Azimuth | Music of the Spheres

Major celestial bodies, like the larger, nearer planets or lower magnitude stars are easily found in the night sky without much need for computerized assistance or even coordinates. One can just walk outside at night and using a finder scope quickly home in on those objects. However, a large portion of the objects that fill the night time sky: planets, moons, higher magnitude stars, nebulae, distant galaxies are not observable by the naked eye or even with lower magnification finder scopes; thus it is necessary to use coordinates on a chart to find these objects.

Azimuth-diagramIt is within this realm of science that I first encountered the word stuck in my head this morning some twenty-two years ago when my parents bought me an ameteur telescope. ‘Azimuth’ is one of the measurements necessary to point a telescope in the right direction to view a specific heavenly body. Azimuth, latitude, declination, and right ascension make up what is called a ‘celestial coordinate’. Azimuth is measured clockwise as the number of degrees from compass north projected on a plane to the horizon; therefore, North = 0°, East = 90°, South = 180°, and West = 270°.


With the word ‘Azimuth’ this morning was a mental visualization of the music of the spheres proposed by Pythagoras. I won’t go into detail here, but instead leave you with this quote:

There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres.

-Pythagoras

As you ponder it, close your eyes and relax with “Music of the Spheres” based on Pythagoras’s work.


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