time measured by the diurnal motion of stars. A sidereal day is about four minutes shorter than a solar day, with hours, minutes, and seconds all proportionally shorter.
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Origin of sidereal time
First recorded in 1805–15
Words nearby sidereal time
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for sidereal time
time based upon the rotation of the earth with respect to the distant stars, the sidereal day being the unit of measurementSee also sidereal day
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
Scientific definitions for sidereal time
Time based on the rotation of the Earth with respect to the background of fixed stars. Astronomers generally use sidereal time rather than solar time because it is better suited to observations beyond the solar system.♦ A sidereal day is the time required for one complete rotation of the Earth on its axis with respect to a fixed star. It is an unvarying unit equal to 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.09 seconds of solar time.♦ A sidereal month is the average period of revolution of the Moon around the Earth with respect to a fixed star, equal to 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes of solar time.♦ A sidereal year is the time required for one complete revolution of the Earth around the Sun with respect to a fixed star, equal to 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, 9.54 seconds of solar time. Compare solar time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.