Dictionary > Ecliptic


1. (Science: astronomy) a great circle of the celestial sphere, making an angle with the equinoctial of about 23 deg 28′. It is the apparent path of the sun, or the real path of the earth as seen from the sun.
2. (Science: geography) a great circle drawn on a terrestrial globe, making an angle of 23 deg 28′ with the equator; used for illustrating and solving astronomical problems.
Origin: cf. F. Ecliptique, L. Linea ecliptica, gr, prop. Adj, of an eclipse, because in this circle eclipses of the sun and moon take place. See ecliptic.
1. Pertaining to the ecliptic; as, the ecliptic way.
2. Pertaining to an eclipse or to eclipses.
(Science: astronomy) lunar ecliptic limit, the space of 12 deg on the moons orbit from the node, within which, if the moon happens to be at full, it will be eclipsed. Solar ecliptic limit, the space of 17 deg from the lunar node, within which, if a conjunction of the sun and moon occur, the sun will be eclipsed.
Origin: L. Eclipticus belonging to an eclipse, gr. See eclipse.

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