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Transcript
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à=Ð/Ð8Stellar Coordinate System
The French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes invented a system for
locating objects in three-dimensional space. Called the Cartesian Coordinate System, it
requires a starting point and three axes (called X, Y, and Z) for horizontal, vertical, and
radial distance respectively. Any object can be mapped using this system, including stars.
The reference point is our sun, and distances to stars (Z axis) are measured radially
outward in light years. The celestial latitude (Y axis) is measured in degrees north
(positive) and south (negative) of the Celestial Equator, a line through the stars created if
our equator were projected into space. Longitude of stars uses the Vernal Equinox as the
Prime Meridian, and are measured in hours, minutes, and seconds to the right of the
equinox on a 24-hour system similar to time zones on Earth. This is called Right
Ascension.
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