Epoch in astronomy is defined as a reference point for some time-varying astronomical quantity which usually includes factors such as the node of its orbit, mean longitude or means anomaly of a body, the direction of the apogee or aphelion of its orbit, size of the major axis of its orbit among many others. It is also used to calculate other relevant parameters of motion, in order to predict future positions and velocities. It can also be used to generate a table of values giving the positions and velocities of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times also called an ephemeris. Celestial coordinate systems most commonly used in astronomy need their own date-reference because the coordinate systems are themselves in motion. Epochs and equinoxes are moments in time, so they can be specified in the same way as moments that indicate things other than epochs and equinoxes.
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