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Khan Academy


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 56 seconds, CC
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Milankovitch Cycles Precession and Obliquity

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  • This Khan Academy video discusses two of the Milankovitch cycles: precession and obliquity. 
  • These changes in the orbit and spin of the Earth cause natural changes in climate on geologic time scales.
Teaching Tips


  • This video will help students understand the wobble, change in orbit, and change in axial tilt associated with natural climate change cycles on Earth.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of the importance of the Sun for life on Earth, Earth's orbit, and the tilt of the Earth's axis.


Scientist Notes
There are three Milankovitch cycles; eccentricity, obliquity, and precession. This video resource explains Earth's tilt, or obliquity, and its precession, which describes Earth's wobble about its axis. These cycles are important for climate change on the order of tens of thousands of years. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
      • HS-ESS1-4 Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
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