- each of the two points in which the extended axis of the earth cuts the celestial sphere and about which the stars seem to revolve.
Origin of celestial pole
First recorded in 1900–05
Also called pole.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- either of the two points at which the earth's axis, extended to infinity, would intersect the celestial sphereSometimes shortened to: pole
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
- Either of the two points at which a northward or southward projection of the Earth's axis intersects the celestial sphere. The north and south celestial poles are analogous to Earth's geographic poles and are used in determining right ascension in the equatorial coordinate system. Depending on which hemisphere an observer is in, the stars and other celestial objects appear to revolve once around the north or south celestial pole every 24 hours, an effect produced by the rotation of the Earth on its axis. Because of the precession of Earth's axis, the celestial poles gradually shift position in the sky over a nearly 26,000-year cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.