Minute of Arc

A minute of arc, arcminute, or minute arc (MOA), is a unit of angular measurement equal to one sixtieth (1⁄60) of one degree (circle⁄21,600), or (π⁄10,800) radians. In turn, a second of arc or arcsecond is one sixtieth (1⁄60) of one minute of arc. Since one degree is defined as one three hundred and sixtieth (1⁄360) of a rotation, one minute of arc is 1⁄21,600 of a rotation. It is used in those fields which require a unit for the expression of small angles, such as astronomy, optometry, ophthalmology, optics, navigation and marksmanship.

The number of square arcminutes in a complete sphere is

or approximately 148,510,660.498 square arcminutes.

The arcsecond is 1⁄3,600 of a degree, or 1⁄1,296,000 of a circle, or (π⁄648,000) radians, which is approximately 1⁄206,265 radian.

To express even smaller angles, standard SI prefixes can be employed; in particular, the milliarcsecond, abbreviated mas, is used in astronomy.

Read more about Minute Of Arc:  Symbols and Abbreviations

Famous quotes containing the words minute and/or arc:

    He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars:
    General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer,
    For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars.
    William Blake (1757–1827)

    You say that you are my judge; I do not know if you are; but take good heed not to judge me ill, because you would put yourself in great peril.
    —Joan Of Arc (c.1412–1431)