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What is the Ecliptic?

The ecliptic describes the apparent orbit of the sun in front of the fixed stars seen from Earth. On it, the 12 signs of the zodiac are located, which were already termed in early antiquity.

The name ecliptic comes from the Greek: ἐκλειπτική [τροχιά] ekleiptikē [trochiá] for 'obscuring [orbit]. Lunar and solar eclipses only occur when full or new moon is very close to the ecliptic. Depending on this proximity, a partial, total or ring-shaped eclipse appears.

Movement of the earth

The earth rotates around its own axis, as a result of which the fixed starry sky and the sun in front of it move around the earth from east to west within one day. Thus, the sun seems to move daily. Since the earth moves around the sun in the course of the year, the position of the sun changes in relation to the fixed starry sky. This means that the sun passes through all twelve ecliptic constellations in one year. This orbit of the sun is called ecliptic.