Of or pertaining to astronomy


Related Terms

HORIZONTAL GEODETIC DATUM

The basis for computations of horizontal control surveys in which the curvature of the earth is considered It consists of the astronomical and geodetic latitude and the astronom- ical and geodetic longitude of an initial point (origin); an azimuth of a line from this point; the parameters (radius and flattening) of the reference ellipsoid; and the geoidal separation at the origin. A change in any of these quantities affects every point on the datum. For this reason, while positions within a system are directly and accurately relatable, those points from different datums must be transformed to a common datum for consistency. The horizontal geodetic datum may extend over a continent or be limited to a small area.

AIR ALMANAC

1. A periodical publication of astronomical data designed primarily for air navigation, but often used in marine navigation. 2. A joint publication of the U.S. Naval Observatory and H. M. Nautical Almanac Office, Royal Greenwich Observatory, designed primarily for air navigation. In general the information is similar to that of the Nautical Almanac, but is given to a precision of 1' of arc and 1s of time, at intervals of 10m (values for the sun and Aries are given to a precision of 0.1').

ALMANAC

A periodical publication of ephemeral astronomical data. If information is given in a form and to a precision suitable for marine navigation, it is called a nautical almanac. See also nautical almanac; if designed primarily for air navigation, it is called an air almanac. See also EPHEMERIS, ASTRONOMICAL ALMANAC.

ASTROLABE

An instrument which measures altitudes of celestial bodies, used for determining an accurate astronomical position, usually while ashore in survey work. Originally, the astrolabe consisted of a disk with an arm pivoted at the center, the whole instrument being hung by a ring at the top to establish the vertical.

ASTRONOMICAL DAY

Prior to January 1, 1925, a mean solar day which began at mean noon, 12 hours later than the beginning of the calendar day of the same date. Since 1925 the astronomical day agrees with the civil day.

ASTRONOMICAL MERIDIAN

A line connecting points having the same astronomical longitude. Because the deflection of the vertical (station error) varies from point to point, the astronomical meridian is not a plane curve. When the astronomical meridian is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC MERIDIAN. Also called TERRESTRIAL MERIDIAN and sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC MERIDIAN.

ASTRONOMICAL LONGITUDE

Angular distance between the plane of the celestial meridian at a station and the plane of the celestial meridian at Greenwich. It is the longitude which results directly from observations of celestial bodies, uncorrected for deflection of the vertical, the prime vertical component of which, in the United States, may amount to more than 18'. Astronomical longitude applies only to positions on the earth, and i

ASTRONOMICAL LATITUDE

Angular distance between the plumb line at a station and the plane of the celestial equator It is the latitude which results directly from observations of celestial bodies, uncorrected for deflection of the vertical which, in the United States, may amount to as much as 25'. Astronomical latitude applies only t

ASTRONOMICAL PARALLEL

A line connecting points having the same astronomical latitude. Because the deflection of the vertical varies from point to point, the astronomical parallel is an irregular line not lying in a single plane. When the astronomical parallel is corrected for station error, it becomes the GEODETIC PARALLEL. Sometimes called GEOGRAPHIC PARALLEL.

ASTRONOMICAL TIME

Time used with the astronomical day which prior to 1926 began at noon of the civil day of same date. The hours of the day were numbered consecutively from 0 (noon) to 23 (11 AM of the following morning).

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