1. A plane closed curve all points of which are equidistant from a point within, called the center. A great circle is the intersection of a sphere and a plane through its center; it is the largest circle that can be drawn on a sphere. A small circle is the intersection of a sphere and a plane which does not pass through its center. See also PARALLEL OF ALTITUDE, PARALLEL OF DECLINATION, PARALLEL OF LATITUDE; AZIMUTH CIRCLE, BEARING CIRCLE, DIURNAL CIRCLE, EQUATOR, HOUR CIRCLE, PARASELENIC CIRCLES, POSITION CIRCLE, SPEED CIRCLE, VERTICAL CIRCLE. 2. A section of a plane, bounded by a curve all points of which are equidistant from a point within, called the center.

Related Terms

SPREAD

The divergence of the air stream in a horizontal or vertical plane after it leaves the outlet.

GYROSCOPIC DRIFT

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

HEAVE

The oscillatory vertical rise and fall, due to the entire hull being lifted by the force of the sea. Also called HEAVING

HEIGHT OF TIDE

Vertical distance from the chart sounding datum to the water surface at any stage of the tide. It is positive if the water level is higher than the chart sounding datum. The vertical distance from the chart sounding datum to a high water datum is called RISE OF TIDE.

HEELING ERROR INSTRUMENT

Heeling adjuster. Also called VERTICAL FORCE INSTRUMENT

MODEL ATMOSPHERE

Any theoretical representation of the atmosphere, particularly of vertical temperature distribution.

WICKING

The vertical absorption of a liquid into a porous material by capillary forces.

ICE FRONT

The vertical cliff forming the seaward face of an ice shelf or other floating glacier varying in height from 2 to 50 meters above sea level. See also ICE WALL.

MULTIPLE TIDE STAFF

A succession of tide staffs on a sloping shore so placed that the vertical graduations on the several staffs will form a continuous scale referred to the same datum.

LUBBER'S LINE

The vertical line inside a compass case indicating the direction of the ship's head.

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