Glossary term: Azimuth

Description: In a horizontal coordinate system, azimuth refers to the direction (angle along the horizon) at which the object is found. It is measured in degrees starting from the north and towards the east. Azimuth values cover a full circle from 0 degrees to 360 degrees. In other words, if you draw an imaginary arc on the celestial sphere from the object to the horizon and perpendicular to the horizon, the azimuth will tell you the location of the point where this arc meets the horizon. An object located directly north would have 0 degrees azimuth, an object directly east would have 90 degrees azimuth and so on. In older textbooks used in multiple countries, the convention was to start measuring the azimuth from the south towards the west. Thus, azimuth values in those textbooks would be shifted by 180 degrees.

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