the parallax angle

PLEASE SEE ATTACHEMENT FOR ASSIGNMENT WORKSHEET AND FULL INSTRUCTIONS

Part 1: Finding the Distance to Stars Using the Parallax Angle

Instructions:

Answer the three questions at the bottom directly on the Attached Assignment worksheet.

This NASA web page provides additional explanation:

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/features/cosmic/neare…

Background:

Stellar Parallax is the apparent shift in the location of a star due to the orbit of the Earth. In other words, the star will appear to be in a different place depending on the line of sight from the Earth. By knowing the diameter of Earth’s orbit and by measuring the angle of apparent shift (the parallax angle), astronomers can calculate the distance to the nearby stars using trigonometry. This method has been used for centuries. The ancient Greeks were able to measure some of the closest stars this way. Today, sophisticated telescopes have greatly enhanced this method. Figure 1 is a graphic from your textbook showing how this works:


 

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