# Which way does the Earth tilt? [closed]

On which side does the earth tilt to? I have tried figuring it out myself but I can't seem to find the answer.

• Your question is a bit vague. The North Pole points towards the North star, Polaris. The plane of the equator is (currently) tilted by 23°26′12.0″ relative to the Earth's orbital plane. There's a diagram in my answer here which may be helpful. Oct 12 '20 at 23:40
• If we call the ecliptic the "floor" then Earth's north pole tilts towards Orion. See commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AxialTiltObliquity.png or slittlefair.staff.shef.ac.uk/teaching/phy115/session2/sunMotion/… voting to keep open in this case because I think the OP needs some assistance first, before they can refactor the question sufficiently In this case an answer would do the job better than a bunch of comments, and closing blocks answers
– uhoh
Oct 13 '20 at 17:38
• Hi @Jackson, would an answer like "towards the constellation of Orion" make sense to you? Is that the kind of answer you are looking for? Others are having trouble with your question because right now they are probably thinking "Tilted with respect to what?" There are several coordinate systems but none are absolute, so we always need a reference system. Can you think about "Tilted with respect to what?" a bit? Thanks and Welcome to Stack Exchange!
– uhoh
Oct 13 '20 at 17:38

The equator (Earth's rotation plane) and ecliptic (Earth's solar orbit plane) cross at the vernal equinox ♈, the zero point of both right ascension and ecliptic longitude.

Relative to the ecliptic, the Earth's north pole is tilted toward ecliptic longitude λ=90°, where the Sun appears at the June solstice. Constellations in that general direction are highest around midnight in December and January: Auriga, Orion, etc.

The Earth's south pole is tilted toward ecliptic longitude λ=270°, where the Sun appears at the December solstice. Constellations in that part of the sky are highest around midnight in June and July: Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, Hercules, etc.

Even though axial precession changes the celestial poles' orientation relative to the stars in a cycle of about 26,000 years, their ecliptic longitudes with respect to the equinox of date are constant. The north and south ecliptic poles precess by much smaller amounts and have constant right ascensions α=18h and α=6h respectively, relative to the equinox of date.

Stellarium might help you visualize all this. In the View window, Markings tab, you can ask it to plot the equator, ecliptic, and celestial and ecliptic poles of date.

• +1 I wish I could find a photograph of an old transparent celestial sphere globe with the ecliptic horizontal and a small earth at the center, tilted. I further wish that it were high-enough resolution that one could see Earth tilting towards Orion. I wish for world peace and for all my SE reputation to change 1:1 for bitcoin, but that's beside the point.
– uhoh
Oct 13 '20 at 22:40