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node, in astronomy, point at which the orbit of a body crosses a reference plane. One reference plane that is often used is the plane of the earth's orbit around the sun (ecliptic). Since the moon's orbit has an inclination of 5°9' to the plane of the ecliptic, there are two nodes in the moon's orbit around the earth; the point where the moon in its orbit crosses from south of the ecliptic plane to north of it is called the ascending node, and the point where it crosses from north to south is called the descending node. A line connecting two nodes is called a line of nodes. The lunar nodes are the points where the moon's line of nodes, when extended, strike the celestial sphere. The lunar nodes regress (move westward along the ecliptic) due to perturbations from the other bodies in the solar system, e.g., the sun and planets. Another reference plane that can be used to define nodes is the plane of the earth's equator, which is also the plane of the celestial equator (see equatorial coordinate system). There are two nodes in the sun's apparent orbit around the earth. The ascending node, when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator from south to north, is the vernal equinox; the descending node is the autumnal equinox. Perturbations like those that cause regression of the lunar nodes cause the precession of the equinoxes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.

Licensed from Columbia University Press

Licensed from Columbia University Press

Node may mean:## See also

- Node (autonomous system), behaviour for an ordinary differential equation near a critical point
- Node (botany), the place on a plant stem where a leaf is attached
- Node (Doctor Who), a cyborg with a donated human face that is used as a guide in the universe's largest library. See Silence in the Library
- Node (physics), a spatial locus along a standing wave where the wave has minimal amplitude
- Node (orbital mechanics): the point where an orbit crosses the equator; see Ascending node
- Node (networking), point in a computer network.
- Node (telecommunications), an originating or terminating point of information transfer in a telecommunications network
- Node (mathematics), a vertex in a graph, connecting two or more edges
- Node (networking), a device connected to a network, such as a computer or router
- Node (computer science), a basic unit used to build data structures such as linked lists and trees
- Node (circuits), a region in an electrical circuit where there is no change in potential
- Transport node
- Node (computer gaming), a particular style of adventure game
- Node Magazine, a literary project based on the novel Spook Country by William Gibson

Node may also be:

- Artificial neuron, a basic unit in neural networks
- Vertex, one of the components of a graph
- A value that's used for function interpolation

Nodal may refer to:

- Nodal, a protein involved in TGF beta signaling.

- In other languages, the words for some meanings of "node" and "knot" are the same.

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Last updated on Friday September 26, 2008 at 13:19:59 PDT (GMT -0700)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Last updated on Friday September 26, 2008 at 13:19:59 PDT (GMT -0700)

View this article at Wikipedia.org - Edit this article at Wikipedia.org - Donate to the Wikimedia Foundation

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