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  1. Tabulated altitude interpolated for increments of latitude, declination, or hour angle. If no interpolation is required, the tabulated altitude and computed altitude are identical. 2. Altitude determined by computation, table, mechanical computer, or graphics, particularly such an altitude of the center of a celestial body measured as an arc on a vertical circle of the celestial sphere from the celestial horizon. Also called CALCULATED ALTITUDE.


Related Terms

ALTITUDE

Angular distance above the horizon; the arc of a vertical circle between the horizon and a point on the celestial sphere, measured upward from the horizon. Angular distance below the horizon is called negative altitude or depression. Altitude indicated by a sextant is called sextant altitude. Sextant altitude corrected only for inaccuracies in the reading (instrument, index, and personal errors, as applicable) and inaccuracies in the reference level (principally dip) is called apparent or rectified altitude. After all corrections are applied, it is called corrected sextant altitude or observed altitude. An altitude taken directly from a table, before interpolation, is called tabulated altitude. After interpolation, or if determined by calculation, mechanical device, or graphics, it is called computed altitude. If the altitude of a celestial body is computed before observation, and sextant altitude corrections are applied with reversed sign, the result is called precomputed altitude. The difference between computed and observed altitudes (corrected sextant altitudes), or between precomputed and sextant altitudes, is called altitude intercept or altitude difference. An altitude deter- mined by inexact means, as by estimation or star finder, is called an approximate altitude. The altitude of a celestial body on the celes- tial meridian is called meridian altitude. The expression ex- meridian altitude is applied to the altitude of a celestial body near the celestial meridian, to which a correction is to be applied to deter- mine the meridian altitude. A parallel of altitude is a circle of the celestial sphere parallel to the horizon, connecting all points of equal altitude.

VERTICAL CIRCLE

A great circle of the celestial sphere through the zenith and nadir. Vertical circles are perpendicular to the horizon. The prime vertical circle or prime vertical passes through the east and west points of the horizon. The principal vertical circle passes through the north and south points of the horizon and coincides with the celestial meridian.

PARALLEL OF ALTITUDE

A circle of the celestial sphere parallel to the horizon, connecting all points of equal altitude. Also called ALTITUDE CIRCLE, ALMUCANTAR.

GEOIDAL HORIZON

The circle of the celestial sphere formed by the inter- section of the celestial sphere and a plane through a point on the sea level surface of the earth, and perpendicular to the zenith-nadir line.

ALMUCANTAR

A small circle on the celestial sphere paralleled to the horizon. Also called CIRCLE OF EQUAL ALTITUDE, PARALLEL OF ALTITUDE.

SENSIBLE HORIZON

The circle of the celestial sphere formed by the intersection of the celestial sphere and a plane through any point, such as the eye of an observer, and perpendicular to the zenith-nadir line.

OBLIQUE ASCENSION

The arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the hour circle of the vernal equinox and the hour circle through the intersection of the celestial equator and the eastern horizon at the instant a point on the oblique sphere rises, measured eastward from the hour circle of the vernal equinox through 24h. The expression is not used in modern navigation.

CIRCLE OF LATITUDE

A great circle of the celestial sphere through the ecliptic poles and along which celestial latitude is measured.

ZENITH DISTANCE

Angular distance from the zenith; the arc of a vertical circle between the zenith and a point on the celestial sphere, measured from the zenith through 90°, for bodies above the horizon. This is the same as COALTITUDE with reference to the celestial horizon.

MERIDIAN ANGLE

Angular distance east or west of the local celestial meridian; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the upper branch of the local celestial meridian and the hour circle of a celestial body measured eastward or westward from the local celestial meridian through 180°, and labeled E or W to indicate the direction of measurement.

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