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ecliptic coordinate system

ecliptic coordinate system, an astronomical coordinate system in which the principal coordinate axis is the ecliptic, the apparent path of the sun through the heavens. The ecliptic poles are the two points at which a line perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic through the center of the earth strikes the surface of the celestial sphere. The north ecliptic pole lies in the constellation Draco.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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