Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In astronomy, a small circle of the sphere parallel to the horizon; a circle or parallel of altitude.
  • noun An astronomical instrument (invented by S. C. Chandler) consisting of a telescope provided with horizontal wires and mounted upon a box floating upon mercury.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Astron.), Archaic A small circle of the sphere parallel to the horizon; a circle or parallel of altitude. Two stars which have the same almucantar have the same altitude. See almacantar.
  • noun an ancient instrument, having an arc of fifteen degrees, formerly used at sea to take observations of the sun's amplitude at the time of its rising or setting, to find the variation of the compass.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun archaic a small circle on the celestial sphere, parallel to the horizon, that is used in astronomy and navigation to show altitude of a star or any other heavenly body.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mediaeval Latin almucantarath or French almicantarat, from Arabic المقنطرات (al-muqanŧarāt) ‘circles of celestial latitude’, formed from the plural of قنطرة (qanŧara) ‘arch’.

Examples

  • November 8th, 2007 at 10: 10 am catch me says: his great-grandfather was the Royal Astronomer for Scotland, who helped discover the almucantar?

    STAR TREK: BRUCE GREENWOOD > JESUS

  • o has a grandmother from Edinburgh and his great-grandfather was the Royal Astronomer for Scotland, who helped discover the almucantar?

    STAR TREK: BRUCE GREENWOOD > JESUS

Comments

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  • "Almucantars, in astronomy, is an Arabic word, employed to denote the imaginary circles parallel to the horizon, which are supposed to pass through every degree of the meridian: they are of much use to shew the height of the sun, moon, or stars, &c.: they are the same as the parallels of latitude, and frequently called Almacantars."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 9

    October 13, 2008