Skip to comments.In the shadow of the Moon
Posted on 08/31/2004 8:42:25 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
At 8.45 on the morning of 15 April 136 BC, Babylon was plunged into darkness when the Moon passed in front of the Sun. An astrologer, who recorded the details in cuneiform characters on a clay tablet, wrote: "At 24 degrees after sunrise-a solar eclipse. When it began on the southwest side, Venus, Mercury and the normal stars were visible. Jupiter and Mars, which were in their period of disappearance, became visible. The Sun threw off the shadow from southwest to northeast." If present-day astronomers use a computer to run the movements of the Earth, Moon and Sun backwards from their present positions, like a movie in reverse, they find something very odd. The total eclipse of 15 April 136 BC should not have been visible from Babylon at all. The zone of totality should have passed over the Spanish island of Mallorca, 48.8 degrees west of Babylon-a difference of more than one-eighth of a complete rotation of the Earth, or 3.25 hours. The only explanation is that the planet's rotation has slowed since 136 BC, making the day longer. Of course, there are many other records of the ancients observing cosmic events, from supernovas to comets, but the value of these sightings to modern science is limited. Reports of eclipses, however, are in a class of their own. If the Earth has accumulated a change in orientation equivalent to an eighth of a turn in just over 2000 years, then we can infer that the day has lengthened by an average of a few milliseconds a century. This is an extraordinarily precise figure to deduce from historical records. In fact, it is without precedent.
(Excerpt) Read more at web.archive.org ...
Historical Eclipses and Earth's Rotation
F. Richard Stephenson
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
What computer can do for you.:)
So, is this why it seems like the days are really long when I'm at work?
The moon is receeding from the earth very slowly, too. Is it not? This would screw-up the calculations involving the lunar month, would it not?
Since the Earth's rotation has slowed, then the centrifical force counteracting gravity has decreased and that explains these extra twenty pounds!!
And for a while there I thought I had really gained weight. Whew! Glad that's settled.
(Pass the ice cream please)
Is it possible that the clay tablet was inscribed on Mallorca and then transported to Babylon where it was found?
Or that at least one of the orbits involved has changed slightly since then.
It's not the only explanation. Another likely explanation is that they are using the same computer that predicts global warming.
As usual, the "only explanation" is not likely. As in post no.9, it's more likely that the eclipse was observed in its true path and the account written, with some poetic license, in Babylon. For the Earth to "speed up" its rotational velocity that much in only 2140 years, other unusual phenomena would have occurred as well.
The other explanation is that the observer was a moron.
Nothing is constant in the Universe.
Stars are born and they die and rotations of orbiting bodies obey the laws of gravity.
So, is this why it seems like the days are really long when I'm at work?I think you're onto something. ;")
the centrifical force counteracting gravity has decreased and that explains these extra twenty pounds!!I grok that. :'D
Is it possible that the clay tablet was inscribed on Mallorca and then transported to Babylon where it was found?No. Next! :') The Babylonians, for all their abilities, never had colonies in the Mediterranean.
Yes. It is in fact already escaped from the earth and is influenced more strongly by the sun's gravity than earth's gravity. Eventually it will cease even the appearance of circling earth and will assume a position in earth's solar orbit either 60 degrees lagging or 60 degrees ahead, but there will be an intermediate orbit that carries it far away and brings it back in a horseshoe shaped orbit until that happens.
More Moons Around Earth? Its Not So LoonyOctober 29 1999 -- Earth has a second moon, of sorts, and could have many others. Cruithne, the 3-mile-wide (5-km) satellite, takes 770 years to complete a horseshoe-shaped orbit around Earth, and will remain in a suspended state around Earth for at least 5,000 years. Every 385 years, it comes to its closest point to Earth, some 9.3 million miles (15 million kilometers) away. Its next close approach to Earth comes in 2285. "We found new dynamical channels through which free asteroids become temporarily moons of Earth and stay there from a few thousand years to several tens of thousands of years," said Fathi Namouni, one of the researchers, now at Princeton University. Namounis colleague Apostolos Christou said, "At specific points in its orbit, it reverses its rate of motion with respect to Earth so it will appear to go back and forth." In his view, there are three classes of moons large moons in near-circular orbits around a planet, having formed soon after the planet; smaller fragments that are the products of collisions; and outer, irregular moons in odd orbits, or captured asteroids like Cruithne. In the past year, astronomers have reported finding such objects around Uranus.
by Robin Lloyd
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.