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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 ?
As described by Rahman et al., each block of 3x2 pixels in a digital image is considered equivalent to a Braille cell (3x2 dots).
These specialized techniques include using "twin vision" books, composed of both print and Braille; using a large Braille cell with removable dots and using a Braille basal reading series (Harrison, 1987; Heikkila, 1990; Holbrook & Koenig, 1992; Koenig, 1990; Swenson, 1988; Swenson, 1991; Willoughby & Duffy, 1989; Wurzbach, 1988).
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. Five of the students completed all six lessons.
Post-processing removed two types of artifacts: the latency between the initial contact and the initiation of movement and any movements made after the trailing edge of the reading fingerpad was beyond the last braille cell of the sentence.
They are dots that are placed before a braille cell to designate a change in the print typeface or to give the following character or letter a special meaning (Risjord, 2009).
Large and small magnetic dots offer a simple way for teachers of students with visual impairments to introduce sighted children to the braille cell and create motivating follow-up activities (see Figures 1 and 2).
This requirement worked well with lowercase alphabetic symbols, but uppercase print letters, which required two braille cells (the first braille cell for the capital symbol, dot 6, and the second for the letter itself), introduced a conflict between the capabilities of embossed braille produced by a computer and the proper format of transcribed braille needed by readers.
A small wooden braille cell was used for the initial instruction.
There were also times when some Tanglaw members would stop in the middle of the chanting, only to continue after some harder and longer pressing on the Braille cells on the pages.
Musical directives with multiple braille cells such as time signatures and key signatures were omitted from the score to avoid strain on students' working memory.
“Eighty Braille cells is long enough to give you an appreciation of the way a document is laid out, which can really help you produce a well-formatted document,” says Jonathan Mosen, Freedom Scientific's Vice President of Blindness Hardware Product Management.