Polar distance are expressed in degrees and cannot exceed 90° in magnitude. An object on the celestial equator has a PD of 90°.
Polar distance is not affected by the precession of the equinoxes.
If the polar distance of the Sun is equal to the observer's latitude, the shadow path of a gnomon's tip on a sundial will be a parabola; at higher latitudes it will be an ellipse and lower, a hyperbola.
In geometry a polar distance, typically denoted r is a coordinate in polar coordinate systems (r, θ) and (r, θ, h).
The distance d between two points P_{1} and P_{2} with their polar coordinates (r_{1}, θ_{1}) and (r_{2}, θ_{2}) in two dimensional circular polar coordinate system is given by the polar distance formula:
Polar distance is used also in botany in classification of pollens.
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