2. The Sky Around Us

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Just as Hawaii is a body of land surrounded on all sides by water, so the Earth is an object surrounded on all sides by space. It's convenient to pretend that the Earth is inside an enormous sphere, and plot the locations of stars and planets on this sphere. The daily rotation of the sky and the annual progression of the Sun along the zodiac are both due to motions of the Earth.



    Ch. 1-6 Constellations make locating stars easy
    Ch. 1-7 The celestial sphere aids in navigating the sky
    Ch. 1-8 Earth's rotation causes the stars to appear to move
    Ch. 1-9 The speed of the Earth's rotation determines the length of the day
    Ch. 1-10 The Earth's orbit around the Sun determines the length of the year
    Ch. 1-11 The seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis of rotation
    Ch. 1-12 The phases of the Moon originally inspired the concept of the month

Web Resources:

Homework 2: Observing Mars, due 9/18. See this animation.

Quiz 2: The Moon at Sunrise, given 9/06.

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: September 19, 2001