Bearing is a description of the position of a space vessel in relation to another object, such as a planet, star, starbase or other object in relation to the forward direction of travel and is usually accompanied by a distance measurement. An object on a bearing of 090 mark 270 is directly below the vessel; an object bearing 300 mark 10 is located to the port side of the vessel and above the current plane of travel.
Bearing differs from heading in that bearing refers to the position of an object relative to the position of the vessel taking the bearing, while heading describes the direction of travel.
In 2355 Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Stargazer ordered a sensor bearing of a hostile (later identified as Ferengi) ship, and was advised the bearing was seven-mark-nineteen (7-19), putting the vessel slightly above and to starboard of the Stargazer. He then ordered his helmsman to engage warp nine on a heading of seven-seven-mark-twenty (77-20), traveling further starboard, and up on the vertical plane. (TNG: "The Battle")
Some bearings (or headings) can be expressed using one of two different measurements. An object directly behind (or turning completely around) could be expressed either as one-eight-zero-mark-zero (180-0) or zero-mark-one-eight-zero (0-180).
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