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Introduction to Solar System Measurement

This free online astronomy course explores the Solar System and the Earth's impact on celestial navigation.

Publisher: ADU
We introduce you to the Solar System and the role of celestial poles in understanding solstices and equinoxes. Did you know that the Earth revolves around the sun in an anti-clockwise direction? We demonstrate how navigators use the position of heavenly bodies to find their position.
Introduction to Solar System Measurement
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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This free online astronomy course teaches you about the Solar System, beginning with basic terms like ‘perihelion’ and ‘aphelion’, which describe a celestial body’s farthest and closest points to the sun respectively. We explain how such bodies can affect the Earth’s orbit in terms of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to help you calculate your position using the stars. This course covers the daily motion of the celestial bodies and the common terminologies associated with the equatorial coordinate system.

We investigate celestial poles, solstices and equinoxes before unpacking the twilight and Earth-Moon systems, which includes analysis of solar and lunar eclipses. This brings us to the practical details of celestial navigation, including Greenwich Hour Angle (GHA), Local Hour Angle (LHA) and Sidereal Hour Angle (SHA). We delve into astronomical zenith and nadir and how to make computations with true altitude, azimuth and true zenith distance. This may appear daunting but we take you through each new concept step by step.

This course shows you how to use heavenly bodies to find your position as we take you through the laws of planetary motion and celestial navigation practices. This lends your astronomical curiosity some earthly practical relevance as you learn how to use a sextant for taking sight. This free astronomy online course benefits stargazers and travellers alike as the stars can guide you across the cosmos or your own planet.

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