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Physics LibreTexts

Astronomy without a Telescope

Now that you have some feeling for the scales of time and space that astronomy encompasses and some of the difficulties caused by being Earth-bound (well, okay: solar-system bound!), let's take a look at what is up there in the sky beyond the clouds. In this chapter, you will learn where to find the key points on the night sky, how to use the coordinate system that astronomers use, how the Sun's position among the stars changes and how that affects the temperature throughout the year, and about the phases of the Moon and eclipses. At the end of chapter, you will learn about the motions of the planets among the stars. All of the things in this chapter, you can observe without a telescope---naked eye astronomy (note to Jesse Helms and Sen. Exon: that means astronomy without the use of a telescope). You just need to observe the objects carefully and notice how things change over time. The vocabulary terms are in boldface.