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Urban Astronomer

Why do planets orbit in the same plane?

10 Sep 2019, 00:00 UTC
Why do planets orbit in the same plane?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In episode 48 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, we're doing another Science Explainy bit! These segments are where you get to hear my droning voice explain some fundamentals and answer listener questions. Today we get asked why it always is that planets orbit in the same plane, and why the Moon can be seen during daylight. If you like what you hear, don't forget to tell a friend about the show, and make a small donation on our Patreon account.
Why do planets orbit in the same plane?
1:50

This question was asked by Matthew du Plessis, one of our Twitter followers. He wants to know why planets always seem to orbit their star in the same direction, and why those orbits are always aligned within the same orbital plane. We take a look at how solar systems are formed in the first place, to show why this alignment is inevitable. I make reference to this video:

Why can I sometimes see the Moon during the day?
12:29

This question came from Anzet du Plessis, also on Twitter. She wants to know why it is that the Moon is sometimes visible during the day. I think a bit about how ...

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