• The Celestial Sphere
    The Celestial Sphere
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sphere any spherically shaped artifact
    • n sphere a particular aspect of life or activity "he was helpless in an important sector of his life"
    • n sphere the apparent surface of the imaginary sphere on which celestial bodies appear to be projected
    • n sphere the geographical area in which one nation is very influential
    • n sphere a three-dimensional closed surface such that every point on the surface is equidistant from the center
    • n sphere a solid figure bounded by a spherical surface (including the space it encloses)
    • n sphere a particular environment or walk of life "his social sphere is limited","it was a closed area of employment","he's out of my orbit"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Gottorp Armillary Sphere, 1657 The Gottorp Armillary Sphere, 1657
Ancient Mongolian Armillary Sphere, ca. 1274 Ancient Mongolian Armillary Sphere, ca. 1274
Armillary Sphere of Jean Fortin, 1780 Armillary Sphere of Jean Fortin, 1780
Attraction of spheres Attraction of spheres
Repulsion of spheres Repulsion of spheres

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It was believed by Ancient Hindus that the world was a sphere and rested on the back of four elephants, which stood on a turtle
    • Sphere (Geom) A body or space contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point within called its center.
    • Sphere An orbit, as of a star; a socket.
    • Sphere Circuit or range of action, knowledge, or influence; compass; province; employment; place of existence. "To be called into a huge sphere , and not to be seen to move in 't.""Taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself.""Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe
      Our hermit spirits dwell."
    • Sphere Hence, any globe or globular body, especially a celestial one, as the sun, a planet, or the earth. "Of celestial bodies, first the sun,
      A mighty sphere , he framed."
    • Sphere (Astron) In ancient astronomy, one of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which the stars, sun, planets, and moon were supposed to be set, and by which they were carried, in such a manner as to produce their apparent motions.
    • Sphere Rank; order of society; social positions.
    • Sphere (Astron) The apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles, as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic, etc., are conceived to be drawn; an ideal geometrical sphere, with the astronomical and geographical circles in their proper positions on it.
    • Sphere (Logic) The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied.
    • Sphere To form into roundness; to make spherical, or spheral; to perfect.
    • Sphere To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to insphere. "The glorious planet Sol
      In noble eminence enthroned and sphered Amidst the other."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Any free-moving liquid in outer space will form itself into a sphere, because of it's surface tension.
    • n sphere In geometry, a solid figure generated by the revolution of a semicircle about its diameter. This is substantially Euclid's definition. The modern definition is a quadric surface having contact with the absolute throughout a conic, and therefore everywhere equidistant from a center. The surface of a sphere is 4πR, where R is the radius; its volume is .
    • n sphere Hence A rounded body, approximately spherical; a ball; a globe.
    • n sphere An orbicular body representing the earth or the apparent heavens, or illustrating their astronomical relations.
    • n sphere Hence The visible supernal region; the upper air; the heavens; the sky.
    • n sphere One of the supposed concentric and eccentric revolving rigid and transparent shells called crystalline, in which, according to the old astronomers (following Eudoxus), the stars, sun, moon, and planets were severally set, and by which they were carried in such a manner as to produce their apparent motions. The term is now generally restricted to the sphere of the fixed stars, and is recognized as a convenient fiction. It is also loosely applied to the planets themselves.
    • n sphere Hence An orbicular field or course of movement; an orbit, as that of a heavenly body or of the eye; a circuit.
    • n sphere Place or scene of action; the space within which movement is made or operations are carried on; a circumscribed region of action: as, the sphere of a mission; the spheres (fuller, spheres of influence) of the different European powers and trading companies in Africa.
    • n sphere Position or rank in society; position or class with reference to social distinctions.
    • n sphere Circuit or radius, as of knowledge, influence, or activity; definite or circumscribed range; determinate limit of any mental or physical course: as, the sphere of diplomacy.
    • n sphere More generally, a sphere (discovered in 1884 by the Italian mathematician Intrigila) belonging to any tetrahedron, and passing thruogh the four feet of the perpendiculars from the summits upon the opposite faces, and consequently also through the mid-points of the lines from the summits to the center of the hyperboloid of which these perpendiculars are generator, and through the orthogonal projections of these points upon the opposite faces.
    • n sphere = Syn. 1–3. Orb, Ball, etc. See globe.
    • sphere To make into a sphere; make spherical; round, or round out; fill out completely.
    • sphere To place in a sphere or among the spheres: ensphere.
    • sphere To inclose as in a sphere or orbit; encircle; engirdle.
    • sphere To pass or send as in a sphere or orbit; circulate.
    • n sphere A spherical sponge-spicule, a modified form of the monaxial type.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sphere sfēr a ball or globe: an orb or circle: circuit of motion: province or duty: definite range: rank, position in society:
    • n Sphere sfēr (geom.) a surface every point of which is equidistant from one and the same point, called the centre
    • ***


  • Gail Hamilton
    Gail Hamilton
    “Every person is responsible for all the good within the scope of his abilities, and for no more, and none can tell whose sphere is the largest.”
  • Arthur Schopenhauer
    “In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.”
  • Peter Levi
    Peter Levi
    “Sings. Hope in every sphere of life is a privilege that attaches to action. No action, no hope.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “People of uncommon abilities generally fall into eccentricities when their sphere of life is not adequate to their abilities.”
  • Jorge Luis Borges
    “One concept corrupts and confuses the others. I am not speaking of the Evil whose limited sphere is ethics; I am speaking of the infinite.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “There is no chance, and no anarchy, in the universe. All is system and gradation. Every god is there sitting in his sphere.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. spere, OF. espere, F. sphère, L. sphaera,. Gr. a sphere, a ball
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. sphæra—Gr. sphaira.


