Annual parallax

alt label
Heliocentric parallax
dcterms modified equal to or less than 2020-11-04T22:22:58.071Zequal to or more than 2020-11-04T22:22:58.071Z
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definition The difference in position of a star as seen from the Earth and Sun, i.e. the angle subtended at a star by the mean radius of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Same as heliocentric parallax. Because the Earth revolves around the Sun, we observe the sky from a constantly moving position in space. Therefore, we should expect to see an annual effect, in which the positions of nearby objects appear to oscillate back and forth in response to our motion around the Sun. This does in fact happen, but the distances to even the nearest stars are so great that we need to make careful observations with a telescope to detect it. The annual parallax of the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is 0.762 arcsec, which is too small for our acuity of vision.
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