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Positional astronomy

Positional astronomy is the study of the positions of celestial objects. This is the oldest branch of astronomy and dates back to antiquity. Observations of celestial objects are important for religious and astrological purposes, as well as for timekeeping.

Ancient structures associated with positional astronomy include:

The unaided human eye can detect about 6000 stars, of which about half are below the horizon at any one time.

On modern star charts, the celestial sphere is divided into 88 constellations. Every star lies within a constellation.

Constellations are useful for navigation. If you live in the northern hemisphere you can find north by locating the star Polaris. This star is always at a position nearly over the north pole.

See also:

See also

angle, diurnal motion, eclipse, ecliptic, elongation, epoch, equinox, Halley, Edmund, History of Astronomy, Kepler's laws of planetary motion, prograde and retrograde motion, Moon, occultation, parallax, sidereal time, solstice, time, astrology, jyotish, Chinese astrology