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Introduction

stargazing1Image: Fotosearch.com For many millennia humans have been looking up at the sky at day or night, and wondered how to make sense of these moving celestial objects, such as the Sun, the Moon and myriads of stars. Some stars moved even slightly differently from the vast majority and we called them “wandering stars”. And then occasionally at night you see “shooting stars” and if you are really lucky, stars with a tail which the ancient Greek Aristotle called “komētēs”, or “stars with hair”.
Now in the early 21st century, we know a lot more about the Sun, Moon, stars, planets, meteors and comets, but the mystery of all these moving objects in the sky, as seen from our backyard, is not necessarily less.

In this module we are starting with the basics and want to answer the following questions:

  • Why the Sun and stars move in the sky the way they do
  • Why the Moon has phases
  • Why we have seasons
  • Why planets move differently from the stars

And also a little about

  • How we define star positions in the sky
  • Star names and constellations
  • Brightness and Magnitude
  • How the atmosphere affects what we see.

 

 

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