celestial pole


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Related to celestial pole: celestial equator

celestial pole,

one of the two points at which the earth's axis of rotation intersects the celestial spherecelestial sphere,
imaginary sphere of infinite radius with the earth at its center. It is used for describing the positions and motions of stars and other objects. For these purposes, any astronomical object can be thought of as being located at the point where the line of sight
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. The celestial pole is important as a reference point in the equatorial coordinate systemequatorial coordinate system,
the most commonly used astronomical coordinate system for indicating the positions of stars or other celestial objects on the celestial sphere. The celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere with the observer at its center.
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; the celestial meridian passes through it, as do the hour circles of the stars. The polestar (see PolarisPolaris
or North Star,
star nearest the north celestial pole (see equatorial coordinate system). It is in the constellation Ursa Minor (see Ursa Major and Ursa Minor; Bayer designation Alpha Ursae Minoris) and marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper.
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) lies within 0.5° of the north celestial pole. Although there is no bright star near the south celestial pole, the Southern Cross (see CruxCrux
[Lat.,=cross], small but brilliant southern constellation whose four most prominent members form a Latin cross, the famous Southern Cross. The long arm of the cross, terminating in the brightest member, Acrux (Alpha Crucis), points almost directly at the south celestial
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) points directly to it. The altitudealtitude,
vertical distance of an object above some datum plane, such as mean sea level or a reference point on the earth's surface. It is usually measured by the reduction in atmospheric pressure with height, as shown on a barometer or altimeter.
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 of the celestial pole in an observer's hemisphere is equal to the observer's latitude on the earth.

celestial pole

[sə′les·chəl ′pōl]
(astronomy)
Either of the two points of intersection of the celestial sphere and the extended axis of the earth, labeled N or S to indicate the north celestial pole or the south celestial pole.
References in periodicals archive ?
Perhaps a transition from the obsolete pole star Thuban to the upstart Kochab, located on the opposite side of the celestial pole, might provide an explanation for this phenomenon.
This ancient sacral preoccupation with taking supernatural direction from the spirit of the celestial pole, literally bringing an aspect of numinous heaven down to earth, like the practical use of the Dipper's handle as a clock-hand and the keying of lunar mansions to the culmination of circumpolar stars, survived on a liminal level to inspire seminal metaphors about charismatic potency, until by early imperial times both Taiyi and the Celestial Thearch di experienced a major resurgence of devotional interest.
In fact, the celestial pole in Warring States and Han times was far from the Dipper.
He built an elevated passageway from A-fang across the Wei [River] to connect the hall to Xianyang, thereby to symbolize the Stepped Passageway [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]], [which runs] from near the Celestial Pole across the Milky Way to connect with the lunar mansion Lay-out-the-Hall [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]"; William H.
The Portuguese devised mnemonic diagrams (rodas) giving in degrees the relative positions of the Pole Star to the celestial pole at successive points through the course of the rotation.
r]th Star when it was not in rule, that is at the elevation of the Celestial Pole.
The correction to the celestial pole itself, which Arabs did not use, was one-half that figure, the radius of the orbit.
This star chart, showing stars down to about 7th magnitude, depicts a 30[degrees] field centred on the south celestial pole (marked with an "x").
The + indicates the zenith, and the x marks the South Celestial Pole.
This star chart, showing stars down to about 7th magnitude, depicts a 30[degrees] filed centred on the South Celestial Pole (marked with an 'x').
You don't want to be right at the equator because you couldn't get the celestial poles from the equatorial regions.