Orbital Inclination Definition and Illustration

Word of the Week: Orbital Inclination

The angle at which an object’s orbit around a central body is tilted in comparison to a reference plane.

Asteroid Bennu orbits the Sun at a 6-degree inclination from the plane of Earth’s orbit. In 2017, OSIRIS-REx executed a maneuver that used Earth’s gravity to boost itself onto Bennu’s orbital plane.

Credit: University of Arizona


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