Astrophysics (index)

Orbital Inclination

(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 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 the plane of the Moon's orbit. The inclination of a planet's orbit is often given using the Ecliptic as a reference.

The term is 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.

Examples:

  • The Moon's orbit can be described by an inclination as compared to the plane of Earth's equator (the ecliptic, 5.14deg).
  • The Earth's orbit can be described by an inclination as compared to the Sun's equator (7.155deg).
  • A Transiting Planet (exoplanet) has an orbital inclination close to 90deg.

(orbits,measure)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_inclination

Referenced by:
Kozai Mechanism
Moon
Planetary Migration
Proxima B

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