galactic equator


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galactic equator

n.
The great circle of the celestial sphere that lies in the plane bisecting the band of the Milky Way galaxy, inclined at an angle of approximately 62° to the celestial equator. Also called galactic circle.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

galactic equator

or

galactic circle

n
(Astronomy) the great circle on the celestial sphere containing the galactic plane
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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The galactic equator (galactic latitude 0[degrees]) is the centerline of the Milky Way, which makes a full 360[degrees] circle around the sky.
Galactic longitude is marked out at 30[degrees] intervals by tick marks along the galactic equator. Longitude 0 [degrees] marks the position of the galactic center.
NGC 6712 fits that scenario: it's located by the Scutum Arm 23,000 light-years away, its galactic orbit is relatively small, and it likely crossed the galactic equator only a few million years ago.
The alignment depends on the rather arbitrary modern definition of the galactic equator, and/or the visual appearance of the Milky Way.
The importance of the galactic equator. Just as the ecliptic (the Sun's apparent path through the constellations) is the midline of the zodiacal band, where the Moon and planets travel, so the galactic equator is the midline of the band of Milky Way glow that we see in the sky.
Sidney van den Bergh's study involved all Cepheid variable stars known before 1956 that were fainter than magnitude 11.0 and within 10[degrees] of the galactic equator.
This means another good place to search for light echoes is anywhere within about 20[degrees] degrees of the galactic equator.
The galactic equator passes through Carina, and it threads across the northern edge of the spectacular Eta Carinae Nebula, the brightest nebula in the sky.
The galactic equator, tilted about 63[degrees] to our celestial equator, passes through 27 of the sky's 88 constellations.
As a teenager, when examining an equinox-1950 star atlas, I noticed that the galactic equator crossed the ecliptic very close to the latter's northern and southern extremes (that is, the solstices at right ascension [6.sup.h] and [18.sup.h]).
Persson downloaded from the Digitized Sky Survey (http://stdatu.stsci.edu/dss) 1[degrees]-square fields along the galactic equator from different epochs and then "blinked" them on his computer monitor using Adobe Photoshop Elements software.