Orienting Yourself

A short refresher from the last post: we imagined the sky as a giant sphere enclosing the Earth, and call it a Celestial Sphere. We defined four reference points on this giant sphere to help us orient ourselves while looking up – the North Celestial Pole, the South Celestial Pole, the Celestial Equator and the ecliptic. For now, we’ll focus on the first three – the ecliptic only becomes useful when we’re observing planets. From a single point on Earth, we can only see half…Continue Reading “Orienting Yourself”

Reference Points in the Sky

The sky looks different, and moves differently depending on where you’re looking from. A crucial first step in learning astronomy is figuring out where you are with respect to how things are moving. Once you know this, you’ll be in a position to understand how the sky moves over days, months and years. Let’s focus on Earth for a moment. To describe any location on Earth, you need to use reference points. These reference points can be co-ordinates, physical landmarks, or directions between a starting…Continue Reading “Reference Points in the Sky”