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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An anomaly is any occurrence or object that is strange, unusual, or unique. It can also mean a discrepancy or deviation from an established rule or trend.

Anomalistics is the study of scientific anomalies. In computer science, anomaly detection refers to the process of detecting anomalies from the relevant data.

In the following particular contexts, "anomaly" may refer to:



  • Eccentric anomaly, intermediate value used to compute the position of a celestial object as a function of time
  • Flyby anomaly, unexpected energy increase during Earth flybys of satellites
  • Mean anomaly, measure of time in the study of orbital dynamics
  • Pioneer anomaly, observed deviation of the trajectories of various unmanned spacecraft
  • South Atlantic Anomaly, region where Earth's inner van Allen radiation belt makes its closest approach to the planet's surface
  • True anomaly, angle between the direction of periapsis and the current position of an object on its orbit.



  • Congenital anomaly, popularly referred to as a birth defect, a disorder present at birth, the result of an inherited gene mutation, an error during morphogenesis or fetal development, or an environmental factor
    • Physical anomaly, a deformation of an anatomical structure
      • Congenital vertebral anomaly, any of several malformations of the spine in animals and infants
      • Collie eye anomaly, congenital, inherited, bilateral eye disease of dogs involving the retina, choroid, and sclera
      • Coronary artery anomaly, congenital abnormality in the coronary anatomy of the heart
      • Ebstein's anomaly, congenital heart defect in which the opening of the tricuspid valve is displaced towards the right ventricle of the heart
      • Uhl anomaly, very rare congenital heart disease with a partial or total loss of the myocardial muscle in the right ventricle
    • Genetic anomaly, a disorder whose ultimate cause is a genetic or chromosomal mutation
    • Chromosome anomaly, a disorder whose ultimate cause involves a structural error in a chromosome or an atypical number of chromosomes
  • Teratology, the study of all developmental anomalies

Quantum physics

  • Anomaly (physics), failure of a symmetry of a theory's classical action
  • Conformal anomaly, quantum phenomenon that breaks the conformal symmetry of the classical theory
  • Chiral anomaly, anomalous nonconservation of a chiral current
  • Gauge anomaly, effect of quantum mechanics that invalidates the gauge symmetry of a quantum field theory
  • Global anomaly, anomaly in quantum physics
  • Gravitational anomaly, effect of quantum mechanics that invalidates the general covariance of a theory of general relativity
  • Mixed anomaly, effect of quantum mechanics
  • Parity anomaly, anomaly associated with parity
  • Konishi anomaly, violation of the conservation of the Noether current associated with certain transformations
  • Anomalons, odd particle interactions seen in some high-energy physics experiments

Science fiction

  • Anomaly as a rift in the space-time continuum in Futurama
  • Fortean anomaly, as in the work of Charles Fort
  • Spatial anomaly, broad term in Star Trek and other science fiction for any sort of extraordinary disruption in the space-time continuum
  • Anomaly, shortcut to hyperspace travel in Robert Heinlein's 1950s novels, today called a wormhole
  • Anomaly (comics), DC Comics villain
  • "Anomaly" (Star Trek: Enterprise), an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Anomaly (Primeval), time portal in TV series Primeval
  • Anomalies, small areas in the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl which have various effects on the game environment
  • Anomaly, a bridge to another world in the book series His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman
  • Phobos Anomaly, a level in Doom (video game), Episode 1 Level 8
  • Deimos Anomaly, a level in Doom (video game), Episode 2 Level 1
  • Anomaly as an unbalanced system in The Matrix



See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANOMALY (from Gr. avw,uaXla, unevenness, derived from a y -, privative, and ouaXbs, even), a deviation from the common rule. In astronomy the word denotes the angular distance of a body from the pericentre of the orbit in which it is moving. Let AB be the major axis of the orbit, B the pericentre, F the focus or centre of motion, P the position of the body. The anomaly is then the angle BFP which the radius vector makes with the major axis. This is the actual or true anomaly. Mean R anomaly is the anomaly which the body would have if it moved from the pericentre around F with a uniform angular motion such that its revolution would be completed in its actual time (see Orbit). Eccentric anomaly is defined thus: - Draw the circumscribing circle of the elliptic orbit around the centre C of the orbit. Drop the perpendicular RPQ through P, the position of the planet, upon the major axis. Join CR; the angle CRQ is then the eccentric anomaly.

In the ancient astronomy the anomaly was taken as the angular distance of the planet from the point of the farthest recession from the earth.

Kepler's Problem, namely, that of finding the co-ordinates of a planet at a given time, which is equivalent - given the mean anomaly - to that of determining the true anomaly, was solved approximately by Kepler, and more completely by Wallis, Newton and others.

The anomalistic revolution of a planet or other heavenly body is the revolution between two consecutive passages through the pericentre. Starting from the pericentre, it is completed on the return to the pericentre. If the pericentre is fixed, this is an actual revolution; but if it moves the anomalistic revolution is greater or less than a complete circumference.

An Anomalistic year is the time (365 days, 6 hours, 13 minutes, 48 seconds) in which the earth (and similarly for any other planet) passes from perihelion to perihelion, or from any given value of the anomaly to the same again. Owing to the precession of the equinoxes it is longer than a tropical or sidereal year by 25 minutes and 2.3 seconds. An Anomalistic month is the time in which the moon passes from perigee to perigee, &c.

For the mathematics of Kepler's problem see E. W. Brown,. Lunar Theory (Cambridge 1896), or the work of Watson or of Bauschinger on Theoretical Astronomy.

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