Essay On Astronomy
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A. Exploration of Daily Motion
a. After setting the software to the current date, the sun is closest to Alpha Centauri and Proxima Centauri. In essence, the Centaurus has the three stars that are the closest.
b. By increasing the time by an hour, the sun seems to be moving towards the direction of the East
c. Compared to the early constellation discussed in part a of the question, the position of the sun after increasing the time tilts a bit and becomes larger
d. By advancing the time to sunset, the position of the sun as compared to the constellation of part a of the question tilts to an acute angle and enlarges
e. By advancing the time to sunrise, the position of the sun as compared to the constellation of part A of the question becomes smaller.
f. The general statement: The motion of the Sun and stars is evidence that the earth rotates once a day.
B. Exploration of Longer-term Motion
a. By setting the star map to sunset, the sun is closest to the Ursa Minor of the Circumpolar constellation.
b. By setting the date ahead by 24 hours, the sun’s position as compared to to-date seems to move towards the northern side of the constellation.
c. The sun’s position after setting it a week ahead moves closer to the spring constellations as opposed to the early circumpolar constellations.
d. After setting the date to two weeks from now, the position of the sun is still closer to the spring constellation.
e. Setting the date to a month from now changes the position of the sun next to the spring constellation’s boyero.
f. By setting the date of the software to two months from now, the sun’s position moves next to Virgo of the spring constellation and takes a tilted position.
g. The sun’s position after setting the date to three, six and nine months from now looks similar, assuming a tilted position which is constantly in the spring constellation.
j. In general, the motion of the sun and the stars is influenced by the rotation of the earth. Relative to the background of the stars, the sun seems to move eastwards.
k. I would easily agree with the argument given by the student. To support this answer, there is evidence that by setting the clock ahead by a day, week or month, different constellations are seen.
C. Exploration of the Motion in Greater Detail
a. After doing as instructed, several constellations never rise. Some of them include Scutum and Hercules, classified under summer constellations.
b. The constellations seem to move to the east, against the sun. This is as a result of the earth’s rotation.
c. The statement by the student can only be true if the star in question is directly above the celestial equator.
D Exploration of the Motion of the Moon
a. With the settings in section A, the moon is clearly visible in the sky. As a matter of fact, it appears in the winter constellation.
b. By advancing the date by a day, the moon seems to move eastwards. This movement is against that of the sun which seems to be moving westwards. Approximately, it is in the lunar phase.
c. By advancing the date by 5 days, the moon appears to be moving towards the east. Approximately, the moon is still in the lunar phase.
d. Advancing the time by six hours makes the moon brighter, but still moves to the eastward direction.
e. The argument given by the classmate is incorrect. The moon moves from the west to the east. Its westward motion is as a result of the sky’s westward motion which is faster, hence seems to be carrying the moon to the west.
The Motion of the Night Sky
Over the past hundreds of years, the stars have remained unchanged. This is so despite the fact that they seem to be moving on a day to day basis. In reality, the stars have space motions that are intrinsic. The fact that they are very far away from the earth means it is difficult to detect their movement. To achieve any success, it is only fair for one to observe the same star over a period of many years o as to come up with a valid conclusion. In a generation, a star’s relative position will not noticeably change. This means that the patterns that can be observed today are the similar patterns that the ancestors saw. On a similar note, these patterns will also take similar positions for a number of years to come.
Initially, astronomers believed that the stars were fixed around the earth by the celestial sphere. This argument has since been rubbished with the knowledge of the dimension of the universe (three dimensional) and that stars are actually very far away. Whenever the earth rotates on its axis within the sphere, the stars also seem to be moving. The movement they seem to take is rising from the east, move across the sky and settle to the west. This is what movement of the night sky is all about. Modern astronomers employ right ascension and declination to explain this movement further.
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