Definition of celestial mechanics in US English:

celestial mechanics

plural noun

  • treated as singular The branch of theoretical astronomy that deals with the calculation of the motions of celestial objects such as planets.

    • ‘Modern scholarship has not seriously affected his stature in the fields of mathematics, dynamics, celestial mechanics, astronomy, optics, natural philosophy, or cosmology.’
    • ‘This is how the inverse square law of attraction was extended from celestial mechanics to the motions of atoms.’
    • ‘Once the distance to the Sun was known, the distances to all of the other planets could be easily derived from our knowledge of celestial mechanics (the way things move in space) and from this, the size of the Solar System.’
    • ‘He contributed to many areas of astronomy and mathematics including celestial mechanics, analytic mechanics, statistics and numerical analysis.’
    • ‘Eclipses could be predicted with utmost precision, without the need for an understanding of celestial mechanics and the use of elaborate calculations on an electronic computer.’