Hour circle

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Diagram illustrating the definition of the hour circle of a star.

In astronomy, the hour circle of a celestial object is the great circle through the object and the celestial poles. It is perpendicular to the celestial equator. The declination of an object as observed on the celestial sphere is the angle measured along the hour circle of that object to the celestial equator.[1] In other words, it is analogous to meridians or longitudes on a globe. A meridian on the celestial sphere matches an hour circle at any time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wakker, Prof.ir. K.F. (March 2010). AE4874-I Astrodynamics part I. Delft University of Technology.