Trembling Stargazers

Trembling Stargazers

Far, far away in the Land of Astronomy an epic conflict rages between the forces of enlightenment and the forces of slavish obedience.

Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas.

The franchise depicts a galaxy described as “far, far away” in the distant past, and portrays Jedi as a representation of good, in conflict with the Sith, their evil counterpart.

The forces of dictatorial dogma and enslavement are represented by the modern massed ranks of Intrepid Mathematicians who believe in a universally intangible deity called Newtonian Gravity which diligently delivers their divine driver of Axial Precession.

In astronomy, axial precession is a gravity-induced, slow, and continuous change in the orientation of an astronomical body’s rotational axis.

In particular, it can refer to the gradual shift in the orientation of Earth’s axis of rotation, which, similar to a wobbling top, traces out a pair of cones joined at their apices in a cycle of approximately 26,000 years.

The forces of reason and enlightenment are represented by an disenfranchised diaspora of Trembling Stargazers who believe cosmic awareness is gained by respecting observational evidence and the ancient knowledge of Trepidation [from Latin: trepidare – to tremble].

Theon states that certain (unnamed) ancient astrologers believed that the precession, rather than being a steady unending motion, instead reverses direction every 640 years.

The equinoxes, in this theory, move through the ecliptic at the rate of 1 degree in 80 years over a span of 8 degrees, after which they suddenly reverse direction and travel back over the same 8 degrees.

In this epic conflict the Intrepid Mathematicians have been ruthlessly eradicating the Trembling Stargazers from the hallowed halls of academia.

An historical account of the origin and progress of astronomy

An Historical Account of the Origin and Progress of Astronomy
John Narrien FRAS – 1833

TREPIDATION (from Lat. trepidare, to tremble), a term meaning, in general, fear or trembling, but used technically in astronomy for an imagined slow oscillation of the ecliptic, having a period of 7000 years, introduced by the Arabian astronomers to explain a supposed variation in the precession of the equinoxes.

It figured in astronomical tables until the time of Copernicus, but is now known to have no foundation in fact, being based on an error in Ptolemy’s determination of precession.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica – 11th Edition – 1911

A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler

A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler – J.L.E. Dreyer – 1953 – Dover Publications

At this juncture, the curiosity of the reader may have been roused by a Trepidation cycle that “reverses direction every 640 years” because this roughly aligns with the [calculated] 675 year half-rotation period of the Solar System and the 700 year cycle of catastrophic Lawler Events.

Having calculated that the heliosphere takes 1,350 years to complete one full rotation we can now begin to search for supporting evidence that might indicate the existence of 1,350 year cyclical events and [possibly] a half-period event at 675 years [because I like to keep my polarised electromagnetic options open].

Interestingly, there is supporting cyclical evidence within the Solar System [referenced by John Stockwell in 1901] that indicates there is a 1,350 year eclipse-cycle [involving the Earth and Moon orbiting around the Sun].

Bringing the astronomical 1,350 year cycle right down to Earth is a reconstruction of the Earth’s geomagnetic axial tilt which identifies “a dominant 1350-year cycle in the dipole tilt variations”.

In the field of climate the Indian Summer Monsoon Variability has a significant periodicity at 1,3500 years.

The climate effects of the 1,350 year cycle are also found in China where “there is a reoccurring periodicity of 1350 years in temperature change”.

Returning to Gerard Bond’s 1997 study of the North Atlantic we find that the father of the Bond Event actually encountered the 1,350 year cycle.

The importance of the 1,350 year climate cycle becomes interesting when you remember that the Little Ice Age has been “conventionally defined” as starting in 1,350 AD [perhaps there is more to our calendar than meets the eye] because adding on the half-cycle period of 675 years brings us to 2,025 AD.

Solar System: Holocene Lawler Events

There is a pattern of the rise an fall of empires, of whole civilizations, which happens with approximately a 700-year repeat cycle.

But all major empires rise and collapse every 700 years in synchronism.

700 Year Cycles – J. H. L. Lawler – 1990,45,_10.htm

Therefore, it would appear useful to understand whether any real confidence can be placed in the Settled Science of Axial Precession promoted by the Intrepid Mathematicians.

Nicolaus Copernicus published a different account of trepidation in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543).

This work makes the first definite reference to precession as the result of a motion of the Earth’s axis.

Copernicus characterized precession as the third motion of the Earth.

Over a century later precession was explained in Isaac Newton’sPhilosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1687), to be a consequence of gravitation (Evans 1998, p. 246).

Newton’s original precession equations did not work, however, and were revised considerably by Jean le Rond d’Alembert and subsequent scientists.

Although Nicolaus Copernicus published “the first definite reference to precession” it is important to remember that his mathematical model was just “a different account of trepidation” with a large oscillation period of 1,717 years.

Historical Perspectives on Copernucus’s Account of Precession

Historical Perspectives on Copernucus’s Account of Precession
B. R. Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh

In §7.3, we mentioned the “trepidation” or alleged oscillation of the precession.

