Precession of the equinoxes
Precession Pre*ces"sion, n. [L. praecedere, praecessum, to go before: cf. F. pr['e]cession. See {Precede}.] The act of going before, or forward. [1913 Webster]

{Lunisolar precession}. (Astron.) See under {Lunisolar}.

{Planetary precession}, that part of the precession of the equinoxes which depends on the action of the planets alone.

{Precession of the equinoxes} (Astron.), the slow backward motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic, at the rate of 50.2[sec] annually, caused by the action of the sun, moon, and planets, upon the protuberant matter about the earth's equator, in connection with its diurnal rotation; -- so called because either equinox, owing to its westerly motion, comes to the meridian sooner each day than the point it would have occupied without the motion of precession, and thus precedes that point continually with reference to the time of transit and motion. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • precession of the equinoxes — n. Astron. the occurrence of the equinoxes earlier in each successive sidereal year because of a slow wobble in the earth s axial spin which shifts the equinoctial points slightly westward along the ecliptic: the wobble is caused by the pull of… …   English World dictionary

  • precession of the equinoxes — 1. the earlier occurrence of the equinoxes in each successive sidereal year because of the slow retrograde motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic, caused by the precession of the earth s axis of rotation; a complete precession of the …   Universalium

  • precession of the equinoxes — noun The slow westward shift of the equinoxes along the plane of the ecliptic, resulting from precession of the earths axis of rotation, and causing the equinoxes to occur earlier each year …   Wiktionary

  • precession of the equinoxes — noun a slow westward shift of the equinoxes along the plane of the ecliptic caused by precession of the Earth s axis of rotation • Hypernyms: ↑natural process, ↑natural action, ↑action, ↑activity …   Useful english dictionary

  • precession of the equinoxes — noun the earlier occurrence of the equinoxes in each successive sidereal year because of a slow retrograde motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic, caused by the combined action of the sun and moon on the mass of matter accumulated… …   Australian English dictionary

  • precession of the equinoxes — Date: 1621 a slow westward motion of the equinoxes along the ecliptic caused by the gravitational action of sun and moon upon the protuberant matter about the earth s equator …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • precession of the equinoxes — preces′sion of the e′quinoxes n. astron. the earlier occurrence of the equinoxes in each successive sidereal year • Etymology: 1615–25 …   From formal English to slang

  • precession of the equinoxes — The slow westward motion of equinoctial points (the first point of Aries and the first point of Libra) along the ecliptic by about 50.26” of are each year. A full cycle of precession occupies about 25,800 years. The term is used in… …   Aviation dictionary

  • PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES —    name given to the gradual shifting of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic from east to west.    See EQUINOXES …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • equinoxes, precession of the — Motion of the points where the Sun crosses the celestial equator, caused by precession of Earth s axis. Hipparchus noticed that the stars positions were shifted consistently from earlier measures, indicating that Earth, not the stars, was moving …   Universalium

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