Sagittal plane (optics)

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Meridional (M) and sagittal (S) planes of a bundle of rays emanating from object G and passing through a converging lens. B M and B S are the image planes for rays in the two planes (see astigmatism ). The dash-dotted line is the optical axis.

The sagittal plane (from Latin sagitta , arrow) is an auxiliary plane in geometric optics for calculating and assessing the properties of an imaging system. For each object point, it is the plane that contains the main ray of the beam and is perpendicular to its meridional plane .

For an object point that lies on the optical axis, all planes that contain the main ray form a family of meridional planes . In this case there is no sagittal plane.


  • Eugene Hecht: Optics . 4th ed. Addison-Wesley, an Francisco 2002, ISBN 978-0-321-18878-6 (EA Reading, Mass. 1982).