On Earth, it's fairly well published, mostly in climate change related articles, that the Earth's orbital eccentricity operates on a 413,000 year cycle with roughly 90,000–125,000 year variation within that cycle.


The cause of this variation is primarily the other planets, with Jupiter and Saturn usually mentioned as the primary causes (same link).

Question is two fold. How stable is the Earth's orbital eccentricity cycle? 413,000 years sounds enormously precise, but logically, I would think small changes in planetary orbits would create some variability. Is the 413,000 years well established and repeating or is it more uncertain?

And, do we have a good estimate of other planets orbital eccentricity variation? I looked, but couldn't anything at all on other planets eccentricity cycles. The closest I came was this gravity simulation chart below.

90,000 year eccentricity chart of the 4 inner planets here, and method used. Source.


1 Answer 1


You may take a look at the lates parametrization file by JPL-NAIF for the precession, nutation and pole orientation of the largest known bodies.

Although, for the large time scales you are asking, I expect you will need to propagate the data and make your own wild guess, or dig into appropiate literature about solar system physics.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome on the site - nice to see professionals here. :-) $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 0:01

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