By Gerald North BSc (auth.)
Every 12 months huge numbers of individuals absorb the research of astronomy, more often than not at novice point. there are many easy books out there, choked with vibrant photos, yet missing in right factors of the way and why issues are as they're. many of us finally desire to transcend the 'coffee-table booklet' level and learn this interesting topic in larger intensity. This booklet is written for them. furthermore, many folks take a seat for public examinations during this topic every year and this ebook can be meant to be of use to them. all of the subject matters from the GCSE syllabus are coated the following, with pattern questions on the finish of every bankruptcy. Astronomy Explained presents a accomplished therapy of the topic in additional intensity than is mostly present in effortless works, and should be of curiosity to either beginner astronomers and scholars of astronomy.
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The Sun then cast a shadow onto a calibrated dial. As the Sun moved during the day, so the shadow moved over the numbers, indicating the local solar time. Unfortunately, the rate at which the shadow swept across the dial varied with the altitude of the Sun, so making the dial non-linear. The rate was also dependent on the declination of the Sun, since this alters the altitude. Thus a dial graduated for a given month would become gradually more inaccurate as the seasons progressed. One way out of this problem would be to incline the pole so that it was aligned in a direction parallel to the Earth's rotation axis.
If the dial were set perpendicular to the style, the Sun's shadow cast by the style would sweep across it at a uniform rate during the day. The dial could then be graduated with equally spaced markings. The dial would also remain calibrated throughout the entire year. However, the snag with this arrangement is that from anyone hemisphere of the Earth the Sun is only above the celestial equator for six months of the year. Hence the top of the dial will only be illuminated by sunlight for those six months.
T HE ancients considered the Earth to be flat and located at the centre of the Universe, with the sky a crystal dome on which the stars were fixed. It was around 2000 BC that Aristotle realised that the Earth is a globe. There is clear evidence to support this view. For instance, there is the differing altitude of the pole star as seen from different locations and the fact that the most southerly of the constellations are only rendered visible by travelling southwards (the converse is true for people living in the southern hemisphere).
Astronomy Explained by Gerald North BSc (auth.)