|Understanding the Night Sky ⬅︎|
| One thing that makes stargazing so interesting is that the earth is in constant motion. Its spinning on its axis and its orbiting of the sun mean that the stars are always on the move in our sky.
Because of earth's daily spinning, most stars rise in the east, move 1° (one finger-width ) every 4 minutes, and then set in the west. But some stars don't rise or set. Those far north and close to North Celestial Pole appear to endlessly circle Polaris. These stars are called circumpolar and the Big Dipper is a well-known example.
Because of earth's annual orbit of the sun, the constellations progress westward 1° (one finger-width ) from night to night. With each season we get a new set of constellations to explore. Cool!
Stargazers need to know about the meridian, an imaginary line that stretches overhead from north to south. As a target moves westward, it ascends until it reaches the meridian. Then it descends. This is important because the best view of a target often occurs when it is near the meridian. There is less atmosphere to look through and less 'twinkling' to mess up the view.
The Starry Hill Stargazing Calendar takes all of this into consideration. It presents the best targets for each season and lets you know when and where to look for you own stargazing adventures.
|▶︎ Why Stargaze?
▶︎ The Night Sky
▶︎ Finding North
▶︎ Finding Planets
▶︎ Measuring Brightness