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radius vector

noun, plural radii vectores
[vek-tawr-eez, -tohr-] /vɛkˈtɔr iz, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
radius vectors.
Mathematics. the length of the line segment joining a fixed point or origin to a given point.
  1. the straight line joining two bodies in relative orbital motion, as the line from the sun to a planet at any point in its orbit.
  2. the distance between two such bodies at any point in the orbit.
Origin of radius vector
First recorded in 1745-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for radius vector

radius vector

(maths) a line joining a point in space to the origin of polar or spherical coordinates
(astronomy) an imaginary line joining a satellite to the planet or star around which it is orbiting
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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radius vector in Science
radius vector  
  1. A line segment that joins the origin and a variable point in a system of polar or spherical coordinates.

  2. The imaginary straight line that connects the center of the Sun or another body with the center of a planet, comet, or other body that orbits it.

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