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What caused Earth to tilt on its axis?


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Answered 2012-04-25 13:29:18

What caused this obliquity (axial tilt) is still not clearly understood - and probably never will be.

During the early periods of the Earths formation, slight differences in the distribution of matter may well have caused irregularities in the balance of the planet, but this is unlikely to have caused such a large tilt.

The most likely explanation, is that early in the formation of the Earth, it was struck by a rogue planet - called Theia. (About the size of Mars). It struck, at an angle of about 45 degrees, (Debris from this collision made the Moon). This collision would almost certainly have pushed its obliquity (axial tilt) away from almost near vertical.

We only have to look at Mercury and Venus to see that their tilt is almost near to vertical,

It also seems, that the Moon also keeps the Earths tilt fairly constant. Without the Moon, the tilt would alter quite considerably over time.

See related link for more information.

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Answered 2020-10-19 13:28:35

Theia crashed into what is earth and made it break all the meteorite pieces and melted to form the moon.

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