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Unformatted text preview: ecliptic . Because the rotation axis of the Earth is tilted by 23.5 degrees with respect to the plane of its orbital motion (which is also called the ecliptic), the path of the Sun on the celestial sphere is a circle tilted by 23.5 degrees with respect to the celestial equator (see diagram at right). The ecliptic is important observationally, because the planets, the Sun (by definition), and the Moon are always found near the ecliptic. As we shall see later, this is because all of these objects have orbits that lie nearly in the same spatial plane. Shockwave movie illustrating the ecliptic . Motion of Sun through Zodiac in Copernican Model ....
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- Fall '10