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Ecliptic coordinate system

ecliptic coordinate system
The coordinate system in which a celestial object’s position on the celestial sphere is described in terms of its celestial latitude and celestial longitude, measured with respect to the ecliptic. Celestial latitude is measured in degrees north or south of the ecliptic, and celestial longitude is measured in degrees eastward from the vernal equinox. Because the ecliptic is fixed among the stars (that is, it is unaffected by the precession of the Earth’s axis), an object’s celestial latitude does not alter over time. However, due to the gradual precession of the equinoxes westward along the ecliptic, an object’s celestial longitude increases by about 1.4° each century. The ecliptic system is used by astronomers especially in describing the position of objects within the solar system. Compare altazimuth coordinate system, equatorial coordinate system.


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  • Ecliptic latitude

    noun 1. (astronomy) another name for celestial latitude

  • Ecliptic longitude

    noun 1. (astronomy) another name for celestial longitude

  • Eclogite

    [ek-luh-jahyt] /ˈɛk ləˌdʒaɪt/ noun 1. a rock consisting of a granular aggregate of green pyroxene and red garnet, often containing kyanite, silvery mica, quartz, and pyrite. /ˈɛkləˌdʒaɪt/ noun 1. a rare coarse-grained basic rock consisting principally of garnet and pyroxene. Quartz, feldspar, etc, may also be present. It is thought to originate by metamorphism or […]

  • Eclogue

    [ek-lawg, -log] /ˈɛk lɔg, -lɒg/ noun 1. a pastoral poem, often in dialogue form. /ˈɛklɒɡ/ noun 1. a pastoral or idyllic poem, usually in the form of a conversation or soliloquy n. “short poem,” especially a pastoral dialogue, mid-15c., from Latin ecloga “selection, short poem, eclogue,” from Greek ekloge “selection,” from eklegein “to select” (see […]

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