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Saturday, June 25, 2011

More on Precession of the Equinoxes, Chandler's Wobble..

The precession of the equinoxes is caused by the differential gravitation forces of Sun and Moon on Earth.

In popular science books one often finds this explained with the analogy of the precession of a spinning top. Indeed it is the same physical effect, however, some crucial details differ. In a spinning top it is gravity which causes the top to wobble which in its turn causes precession. The applied force is thus in the first instance parallel to the rotation axis. But for the Earth the applied forces of the Sun and Moon are in the first instance perpendicular to it. So how then can they cause it?

The answer is that the forces do not work on the rotation axis. Instead they work on the equatorial bulge; due to its own rotation, the Earth is not a perfect sphere but an oblate spheroid, the equatorial diameter about 43 km larger than the polar. If the Earth were a perfect sphere, there would be no precession.
The figure explains how this works. The Earth is given as a perfect sphere (so that all gravitational forces working on it can be taken equal as one force working on its center), and the bulge is approximated to be a torus of mass (blue) around its equator.

The precession as a consequence of the torque exerted on Earth by differential gravitation.

Green arrows indicate the gravitational forces from the Sun on some extreme points. These forces are not parallel as they all point towards the centre of the Sun. Therefore the forces working on the northernmost and southernmost parts of the equatorial bulge have a component perpendicular on the ecliptical plane and directed towards it.

We find them (small cyan arrows) when the average gravitation force on the centre of the Earth is substracted (because this force will be used as the centripetal force for the Earth in its orbit around the Sun).
In all cases in addition to these tangential components there will be also radial components, but they are not shown as they do not contribute to the precession (they contribute to the tides). It is now clear how these tangential forces create a torque (orange), and this torque added to the rotation (magenta) shifts the rotation axis slightly to a new position (yellow).

Repeat this again and again, and one sees how the axis precesses along the white circle, which is centred around the ecliptic pole.

It is important to note that the torque is always in the same direction, perpendicular onto the direction in which the rotation axis is tilted away from the ecliptic pole, so that it does not change the axial tilt itself. It is also important to note that the torque is everywhere the same, whatever position of the Earth is in its orbit around the Sun. The precession is thus always steadily progressing and does not change with the seasons.

Although the above explanation involved the Sun, the same story holds true for any object moving around the Earth along (or close to) the ecliptic, i.e. the Moon. The combined action of the Sun and the Moon is called the lunisolar precession. In addition to the steady progressive motion (resulting in a full circle in 25700 years) the Sun and Moon also cause small periodic variations, due to their changing positions. These oscillations, in both precessional speed and axial tilt are known as the nutation. The most important term has a period of 18.6 years and an amplitude of less than 20 arcseconds.

In addition to lunisolar precession, the actions of the other planets of the solar system cause the whole ecliptic to slowly rotate around an axis which has an ecliptic longitude of about 174° measured on the instantaneous ecliptic. This planetary precession shift is only 0.47 arcseconds per year (more than a hundred times smaller than lunisolar precession), and takes place along the instantaneous equator.

The sum of the two precessions is known as the general precession.

Effects of axial precession on the seasons
This figure illustrates the effects of axial precession on the seasons, relative to perihelion and aphelion. The precession of the equinoxes can cause periodic climate change (see Milankovitch cycles), because the hemisphere that experiences summer at perihelion and winter at aphelion (as the southern hemisphere does presently) is in principle prone to more severe seasons than the opposite hemisphere.

Milankovitch cycles visible in sea, off the coast of Corvi (Italy).

Isolated in Budapest under house arrest during  WWI a Serbian astronomer and mathematician named Milutin Milankovitch wondered if there might be some relationship between the complex cycles of the Earth with the Sun as it moves and wobbles through space and the comings and goings of ice ages.  Milankovitch Cycles: Influence of the Earth's Orbit on Climate Change


Hipparchus estimated Earth's precession around 130 BC, adding his own observations to those of Babylonian and Chaldean astronomers in the preceding centuries.

In particular they measured the distance of the stars like Spica to the Moon and Sun at the time of lunar eclipses, and because he could compute the distance of the Moon and Sun from the equinox at these moments, he noticed that Spica and other stars appeared to have moved over the centuries.

Precession causes the cycle of seasons (tropical year) to be about 20.4 minutes less than the period for the earth to return to the same position with respect to the stars as one year previously (sidereal year). This results in a slow change (one day per 71 calendar years) in the position of the sun with respect to the stars at an equinox. It is significant for calendars and their leap year rules.

