MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Why isn't the ecliptic in the same plane as the Milky Way galactic disk?

Date: Thu Apr 13 13:36:33 2000
Posted by Doug
Grade level: grad (science) School: none
City: Omaha State/Province: NE Country: USA
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 955650993.As

Or..why don't the planets orbit the sun in the same plane as the sun 
orbits the galactic center?
I have been searching for the answer to this question ever since my then 
10 year old son asked it about 2 years ago while stargazing from a dark 
site. Imagine my surprise when I found your site and a previous question 
which was very similar to my son's! The answer to question 
left me a little confused though!  The writer suggested that the angular 
momentum of the stars was related to the original cloud that collapsed to 
form them and not the galaxy angular momentum.  Reviewing the information 
found at on angulat 
momentum did not help me understand the answer. As I understand the answer 
to,  if the stars orbit is not related to the galaxy spin, 
then I would expect the stars to orbit the galaxy at a multitude of random 
orbits and no disk to form.  I guess an easier way to say it is the 
original answer does not answer the question of what causes the original 
angular momentum of the original cloud? And more likley the original 
answer answers my question but i don't understand it!  

Re: Why isn't the ecliptic in the same plane as the Milky Way galactic disk?

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