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Encyclopedia > Celestial equator

The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, which could be constructed by inflating the Earth's equator until it intersects with said sphere. The celestial equator is inclined by ~23.5, with respect to the ecliptic plane; a result of axial tilt.






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Celestial sphere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (385 words)
In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an imaginary rotating sphere of "gigantic radius", concentric with the Earth.
Projected, from their corresponding terrain equivalents, are the celestial equator and the celestial poles.
As the earth rotates from west to east, the celestial sphere appears to rotate from east to west.
Astronomical Leage - Astro Note 11: Celestial Coordinate Systems (607 words)
Since all objects on the celestial sphere appear to be at the same, arbitrarily large distance from the observer, it is usually not necessary to know the object's true distance.
The reference point on the celestial equator is defined with the aid of another plane, the plane of the Earth's orbit, called the ecliptic.
That intersection where the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north is chosen as the reference point and is known as the vernal equinox.
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