Homeschool Astronomy – How to Tell Time By the Stars

By | 4 August 2017

Let’s observe this throughout the daytime so it is smart earlier than you attempt to impress your pals. Get out a pencil and a sheet of paper.

First, you may want to seek out Polaris. Draw a dot in the midst of your paper. On the spot star.

Draw a BIG circle across the dot. Now think about the mirror-image of your kitchen clock imposed over Polaris in that circle. This implies 1 is the place the 11 normally is, and the three is the place the 9 usually goes. Draw all twelve digits inside that circle round Polaris.

Now think about you’re looking up on the darkish night time sky. Think about your self discovering Polaris. Stare at it. Draw an imaginary line out by means of Dubhe and Merak (the pointer stars within the Massive Dipper that lead you to Polaris). This straight line is the hour hand of the clock (there is no such thing as a minute hand). This hour hand makes a whole circle across the North Star each 24 hours.

At midnight on March 1, the hour hand factors on to midnight (straight up). When this hour hand strikes, it strikes counterclockwise. And each 5-minute mark on common clocks (that is the 1, the two, the three, the 6 on the backside…) signify two hours. So if the hour hand factors straight to the three, (usually the 9 place in your kitchen clock), then it’s 6 hours previous midnight on March 1. Acquired that up to now? Good. Let’s make it tougher.

Subtract 2 hours for each month previous March 1. For instance, whether it is Could 1, subtract four hours. (Add one hour for daylight financial savings time.)

Let’s strive an instance. Think about it’s June 1. Think about the star-clock is one forth the way in which previous the 1 in your mirrored-kitchen-clock paper diagram. It at present reads 2:30 am (keep in mind it’s two hours between the 1 and a couple of on the clock). Now subtract 2 hours for every month previous March 1. Because it’s June 1, subtract 6 hours. Add one hour for daylight financial savings time, and also you now get 9:30 pm. Cool!

With observe, you’ll ultimately be capable of inform the time by the celebrities in a matter of seconds (belief me). And you will now not surprise “What time IS it?” and be scolded by fellow astronomers as you pull out a flashlight to look at your watch (albeit crimson). And it’s a nifty ooooh-ahhhh trick with kids-at-heart in every single place.


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