Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
precovery (plural precoveries)
- (astronomy) The use of previously gathered data (especially photographic images) to recover a recently discovered object (typically a small solar system body).
- If you look for your new object after discovery, it's called "recovery". [...] if you find your new object in some old data that someone took before you discovered your object, it's called a "precovery".
- Quaoar [...] is a Trans-Neptunian object orbiting the Sun in the Kuiper belt. It was discovered on June 4, 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Michael Brown at the California Institute of Technology [...] The earliest precovery turned out to be a May 25, 1954 plate from Palomar Observatory.
- (slang) The act of resting before a long night, weekend or season of binge drinking.