radius vector

noun, plural radii vectores [vek-tawr-eez, -tohr-] , radius vectors.
Mathematics. the length of the line segment joining a fixed point or origin to a given point.
the straight line joining two bodies in relative orbital motion, as the line from the sun to a planet at any point in its orbit.
the distance between two such bodies at any point in the orbit.


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World English Dictionary
radius vector
1.  maths a line joining a point in space to the origin of polar or spherical coordinates
2.  astronomy an imaginary line joining a satellite to the planet or star around which it is orbiting

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
radius vector  
  1. A line segment that joins the origin and a variable point in a system of polar or spherical coordinates.

  2. The imaginary straight line that connects the center of the Sun or another body with the center of a planet, comet, or other body that orbits it.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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