Ecliptic plane

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  • Thread starter rootone
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Are there any good theories which can explain how the orbits of planets are not aligned with the rotation of the Sun?
I gather there is about 6 degrees of differance, which is not small.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phyzguy
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The total angular momentum of the sun is pretty small compared to the angular momentum of the planets (a few percent). If I calculated correctly, it wouldn't take a lot to shift the sun's angular momentum vector by a few degrees. If an Earth-sized body had fallen into the sun during the formation of the solar system, which is quite feasible, I think it would be enough to cause the observed misalignment.
 

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