The Rotating Sky – Pre-Lab
I. Background Information
This week’s lab is based on material developed by the University of Nebraska Astronomy Education Project. The material we need can be found at http://astro.unl.edu/naap/motion2/motion2.html
Work through the explanatory material and play with the simulators on The Observer,
Two Systems – Celestial- Horizon,
the Paths of Stars, and
Bands in the Sky.
All of the concepts that are covered in these pages are used in the Rotating Sky Explorer and will be explored more fully there. II. Introduction to the Rotating Sky Simulator (Instructions on how to use) * Open the Rotating Sky Explorer
The Rotating Sky Explorer consists of a flat map of the Earth, Celestial Sphere, and a Horizon Diagram that are linked together. The explanations below will help you fully explore the capabilities of the simulator. Have fun while you explore. * You may click and drag either the celestial sphere or the horizon diagram to change your perspective. * A flat map of the earth is found in the lower left which allows one to control the location of the observer on the Earth. You may either drag the map cursor to specify a location, type in values for the latitude and longitude directly, or use the arrow keys to make adjustments in 5 increments. You should practice dragging the observer to a few locations (North Pole, intersection of the Prime Meridian and the Tropic of Capricorn, etc.). * Note how the Earth Map, Celestial Sphere, and Horizon Diagram are linked together. Grab the map cursor and slowly drag it back and forth vertically changing the observer’s latitude. Note how the observer’s location is reflected on the Earth at the center of the Celestial Sphere (this may occur on the back side of the earth out of view). * Continue changing the observer’s latitude and note how this is reflected on the horizon diagram. When the observer is in the northern hemisphere the NCP is seen above the north point on...
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