he·​lio·​cen·​tric | \ ˌhē-lē-ō-ˈsen-trik How to pronounce heliocentric (audio) \

Definition of heliocentric

1 : referred to or measured from the sun's center or appearing as if seen from it
2 : having or relating to the sun as center — compare geocentric

Examples of heliocentric in a Sentence

Galileo proposed the heliocentric theory that the Earth goes around the sun.
Recent Examples on the Web Luna 1 became the first spacecraft to enter a heliocentric orbit, Luna 2 struck the Moon, and Luna 3—quite incredibly, for the time—captured photos of the far side of the Moon and returned them to Earth. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "All hail Luna 3, rightful king of 1950s space missions," 4 Oct. 2019 He's lionized for advocating a heliocentric view of our solar system, spurning Church doctrine and becoming a heretic. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 The Helios 2 set the heliocentric speed record at 153,454 miles per hour. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 Mission managers will now send a command to the spacecraft, which is presently trailing Earth in a heliocentric orbit about 150 million kilometers away, to turn off the spacecraft's transmitters. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA is about to turn off the Kepler spacecraft, and it will drift away," 30 Oct. 2018 Thus a heliocentric solar system might well have been a constant of astronomical thought from Babylon and classical Greece onwards. The Economist, "Empty sky, empty Earth?," 5 July 2018 The second stage of the rocket will conduct a total of three engine burns to send the car to a heliocentric orbit around the sun. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Falcon Heavy Launches to Become the Most Powerful Rocket in the World," 6 Feb. 2018 After orbiting the Earth for 6 hours, a third-stage burn-to-depletion was completed at approximately 02:30 UTC Feb 7, placing the dummy payload in a heliocentric orbit having a perihelion of 0.99 au and aphelion ~1.7 au. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "We Know Exactly Where Musk’s Space Tesla Is Going," 8 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heliocentric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of heliocentric

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of heliocentric was in 1685

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Cite this Entry

“Heliocentric.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heliocentric. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for heliocentric


How to pronounce heliocentric (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of heliocentric

: having or relating to the sun as the center

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