point source

noun

Definition of point source 

1 : a source of radiation (such as light) that is concentrated at a point and considered as having no spatial extension

2 : an identifiable confined source (such as a smokestack or wastewater treatment plant) from which a pollutant is discharged or emitted

Examples of point source in a Sentence

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In 2011 that patience began to pay off as the point source became lopsided at radio wavelengths, perhaps due to the emission of a jet. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Giant Black Hole Swallows a Star and Belches Out a Superfast Particle Jet," 14 June 2018 About 90 percent of the phosphorus and nitrogen from the Maumee watershed comes from what are called non-point sources, mainly farm runoff, the research showed. John Seewer, The Seattle Times, "Study shows no drop in pollutants feeding Lake Erie algae," 22 Apr. 2018 The point sources proved to be 10 globular clusters—compact and spherical groupings of stars, orbiting the galaxy’s core. Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, "Astronomers Boggle at Distant Galaxy Devoid of Dark Matter," 28 Mar. 2018 The point sources proved to be 10 globular clusters—compact and spherical groupings of stars orbiting the galaxy’s core. Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, "Astronomers Boggle at a Distant Galaxy Devoid of Dark Matter," 28 Mar. 2018 Krueger of the River Alliance said that his group will be watching to see how much of the reduction will come from non-point sources like farms. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Plan seeks to drown out sea of green on popular Wisconsin River reservoirs by cutting algae-causing pollutants," 22 Feb. 2018 And a check of X-rays using the XMM-Newton satellite shows that there's a point source in the region that also appears to be emitting about 1/500 of the radiation coming out of the Milky Way's supermassive black hole. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Our galaxy’s second biggest black hole may be “lurking” in a gas cloud," 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'point source.' 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 point source

1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of point source was in 1894

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