In literature:

It was as if it hadn't entered the sphere of force at all.
"Empire" by Clifford Donald Simak
A corresponding expansion accompanied on each occasion its retirement from the sphere of observation.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
The sphere of liberty is the sphere of growth itself.
"Liberalism" by L. T. Hobhouse
The sphere including this will be that of Mars.
"The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" by Thomas Orchard
The average woman of forty years ago was very humble in her notions of the sphere of woman.
"History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (of III)" by Various
We will now consider in detail a few of the more obvious arguments which can be put forward to show that our earth is a sphere.
"Astronomy of To-day" by Cecil G. Dolmage
Gait and carriage belong to a different sphere altogether from morals and conduct.
"A Plea for the Criminal" by James Leslie Allan Kayll
It is loss, too, and nowhere more palpably than in the educational sphere.
"The History of Dartmouth College" by Baxter Perry Smith
In the sphere of economics this is particularly noticeable.
"England and Germany" by Emile Joseph Dillon
There was no perceptible motion of the sphere, however.
"Wanderer of Infinity" by Harl Vincent

In poetry:

Yet yield not your souls to anguish,
But look, with the eye of faith,
To brighter spheres of the spirits
Who have met and conquered Death!
"Consolatory" by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
It was my heaven's extremest sphere,
The pale which held that lovely deer,
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did all within this circle move.
"On A Girdle" by Edmund Waller
We in the words of Truth reply,
(An angel brought them from this sky,)
"Our crown, our treasure is not here,
'Tis stored above the highest sphere:
"Easter Day" by John Keble
"Bring all thy dazzling wonders here,
"That I may, waking, know and see;
"Or waft me hence to thy own sphere,
"Thy heaven or—ay, even that with thee!
"The Loves of the Angels" by Thomas Moore
They know, who trust the Saviour's word
With faith no tear can dim,
That such as bear His spirit here
And do His will in duty's sphere
Shall rise to dwell with Him.
"Miss Catherine Ball," by Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney
Wakes, that the heart may behold, and yet not falter,
Faces of children as stars unknown of, spheres
Seen but of love, that endures though all things alter,
Years upon years.
"Recollections" by Algernon Charles Swinburne

In news:

Tresor Paris, "the original crystal sphere line," is proud to introduce their new 2012 designs.
I have not forgotten you all in the blogo-sphere, just enjoying some time away from my normal responsibilities at my congregation.
Rancho Cucamonga officials are opposed to a plan to expand the sphere of influence for a county conservation district north of the city that includes the North Etiwanda Preserve.
A tomato sphere with burrata cheese that turns into a gazpacho.
In 2008, I offered that the crisis would cycle through the financial, economic and social spheres.
To provide US$21 million in financing for Blue Sphere 's first two projects in the United States.
Sphere 's Sphere It.
Eos Lip Balm Smooth Spheres , priced at $3.29 each, are available at such retailers as Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.
Eos launches new Lip Balm Smooth Sphere .
NEW YORK — Personal care brand Eos has announced the launch of its new tangerine medicated anti-bacterial Lip Balm Smooth Sphere .
What is a Plasma Sphere .
Will your living room revolve around Google's sphere .
Dollar sphere isolated over white background.
As of this writing, there are about 35 of the spheres installed in museums, science centers, research facilities and schools around the world, with as many as 50 expected by the end of the year.
Items Tagged with 'integrating sphere '.

In science:

If the order complex of LJ is homotopy equivalent to a wedge of (|J | − 1)-spheres, then hJ (L) is the number of spheres.
Semigroups, rings, and Markov chains
N is the number of galaxies in a sphere and the average is over all spheres.
A simple model of the hierarchical formation of galaxies
Since the distribution of the vector ~EN (β ) on the three-dimensional sphere of radius B (β ) as N → ∞ is uniform (Corollary 2.1), we have h(J∞~s, ~r )i = Z B (β ) dβ ZS 3 where S 3 is the unit three-dimensional sphere, and f is a function of two vectors-arguments.
Random groups in the optical waveguides theory
The Stokes parameters lie on a sphere, the Poincar´e sphere , also called the Bloch sphere in quantum mechanics [127], see Fig. 2.
Quantum Physics of Simple Optical Instruments
V (x − xi ) , with V (r) given by the soft sphere potential: V (r) = ln(κ/κ′ ) for r < a and V (r) = 0 for r > a, with a the radius of the spheres.
Perturbation theory for the effective diffusion constant in a medium of random scatterer