Planetary Science

What happens to the earth's axis of rotation as earth orbits the sun?

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08/22/2015

For all intents and purposes, the orientation of earth's axis remains the same during the year. This accounts for the fact that the north pole is always oriented toward Polaris, the North Star. This is basically because the earth's rotation turns it into a big gyroscope. Over long periods of time we detect a 'wobble' in this orientation, but you would need extremely sensitive equipment to detect this wobble unless you are observing over hundreds or thousands of years. The wobble is one kind of what is called precession.