Either of the two points of intersection section of the celestial sphere and the extended axis of the earth, labeled N or S to indicate whether the north celestial pole or the south celestial pole.

Related Terms

GYRO ERROR

The error in the reading of the gyrocompass, expressed in degrees east or west to indicate the direction in which the axis of the compass is offset from true north.

GREENWICH HOUR ANGLE

Angular distance west of the Greenwich celestial meridian; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the upper branch of the Greenwich celestial meridian and the hour circle of a point on the celestial sphere, measured westward from the Greenwich celestial meridian throug

HORIZON SYSTEM OF COORDINATES

A set of celestial coordinates based on the celestial horizon as the primary great circle; usually altitude and azimuth or azimuth angle.

GYROSCOPE

A rapidly rotating mass free to move about one or both axes perpendicular to the axis of rotation and to each other. It is characterized by GYROSCOPIC INERTIA and PRECESSION. Usually shortened to GYRO. The term also refers colloquially to the GYROCOMPASS.

GYROSCOPIC DRIFT

The horizontal rotation of the spin axis of a gyroscope about the vertical axis

HELIOCENTRIC PARALLAX

The difference in the apparent direction or positions of a celestial body outside the solar system, as observed from the earth and sun. Also called STELLAR PARALLAX, ANNUAL PARALLAX

HORIZONTAL EARTH RATE

The rate at which the spin axis of a gyroscope must be tilted about the horizontal axi

AXIAL-LOAD BEARING

A bearing in which the load acts in the direction of the axis of rotation.

HORIZON

The great circle of the celestial sphere midway between the zenith and nadir, or a line resembling or approximating such a circle. The line where earth and sky appear to meet, and the projection of this line upon the celestial sphere, is called the visible or apparent horizon. A line resembling the visible horizon but above or below it is called a false horizon. The circle of the celestial sphere-formed by the intersection of the celestial sphere and a plane perpendicular to the zenith-nadir line is called sensible horizon if the plane is through any point, such as the eye of an observer; geoidal horizon if through any sea-level point; and celestial or rational horizon if through the center of the earth. The geometrical horizon was originally considered identi- cal with the celestial horizon, but the expression is now more commonly used to refer to the intersection of the celestial

HOUR CIRCLE

On the celestial sphere, a great circle through the celestial poles. An hour circle through the zenith is called a celestial meridian Also called CIRCLE OF DECLINATION, CIRCLE OF

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