Using the applet
This applet has been designed to help students visualize the concept of the circumpolar motion of the stars. It consists of four key components: the star field; the pole star; the hour indicators; and the constellations.
Circumpolar motion is the apparent rotation of all the stars in the northern hemisphere around the pole star, Polaris. The positions of the stars remain constant with respect to each other; therefore, the constellations maintain their shapes. The stars make one complete rotation every 24 hours (one day).
Within the applet, the horizon is used to illustrate the fact that not all stars are circumpolar. The height of the North Star in relation to the horizon depends on the latitude at which the observer on Earth is situated.
Download the Flash Applet
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