If the tilt of the Earth changed, would the tropics latitude change too?

  • I wanted to know if the tilt of the earth were changed to 30 degrees would the tropics of cancer and Capricorn also both change to 30 degrees?

    Short answer: yes.

  • gargoylezoo

    gargoylezoo Correct answer

    9 years ago

    Yes, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are defined as the highest and lowest latitudes where the sun is directly overhead at least one day a year. The sun's highest position appears to move up and down on the sky over the year because of the Earth's tilt, so if the Earth's tilt were greater or lesser, so would be the extent of the Tropics. (Side note: I may be wrong, but I think the Tropics were named after the Zodiac sign the sun is in when it reaches its highest or lowest point.)

    And if the tilt is changed to 56.332342° then the tropics would be at 56.332342° North and South. @gargoylezoo : Yes the tropics are so called because of the Zodiac signs. NB. This angle is actually called; The obliquity of the ecliptic.

    As a side note, Polar Circles (Artic and Antartic) would be changed as well.

    If the tilt were changed to 56.332342°, both tropics and polar circles would change, but they would change so much that polar circles would be closer to the equator than the tropics. There would be a range of latitudes with sun overheard AND midnight sun for some days a year.

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