Definition of lunar distance in US English:

lunar distance


  • The angular distance of the moon from the sun, a planet, or a star, used in finding longitude at sea.

    • ‘Mayer's method of determining longitude by lunar distances and a formula for correcting errors in longitude due to atmospheric refraction were published in 1770 after his death.’
    • ‘He proposed the method of lunar distances to determine longitude which was an important proposal.’
    • ‘During his editorship, Lalande added accurate tables of lunar distances from stars which were valuable in navigation.’
    • ‘For some years he had maintained a strong interest in, and advocacy of, the method of lunar distances for determining longitude.’
    • ‘Not by accident, he used Harrison's chronometer and lunar distances to calculate longitudes accurately.’