You are correct: the ecliptic is nearly perpendicular to the path of the sun through space (current flow). And yes,the moon's orbit is involved too. Your question may be:why does the plane of the ecliptic not coincide exactly with the plane of the moons orbit? The short answer is that the path of the sun is not linear,but a spiral. If the sun was traveling in a straight line,all orbits would be perpendicular to that line. If the sun's direction of travel changes (spirals),would you expect every orbital plane to instantaneously change to the same degree?bdw000 wrote:I do not remember reading anywhere how the current flow through the sun relates to the planetary orbits.
Anyone have any links to where this is discussed? Or, post your brief response here.
The reason I ask is that it sure would be convenient if the current flow was perpendicular to the ecliptic (I believe that is the model used here for galaxies: a flow of current perpendicular to the galactic plane [as well as flows through the arms within the plane]). Anyone remember the left hand rule? If the current flow is perpendicular to the ecliptic, that sure would make me think that the current flow has something (no matter how major or minor) to do with the planetary orbits. If this seems unreasonable please remember I am no expert and just speculating. I have no idea how this could relate to the moon's orbit around the earth . . .
I seem to get two different views when reading this website or other sources: either stars are at some point along a Birkeland current, or current is flowing to the star from all around (these are my impressions: please point out if they are flawed!).
It just seems to me that there is probably a standard answer here and I seem to have missed it.
As an example: pick a star in the double helix nebula.(Find a picture of the nebula to help visualize). Imagine it has planets and moons in orbit around it. Would you expect those planets to all orbit perpendicularly to the star's current direction of travel? Or would you expect the orbital planes of the planets to stay perpendicular to the general axis of this helix? Or would you expect a distribution between these two,as magnetic forces twist each orbit ,while orbital angular momentum retards this twisting.
As far as the direction of travel of the sun: Remember,according to mythology,we are moving about the Pleiades. Is it then a shock to find that the proper motion of the pleiades is nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic?