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Chapter 2

GEOG 109 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Celestial Equator, Astronomical Unit

Geography and Environmental Planning
Course Code
GEOG 109

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Blessing Onyewuchi
Chapter 2 Astronomy Notes
-By watching the patterns in the sky, people found that they could predict when the seasons would change
and the rains would come and the crops would grow
-some of these early observations and ideas about these patterns live on today in the names of stars and
constellations, in calendars based on the Moon and Sun that are still used by many cultures, in the
astronomical names of the seven days of the week, and in the belief in astrology
-constellations= groups of stars that form recognizable patterns
-the entire sky is broken up into 88 different constellations
-every star in the sky lies within the borders of a single constellation, and the names of the constellations
are used in naming the stars that lie within their boundaries
-Sirius is the brightest star in the sky (known as the Dog Star)
-The Greeks devised geocentric models of the universe in which heavenly bodies were embedded in a
celestial sphere that revolved around a stationary Earth
-Earth’s rotation on the axis determines the passage of day and night
-Earth rotates in a counterclockwise direction completing one rotation in a 24 hour period
-As the rotating Earth carries us from west to east, objects in the sky appear to move in the other
direction, from east to west
-Celestial equator: an imaginary circle that divides the sky into a northern half and a southern half (it is
directly above Earths equator)
-Declination=similar to latitude and tells you the angular distance of a celestial body north or south of the
celestial equator
-right ascension= similar to longitude and measures the angular distance of a celestial body eastward
along the celestial equator from the vernal equinox
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