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(brāl), in astronomy, a small asteroidasteroid,
or minor planet,
small body orbiting the sun. More than 300,000 asteroids have been identified and cataloged; more than a million are believed to exist in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter, with many more in the Kuiper belt
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 notable because it has the same atypical geologic composition as the larger asteroid VestaVesta
, in astronomy, the fourth asteroid to be discovered. It was found in 1807 by H. Olbers. It is the third largest asteroid in size, with a diameter of c.326 mi (525 km). Its average distance from the sun is 2.36 astronomical units, and the period of its orbit is 1,325 days.
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. In 1999 the space probe Deep Space 1 passed within 16 mi (26 km) of Braille's surface, the closest flyby ever of an asteroid. Braille measures only 1.3 mi (2.1 km) by 0.6 mi (1 km). Its orbit is highly elliptical; its periapsis, or closest point to the sun, being midway between earth and Mars, and its apoapsis, or furthest point from the sun, is more than three times further from the sun than the earth is. In addition, much of Braille's orbit is a considerable distance above or below the ecliptic, the plane in which the planets circle the sun. Because of its orbit and geologic composition, it has been suggested that Braille was torn from Vesta, which has a huge crater, as the result of Vesta's collision with another celestial body.
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A system of written communication for the blind in which letters are represented by raised dots over which the trained blind person moves the fingertips.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Louis . 1809--52, French inventor, musician, and teacher of the blind, who himself was blind from the age of three and who devised the Braille system of raised writing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(human language)
/breyl/ (Often capitalised) A class of writing systems, intended for use by blind and low-vision users, which express glyphs as raised dots. Currently employed braille standards use eight dots per cell, where a cell is a glyph-space two dots across by four dots high; most glyphs use only the top six dots.

Braille was developed by Louis Braille (pronounced /looy bray/) in France in the 1820s. Braille systems for most languages can be fairly trivially converted to and from the usual script.

Braille has several totally coincidental parallels with digital computing: it is binary, it is based on groups of eight bits/dots and its development began in the 1820s, at the same time Charles Babbage proposed the Difference Engine.

Computers output Braille on braille displays and braille printers for hard copy.

British Royal National Institute for the Blind.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
Louis was able to design a simpler six-dot system that became the braille alphabet. The system features "cells" with three rows and two columns of dots that represent letters, numbers, and symbols.
Louis Braille, a boy from France, was 15 years old when he invented the Braille alphabet used by the blind.
had learned braille a young age and, therefore, the braille alphabet was then paired with the corresponding fingerspelled manual alphabet letters.
Maneki talked about the basic structure of Braille and, with the aid of a Braille alphabet card, helped the children to learn the Braille letters.
Participants were observed in their technique, participated in discussions about the use of braille, and drilled each other on letters of the braille alphabet using the large manipulatable braille cells.
Imagine a domino with six spots: Two columns of three dots each, this is the basic shape for the Braille alphabet system.
Have them exchange their Braille messages with others for "decoding." To make their own textured Braille Alphabet, puff paint, thick fabric paint, or dots of white glue will produce sturdy raised dots for them to feel.
Included is an orientation/mobility evaluation procedure, an independent living skills assessment process, information on how to make a large print telephone directory, an application for exemption from directory assistance, a braille alphabet form, and a resources form.