Clueless

Fromazhi
Fromazhi
Joined: 3 Mar 05
Posts: 4
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Topic 188825

For those of us who are hopelessly clueless at reading the screen saver would it be possible to put a reference point we can follow - like true north from Earth? Or just highlight the North Star.

Thanks :)

Eric Myers
Eric Myers
Joined: 8 Nov 04
Posts: 45
Credit: 1,182,242
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Clueless

> For those of us who are hopelessly clueless at reading the screen saver would
> it be possible to put a reference point we can follow - like true north from
> Earth? Or just highlight the North Star.

The constellations are a bit hard to read at first because they are backwards from how they appear in the night sky (because you are looking at them from *outside* the "celestial sphere"). But if you look in the northern hemisphere near the top you will see the little dipper (Ursa Minor), and the end of the handle is the north star (Polaris). The celestial sphere rotates about it, so you can also recognize it as the one not moving due to the rotation.

Other reference points to look for are Cassiopia (looks like a W) and Orion the Hunter.

A start chart can help you find your way around, but remember that the images are reversed. Or you can pop up the graphics in a window (set "run always" and then click on "show graphics") and zoom into the sphere with the mouse. Then the sky will not be reversed and may look more familiar.

If you go up the "front" side of Orion (the side with his arm outstreched holding a bow) from his belt to his shoulder and continue up to Taurus you will find a pulsar between the horns of the bull. That is the Crab pulsar, in the crab nebula. It is one of objects in the sky being scrutinized as a potential source of gravity waves.

- Eric Myers

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