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RE: Stellar Coordinates

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Posted by Kip Crawford on July 11, 2000 23:57:54 UTC

RA (Right Ascension) and DEC (Declination) are used to find or locate objects. RA is for latitude(sideways) and it is measured in hours and minutes. There are 24 hours, each hour equals 15 degrees in earth rotation. 24x15=360. Declination is longitude (up & down). Polaris (north star) is darn near at the celestial north pole or 0 degrees. If you point your arms like a "L" and point your left arm at Polaris and point your right arm to the south (90 degrees) then your right arm would be at 90 degrees(celestial equator). Using a star chart would be best to learn. You really need visuals for this anyway. If you have a computer, getting planetarium software will greatly help you. It`s pretty easy. Here is a site down below to help you out I hope.


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