Reference Systems

  • Dennis D. McCarthyEmail author
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


A reference system, either terrestrial or celestial, is composed of (1) a specified origin, (2) the directions of fundamental axes, and (3) a set of conventional models, procedures, and constants used to realize the system. A reference frame is the realization of that system through a list of coordinates. Earth orientation describes the procedure, data and models used to relate a terrestrial reference system to a celestial reference system as a function of time.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Naval Observatory (Retired/Director)Washington, DCUSA

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