Passage of the year

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This page shows our view of the stars as we go around the sun and the sun makes a little progress around the galaxy, carrying us along. To see the panorama you need QuickTime.

The Year panorama lets you spin within the celestial sphere. The four seasons are inlaid in the stars. The stars that relate to each season are the ones on the ecliptic, or path of the sun. For example, in December, the sun appears to us to line up with the core of the galaxy near the constellation Sagittarius. It is about 18 hours, as shown on the map of the panorama shown below. Most of the labels are for stars or constellations.

Along the top of the map are the hours that correspond to the 24 hours of the day. We spin around this star view each day. But the hours of the celestial sphere mark our path around the sun for a year. See the purple line, called the ecliptic. It starts with 0 hours. Along the bottom of the map are the times of the solstices and equinoxes, marking the four changes of the seasons.

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© Caroling 1998 All rights reserved. Last Modified: Dec 2 1998