1. n. [Geology]
The variation of the Earth's exposure to the sun's rays, or insolation, that results from variations in the orbit of the Earth and the tilt of its axis, and that might affect climate, sea level and sedimentation. Such variations are thought to occur in distinct time periods on the order of thousands of years. Ice ages might be a consequence of Milankovitch cycles. Milutin Milankovitch (1879 to 1958) was a Yugoslavian mathematician and physicist who specialized in studies of solar radiation and the orbit of the Earth.