A north-south reference line, particularly a great circle through the geographical poles of the earth. The term usually refers to the upper branch, the half, from pole to pole, which passes through a given place; the other half being called the lower branch. An astronomical (terrestrial) meridian is a line connecting points having the same astronomical longitude. A geodetic meridian is a line connecting points of equal geodetic longitude. Geodetic and sometime astronomical meridians are also called geographic meridians. Geodetic meridians are shown on charts. The prime meridian passes through longitude 0°. Sometimes designated TRUE MERIDIAN to distinguish it from magnetic meridian, compass meridian, or grid meridian, the north-south lines relative to magnetic, compass, or grid direction, respectively. A fictitious meridian is one of a series of great circles or lines used in place of a meridian for certain purposes. A transverse or inverse meridian is a great circle perpendicular to a transverse equator. An oblique meridian is a great circle perpendicular to an oblique equator. Any meridian used as a reference for reckoning time is called a time meridian. The meridian used for reckoning standard zone, daylight saving, or war time is called standard, zone, daylight saving, or war meridian respectively. The meridian through any particular place or observer, serving as the reference for local time, is called local meridian, in contrast with the Greenwich meridian, the reference for Greenwich time. A celestial meridian is a great circle of the celestial sphere, through the celestial poles and the zenith. Also called CIRCLE OF LATITUDE.

Related Terms


A device for producing a deliberate pressure drop or resistance in a line by reducing the cross-sectional flow area.


The reduction in the effective magnetic lines of force, produced by the armature current.


The time rate of change of velocity; i.e., the derivative of velocity; with respect to time.


Amount of time an unit, equipment or system is run per hour or per 24 hours.


The specified time interval of a Loran C chain for all stations of the chain to transmit their pulse groups. For each chain a minimum group repetition interval (GRI) is selected of sufficient duration to provide time for each station to transmit its pulse group and additional time between each pulse group so that signals from two or more stations cannot overlap in time anywhere within the coverage area. The GRI is normally stated in terms of tens of microseconds; i.e., the GRI having a duration of 79,900 microseconds is stated as 7900.


The space between magnetic poles, or between the rotating and stationary assemblies in a motor or generator.


Any real function that satisfies a certain equation. In its simplest form, as used in tide and tidal current predictions, it is a quantity that varies as the cosine of an angle that increases uniformly with time


A line making the same oblique angle with all grid meridians. Grid parallels and meridians may be considered special cases of the grid rhumb line.


The process of adjusting magnetic compass correctors so as to remove half of the deviation on the opposite cardinal or adjacent intercardinal headings to those on which adjustment was originally made when all deviation was removed. This is done to equalize the error on opposite headings.


A permanent magnet placed vertically in a tube under the center of a marine magnetic compass, to correct for heeling error.

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