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2
votes
1answer
47 views

Calculate telescope orientation based on RA, DEC and Lat/Long

I'm parsing FITS files for a project based on data from a telescope. These files include 'DEC', 'RA' and lat long values. I understand roughly the concept of celestial coordinates and I assume that ...
6
votes
2answers
78 views

Why is right ascension measured in hours?

When viewing star maps in Stellarium, I noticed that the meridians of the equatorial grid were denoted in hours and not degrees, and that always puzzled me. Why did astronomers choose this system? I ...
4
votes
1answer
369 views

Calculate latitude and longitude based on date and sun

I can't seem to find this algorithm, if it exists. Can you calculate the longitude and latitude of where you are standing based on the date and the angle of the sun? Also, would the algorithm work for ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Calculation of Horizontal Coordinates

Given a fixed coordinate location on Earth (i.e. a latitude and longitude), and a fixed equatorial coordinate location of a particular astronomical object in the sky (i.e. right ascension and ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

how steady over time are right ascension and declination values?

I understand that astronomers use right ascension and declination for the position of stars. However both these values strike me as very anthropocentric and, more importantly, unreliable over time as ...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

How are East and West defined on other bodies of our solar system?

I noticed that East and West appear swapped on maps of the Sun, even though the Sun rotates around its polar axis in the same sense as Earth. See for example below Sun disk with a Venus transit ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Do stars of a galaxy change their positions relatively to each other?

Complete astronomy noob over here who would be happy if he get a simple answer (and who is also aware that this may be not possible)... I've learned from a tv documentary that the stars at the edge ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Convert coordinates between RA/dec and WGS 84 (SRID=4326)

I've imported the HYG Database from http://www.astronexus.com/node/34 and now I need to convert all RA/dec stars positions to fit in a WGS 84 coordinates (SRID=4326) PostGIS map (-180 to 180, 90 to ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

What are angular sizes of thin and thick disks in our Galaxy?

What are diapasons of galactic coordinates for thin and thick disks of our Galaxy?
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Coordinate transformations between reference frames in spherical astronomy

Suppose there are two observational frames of reference with origins $O$ and $O'$, respectively, separated by some constant distance. A body located at point $P$ has Cartesian coordinates ...
13
votes
3answers
313 views

Could someone explain RA/dec in simple terms?

The equatorial coordinate system isn't too complicated. However, for people new to this, it seems rather intimidating at first. Is there an easy way to explain it?