The point on the celestial sphere vertically below the observer, or 180° from the zenith.

Related Terms

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.

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

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

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

HACK

A chronometer which has failed to meet the exacting require- ments of a standard chronometer, and is used for timing observations of celestial bodies, regulating ship's clocks, etc. A comparing watch, which may be of high quality, is normally used for timing celestial observations, the watch being compared with the chronometer, preferably both before and after observations. Sometimes called HACK CHRONOMETER.

Half of a sphere

HOUR ANGLE

Angular distance west of a celestial meridian or hour circle; the arc of the celestial equator, or the angle at the celestial pole, between the upper branch of a celestial meridian or hour circle and the hour circl

HORIZON GLASS

The glass of a marine sextant, attached to the frame, through which the horizon is observed. The half of this glass nearer the frame is silvered to form the HORIZON MIRROR for reflecting the image of a celestial body; the other half is clear.

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