# Azimuth

## Horizontal angle from north or other reference cardinal direction / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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An **azimuth** (/ˈæzəməθ/ ^{ⓘ}; from Arabic: اَلسُّمُوت, romanized: *as-sumūt*, lit. 'the directions')^{[1]} is the horizontal angle from a cardinal direction, most commonly north, in a local or observer-centric spherical coordinate system.

Mathematically, the relative position vector from an observer (origin) to a point of interest is projected perpendicularly onto a reference plane (the horizontal plane); the angle between the projected vector and a reference vector on the reference plane is called the azimuth.

When used as a celestial coordinate, the azimuth is the horizontal direction of a star or other astronomical object in the sky. The star is the point of interest, the reference plane is the local area (e.g. a circular area with a 5 km radius at sea level) around an observer on Earth's surface, and the reference vector points to true north. The azimuth is the angle between the north vector and the star's vector on the horizontal plane.^{[2]}

Azimuth is usually measured in degrees (°), in the positive range 0° to 360° or in the signed range -180° to +180°. The concept is used in navigation, astronomy, engineering, mapping, mining, and ballistics.