celestial pole


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.
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
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
) 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
..... Click the link for more information.
) 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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 ?
0 +6 6 -2 3 Table 5 Data jumps and changes in trend of the model of celestial pole offset.
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.
Similarly to polar motion and celestial pole offsets, the fit is improved when excitations at GMJ epochs are applied.
The FCN contribution to the celestial pole motion at the given epoch was computed by using Eq.
Celestial pole offsets, taken from the most recent IVS combined solution (Schluter and Behrend, 2007) ivs13q2X.
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").
Since GPS and SLR do not provide celestial pole offsets, only the [x.
Earth's rotation makes the stars appear to circle the north celestial pole in this July 1998 time exposure from the shore of Lake Zaboi in the Balkan state of Montenegro.
More often is the first method, in which the observed celestial pole offsets are used to calculate so called geodetic excitations that, in turn, are compared with time series of geophysical excitations.
Bootes lies behind Ursa Major, the Great Bear, and appears to be driving the Great Bear around the north celestial pole.