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Earth and the Celestial Sphere - 14220_168
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Understanding the Celestial Coordinate System, Continued - 14220_170
Understanding the Celestial Coordinate System Components The  Celestial  Coordinate  System  is  very  similar  to  the  Terrestrial Coordinate  System.  Use  the  following  table  and  figure  6-2  to  become familiar  with  the  components  of  the  Celestial  Coordinate  System. Term Celestial Equator Declination Description The  celestial  equator  is  the  point  of  reference  for measuring  declination. Declination can be thought of as the celestial equivalent  to  latitude.  Declination  is  expressed  in  the same  manner  as  latitude,  measured  north  or  south from  0°  through  90°. First  Point  of Aries The  first  point  of  Aries  can  be  thought  of  as  the reference  point  for  measuring  angles  for  stars  and planets  (celestial  bodies). Hour  Circles The  great  circles  that  encircle  the  celestial  sphere  in the  same  manner  that  meridians  of  longitude  encircle Earth.  The  major  difference  is  that  hour  circles  are measured  from  0°  westward  through  360°.  As  you know,  longitude  on  the  other  hand  is  measured  east or  west  from  0°  through  180°.  Hour  circles  move with  each  celestial  body.  The  0°  meridian  is  called the  Greenwich  meridian. Greenwich Hour  Angle (GHA) Local  Hour Angle  (LHA) GHA  is  the  angular  measurement  of  a  celestial  body measured  westward  0°  through  360°  from  the Greenwich  meridian. LHA  of  a  celestial  body  is  measured  westward  from 0°  through  360°  from  the  observers  meridian  to  the hour  circle  of  the  celestial  body. Sidereal  Hour Angle  (SHA) The  SHA  is  the  hour  circle  of  a  star  or  planet measured  westward  from  the  first  point  of  Aries  from 0°  through  360°. 6-3

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