Right Ascension & Declination

19 10 2008

Now that we’ve practised finding our way across the sky using the constellations, it’s time to practise using the astronomical coordinate system to find objects in the sky. If you’ve ever opened a book or a magazine to be confronted by a series of numbers like 05h 55m and +07Ā° 24′ for an object and wondered what these numbers mean, then this lesson is going to be invaluable.
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The Night Sky (Part 2 – Summer)

11 10 2008

In the previous exercise, we explored the winter sky and found a few useful constellations that help us navigate our way around. In this entry, we will do the same for the summer sky; whilst this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of constellations (which are listed here), it will cover the basics enough to find your way around and search for constellations yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

The Night Sky (Part 1 – Winter)

5 10 2008

The night sky is a dazzling array of twinkling, distant objects. It has followed mankind since we first looked up in the sky at night to wonder what these lights were. Some thought they were gods, others that they were pinholes in a grand sphere surrounding the Earth, showing the light of heaven.

How much of it do you recognise? Read the rest of this entry »