Astrophysics (Index)About

orbital inclination

(angle between plane of an orbit and a reference plane)

An orbital inclination is the angle between the plane of an orbit and a given reference plane. For example, the orbital inclination of an Earth satellite might be given using the plane of the Earth's equator as a reference, or alternately the plane of the Moon's orbit. The inclination of a solar system planet's orbit is often given using the ecliptic as a reference. The term is often used for binary stars and extra-solar planets using the plane of reference to be a plane perpendicular to the line of sight from Earth (the plane of the sky). Examples:

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
irregular moon
Kozai mechanism
Kuiper Belt (K Belt)
long-period comet
mass function
mass ratio (μ)
minimum mass (m sin i)
Morgan classification
Oort Cloud
orbital element
orbital resonance
orbit plot
Planet Nine
planetary migration
Proxima b
retrograde orbit
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9
Solar Orbiter (SolO)
standard siren
trans-Neptunian object (TNO)