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syzygy

syzygy (sĭzˈəjē) [key], in astronomy, alignment of three bodies of the solar system along a straight or nearly straight line. A planet is in syzygy with the earth and sun when it is in opposition or conjunction, i.e., when its elongation is 180° or 0°. The moon is in syzygy with the earth and sun when it is new or full.

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

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