2
$\begingroup$

Every 24 hour day, there is a point as the earth rotates about its axis, where a location on earth is the closest to the ecliptic and where it's the furthest. Do those two points have a name?

What I mean is on the plane of the ecliptic, as the earth rotates around its axis, a point on the earth at 45 deg north is going to hit a low-point perpendicular to that plane, and will hit a high point perpendicular to that plane.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ The Poles do not have such a point. Any point on the Equator moves equal distances above and below the ecliptic... $\endgroup$ – DJohnM Jan 5 '17 at 3:40
1
$\begingroup$

I don't know of a standard term for that quantity, but I'd call it the ecliptic latitude of the zenith. With north positive and south negative, this would reach a minimum at 6:00 and a maximum at 18:00 local sidereal time. These correspond to local solar noon or midnight at the solstices and occur 2 hours earlier per month.

The vectors perpendicular to the ecliptic are called the ecliptic poles. The zenith only coincides with one of these on the Arctic or Antarctic circle, at sunrise (winter-spring) or sunset (summer-fall).

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.