GEK1506 Heavenly Mathematics & Cultural Astronomy, Tutorial 4

  1. Give the horizon, equatorial and ecliptic coordinates of Polaris, the vernal equinox and the summer solstice at noon on the day of the autumnal equinox in Singapore. (You can assume that Polaris is at the north celestial pole, that Singapore is at the equator and that the Sun crosses the meridian at noon.)
      Equatorial Ecliptic Horizontal
    Vernal equinox      
    Summer solstice      
    Please note that some coordinates are not defined.
  2. Why is right ascension measured in hours while celestial longitude is measured in degrees?
  3. Discuss some advantages and disadvantages of the horizon, equatorial and ecliptic celestial coordinate systems.
  4. Why are the daily paths of all the stars parallel to the celestial equator?
  5. What is the azimuth of a celestial object when it is at its highest position above the horizon?
  6. How can you use the altitude of the pole star to find your latitude?

Helmer Aslaksen
Department of Mathematics
National University of Singapore

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