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Thread: ANOTHER weather/seasons topic: inclination to the ecliptic and weather/seasons

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    ANOTHER weather/seasons topic: inclination to the ecliptic and weather/seasons

    A planet's seasons are a result of its axial tilt in relation to its orbital plane. So this planet wobbles as it orbits the energy source; this creates season. The inclination to the ecliptic of a planet has nothing to do with seasons since the ecliptic is Earth's orbital plane. Right? For some reason, I am so confused about the whole seasons thing...What are your thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by perflexed View Post
    A planet's seasons are a result of its axial tilt in relation to its orbital plane. So this planet wobbles as it orbits the energy source; this creates season. The inclination to the ecliptic of a planet has nothing to do with seasons since the ecliptic is Earth's orbital plane. Right? For some reason, I am so confused about the whole seasons thing...What are your thoughts?
    Each planet in our solar system has its own "ecliptic", but for most of them they differ only slightly from ours.

    Yes, the inclination of the planet's axis to the plane of Earth's orbit is immaterial. It is the inclination to the planet's own orbit that determines its seasonal characteristics.

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    Though just to confuse you, if the star was a rapid rotator and is flattened at the poles as a result, it can have luminosity differences between poles and equator. If the planet's orbit is inclined relative to that star's equator, then it could actually receive a varying luminosity from the star as it moves from seeing the stellar pole to seeing the stellar equator.

    I guess that if there's some thick band of dust on an interior orbit, and if the planet's orbit is inclined so that it goes above and below that band, then that might vary the luminosity it receives too.

    Those are about the only things that I can think for an inclined orbit that could cause "seasons" though.
    General request: If I ask a question, I'd like people who know about the subject to answer it with factual answers (preferably with references). Saying we don't know is fine if that's the case. However, I'm not really interested in guesses or personal opinions. Thanks!
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by perflexed View Post
    A planet's seasons are a result of its axial tilt in relation to its orbital plane. So this planet wobbles as it orbits the energy source; this creates season. The inclination to the ecliptic of a planet has nothing to do with seasons since the ecliptic is Earth's orbital plane. Right? For some reason, I am so confused about the whole seasons thing...What are your thoughts?
    Don’t be concerned about wobbles when reading about the Earth’s axis. The various wobbles are either long term and/or of minimal effect on the seasons. Over a human lifetime, the noticeable effect is that the Earth’s axis is tipped more than 23° relative a perpendicular to the ecliptic (Earth’s orbital plane). The northern end of the axis continues to point in generally the same direction (toward the vicinity of the North Star) as the Earth orbits the Sun. This results in the North and South Poles alternately appearing tipped 23° toward the Sun over the course of a year. For those living beyond the tropics, this causes the Sun’s apparent angular altitude above the horizon at true noon to oscillate throughout the year over an arc of nearly 47°. It also results in large variances in the length of daytime throughout the year. These factors lead to expected changes in the average daily air temperature as the seasons progress.

    The preceding is about the Earth. Other planets have orbital planes only slightly inclined to the ecliptic. They each have varying degrees of axial tilt relative to their orbital planes. These might produce something analogous to seasons.
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