Celestial Equator

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The celestial equator (green line)[1]

The projection of the Earth's equator into outer space, or to be more precise, onto the celestial sphere. The celestial equator is inclined by 23.4° to the ecliptic plane.

The points at which the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect are the vernal equinox and the autumnal point.[2] The Sun crosses the celestial equator in a northerly direction at the vernal equinox, and in a southerly direction at the autumnal equinox.

See also


Notes and References

  1. The image shows the relations between Earth's axial tilt (or obliquity), rotation axis and plane of orbit
  2. So called in the northern hemisphere, i.e. in Europe and North America