By Nick Strobel
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Objects on the celestial equator are at 0◦ dec, objects half-way to the NCP are +45◦ , objects at the NCP are +90◦ , and objects at the SCP are –90◦ . 2). A concise summary of this coordinate system and the numbers involved is given at the end of this section (see also the diagram at the top of the next page). 4◦ every century (a fact ignored by astrologers), or about 1 minute increase in a star’s Strobel: Astronomy Notes, 2007 Edition © The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2007 3. Astronomy Without a Telescope Astronomy Notes 39 Zenith Vernal Equinox NCP c.
The arc of the celestial equator moves to the north, but the arc still intercepts the horizon at the exactly east/west points. The angle of the SCP above the southern horizon equals your south latitude and the angle of the celestial equator above the northern horizon on the meridian is now 90◦ – your latitude. Here is a summary of the positions of the celestial reference marks (note that “altitude” means the number of degrees above the horizon): • Meridian always goes through directly North, points.
The observer is also experiencing local noon. If the Sun were not there, the observer would also see the star on the meridian. Now as time goes on, the Earth moves in its orbit and it rotates from west to east (both motions are counterclockwise if viewed from above the north pole). One sidereal day later (23 hours 56 minutes) or one true rotation period later, the arrow is again pointing toward the star. The observer on the Earth sees the star on the meridian. But the arrow is not pointing at the Sun!