The ecliptic is the mean plane in the sky that the Sun follows over the course of a year; it is the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system. It is the plane of this path, which is coplanar with Earth's orbit around the Sun .
The ecliptic is not normally noticeable from Earth's surface because Earth rotates, carrying the observer through the cycles of sunrise and sunset, which obscure the Sun's apparent motion against the background of fixed stars.
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