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For other uses, see Zenith (disambiguation).
Diagram showing the relationship between the zenith, the nadir, and different types of horizon. Note that the zenith is opposite the nadir.

The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction in which gravity pulls, is toward the nadir.

Zenith may be used as a name which means success and power.


The root of the word "zenith" in Proto-Indo-European was reconstructed as '*mei-' ("to change"). In Latin we find 'meare' ("to pass"). With the prefix 'sē-' ("aside") it became 'sēmeare' ("to branch off"). Then the noun 'sēmita' ("side-way") was formed.[1] When the Romans occupied Syria, shortly before the time of Christ, the resident Arameans adopted the word 'sēmita' as 'simta' ("side-way").[2] The Romans left. As the Arabians conquered the land in the seventh century they took the word 'simta' from the Arameans as 'samt' ("side-path") and also coined astronomical expressions.[3] The word "zenith" derives from the inaccurate reading of the Arabic expression سمت الرأس (samt ar-ra's), meaning "direction of the head" or "path above the head", by Medieval Latin scribes in the Middle Ages (during the 14th century), possibly through Old Spanish. It was reduced to 'samt' ("direction") and miswritten as 'senit'/'cenit', as the "m" was misread as an "ni". Through the Old French 'cenith', 'zenith' first appeared in the 17th century.[4][5]

Relevance and use[edit]

Shadows of trees when the sun is directly overhead (at the zenith). This happens at the solar noon if the tree's latitude equals the sun's declination at that moment.

The term zenith is sometimes used to refer to the highest point reached by a celestial body during its apparent orbit around a given point of observation.[6] This sense of the word is often used to describe the location of the Sun ("The sun reached its zenith..."), but to an astronomer the sun does not have its own zenith, and is at the zenith only if it is directly overhead.

In a scientific context, the zenith is the direction of reference for measuring the zenith angle, the angle between a direction of interest (e.g., a star) and the local zenith.

In astronomy, the altitude in the horizontal coordinate system and the zenith angle are complementary angles, with the horizon perpendicular to the zenith. The astronomical meridian is also determined by the zenith, and is defined as a circle on the celestial sphere that passes through the zenith, nadir, and the celestial poles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wyld, Henry Cecil Kennedy (1932). Universal Dictionary of the English Languages. pp. 715,1089. 
  2. ^ Avinoam, Reuben (1968). Compendious Hebrew – English Dictionary. Tel Aviv: Dvir. 
  3. ^ Fraenkel, Siegmund (1886). Die aramaeischen Fremdwoerter im Arabischen. Leiden. 
  4. ^ "Etymology of the English word zenith". My Etymology. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Zenith". Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Zenith". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenith — Please support Wikipedia.
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11804 news items


Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:22:30 -0700

Zenith Media will take over the media planning and buying for FX Networks' television and digital media business from Media Storm. The account will be managed out of Zenith's Los Angeles office, though buying will be handled in New York as well.
Event Magazine
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:11:15 -0700

Rebecca McDermott, brand director at Zenith Watches added: "We are delighted to be the official timekeeper of the LG Arena and it is a great way for Zenith to start a relationship with the NEC Group. This is part of a longer-term strategy to reach the ...


Wed, 30 Jul 2014 04:26:15 -0700

Zenith watches has become the official timekeeper of one of the UK's most popular live entertainment venues. The Swiss watch manufacturer will serve as official timekeeper to the 15,000-seater LG Arena in Birmingham. The deal, brokered by the NEC ...


Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:30:00 -0700

Nigerian multi-millionaire banker Jim Ovia has been appointed the chairman of Zenith Bank, the commercial bank he co-founded more than two decades ago. According to a news report by Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper, Ovia, who is one of the wealthiest ...
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:45:00 -0700

On assumption of office as new chairman of Zenith Bank plc, last week, Jim Ovia was greeted with N57.85 billion profit before tax (PBT) in the first half year result of the bank. The PBT of the bank rose by 11.1 percent when compared with N52.09 ...
Rapid tv news
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:33:45 -0700

Like other reports from Arce Media and Infoadex, Zenith points to the World Cup and the king's abdication as two events which drew huge investment this year and contributed to the improvement. According to the Zenith, TV advertising will close the year ...


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Electrolux Major Appliances North America is shifting the duties for its U.S. media strategy, planning and buying to Zenith Media from Prometheus. The Publicis Groupe shop won the business after a pitch that ran from April to June. It is unclear how ...
Post Online
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Easy Car Club chief executive Richard Laughton added: "This is another acknowledgement of the value of the sharing economy and how more intelligent use of assets can bring tangible benefits. The visionary approach of our partners at Zenith Insurance is ...

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