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Homework Help: Check my Astronomy logic

  1. Sep 10, 2009 #1
    Working on a homework for a general astronomy class. Just want to make sure I'm not being inaccurate. Please let me know if I goofed something up. Thanks!

    RQ7: The word “apparent” in “apparent visual magnitude” is used to denote its dependence on viewing distance. These numbers refer to the stars brightness as seen from earth (flux). Therefore, a very distant yet very bright star might have a high apparent visual magnitude when seen from earth, but may appear much brighter from a closer vantage point.

    RQ11: Theoretically, if you were to position yourself on the earth’s equator you could see both the north and south celestial poles at the same time.

    RQ14: The number of circumpolar constellations depends on the latitude of the observer due to their very nature. A circumpolar constellation circles its respective celestial pole, and as such the further a person travels (changes in latitude) from the respective pole, the more perpendicular they are making themselves to that axis. Subsequently, constellations that never set when viewed from the pole will set and rise on a regular basis when viewed from the equator.

    P3: Since the horizon remains perpendicular to the observer, as the observer changes latitude, the angular distance between the zenith and the celestial pole changes by the same amount. As such, a person at 35 degrees north of the equator will have a northern horizon that extends 35 degrees past the northern celestial pole. Also, the same person in the same position will have a southern horizon that terminates 35 degrees before the southern celestial pole.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2009 #2


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    All of those descriptions are great. One interesting fact about RQ11: it might be practically possible to see both poles at the same time because atmospheric refraction makes stars near the horizon seem a degree higher than they actually are.
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