Wikipedia, Precession of the Equinoxes

Age of Aquarius

We allegedly are in the Age of Aquarius. According to astrological mysticism, there will be unusual harmony and understanding in the world. Those who follow that belief system see it as a turning point in human consciousness in which balance is restored by consciously moving beyond the physical body.

The Age of Aquarius is the polar opposite of the Age of Leo - in the bipolar reality in which we experience the physical experiment of time and illusion through the consciousness projection of the eye or All Seeing Eye.
 The Aquarius symbol is metaphoric in content - meaning 'closure in water'. Water represents the collective unconsciousness that which creates the grid programs of our physical reality. Many connect the Age of Aquarius with the return of the goddess, priestess, or feminine energies - those that vibrate above/faster than physical frequency. This is the return to higher consciousness, the awakening of higher mind and thought in the alchemy of time. Ellie's Archives

Continuation of 

Why did the Ancients Believe Precession of Equinoxes is so Important? 

Is the Sun Part of a Binary Star System?

Scientists have found in their studies two different wobble cycles exhibited by Earth: one is the 12-month cycle, a yearly wobble caused obviously by the changes of the season. The other is the 14-month cycle called Chandler wobble. However, up to the present, no explanation could yet be provided, and Chien Chou believes that this is an effect caused by another 'planet' in the Earth's interior.

Worldly wobbles

by Helen Joyce

In the past it has been suggested that the wobble was caused by the seasonal movement of water from the southern to the northern hemisphere, or large earthquakes which jolted the Earth as it spun around its axis.


Richard S. Gross of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory determined his results by applying numerical models of the oceans, which were only recently made possible by the results of other researchers. These results were made widely available via the Paris-based International Earth Rotation Service, which was created in 1988. This sort of sharing of results enables interdisciplinary research, and leads to results that might otherwise never have been discovered.

So what exactly is the Chandler wobble?

About 1765, Leonhard Euler, who was studying the dynamics of rotating fluid bodies, predicted that the Earth might wobble slightly about its axis of rotation. However, such a slight wobble would be very difficult to detect, and would require accurate observations and considerable calculation. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, although several astronomers attempted to observe this predicted wobble over the following century, all failed.

You may wonder why astronomers hope to see the wobble, since it is the sky they study, rather than the earth. The reason is that as the earth turns on its axis every twenty-four hours, it appears to us on the ground that the sky turns above us. The stars also appear to shift in the sky as the seasons change, due to the circuit the Earth makes around the sun each year. By making very accurate observations of the night sky, and the position and elevation above the horizon of stars, astronomers could hope to see if there were changes in the position of stars not explained by either of these two factors. They could then see if such changes represented evidence for the wobble Euler had predicted.
In 1884 and 1885, Chandler made careful observations of the night sky, using an instrument he invented himself for the purpose, which he named the almucantar. Performing feats of manual computation that seem prodigious to us in this computer age, he managed to find evidence of a wobble with a fourteen-month cycle. We can further appreciate the accuracy needed in his observations when we realise that the wobble he discovered caused the Pole to move about 6 metres from where it should be!
More than a century passed before Chandler proved Euler's prediction correct, and it has taken a further century for scientists to be fairly certain that they have pinpointed the cause of Chandler's Wobble. The recent advances would not have been possible without the growth of the computing power needed to create complex numerical models, and the extraordinarily accurate astronomical observations made possible by Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

6.) Acceleration of Rate of Precession

Another feature of precession that the Luni-solar model has a difficult time explaining is the fact that the rate of annual precession appears to be increasing. The graph below plots several rates taken at various times throughout the last Century. The first set of points were recorded by the astronomer Simon Newcomb in the early 1900's, and then later were taken from the Astronomical Almanac. The red line represents the best-fit rate of change for the observed precession.

Precession Increasing
© Binary Research Institute
The rate of annual precession appears to be increasing.
Now if this were due to a top-like motion of the Earth's axis a la the Luni-solar theory, then we should be able to extrapolate this trend out to millions of years - still a blink of the eye in terms of Earth's history. This means that the precessional top-like movement would be so slow millions of years ago that it would be hardly noticeable. The Earth would hardly appear to wobble at all. Whereas if we look ahead millions of years, we would find the Earth's axis wobbling so fast that it makes a full precessional cycle in a matter of years! The more likely explanation is that the observed increase in annual precession rate is due to something other than the Earth's axial motion.

