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celestial sphere

noun
1.
the imaginary spherical shell formed by the sky, usually represented as an infinite sphere, the center of which is a given observer's position.
Origin of celestial sphere
1875-1880
First recorded in 1875-80
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for celestial sphere
Historical Examples
  • What a celestial body has it drawn out from its celestial sphere!

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • It was only the northern half of the celestial sphere which had been fully explored.

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • The earth, argued Ptolemy, lies at the centre of the celestial sphere.

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • The north star showed the only motionless spot in the celestial sphere.

    Urania Camille Flammarion
  • When a star reaches the meridian in its course across the celestial sphere it is said to culminate or reach its culmination.

    Astronomical Lore in Chaucer Florence M. Grimm
  • A star rising due east would traverse this great circle of the celestial sphere and set due west.

    Astronomical Lore in Chaucer Florence M. Grimm
  • In Fig. 4, the outer circle represents the path of the zodiac on the celestial sphere.

    Astronomical Lore in Chaucer Florence M. Grimm
  • In Fig. 5, the outer arc again represents the path of the zodiac on the celestial sphere.

    Astronomical Lore in Chaucer Florence M. Grimm
  • This corresponds to the Tropic of Cancer on the celestial sphere, which marks the greatest northern declination of the sun.

    Astronomical Lore in Chaucer Florence M. Grimm
  • Further, this plane of the ecliptic is to the celestial sphere what the sea-level is to the earth.

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper
British Dictionary definitions for celestial sphere

celestial sphere

noun
1.
an imaginary sphere of infinitely large radius enclosing the universe so that all celestial bodies appear to be projected onto its surface
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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celestial sphere in Science
celestial sphere  

An imaginary sphere with Earth at its center. The stars, planets, Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies appear to be located on this sphere, and the sphere appears to rotate around the Earth's extended axis once every 24 hours, carrying the celestial bodies with it overhead and giving them their diurnal motions. The celestial sphere is essentially a spherical map of the sky that provides the basis for the coordinate systems used in celestial navigation and in specifying the positions and motions of celestial objects. See more at altazimuth coordinate system, ecliptic coordinate system, equatorial coordinate system.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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