Astrophysics (Index)About

orbital inclination

(angle between plane of an orbit and a reference plane)

An orbital inclination is the angle between the plane of an orbit and a given reference plane. For example, the orbital inclination of an Earth satellite might be given using the plane of the Earth's equator as a reference, or alternately the plane of the Moon's orbit. The inclination of a solar system planet's orbit is often given using the ecliptic as a reference. The term is often used for binary stars and extra-solar planets using the plane of reference to be a plane perpendicular to the line of sight from Earth (the plane of the sky). Examples:

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
irregular moon
Kozai mechanism
Kuiper Belt (K Belt)
mass function
mass ratio (μ)
minimum mass (m sin i)
Morgan classification
Oort Cloud
orbital element
orbit plot
Planet Nine
planetary migration
Proxima b
retrograde orbit
Solar Orbiter (SolO)
standard siren
trans-Neptunian object (TNO)