Glossary term: Degree
Description: In mathematics a degree (symbol °) is a measure of angle. One degree is 1/360th of a full circle. It can be divided into arcminutes (symbol ′) where 60′ is 1°, and arcseconds (symbol ″) where 60″ is 1′. One arcsecond is an extremely small angle. Degrees measure the apparent size of an object (see angular diameter) and its position on the celestial sphere. See also: declination, right ascension, altitude, and azimuth. On Earth: latitude and longitude. They are also used to measure angular distance between objects on the celestial sphere. The width of your fist at arm’s length is about 10°; from the horizon to the zenith is 90°. Parallax and a telescope’s resolution are measured in degrees. Alternate meaning: a unit in the measure of temperature, used with the Fahrenheit or Celsius scales.Related Terms:
- Celestial Coordinates
- Right Ascension (RA)
See this term in other languages
Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval
The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".