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Background Definitions (do not write)

Celestial sphere:

Imaginary sphere encircling Earth on which all object in the night sky appear Celestial object: Object in the sky outside Earths atmosphere; the sun, moon, stars, planets Terrestrial: Objects that are a part of Earth, such as rocks, oceans, and clouds

The sun, moon, planets, stars or any distant object

seems to rise in the east and set in the west- this is an illusion: the Earth is the object that is moving The apparent motion of objects occurs at a rate of 15 degrees per hour, which is the rate that earth rotates Daily Motion: the movement of a celestial object over a 24-hour period Day: Average interval of time during which the sun passes from its highest point on one day to its highest point on the next; ~24 hours

Changes in the Altitude of the Sun at Noon

The sun is always highest at local solar noon

Only between the latitudes of 23.5 degrees North

and 23.5 degrees South can the noon sun be directly overhead

Path of the Planets

Planets do not stay in

place- they change their position from night to night Each planet has its own unique motion Sometimes planets appear to drift west, other times east Planet means Wanderer

The Moon
The moon revolves

around Earth in about 27 days The apparent rising and setting of the moon is also due to our rotation The moon rises about 50 minutes later each evening

On handout
Zenith: The point on the celestial sphere that is

directly above the observer.

From Different Perspectives

Mid-Latitudes: Stars appear to move from east to

west in circular paths North Pole: Stars appear to move in a circle Facing South: Stars appear to move in a low arc across the horizon

Star's Path Through the Sky


The Earth rotates, causing the stars to appear to

rise and set. Remember that the Sun is a star. It rotates/spins in place but does not revolve/orbit

Did you know??? (do not write)

Sundials were used to tell time using the apparent

movement of the sun The passing of hours is indicated by the movement of the shadow Days are short during the winter because we are pointed away from the sun so the sun is below the horizon most of the day Sundials More on sundials

Apparent Motions of the Sun

The sun appears to rise in the east, travel in an arc

across the sky and set in the west The greater the length of the suns path over an area, the more hours of daylight In the spring and fall, the sun rises due (exactly) east and sets due west In the summer, the sun rises north of east and sets north of west In the winter, the sun rises south of east and sets south of west

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