One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(Astronomy, now historical) (W. Herschel's term for) a determination of the number of stars visible in a given region of the sky, by averaging a number of observations.
2A gauge with radiating steel points for measuring the bore of a gun barrel at any part of its length.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in William Herschel (1738–1822), musician and astronomer.
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