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Constellations – Picture of Sky



big dipper
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In the sky of night and staying at a beach, you may feel that you are lost. Can you define lost? You may found some planets as life-friendly. Do you have a map of starts? Just search that where is North Star, you should be able to find the Big Dipper and vice versa. You can look at the sky also. The Big Dipper is one of the constellations. They’re like when stars make pictures in the sky.

Astronomers use those pictures to identify different regions of the night sky. The Big Dipper is actually one part of a larger constellation called Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Now the Big Dipper is a guidepost for travelers. It can tell you a lot about where and when you are. I’ve heard a lot about navigating by the stars. But how does that tell you when? As the Earth rotates, the stars appear to move through the night sky. So you can use them like a clock– if you know the date. The two stars that form the part of the bowl facing away from the handle act like a clock. At midnight in early September the bowl faces up, and those two stars point straight up. But this clock runs backward. And it runs on a 24-hour clock instead of 12. You have to imagine the clock running all day and all night. So there are 24 numbers on it instead of 12. And the numbers run counterclockwise, on the clock face.

But what if it’s not early September? As the Earth revolves around the sun, the stars appear to move through the night sky. So the day and year make the stars move. That means you have to make a correction for every month of the year. There are 12 months in a year and 24 hours in a day. So the correction is about two hours per month. For every month before September, add two hours.

So right now the stars are pointing to about 3:00 PM. But it’s early June, so that’s three months before September. So I add two hours time three-six hours. So it’s about 9:00 PM, right? But you may have to take daylight savings time into account. So it’s about 10:00 PM. If your watch is set to Greenwich time, and you read the local time from the stars, you can determine longitude. Oh, longitude is distance east or west of Greenwich, right? Those same two stars point to the North Star. Just take the distance between them, and follow it five times that distance to a bright star. That’s the North Star. Patience, when you’re at the equator, the North Star lies on the horizon at 0 degrees latitude. When you’re at the North Pole, the North Star’s overhead at 90 degrees latitude. The angle of the North Star in the sky tells your latitude.

Hold your closed fist straight out in front of you toward the horizon. Now carefully stack your fists on top of one another until you reach the North Star. Count each fist as roughly 10 degrees. OK, so actually I get about three and a half fists or 35 degrees. So you see, by reading the stars, we can determine our position, longitude, and latitude. Then we take our handy-dandy map, and we’re right about here. With precision instruments, we could take better measurements, and we could pinpoint ourselves accurately enough to determine exactly where we are. However, with GPS, you can find latitude and longitude.

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