Azimuth

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HORIZONTAL COORDINATES. Azimuth, from the North point (red) -also from the South point toward the West (blue). Altitude, green.
HORIZONTAL COORDINATES. Azimuth, from the North point (red) -also from the South point toward the West (blue). Altitude, green.

Azimuth is the angle from a reference vector in a reference plane to a second vector in the same plane, pointing toward, (but not necessarily meeting), something of interest.

For example, with the sea as your reference plane, the azimuth of the Sun might be the angle between due North and the point on the horizon the Sun is currently over.

An imaginary line drawn along the surface of the sea might point in the direction of the Sun, but would obviously never meet it. Azimuth is usually measured in degrees (°).

The concept is used in many practical applications including navigation, astronomy, mapping, mining and artillery. The word azimuth is derived from the Arabic word السمت as-simt, which means direction, referring to the ways or directions a person faces.


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