Measurement of Distance between Earth and Sun

The Sun rotates, like the Earth, about its own axis.This can nicely be observed by tracing the positions of sunspots and has already been described in 1612 by Galileo Galilei. On several days, we determine with the Hainberg solar telescope postitions of sunspots and obtain from this the rotation period of the Sun.The velocity on the solar surface due to rotation is measured by means of the Doppler effect, the shift of spectral lines. From the duration of one solar rotation and from the velocity we calculate easily the solar radius in km. With this and with the angular diameter of the Sun, seen from Earth, the distance to the Sun follows. This is an important measure in astronomy, the Astronomical Unit (AU).More quantities, like the distance to Jupiter and the mass of the Sun, are then easily deduced.

The experiment can be carried out upon arrangements of a date to visit the Hainberg observatory, on bad weather we can use existing data.

Location: XLAB

Application only after consultation with XLAB staff

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