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7 hours ago, tkdguy said:


Lots of planets have a north.


7 hours ago, L. Marcus said:

It'd be a strange planet what didn't! 


It is a confusing north, though.  The Pluto system is "on its side" with respect to most of the Solar System ... its rotation axis is tilted over by a bit more than 90 degrees from the primary axis of the S.S.  (Its moons, Charon et al., orbit Pluto in Pluto's equatorial plane, so it's the whole system.)  This means that for roughly a quarter of its "year", Pluto's physical north pole points at the Sun, and for a like period of time it points away from the Sun.  The direction of that rotation axis is more or less fixed in space (we haven't been able to observe it long enough to know anything about how it might change), but it's nowhere close to where the other planets' rotation axes are.

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Yeah, Venus rotates very slowly (its orbital period is shorter than its rotation period) retrograde, but aside from the "slow" and "backwards" its rotation axis is pretty much in line with most planets'.


The Uranus system, like Pluto, is "on its side".  We basically had to wait until the 1980s (around the time the Voyager spacecraft passed by the system) to get a good handle on Uranus's rotation period.

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