line of nodes

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Related to line of nodes: descending node

line of nodes

See nodes.

Line of Nodes


in astronomy, the line along which the orbital plane of a celestial body intersects the principal plane passing through the primary. The plane of the ecliptic is taken as the principal plane in the study of the motion of the planets, comets, and other bodies of the solar system, and the equatorial plane of the earth is usually taken as the principal plane in the study of the motion of the moon and artificial earth satellites. The points of intersection of the line of nodes with the celestial sphere, whose center is at the primary, are called the nodes of the orbit.

References in periodicals archive ?
One after another of the inferior-conjunction sites creeps past the line of nodes every 243 years.
The time between successive alignments of the major axis of the Moon's orbit with the lunar line of nodes is 2.
The diagram illustrating orbital elements is misleading in that it shows the line of nodes at right angles to the orbital major axis, a special case, and the first point of Aries (whose symbol is not the Greek letter gamma, as shown, but stylized horns) is hardly "a fixed point in space" as stated.