Simple question: I read that the axial tilt of Uranus is 97.77 degrees. I don't understand why it would be this instead of 82.23 degrees the other way. It seems like saying that the Earth's axial tilt is 157 degrees rather than 23, or something. can someone explain why Uranus's axial tilt is bigger than 90 degrees?

EDIT: this is not a question of how it came to be so tilted, I am sure that is answered elsewhere, but simply why it is accepted as being bigger than 90 degrees rather than less than 90 degrees the other way. it is the same for Venus.

  • $\begingroup$ I would like to point out that this is not about why or how it came to be so tilted, simply why it is written as 98 degrees rather than 82 degrees in the other direction $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ This was not clear before your edit $\endgroup$
    – user2449
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ sorry about that hopefully it should be clearer now. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


I have found the answer. I just found that venus has an axial tilt of nearly 180 degrees, so I realised that the >90 degree tilts are due to the fact that they are the planets with retrograde rotation, which is equivalent to an 'upside down' (>90 degrees) counter clockwise, normal, rotation.


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