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Thread: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica

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    Default Re: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica



    Quote Originally Posted by eradohl View Post
    The welcome message to me when joining Astronomy Forum was

    "We are very friendly here, don't be shy ask or discuss away!"
    Relax. You have stated that it was not a homework question, and we will take your word for it.

    As a couple of the answers have indicated, the sun's motion along the ecliptic is eastward. From the perspective of someone in the northern hemisphere, that is counterclockwise. From the perspective of someone in the southern hemisphere, it is clockwise.

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    Default Re: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica

    Oddly enough, I'm not really sure, even as a quite established astronomer and photographer (not to mention a moderator) that I've ever wondered about which way the sun wanders in the void of space.
    There is no up no down and not even a strange.
    The sun rotates - I know because I've taken pics of sun spots and even a transit of venus (I'll bet no one will take a pic of that in my lifetime - or even theirs.
    It seems to go in the same direction as the planets - but above that it seens to drift from west to east along the stars - much the same as the orion arm of the galaxy in which we reside.
    I'm sure there's much more info somewhere else - it's not really a place I've mentally wandered.
    Just for fun, here's a picture of the transit of venus-
    Pop it in with your homework and teacher will be impressed - oh yeah - it's not homework... rightthird touch and blackdrop.jpgsecond touch.jpgrandom sample.jpg
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    Default Re: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica

    Thanks for clarifying answers.
    You have to start somewhere. Anybody joining this area have to take the first step. I assume both the Supermoderator and the Jedi Moderator took the first step too. I am grateful for the answers.

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    Default Re: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica

    Here's a site with an animated explanation ... Ecliptic traces the sun's path | Astronomy Essentials | EarthSky
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    Default Re: Suns Rotation Along the Ecliptica

    A few things...

    I also wondered if you actually meant to ask which way the Sun "spins". E.g. if you were to watch a sunspot ... you'd notice that it moves from the left side of the sun's disk to the right. In other words the Sun spins from west to east, just like Earth.

    If you could hover above the Sun and look down on the Sun and the rest of the planets in the Solar System, you'd notice that everything is spinning in a counter-clockwise direction... the Sun itself spins in that direction (taking roughly a month to do a full rotation) and the planets are also all orbiting in that same direction. Also, all the planets themselves are spinning in that same direction (with Uranus being an exception... it's pretty much tilted completely over on it's side).

    To be clear, the Sun is more or less in the center of the Solar System (it does get tugged at by the planets) and planets, such as the Earth, are orbiting the Sun. But this creates the illusion that it's the Earth that remains stationary and that the Sun appears to be following a path across the sky throughout the year. This path is the "Ecliptic" and the list of constellations that it passes through (13 in all) are referred to as the constellations of the zodiac.

    Since the reality is that the Earth is orbiting the Sun... in a counter-clockwise direction, then the illusion is that the Sun is orbiting the Earth and also in a counter-clockwise direction. In other words it appears to be migrating to the East (relative to the background stars)... and by about 1º*per day.

    The Sun is currently in Capricornus (today... Feb 3). It will be in Aquarius on Feb 16. It will be in Pisces on March 12. If you pull up a star chart (or a computer planetarium app) you'll see that this is an east migration (it's appears to be moving to the "left").
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