Where is the earth's ascending node located?

1 Answer
Mar 18, 2017

The Earth's ascending node is in the direction if Pisces.


The ascending node of a planet or moon crosses the reference plane heading north.

The positions of the moon and planets often use the plane of the Earth's orbit, the ecliptic, as the reference plane. In this case Earth has no real ascending node.

Alternatively the Earth's equatorial plane can be used as the reference plane. In which case Earth does have an ascending node.

Orbital events are measured as angles from the Vernal Equinox at a particular epoch. The Vernal Equinox is the intersection of the ecliptic plane and equatorial plane. A common epoch is J2000 which was 2000-01-01 12:00:00. The Vernal Equinox is also known as the first point of Ares as it used to lie in the direction of the constellation Ares. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the Vernal Equinox now lies in the direction of the constellation Pisces. The nearest star is #lambda# Pisceum.

The Earth's ascending node currently lies about #11°# East of the J2000 Vernal Equinox.