Simultaneous Star Sightings
Can my friend from New York see the same star as me at
the exact same time in California? If yes or no, about how many
miles apart can someone be to see the same star at the same time?
Yes, he can see the same star, but not in the same spot at the same
time. California is 3 hours west of New York, so, assuming the sky
in both places is clear, your California friend will see the same
star in roughly the same spot in the sky 3 hours later. California
is also a bit south of New York. If the New York star is in the
southern part of the sky, it will appear a bit higher in the sky
in California. However, if the star is in the northern sky, like
Polaris, it will appear a bit lower in the California sky.
David H. Levy
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Update: June 2012