tropical year

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The period of one revolution of the earth around the sun, with respect to the vernal equinox. Because of precession of the equinoxes, this is not 360° with respect to the stars, but 50"3 less. A tropical year is about 20 minutes shorter than a sidereal year, averaging 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds in 1900 and is decreasing at the rate of 0.00530 second annually. Also called astronomical, equinoctial, natural, or solar year.

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