One Stellar Day
The star trail image here captures the motion of stars over the course of one sidereal day. The clocks we use to tell the time are based on a solar day: every 24 hours the Sun crosses the Prime Meridian at Greenwich followed by each imaginary line of longitude on Earth. However, as our planet spins on its axis, it actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to complete one rotation. This is the true rotational period of Earth and this is called the ‘sidereal day’ or ‘stellar day’. As the Earth rotates, it also orbits the Sun, and so from our perspective the Sun moves out of position by about 1 degree every day against ‘fixed stars’. Born digital photograph entitled 'One Stellar Day' by András Papp taken on 2nd November 2016 in Ágasvár, Veszprémvarsány, Hungary. Taken with Canon EOS 700D camera, 18–135 mm at 135 mm f/7.1, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 mount with home-made camera holder, ISO 800, 287 x 300-second exposures. Runner-up of Stars & Nebulae category of Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017.
Object number: ZBA8929
- Image reference: APA0003
- © András Papp. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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