By Will Gater, Anton Vamplew
For a person who is ever checked out the evening sky and desired to understand extra in regards to the galaxy round them, the sensible Astronomer exhibits readers the best way to detect and comprehend the mysteries of the sunlight process and past. Illustrated all through with special photos and illustrations, and utilizing transparent, easy-to-follow textual content, the sensible Astronomer takes you on a step by step trip from the fundamentals of what may be visible with the bare eye, to how one can view extra far away gadgets equivalent to the planets of the sun process, or even galaxies some distance, some distance away-all on your personal yard.
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Extra info for The Practical Astronomer
SUMMER SOLSTICE SPRING/AUTUMN EQUINOX WINTER SOLSTICE Earth on December 21 or 22, the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice 36 LOOKING UP THE SKY AS A SPHERE A useful way to think about the position of the stars around the Earth is to imagine them embedded in a huge sphere, with the Earth at its center. The Earth spins from west to east within this sphere, completing one rotation in a day. The celestial sphere OUR VIEW OF THE CELESTIAL SPHERE All objects in space have their position on the celestial sphere, but an observer’s view of those objects depends upon his/her location on Earth.
Start by getting familiar with some of the brightest constellations and use these as starting points to locate other, fainter, constellations and their stars. Before long, even the less prominent ones will become familiar, so that ﬁnding your way around the sky becomes a simple task. POINTING THE WAY A simple compass is a useful astronomical tool. It tells you which horizon you are facing and can be used to roughly align a telescope mount with the night sky. Using a planisphere A planisphere is a simple device that helps you quickly work out what lies where in the night sky on any given evening.
Starhopping is not only a useful practical method for navigating from one object to another, but also a good way to become familiar with different bright stars and signiﬁcant constellations over time. You can embark on a number of starhops from constellation to constellation (see pages 84, 106, 114, 136, and 140) or on a much smaller scale—useful when trying to locate faint objects, such as galaxies, in the eyepiece of a telescope. To do this, ﬁrst locate a STELLAR SIGNPOSTS bright star that is near your target The starhops described in this book, such as that shown object using a low-power eyepiece.