Finding the Pole Star (degrees of elevation)

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Ric
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Finding the Pole Star (degrees of elevation)

Post by Ric »

Hi,

My name is Ric and i am a complete beginner! :wink:

Assuming i have set up my telescope in southern UK, pointing compass north, and that i am reading the horizon as 0 degrees to an imaginary point directly above my head at 90 degrees (right angle), approximately to what degree - between 0º~90º, would i need to elevate my telescope in order to sight the Pole Star please?

Many thanks,

R
Andrew INT
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Post by Andrew INT »

Hi Ric, and welcome.

If I understand your question correctly...

I take it that your mount is equatorial. In this case, it should be set at the longitude of your location. It should be about 51 degrees or so.

Regards,

Andrew
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Ric
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Post by Ric »

Andrew INT wrote:Hi Ric, and welcome.

If I understand your question correctly...

I take it that your mount is equatorial. In this case, it should be set at the longitude of your location. It should be about 51 degrees or so.

Regards,

Andrew
thanks Andrew - ah, this is good news: am doing a bit of amateur Stone Age astronomy and the megalithic alignments i am thinking of will be much friendlier at 51 degrees: i had guesstimated over 65 degrees and this seemed, even to this untutored soul, a tad high in the northern sky?

best regards :)

R
mike a feist
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Post by mike a feist »

The key point is that the altitude of the pole star above the northern horizon is the same as your latitude (NOT longitude as in the reply) in degrees. (I ignore the fact that the Pole star is not quite at the North Celestial Pole). For example from the south coast where I live it is at 51 degrees. From the North Pole it will be 90 degrees and at the equator it will be at 0 degrees (ie on the horizon). Have look at local sundials in your area....their gnomons should also point at that angle. This is why it is important to buy a sundial suitable for your latitude. Some shops sell garden sundials made at an angle of 45 degrees (presumably for appearance) ...would be good for parts of France! maf
Andrew INT
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Post by Andrew INT »

You are right mike, I did indeed mean lat. It was a typo.
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Post by Ric »

51 degrees for southern Britain is great - it fits what i am looking at like a glove - have spent 12 hours measuring relative heights, distances and angles, not to mention ground plans, and 51 degrees fits what i am looking at: will update when i have tied it all together :)

many thanks

R
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Post by Spike »

Am I right in saying that 1 degree is approximately 70 miles?
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Post by GeorgeC »

The circumference of the Earth through the poles is 40007.86 km.
The length of the metre was set to be 10000km from pole to equator - they nearly got it spot on!
Dividing 40007.86 by 360 gives 111.1329444 km which is 69.05479 miles
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Post by Deimos »

Spike wrote:Am I right in saying that 1 degree is approximately 70 miles?
Depends what sort of miles you are talking about. If you start thinking about Nautical Miles it gets a lot easier (again approximately as there are slight variations) but 1 deg =(approx.) 60 Nautical miles

Ian
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Post by Vega »

For added peice of mind its always good to know which star the pole star is. Then you can look at your equipment and know if its pointing at the right place.

Check out this guide...

http://www.mattastro.com/polaris.html

The illustration is orientated the wrong way for this time of year but you can still easily get the idea of the pointer stars of the plough :wink: .

Matt
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Ric
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update

Post by Ric »

Hi,

am still working on this one :-o

are there any softwares which show the night sky when Thuban was the Pole Star please?

or can you re-jig softwares to show this: am running 'Night Sky Explorer' at the momnet but this only gets me back to 200 BC.

many thanks :)

Ric
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Re:

Post by Ric »

Ric wrote:51 degrees for southern Britain is great - it fits what i am looking at like a glove - have spent 12 hours measuring relative heights, distances and angles, not to mention ground plans, and 51 degrees fits what i am looking at: will update when i have tied it all together :)
I have tied it all together. Chapter 12, Section 1: 'The Cosmic Elk Hunt'

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Thanks ;)

Ric
Brian
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Re: update

Post by Brian »

Ric wrote: are there any softwares which show the night sky when Thuban was the Pole Star please?

many thanks :)

Ric

Hi Ric. Download acopy of Stellarium:
http://www.stellarium.org/

It's free and will show the sky accurately between 4000BC and 8000AD

If you want to pay, there's SkyMap Pro (I use it) or Starry Night (several versions) amongst others

HTH,
Brian
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David Frydman
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Re: Finding the Pole Star (degrees of elevation)

Post by David Frydman »

They should work as it is suggested Thuban was the Pole star around 2787 BC.
I don't know how accurate this is.
Polaris has been our Pole star for quite a while, maybe centuries. So it might be the same for Thuban.

Regards, David
Ric
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Re: Finding the Pole Star (degrees of elevation)

Post by Ric »

Thanks,

Yes, I used Stellarium several years ago during the research - brilliant software! It allows me to look at the night sky the way it was when they built Avebury!!

;)

Ric
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