Astrophysics (Index)About


(axial tilt, tilt)
(angle between an object's rotational and orbital axes)

Obliquity (or axial tilt or in context, just tilt) is the angle between a planet's rotational axis and its orbital axis, or equivalently between its orbital plane and its equatorial plane.

Solar system examples:

(The angles above 90 degrees indicate the planet rotates retrograde compared to orbit.)

Both the Moon and Mercury have an obliquity such that the polar regions receive little sunlight.

Tilt erosion is the (slow) reduction of axial tilt, which can be the result tidal forces. It has been suggested that some axial tilt may increase the chances of a planet's habitability, and that tilt erosion could reduce it.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
celestial equator
circle of latitude
magnetic dipole radiation
solar time