The Stars at Night
If like me you are interested in the stars, why not get a dynamic view of
the night sky!
See instructions on how to use this program below.
(If you don't see an image then you need to enable Java as an add-on. Click here for instructions)
To understand what you are seeing in the image above, imagine you are standing outside in the centre of a dome looking upwards, the night sky you see is imprinted on the outside wall of the dome. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the point directly above you is called Zenith. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere the point directly above you is called Nadir.
Instructions for use:
Change the latitude setting to match your location and press [Enter] (For example London is at latitude 51'). The time and date is already set by your computer clock.
The night sky you see on the screen will be identical to what you would see if you stood outside looking north.
The green horizon on screen, represents the horizon you can see as determined by the curvature of the Earth with the visible stars directly above it. You can remove the green horizon by clicking on the tick next to where it says 'Show Horizon'.
If you want to widen or narrow your field of view, use the Zoom In or Out buttons. If you zoom completely out, this is a representation of what you can see straight ahead and directly up to above your head. No horizon is shown in this view although it is approximately straight across the middle of the sphere.
If you want to see the night sky from a westerly view, place your mouse over the night sky screen, press and hold down the left mouse key and move your mouse to the right. You will then see the view change from North to North West to West. Again this is a representation of the night sky as seen directly west from your location. If you want to see the night sky from another direction, just keep moving the mouse.
If you want to know the name of a particular star, just put your mouse over the star and click the left button on your mouse.
Unfortunately, if you want to know the names of the constellations, you'll have to look these up separately.
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