Zenith Definition and Meaning

Zenith is a concept that is used in astronomy and that allows to name the point at which the vertical of a space intersects with the celestial sphere. It is the highest point in the sky above the observer, 90 degrees from your head.

The vertical of this place, in this way, divides the celestial sphere into two points: the zenith (also known as zenith or zenith) is the point that is just above the individual.

In other words, by extending the terrestrial radius of the place where the observer is standing in both directions, the zenith would cut the celestial sphere in two points. Just as the zenith is the point that is above the observer, the opposite point is called the nadir. The nadir, therefore, is under this hypothetical line (under the feet of the observer).

The notion of zenith is also used to name the peak or peak of something or someone. For example: “With this new conquest, the boxer is at the zenith of his long career”, “I reached the zenith of my career at the age of twenty and, since then, everything has gone downhill”, “I think the zenith of the concert He came up with the last two songs ”.

For optics, the zenith prism is the system that has as its most important component a reflection prism that adapts to the astronomical eyepiece and, in this way, favors zenith observation.

Finally, polar zenith is a kind of cryptography that consists of replacing the letters of the term “zenith” with the letters that form the expression “polar” in their respective positions. The letters that do not appear in these words remain unchanged. In this way, “water” is written “igui” under the encoding of polar zenith.

Another concept that could be highly linked to this is that of the Zenith Sun, which refers to the position that this star assumes when it is on the vertical of a certain place, which takes place precisely at noon. The zenith sun is only present in the intertropical regions (once in each) during the summer solstice. The days of Zenithal Sun are equivalent to the equinoxes.

The Zenit of Juan Ramón Jiménez

The Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez, one of the most prominent of the Generation of ’27, wrote a poem that he entitled “Cénit.”

In it, the author makes a comparison between his own existence and the concept described above. That point where light and shadow merge and the perfect balance is found.

He says that only that day, referring to the day of his death, will he be able to be himself. When death embraces him and makes his half of light close with his half of shadow; when it finally is, it says:

«Sometimes, my middle self, radiant;
others, my other half self, forgotten »

An analysis of this poem could lead us to analyze the peak of a person’s existence, when he can no longer change, when he ceases to be to become part of the shadow world.

At first glance it may seem like a decadent poem that arises from sadness and the desire to die, however it would be more accurate to say that the poet tries to express the importance of personal search.

Possibly it refers to working hard to rebuild oneself so that, on the day when we can no longer start over, when we die, what we see of ourselves is something that leaves us moderately satisfied, that places us very high, just to the center of where in life we ​​were standing, but much higher.


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