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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2020 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.

 

Eccentricity

A constant that defines the shape of a conical section. An eccentricity is 0 for a circle. An eccentricity between 0 and 1 indicates an ellipse. An eccentricity of 1 is a parabola (or a degenerate conic). Finally, an eccentricity of greater than 1 is a hyperbola. The measurement of the 'elliptical-ness' of a planet's orbit is known as orbital eccentricity.

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