Quadrature (astronomy)

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In astronomy, quadrature is the aspect of a celestial object in which it makes a right angle with the direction of the Sun. It is applied especially to the apparent position of a superior planet, or of the Moon at first and last quarters.

As shown in the following diagram, a planet (or other object) can be at the western quadrature (when it is to the west of the Sun when viewed from the Earth) or at the eastern quadrature (when it is to the east of the Sun when viewed from the Earth). Note that an inferior planet can never be at quadrature to the reference planet.

Diagram showing an eastern and western quadrature.