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fixed star

noun, Astronomy.
any of the stars which apparently always retain the same position in respect to one another.
Origin of fixed star
First recorded in 1555-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fixed star
Historical Examples
  • Why are you a fixed star, after telling us you were engaged as a planet?

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • In the vicinity of δ, Mayer observed in 1756 what he termed a fixed star.

    A Field Book of the Stars William Tyler Olcott
  • Above the wrangle and clamour of the passions she is a fixed star.

  • In those days she had shone as a bright planet rather than a fixed star.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • There is only one fixed star in the midsts of our wandering.

    She H. Rider Haggard
  • And then, as swift as light from a fixed star, the answer came to me.

  • I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success.

    Orthodoxy G. K. Chesterton
  • And through the convalescing days Cameron had his place, like a fixed star.

    The Shield of Silence Harriet T. Comstock
  • There it was; but the observer passed it over as a fixed star.

  • As referred to a fixed star the precession of the equinoxes has an average period of about 25,700 years.

British Dictionary definitions for fixed star

fixed star

any of the stars in the Ptolemaic system, all of which were thought to be attached to an outer crystal sphere thus explaining their apparent lack of movement
an extremely distant star whose position appears to be almost stationary over a long period of time
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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fixed star in Science
fixed star
A star or other celestial object so distant from Earth that its position in relation to other stars appears not to change over time. The fixed stars, which include virtually all visible objects beyond the solar system, form the background against which the motions of the Sun, planets, and other bodies of the solar system are measured, and they provide the reference for determining sidereal time. In actuality, no celestial object has a fixed position in relation to any other, and the movement of so-called fixed stars can be measured by precise observation over long periods of time. See more at proper motion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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