Website Detail Page

written by David Stern
This web page describes the precession of the Earth's axis of rotation relative to the stars. It describes the discovery by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus that the position of the Sun at any season, measured against the background stars, migrates in a slow cycle of about 26000 years. This "precession of the equinoxes" is caused by the rotation axis of the Earth slowly moving around a cone.  Precession may be one of several astronomical processes contributing to the ice ages, as proposed by the Serbian astronomer Milutin Milankovich.  This page is part of a large web site, "From Stargazers to Starships" that presents physics concepts through applications to space science and an historical perspective. A related lesson plan and other resources are linked to this page.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Fundamentals
= Celestial Mechanics
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
- Reference Material
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- text/html
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Free access
© 2004 David Stern
gravity, planetary motion, precession
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 6, 2004 by David Stern
Record Updated:
April 11, 2008 by Cathy Ezrailson
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 17, 2004
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
D. Stern, (2004), WWW Document, (
D. Stern, Precession (2004), <>.
APA Format
Stern, D. (2004, September 17). Precession. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Stern, David. Precession. September 17, 2004. (accessed 2 March 2024).
MLA Format
Stern, David. Precession. 2004. 17 Sep. 2004. 2 Mar. 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "David Stern", Title = {Precession}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {2 March 2024}, Month = {September 17, 2004}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A David Stern %T Precession %D September 17, 2004 %U %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Stern, David %D September 17, 2004 %T Precession %V 2024 %N 2 March 2024 %8 September 17, 2004 %9 text/html %U

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