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Conjunction and opposition are terms from astronomy and astrology, and refer to two celestial bodies (usually planets) being together, or opposite one another, as seen from a third body (almost-always Earth). (Syzygy, beyond being an incredible Scrabble word, refers to three or more bodies lined up.)

Is there a hypernym for these terms, something roughly meaning “of or related to the relative positioning of celestial objects,” that is actually used in the context of astronomy and/or astrology?

An example usage might be,

Mars and Venus spend more time in ______, that is, in conjunction or opposition, than any other pair of planets as seen from Earth.

(I have no idea if this statement is accurate.)

(Ironically, this question is completely unrelated to Hypernym for “conjunction” and “disjunction” which refers to operations in formal logic.)

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    Well, if two planets are 120° apart in the ecliptic, they're said to be in Trine Aspect, and if they're 90° apart, they're said to be in Quadrature Aspect. There is no special astrological phrase for 180° or 0°, but the Aspects of both Opposition and Conjunction are treated as similar in many ways. If you needed one, I'd suggest Binary Aspect as a term to cover both of them. Though be aware it's non-standard in astrology, and wildly so in astronomy. – John Lawler Oct 25 '18 at 23:09
  • @JohnLawler Please do not answer in comments; that is useless. It may be a good idea but it needs to be in an answer where I can see how it is voted or commented upon. For that matter, I cannot accept a comment. Comments-as-answers break the Stack Exchange system, and I have long thought that ELU’s tolerance of them is a disservice to its readers and a poor reflection on its users and moderators. And I’m not alone, it is fair to say they hard ELU’s reputation on the network. So please don’t. – KRyan Oct 26 '18 at 12:42
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    Comments as answers are defenses against procedural quibbles about otherwise useful answers failing to live up to the answer standards. You have to just accept them as magnanimous, not greet them with procedural quibbles. – stevesliva Oct 27 '18 at 2:46
  • @stevesliva No, they harm the site and make myself and others think rather poorly of the way things are run about here. It’s not a quibble, it’s a severe and serious problem. If you have a suggestion, write an answer. If there’s a problem, and it gets downvoted, and you don’t like that, delete it. – KRyan Oct 27 '18 at 2:47
  • Well, is the point to learn or to adjudicate? If it's the former it doesn't matter where the information is. – stevesliva Oct 27 '18 at 2:49
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I would in simpler English say diametrical.

As in

‘The rum-shop and grocery that stood on the diametrical axis, across Old St Joseph Road from our front-bedroom, was frequently robbed.’

‘The signification of the 7th house for opponents and ‘opposite numbers’ - both in love and war - can to some extent be explained by its diametrical aspect to the ascendant.’
(emphasis mine)

(diametrical 2 Of or along a diameter, ODOL)

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    Surely "diametrical" is only used in the sense of "diametrically opposed", that is "in opposition to" in terms of the question, I don't think it includes "conjunction" at all. Obviously bodies "in conjunction" are on the same diameter if we think of planetary movements as being circular but they are both at the same end of the diameter so I don't think it applies. Not only that but in astrology, if not in astronomy, bodies are said to be in "conjunction" or "opposition" when they are within a few minutes of arc of the exact position not only when they are exactly together or exactly opposite. – BoldBen Oct 26 '18 at 10:24
  • In addition to @BoldBen’s entirely accurate comment, please note the question seems a word “that is actually used in the context of astronomy and/or astrology.” – KRyan Oct 26 '18 at 12:38
  • @BoldBen See use cases. – Kris Oct 29 '18 at 8:44
  • @KRyan Ditto, too. – Kris Oct 29 '18 at 8:45
  • The use cases are not demonstrating anything useful to me. Is the second astrology-related? It might be, but I honestly have no idea. Consider expanding your answer to explain them. As for the second definition of diametrical, I have never heard that usage in my life, and would far prefer a word that my readers don’t know and I can define, than to use a word that they do know, but know as meaning something that is specifically not what I mean. If I use this, everyone reading it will think it refers only to 180° case rather than both the 0° and 180° cases; that is opposite what I want. – KRyan Oct 29 '18 at 12:36
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An aspect has been suggested, per the use in astrology:

In astrology, an aspect is an angle the planets make to each other in the horoscope, also to the ascendant, midheaven, descendant, lower midheaven, and other points of astrological interest. Aspects are measured by the angular distance in degrees and minutes of ecliptic longitude between two points, as viewed from Earth.

(Wikipedia)

This is very close to what I want, and may be workable! Conjunction and opposition are specifically aspects that approximately 0° and 180°, respectively, while aspects is just a measure of the angle and can be anything in between as well (60°, 90°, and 120° also have special names, specifically sextile, square, and trine).

Still, barring a better suggestion, this seems likely to be my choice.

  • Better modify the question suitably then. – Kris Oct 29 '18 at 8:46
  • Also, one needs to understand the terms and usage before asking for/choosing a term in a field one is not conversant with. Good Luck. – Kris Oct 29 '18 at 8:46
  • @Kris Absolutely no idea what modification to the question you think is suitable here. And the whole point of asking the question is for experts to weigh in with answers or votes, though of course that hasn't happened. ELU has failed rather thoroughly here. – KRyan Oct 29 '18 at 12:26

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