Either of the two parallels of declination (north or south), approximately 23°27' from the celestial equator, reached by the sun at its maximum declination, or the corresponding parallels on the earth. The northern of these is called the TROPIC OF CANCER and the southern, the TROPIC OF CAPRICORN. The region of the earth between these two parallels is called the TORRID ZONE, or often the TROPICS.

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The use of nuclear explosions to remove earth for constructing harother facilities.


Rock or earth removed during excavation. mucking


The application of the earth sciences to such military concerns as terrain analysis, water supply, foundations, and construction of roads and airfields.


A laser interferometer system that detects seismic strains in the earth by measuring changes in distance between two granite piers located at opposite ends of an evacuated pipe through which a helium-neon or other laser beam makes a round trip; movements as small as 80 nanometers (one-eighth the wavelength of the 632.8-nanometer helium-neon laser radiation).


Disposal of solid waste by burying in layers of earth in low ground.


A radar system for determining the vertical height at which the ionosphere reflects signals back to earth at various frequencies; a pulsed vertical beam is swept periodically through a frequency range from 0.5 to 20 megahertz, and the variation of echo return time with frequency is photographically recorded.


A passive infrared device that detects the thermal discontinuity between the earth and space; used in establishing a stable vertical reference for control of the attitude or orientation of a missile or satellite in space.


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


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


The basis for computations of horizontal control surveys in which the curvature of the earth is considered It consists of the astronomical and geodetic latitude and the astronom- ical and geodetic longitude of an initial point (origin); an azimuth of a line from this point; the parameters (radius and flattening) of the reference ellipsoid; and the geoidal separation at the origin. A change in any of these quantities affects every point on the datum. For this reason, while positions within a system are directly and accurately relatable, those points from different datums must be transformed to a common datum for consistency. The horizontal geodetic datum may extend over a continent or be limited to a small area.

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