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On the Wikipedia article for axial tilt the Solar axial tilt is listed as 7.25° to the ecliptic, whereas on the Wikipedia article of orbital inclination Earth is listed as having an orbital inclination of 7.155° to the Solar equator; to me this does not add up, because unless I'm entirely mistaken these two are exactly equivalent to one another.

So, am I missing something here, or is one (or both) of those values outdated or incorrect?

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    $\begingroup$ 7.25 sounds like it was rounded to the nearest quarter of a degree. A more authoritative source is the IAU Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates: astropedia.astrogeology.usgs.gov/download/Docs/WGCCRE/… $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 13:42
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, I too get 7.25. Since neither cite a source, it's a good example as to why Wikipedia should only be used as a guide and not a reference. $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ It's Wikipedia, for crying out loud. Wikipedia is chock-full of contradictory information. The 7.25° value is well-sourced and is consistent with multiple non-wikipedia reliable sources. The 7.155° value is unsourced, but is replicated on the Wikipedia article on the Earth. Welcome to Wikipedia! $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen: I'm also assuming that, which is why I'm asking to confirm that those two values should in fact be the same, and that there's not something fundamental about celestial mechanics that I've missed. $\endgroup$
    – Outis Nemo
    Jan 19 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ @OutisNemo You haven't missed anything. The two numbers should be the same. $\endgroup$ Jan 20 at 15:11

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I fixed it. Wikipedia is my first go to source for just about anything, but, I am also aware that the articles are crowd sourced, so, I also check the article's sources while I'm at it to verify accuracy. I have also edited and created a few articles in Wikipedia. So, the Axial tilt article sources NASA fact sheets for the table of tilts, I also found one or two other sources that agree, probably because they cite NASA. The table in the Orbital inclination article did not cite any sources for the Sun's equator column, so using the same NASA source, I fixed the number for Sun's equator to the ecliptic entry. If I can find a reliable source for the Sun's equator to the other planets, I'll fix them also, if necessary. That doens't seem to be important in the NASA data. That particular table is a template table that is used in a number of articles, so, when I fixed it, it propagated to all included articles.

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  • $\begingroup$ The 7.25° value is also consistent with the 286.13° right ascension and 63.87° declination of the Sun's north pole at epoch J2000. Those values are nearly beyond reproach as they're from the IAU; see the reference @GregMiller posted in a comment to the question. $\endgroup$ Jan 22 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ Note: The Wikipedia page on the Earth still lists the inclination of the Earth's orbit to the Sun's equatorial plane as an unreferenced 7.155°. Fixing the huge number of inconsistencies across Wikipedia pages is a never-ending task. But thanks for fixing that one value, and thereby fixing the cross references across Wikipedia pages. $\endgroup$ Jan 22 at 12:36

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