Mastering Astronomy by Gerald North (auth.)

By Gerald North (auth.)

A consultant to astronomy which makes an attempt to provide the main up to date details at the topic. Designed for use for both person research or school room use, the e-book covers the GCSE syllabus standards and proper parts of physics, basic technological know-how and normal experiences courses.

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Sometimes it is more convenient to have a coordinate system that is related to the observer's local horizon. Two coordinates are still needed. One of these is the altitude of the body above the level horizon. The other coordinate is the azimuth. Azimuth is measured from the north cardinal point, along the horizon, in an eastwards direction. 16). 15 stars that never rise from mid-northern latitudes North celestial pole / / / / / / / / / azimuth the altazimuth system. Though the coordinates of right ascension and declination keep pace with the stars in their apparent motions across the sky (their diurnal motion), the altitude and azimuth of a celestial body continually change with time.

1 THE SHAPE AND SIZE OF THE EARTH The next major advance came in 280 sc when Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the Earth. He was in charge of the vast library of scrolls at Alexandria. He knew from one of these scrolls that on midsummer's day in Syene the Sun, at midday, cast no shadows of vertical objects. In other words, the Sun was then directly overhead at Syene. By direct measurement Eratosthenes found that, at the same instant, the Sun was 7~0 from the zenith as viewed from Alexandria.

These radiations have the effect of ionising the rarefied gases in the upper atmosphere. The ionosphere is usually taken to exist between 80 and 300km above the Earth's surface, as a series of ionised regions and layers, though the regions above this are also highly ionised. In 1901 Marconi found that radio waves could be reflected from the sky, thus allowing transmissions over very great distances despite the curvature of the Earth. We now know that it was the ionosphere that reflected the radio waves - a fact invaluable to modern-day communications.

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