Posted on Leave a comment


SyzygyThe (nearly) straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies, such as the Earth, Moon, and Sun during an eclipse.

Conjunction, Eclipse, Elongation, Opposition

© 1996-2007 Eric W. Weisstein

Word Origin & History

syzygy “conjunction or opposition of a heavenly body with the sun,” 1656, from L.L. syzygia,  from Gk. syzygia  “yoke, pair, union of two, conjunction,” from syzygein  “to yoke together,” from syn-  “together” + zygon  “yoke” (see jugular).Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper.

Science Dictionary

syzygy   (siz’?-je) Pronunciation Key  Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the Sun.
Either of the two points in the orbit of the Moon when it lies in a straight line with the Sun and Earth. A new moon syzygy occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth; a full moon syzygy occurs when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.
The configuration of the Sun, Moon, and Earth when lying in a straight line.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.