Astronomical Dictionary
Letter: D


Dictionary of Astronomical Definitions and Terms.
Astronomical | D

 

Definition


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Declination
Distance along the hour circle between the celestial equator and a celestial body measured in degrees. Angles are positive if a point is North of the celestial equator, and negative if South. It is used, in conjunction with Right Ascension, to locate celestial objects.
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Descending Node
Also called the south node, the point in the orbit of an object, when it crosses the ecliptic whilst travelling north to south.
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Direct Motion
1 Rotation or orbital motion in an anticlockwise direction when viewed from the north pole of the Sun (i.e. in the same sense as the Earth); the opposite of retrograde.
2 The East-West motion of the planets, relative to the background of stars, as seen from the Earth.
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Dwarf Star
A star, which lies on the main sequence and is too small to be classified as a giant star or a supergiant star. For example, the Sun is a yellow dwarf star.
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Drift
A general term for all rock debris transported from one place and deposited in another, and distinguished from solid bedrock.
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Dione
In Greek mythology, the mother of Aphrodite, and daughter of Zeus.
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Derceto
Philistine fertility goddess.
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Deimos
In Greek mythology, a son of Ares (Mars) who, with brother Phobos, was a constant companion to his father.
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Danu
The greatest of the goddesses of ancient Ireland.
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Dactyl
In Greek mythology, a legendary being that lived on Mount Ida.
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