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For an equatorial mounting of a telescope, an axis of rotation that is perpendicular to the polar axis and allows the telescope to be pointed at objects of different declinations.



Related Terms

EQUATORIAL MOUNTING

The mounting of an equatorial telescope; it has two perpendicular axes, the polar axis (parallel to the earth's axis) that turns on fixed bearings, and the declination axis, supported by the polar axis.

CLOCK DRIVE

The mechanism that causes an equatorial telescope to revolve about its polar axis so that it keeps the same star in its field of view.

EQUATORIAL PLANE

A plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation of a rotating body and equidistant from the intersections of this axis with the body's surface, provided that the body is symmetric about the axis of rotation and is symmetric under reflection through this plane.

FACING

  1. A covering or casting of some material applied to the outer face of embankments, buildings, and other structures. 2. Machining the end of a flat rotating surface by applying a tool perpendicular to the axis of rotation in a spiral planar path.

CENTER OF SUSPENSION

The intersection of the axis of rotation of a pendulum with a plane perpendicular to the axis that passes through the center of mass.

DECLINATIONCIRCLE

For a telescope with an equatorial mounting, a setting circle attached to the declination axis that shows the declination to which the telescope is pointing.

EQUATOR

The primary great circle of a sphere or spheroid, such as the earth, perpendicular to the polar axis

COLATITUDE

Ninety degrees minus the latitude, the angle between the polar axis and the radius vector locating a point.

CIRCLE OF PERPETUAL OCCULTATION

The circle of the celestial sphere, centered on the polar axis and having a polar distance from the depressed pole approximately equal to the latitude of the observer, within which celestial bodies do not rise. The circle within which bodies do not set Is called the CIRCLE OF PERPETUAL APPARITION.

TORQUE

That which effects or tends to effect rotation or torsion and which is measured by the product of the applied force and the perpendicular distance from the line of action of the force to the axis of rotation.

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