Equatorial Coordinate System

Celestial coordinate system

A celestial sphere is an abstract sphere centered on an observer. All objects in the sky can be conceived as being projected upon the inner surface of the celestial sphere.

Equatorial system

The equatorial coordinate system is centered at Earth’s center, but fixed relative to the celestial poles and the vernal equinox. The coordinates are based on the location of stars relative to Earth’s equator if it were projected out to an infinite distance. The equatorial describes the sky as seen from the solar system, and modern star maps almost exclusively use equatorial coordinates.
The equatorial system is the normal coordinate system for most professional and many amateur astronomers having an equatorial mount that follows the movement of the sky during the night. Celestial objects are found by adjusting the telescope’s or other instrument’s scales so that they match the equatorial coordinates of the selected object to observe.