Heliostat definition

hēlē-ə-stăt
An instrument in which a mirror is automatically moved so that it reflects sunlight in a constant direction. It is used with a pyrheliometer to make continuous measurements of solar radiation.
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A device consisting of a mirror slowly revolved by clockwork so as to reflect the sun's rays continuously in a fixed direction.
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A device that includes a plane mirror which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target, compensating for the sun's apparent motions in the sky. The target may be a physical object, distant from the heliostat, or a direction in space, and is almost always stationary relative to the heliostat, so the light is reflected in a fixed direction.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
heliostat
Plural:
heliostats

Origin of heliostat

  • Circa 1750, from New Latin heliostata, from Ancient Greek ἥλιος (helios, “sun”) + Latin status (“stationary”).

    From Wiktionary