Ascension of a Celestial Body

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ascension of a Celestial Body


an astronomical phenomenon caused by the diurnal rotation of the earth around its axis; the moment a heavenly body crosses the horizon during its transition into the visible half of the celestial sphere, which lies above the horizon. The hour angle t of the celestial body at the moment of ascension is determined by the formula

cos t =-tgφtg δ

where φ is the latitude of the point of observation and 8 is the declination of the celestial body, after which the sidereal time of the ascension is found using the formula

s = α + t

where α is the right ascension of the celestial body (α and δ are taken from astronomical yearbooks). To determine the azimuth A of the celestial body (counted off from the north) at its ascension, the following formula is used:

cos A = sin δ sec φ

(from the two values of t and A, the ones chosen are 180° < t < 360° and 0° < A < 180°). For the precise determination of the moment of ascension of a celestial body, refraction is taken into account.


Blazhko, S. N. Kurs sfericheskoi astronomii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.