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New Sidereal and Solar Time Simulator

A Sidereal and Solar Time Simulator has been added to the site. It illustrates a solar clock, a sidereal clock, the Sun, and an observer on Earth. One can advance time by a variety of different increments and see the effects on both clocks and the observer. Concepts that can be demonstrated include:

  • the 4 minute difference between solar and sidereal days
  • the ~366 sidereal days and ~365 solar days in a year
  • alignment with the sun for solar time, alignment with the stars for sidereal time
  • that sidereal time is equal to the RA of an object on the meridian -- "if it is noon on the summer solstice, what is the sidereal time?"
Sidereal and Solar Time Simulator screenshot
Monday, October 18, 2010  —  Kevin