hour angle. • 23 h 56 m .

• Universal time is UT = 12 h + GHA (UMS).Universal Time • The sidereal and solar time scales depend on the earth’s rotation. – Irregular on short time scales – Slowing on long time scales • Irregularities can be smoothed to get universal mean sun. – UTC uses leap seconds to coordinate .

Dynamical Time • A dynamical model of time replaced rotation based systems in 1952. . – Ephemeris time ET – Defines the second based on the year 1900 – Replaced by TA1 atomic clocks in 1972 • In 1976 this was replaced by Terrestrial Dynamical Time to account for general relativity.

4713 BC. .Atomic Time • Absolute time measurement is based on the vibrational period of the hyperfine lines in cesium. • Absolute time is measured in Julian days beginning at noon Jan 1. • Time is converted to earth-based time like UTC for use in astronomy.