Annual parallax

Definition of Annual parallax

the greatest value of the heliocentric parallax, or the greatest annual apparent change of place of a body as seen from the earth and sun; it is equivalent to the parallax of an astronomical object which would be observed by taking observations of the object at two different points one astronomical unit (the distance of the Earth from the sun) apart, if the line joining the two observing points is perpendicular to the direction to the observed object; as, the annual parallax of a fixed star. The distance of an astronomical object from the Earth is inversely proportional to the annual parallax. A star which has an annual parallax of one second of an arc is considered to be one parsec (3.26 light years) distant from the earth; a star with an annual parallax of one-hundredth second of an arc is 326 light years distant. See parsec in the vocabulary, and stellar parallax, below.

See also: Parallax

Related Words

heliocentric parallax, parallax, stellar parallax
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