Glossary term: Year

Redirected from Tropical Year (Solar Year)

Description: A year is the time it takes Earth to go once around the Sun, but there are several definitions for what "once around" means. The time it takes for the Sun to appear in the exact same place in the sky from one year to the next is one tropical year, also called the solar year. The time it takes for Earth to complete one orbit, using the distant stars as a reference, is one sidereal year. The difference between the two, which amounts to about 20 minutes (with the sidereal year the slightly longer) is due to the precession of Earth's axis of rotation – the fact that the axis of Earth's rotation very slowly changes its orientation in space. An Earth year amounts to about 365.24 days. For other planets, their "year" is defined analogously, with respect to their orbit around the Sun.

Related Terms:

See this term in other languages

Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".