The Luni-solar Theory becomes even more absurd when one considers the fact that the forces due to gravity are used to explain this top-like motion. This implies that the mass of the Earth or Moon, or Sun is somehow changing in size or distribution. Given what we can see and observe, this seems unlikely (although who knows how a companion star might affect the gravitational dynamics as it approaches its nearest point to the Sun.) More than likely, the Earth does not wobble to any significant degree, other than rotational wobbling like the Chandler wobble, and the observed precession is not due to any movement of the Earth itself.

This increase in the annual precession rate is exactly what we would expect from a binary star system, however. In a binary star system, both stars oscillate towards and then away from each other, all the while spinning around some imaginary center of gravity. As the stars approach one another, their velocity accelerates until they reach perihelion (or the closest point of approach), then their velocity decreases until they reach aphelion (or the furthest point of separation.) This means that based on the increasing trend shown in the graph above, we should expect the two stars to be somewhere on the path approaching perihelion. 

Crutenden believes that the companion star must have just turned the corner at their aphelion point and is now beginning to approach Earth. However, we suspect that it may be the opposite: that the hypothetical companion star is actually close to (or at) perihelion based on the bizarre changes taking place in the Solar System. Either way, this trend of the annual precession rate increasing is exactly what one would expect to find from two stars in a binary orbit following Kepler's law.

Precession Binary Star
© Binary Research Institute
Shows the trend of increasing precessional rate due to a binary orbit for half of a 24,000 year period.
What Does This All Mean?

If you've made it this far, then I assume you get the point that the precession of the equinoxes implies something greater than just a wobbly Earth. Precession appears to be the evidence right under our noses, telling us that our Sun is also part of a binary star system (in contrast to a lone ball of fire bobbing up and down along its way through the galaxy). So why might this be interesting?

Image: Motion of the North Pole, as determined by the IERS Earth Orientation Parameter Center of the Paris Observatory, for the study period, 1 November 2005 to 14 February 2006. Each marker represents the position of the pole on one day. Five loops are identified. Never before have these small polar movements been traced with such precision. (Lambert Et. Al / Lambert et. al)
Well for starters, how about reason number 3 given above that describes how this hypothetical companion tends to hurl comets towards the inner Solar System. This was the basis for the original 'Nemesis Theory' that tried to explain the dinosaur extinctions and other mass die-offs recorded in fossil record. The thing is, if this hypothetical 'Nemesis' body is actually plowing through the Oort cloud every 26,000 years instead 26 million years, then this implies that the comet threat has been grossly underestimated. (And downgrading the name 'Nemesis' to the euphemistic 'Tyche' - as some astronomers have done - is unlikely to make the comets go away!)
Like Walter Cruttenden writes in Lost Star of Myth and Time, we may be approaching a new Golden Age in terms of our location in orbit about a companion star, but what he doesn't see is that we may have to pass through a cosmic shooting gallery of comets to get there. Perhaps a 'comet cleanse' for the Earth is also part of the process of getting us on the path to a new Golden Age? Seeing the psychopathic control of the planet and the lack of any meaningful change in this regard, it's hard to imagine how a Golden Age could come about without one.

Contributing Sources:


Exploring the Earth and the cosmos, 1986, published by Newton Publishing Co, by Issac Asimov.
The Blue Planet
, translated by Huan-Hua Tseng, Yin-Ho Publishign Co., 1994, TaipeiHyperspace: a scientific odyssey through parallel universes, time wraps, and the tenth dimension, Michio Kaku, Oxford University Press, 1994A Journey to the Center of the Earth ¡V A New Episode, Chien Chou,



Milankovitch 41000-year cycles in lithofacies and molluscan content in the tropical Middle Miocene Nyalindung Formation, Jawa, Indonesia [An article from: ... Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology]

Ice Ages: Ice Age, Snowball Earth, Milankovitch Cycles, Last Glacial Period, Quaternary Glaciation, 100,000-Year Problem, Eemian, Doggerland

Recurring Events: Annual Events, Periodic Phenomena, Menstrual Cycle, Solar Variation, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Milankovitch Cycles

Milankovitch Sea-Level Changes, Cycles, and Reservoirs on Carbonate: Platforms in Greenhouse and Icehouse Worlds (Short Course Notes ; No. 35)

Lost Star of Myth and Time

The Great Year (Documentary) Walter Cruttenden, James Earl Jones

The Holy Science

The Great Year (DVD)

The Anti-Christ Identity? Can we know it now? Click Here!

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