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Araiz, Franz T.

BSMT-2 Bravo

Horizon System of Celestial Coordinates


1. Parallel of altitude- A circle on the celestial sphere parallel to the horizon connecting all points of equal altitude. Also known as almucantar; altitude circle. 2. Zenith- is the point in the sky that appears directly above the observer. (opposite: nadir). In general, zenith may mean "highest point", 3. Zenith Distance- The angular distance of a celestial body from the zenith. The zenith distance is 90 minus the body's altitude above the horizon (i.e. the complement of the altitude) and hence is also known as coaltitude. 4. Azimuth- is the measurement of the position of a star in the sky. The star is the point of interest, the reference plane is the horizon or the surface of the sea, and the reference vector points to the north. 5. Altitude- is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context. Although the term altitude is commonly used to mean the height above sea level of a location, in geography the term elevation is often preferred for this usage. 6. Celestial horizon- also called the rational horizon, is a great circle parallel to the horizon, in which a plane at right angles to Zenith and Nadir lines are passing through the centre of the earth and intersects the celestial sphere, the center of which is the center of the Earth. 7. Nadir- is the direction pointing directly below a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at a specified location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous terms. 8. Vertical circle- is a great circle on the celestial sphere that is perpendicular to the horizon. Therefore it passes through the zenith and the nadir. There is a vertical circle for any given azimuth, where azimuth is the angle measured east from the north on the celestial horizon.

Celestial Equator for System 1. Polar Distance- is an astronomical term associated with the celestial equatorial coordinate system
( , ) and it is an angular distance of a celestial object on its meridian measured from the celestial pole, similar as declination (dec, ) is measured from the celestial equator: 2. Declination- is one of the two coordinates of the equatorial coordinate system, the other being either right ascension or hour angle. Declination in astronomy is comparable to geographic latitude, but projected onto the celestial sphere. 3. Parallel of Declination- This occurs when two planets are the same number of degrees of arc North or South of the Celestial Equator.

4. Celestial Meridian- is an imaginary great circle on the celestial sphere. It passes through the north point on the horizon, through the celestial pole, up to the zenith, through the south point on the horizon, and through the nadir, and is perpendicular to the local horizon.