Definitions for celestial equator
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word celestial equator
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
the great circle of the celestial sphere, lying in the same plane as the earth's equator.
Category: Astronomy, Nautical, Navy
Origin of celestial equator:
celestial equator, equinoctial circle, equinoctial line, equinoctial(noun)
the great circle on the celestial sphere midway between the celestial poles
A great circle on the celestial sphere, coincident with the plane of earth's equator.
The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space. As a result of the Earth's axial tilt, the celestial equator is inclined by 23.4° with respect to the ecliptic plane. An observer standing on the Earth's equator visualizes the celestial equator as a semicircle passing directly overhead through the zenith. As the observer moves north, the celestial equator tilts towards the southern horizon. The celestial equator is defined to be infinitely distant; thus the observer always sees the ends of the semicircle disappear over the horizon exactly due east and due west, regardless of the observer's position on Earth. At all latitudes the celestial equator appears perfectly straight because the observer is only finitely far from the plane of the celestial equator but infinitely far from the celestial equator itself. Celestial objects near the celestial equator are visible worldwide, but they culminate the highest in the sky in the tropics. The celestial equator currently passes through these constellations:
Find a translation for the celestial equator definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these celestial equator definitions with the community:
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"celestial equator." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/celestial equator>.