Questions tagged [symbols]

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Usage of the standard solar system (astronomical) symbols

Note: this is a follow-up question based on answers I've received in TeX SE on Packages for standard solar system (astronomical) symbols on the off-chance that some here may have actual hands-on ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Where do the symbols $\lambda$ and $\beta$ come from for celestial latitude and longitude?

I'm reading Episodes From the Early History of Astronomy, and the author mentions the system of celestial coordinates based on the ecliptic. In this system, the two coordinates are latitude and ...
1
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1answer
284 views

What are the correct symbols for vernal and autumnal equinox?

What are the correct symbols for vernal and autumnal equinox? I have seen people use both ♈︎ (\Aries) and $\gamma$ (\gamma) to denote vernal equinox. However, I have never seen the symbol for ...
3
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1answer
123 views

When are the symbols ⊕ and ♁ used to designate Earth?

In astronomy I usually see Earth designated with a circled plus or cross. NASA says this is the Earth's astronomical symbol. Wikipedia tends to use it, for example designating the Earth–Moon distance ...
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4answers
8k views

Usage of $\sim$, $\approx$, $\simeq$, and $\cong$ in observational astronomy?

My understanding is $\sim$ generally means "on the order of magnitude of" e.g. $T \sim 10^5$ K $\approx$ is obviously "approximately equal to" so for example one might write $d \approx 400$ pc rather ...
6
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1answer
973 views

Why is the symbol of Vernal Equinox ♈?

Since the direction of Vernal Equinox lies in the Pisces constellation, why is its symbol Aries? Shouldn't it be ♓ ? Is this a historical anachronism, only invalidated by axial precession of Earth?