The Stars

Under heaven or sky we understand the blue bowl, which seems to surround out earth from all sides.

When we look into the sky and rote on a clear evening the hundreds of fixed stars and planets, w cannot conceive anything about their actual distances; from us. They all appear about equally fax away, sintc nothing is present in the sky that would afford to make a comparison. The stars seem to be on the border of our sky-room. This way wc obtain a conception that the sky is a round bowl dotted with stars.

But what are stars? They arc heavenly bodies such as our Sun and only because we assume our Sun to be the Main Star of our Universe, can we detect and say that the other stars must be much farther distant from us, since they appear as glittering points. Fixed stars is their usual name. They sparkle and glitter. There is another type of stars, the wandering stars or planets, which change their positions in the sky continuously. It must be understood, however, that the fixed stars alio possess a small movement of their own, so that actually there are not even fixed stars. These movements are minor, invisible to the naked eye. The various groups of fixed stars today form the same types of pictures as they did several thousand years ago. From this fact we get the idea that fixed stirs are fastened to chd heavenly sphere and that their sphere is turning every twenty-four hours from East to "West around an axis.

To enable us to fix the positions of stats and planets it is necessary to run imaginary circles and use imaginary points in rhe sky, also lines and points on our earth, to which the places of the stars and planets can be referred to.

By comparing che stars' and planets' places with these lines and points at different periods, we obtain a basis from which to judge their movements, their apparent occasional stationary positions in the skies, their direction and speeds

In order to fix the position of the stars and planets, Several imaginary lines are used:

1) the Horizon with its cardinal points and poles;

2) the Heavenly Equator with its World Poles and Dcciination Circles;

3) the Ecliptic with its Poles;

4) the Latitude Circles;

These circles, lii>e every circle, consist of 360* each, each single degree being equally large compared to any other. Each such {') is divided into 60 equal parts called minutes ('), each minute is divided into 60 equal pa its called .seconds (") and each second into 60 equal parts, called tenia. (*"). The diameter of the Sun or the Moon as we see them in. the sky measures about half a degree or 30'.

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