PHYS216 Practical AstrophysicsLecture 1Observing the Sky from Earth Module Leader: Dr Matt Darnley Astrophysics Research Institute Liverpool John Moores University M.J.Darnley @ ljmu.ac.uk Course Lecturer: Dr Chris Davis Liverpool Telescope/ARI Liverpool John Moores University C.J.Davis @ ljmu.ac.uk
The LT is part of theObservatoriodel Roque de • Los Muchachos (ORM) which is located on the • summit of La Palma, Altitude 2,363 m
Liverpool Telescope http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/ http://www.facebook.com/liverpooltelescope
Notes online All course materials available on Vital These Powerpoint slides: • http://www.astro.ljmu.ac.uk/~cjd/Teaching/ Other good resources online: • http://star-www.st-and.ac.uk/~fv/webnotes/ • http://www.vikdhillon.staff.shef.ac.uk/teaching/phy217/instruments/phy217_inst_course.html
Great Circles and Small Circles • Great Circle • The intersection of a plane containing the centre of a sphere and its surface, e.g. ABCD, BEDF. • P and Q are poles of plane ABCD. • Small Circle • A circle which does not include the centre of the sphere, e.g. WXYZ.
On the Earth… • All lines of Longitude are great circles • All lines of Latitude are small circles except the equator. Q. Is the tropic of Cancer a small or a great circle? Lines of equal LATITUDE Lines of equal LONGITUDE
Spherical Trigonometry • Spherical triangle • Formed from three arcs of Great Circles. • Distances (a; b; c) are measured as angles. • Sum of the 3 angles A + B + C > 180o (non-Euclidean geometry - curved space). • e.g. if • arc AB is part of the Earth's equator • arc CB is the Greenwich Meridian (long=0o) • arc CA is longitude=90o • then A = B = C = 90o • so A + B + C = 270o. • As the triangle gets smaller relative to the size of the sphere: • A + B + C -> 180o
Spherical sine rule: Spherical cosine rule: How do these rules relate to Euclidean (plane) geometry? If the length of the sides are very small (compared to the radius of the sphere),then sin a ~ a etc. (small angle approximation). The spherical sine rule then becomes: The Euclidean cosine rule can also be recovered by the same method.
Celestial Sphere • Celestial Meridian – • A great circle which passes throughZenith and the North & South celestial poles. • It is always perpendicular to the horizon.
Celestial Sphere Stars rise in the East, transit, and set in the west – like the sun! • Hour Angle • Angle between a star's current position and the meridian • Measured WESTWARD in hours, • 1 hour is equivalent to 15 degrees – because 24 hours = 360 degrees). MERIDIAN An object transits or culminates when passing through the meridian. Q. Is this star RISING or SETTING? Ha ~ 3 hr S E W
Celestial Sphere MERIDIAN Facing north it’s t’other way around! The stars rise on your right and move towards the left… Ha ~ 21 hr N W E
Celestial Sphere • Celestial Equator- Projection of the Earth's equator out onto the Celestial Sphere. d • Celestial Poles – North and South pole! • Declination- angular distance of a star above the Celestial Equator.
Observing the sky from the surface of the rotating Earth Horizon – you can’t see below this! Zenith – directly overhead Altitude, f– angular height of star above the horizon Zenith distance/angle – angle between zenith and direction to star. Apparent direction of stars Altitude of the pole above the horizon = latitude of the observer, f (phi)
The Celestial Sphere Star X Path of Star X on the sky is a small circle parallel to the celestial equator. Star X rises and sets where its small circle intersects the observer’s horizon (black). • General rule - for an observer in the NORTH: • If a northern hemisphere star’s small circle does not intersect the observer’s horizon, the star never SETS and the star is said to be circum-polar • If a southern hemisphere star’s small circle does not intersect the observer’s horizon, the star never RISES
Circumpolar Stars • Stars declination - d • Observer'slatitude - f • Star just grazes the horizon at its lowest elevation: • d = 90o – f • Star is circumpolar: • d > 90o - f The Latitude of Liverpool is 53o N. Therefore stars with d > 37o never set! At the north pole, essentially all visible stars are circumpolar; at the equator, none are! At what declination do stars never rise in Liverpool?
Circumpolar Stars Upper transit (or culmination) Lower transit (often below the horizon) N E Looking North… Stars rise in the East and rotate in an anti-clockwise direction.
Skycam-A at the LT Watch out for Perseid Meteors towards the end of the night! Skycam-A mounted on the wall of the telescope enclosure pointing up
Skycam-T and -Z at the Liverpool Telescope SkyCam-T : 21o Field of View SkyCam-Z : 1o Field of View For more Movies (three every night, in fact) Google Liverpool Telescope and check out the Night Reports link on the side-bar.
Star Trails Left: star trails above the Observatorio del Teide, Tenerife. Right: star trails above UKIRT in Hawaii. Both telescopes are in the northern hemisphere. Q1. But which observatory is furthest north? Q2. Both pictures are facing North – what do the stars do if you look south? Q3. How could you calculate your latitude from these photos? Q4. How can you calculate the duration of the exposure in each photograph?
End.. See you next week….