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I wanted to know if the tilt of the earth were changed to 30 degrees would the tropics of cancer and Capricorn also both change to 30 degrees?

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closed as off-topic by called2voyage Feb 3 '14 at 16:24

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  • "Questions about Earth science, unless directly related to phenomena observable on other celestials, Solar system in general of which Earth is a part, or as an origin of observational astronomy where its movement, local/global phenomena might affect observations and measurements, is off-topic. For more information, see the meta discussion." – called2voyage
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Short answer: yes. – David H Feb 2 '14 at 2:20
Related (also closed):… – called2voyage Feb 3 '14 at 16:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are defined as the highest and lowest latitudes where the sun is directly overhead at least one day a year. The sun's highest position appears to move up and down on the sky over the year because of the Earth's tilt, so if the Earth's tilt were greater or lesser, so would be the extent of the Tropics. (Side note: I may be wrong, but I think the Tropics were named after the Zodiac sign the sun is in when it reaches its highest or lowest point.)

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And if the tilt is changed to 56.332342° then the tropics would be at 56.332342° North and South. @gargoylezoo : Yes the tropics are so called because of the Zodiac signs. NB. This angle is actually called; The obliquity of the ecliptic. – Dieudonné Feb 2 '14 at 18:52
As a side note, Polar Circles (Artic and Antartic) would be changed as well. – Envite Feb 3 '14 at 8:02

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