Zenith distance

Zenith distance
Zenith e"nith (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F. z['e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt-urras way of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras head. Cf. {Azimuth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. That point in the visible celestial hemisphere which is vertical to the spectator; the point of the heavens directly overhead; -- opposed to {nadir}. [1913 Webster]

From morn To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, A summer's day; and with the setting sun Dropped from the zenith, like a falling star. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. hence, figuratively, the point of culmination; the greatest height; the height of success or prosperity. [1913 Webster]

I find my zenith doth depend upon A most auspicious star. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. --Mrs. Barbauld. [1913 Webster]

It was during those civil troubles . . . this aspiring family reached the zenith. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

{Zenith distance}. (Astron.) See under {Distance}.

{Zenith sector}. (Astron.) See {Sector}, 3.

{Zenith telescope} (Geodesy), a telescope specially designed for determining the latitude by means of any two stars which pass the meridian about the same time, and at nearly equal distances from the zenith, but on opposite sides of it. It turns both on a vertical and a horizontal axis, is provided with a graduated vertical semicircle, and a level for setting it to a given zenith distance, and with a micrometer for measuring the difference of the zenith distances of the two stars. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Zenith distance — Distance Dis tance, n. [F. distance, L. distantia.] 1. The space between two objects; the length of a line, especially the shortest line joining two points or things that are separate; measure of separation in place. [1913 Webster] Every particle …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • zenith distance — noun or zenith angle : the angular distance of a celestial object from the zenith measured by the arc of a vertical circle intercepted between the object and the zenith : the complement of the altitude * * * Astron. the angular distance from the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • zenith distance — The angular distance through the arc of a vertical circle between the zenith and a point on the celestial sphere, measured from the zenith through 90°, for bodies above the horizon. Also known as co altitude …   Aviation dictionary

  • zenith distance — Astron. the angular distance from the zenith of a point on the celestial sphere to the sphere, measured along a great circle that is perpendicular to the horizon; the complement of the altitude. [1695 1705] * * * …   Universalium

  • Zenith — e nith (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F. z[ e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt urras way of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras head. Cf. {Azimuth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. That point in the visible celestial… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Zenith sector — Zenith e nith (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F. z[ e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt urras way of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras head. Cf. {Azimuth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. That point in the visible… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Zenith telescope — Zenith e nith (?; 277), n. [OE. senyth, OF. cenith, F. z[ e]nith, Sp. zenit, cenit, abbrev. fr. Ar. samt urras way of the head, vertical place; samt way, path + al the + ras head. Cf. {Azimuth}.] [1913 Webster] 1. That point in the visible… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distance — Dis tance, n. [F. distance, L. distantia.] 1. The space between two objects; the length of a line, especially the shortest line joining two points or things that are separate; measure of separation in place. [1913 Webster] Every particle attracts …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Zenith — In broad terms, the zenith is the direction pointing directly above a particular location (perpendicular, orthogonal). Since the concept of being above is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the zenith in more rigorous terms. Specifically,… …   Wikipedia

  • Zenith telescope — A zenith telescope is an instrument adapted for the measurement of small differences of zenith distance, and used in the determination of astronomic latitude.Zenith telescopes are often portable; however the Monument to the Great Fire of London… …   Wikipedia

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