- The position of an object – like a star in the sky – is established with reference to coordinate systems, like those of right ascension (east to west) and declination (north to south), matching the ideas of longitude and latitude on the Earth. Similar coordinate systems to terrestrial longitude and latitude have been established on other planets, especially in recent years as reliable maps have become available The term is also used in relativistic contexts. In relativity space itself ceases to be ‘flat’ in the commonsense way we appreciate it, making a choice of coordinate systems necessary for the drawing of maps, with polar, elliptic and other types of coordinate being chosen for tasks such as the mapping of a black hole.
- Each of the sets of numbers which locate a point in space within a coordinate system. If there are three planes, for instance, then a point is located by specifying its position in reference to each of the three coordinate axes.
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