This fictitious notion was accepted throughout the Middle Ages, and up to the time
of Copernicus, who provided a theory 51 for it (Swerdlow and Neugebauer 1984; Goldstein 1994).

51 The term theory is used here to mean theory of motion as opposed to an underlying physical theory.
Such a theory is a mathematical model, and effectively “saves appearances.”

Copernicus noted the changing value of the obliquity also, but concluded, for reasons not apparent to us, that it had to be periodic also, with twice the period of the trepidation and with the maximum obliquity occurring at the same instant as the minimum of the trepidation (Swerdlow and Neugebauer 1984, (pt. 1), p. 133).

Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy
D. H. Kelley and E. F. Milone – 2011 – Springer

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at its center.

The publication of this model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543 is considered a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making an important contribution to the Scientific Revolution.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Wikipedia’s potted history of Precession is that it fails to mention Tycho Brahe who personally promoted Precession by promulgating it proceeds at one pace [a degree every 71.5 years] i.e. Trepidation was just [a long series of] observational errors.

The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy - James Evans

The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy
James Evans – 1998 – Oxford University Press

Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe (1546-1601), was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations.

Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer, astrologer and alchemist, and has been described more recently as “the first competent mind in modern astronomy to feel ardently the passion for exact empirical facts.”

The instruments he had used in Uraniborg and Stjerneborg were depicted and described in detail in his book Astronomiae Instauratae Mechanica, first published in 1598.

Tycho was not a Copernican, but proposed a “geo-heliocentric” system in which the Sun and Moon orbited the Earth, while the other planets orbited the Sun.

Following the promulgation of Precession by Tycho Brahe the Intrepid Master Mathematician Isaac Newton created the divine force of Gravitation [and a heavenly choir of Fudge Factors] but failed to explain away Precession because his “equations did not work”.

Thus, in an awe inspiring display of confidence building, Isaac Newton bequeathed to “Jean le Rond d’Alembert and subsequent scientists” a legacy that has been continuously patched and fudged [for over 300 years] to the point where “normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe”.

Newton’s original precession equations did not work, however, and were revised considerably by Jean le Rond d’Alembert and subsequent scientists.

We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the Universe’s expansion.

Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery.

It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy.

Dark matter makes up about 27%.

The rest – everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the Universe.

Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP (1642-1727) was an English physicist and mathematician (described in his own day as a “natural philosopher”) who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution.

Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation, which dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries.

By deriving Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and then using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the Solar System.

Therefore, with the stature of the Intrepid Master Mathematician reduced by 95%, it seems worthwhile to revisit the Trepidation data collected by the Trembling Stargazers.

First stop is the Chaldeans with a degree every 60 years from [about] 950 B.C.

An Eleventh-Century Egyptian Guide to the Universe

An Eleventh-Century Egyptian Guide to the Universe
Yossef Rapoport – 2013 – BRILL Bilingual edition


Chaldea or Chaldaea was a small Semitic nation which emerged between the late 10th and early 9th century BC, surviving until the mid 6th century BC, after which it disappeared, and the Chaldean tribes were absorbed into the native population of Babylonia.

It was located in the marshy land of the far south eastern corner of Mesopotamia, and briefly came to rule Babylon.

Next stop is Hipparchus of Nicaea with a degree [say] every 100 years for [around] 127 B.C.

Hipparchus of Nicaea (c. 190 – c. 120 BC), was a Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician.

He is considered the founder of trigonometry but is most famous for his incidental discovery of precession of the equinoxes.

Hipparchus concluded that the equinoxes were moving (“precessing”) through the zodiac, and that the rate of precession was not less than 1° in a century.

Let’s skip over Ptolemy because he simply reproduced the data of Hipparchus.

It is clear that his correction to Hipparchus could not represent observed positions in A. D. 138, and the conclusion is obviously in support of the view that the catalogue is simply that of Hipparchus modified by a constant added to the longitudes.

Ptolemy’s Cataloque of Stars; A Revision of the Almagest
Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters and Edward Ball Knobel – 1915

Theon of Alexandria provides a figure of one degree every 80 years for [roughly] 370 A.D.

The origin of the theory of trepidation comes from the Small Commentary to the Handy Tables written by Theon of Alexandria in the 4th century CE.

Theon states that certain (unnamed) ancient astrologers believed that the precession, rather than being a steady unending motion, instead reverses direction every 640 years.

The equinoxes, in this theory, move through the ecliptic at the rate of 1 degree in 80 years over a span of 8 degrees, after which they suddenly reverse direction and travel back over the same 8 degrees.

Theon of Alexandria (AD 335 – c. 405) was a Greek scholar and mathematician who lived in Alexandria, Egypt.

He edited and arranged Euclid’s Elements and wrote commentaries on works by Euclid and Ptolemy.

The astronomers of Caliph al-Maʾmūn provide a degree every 66 years for [about] 833 A.D.

The Legacy of Muslim Spain

The Exact Sciences of Al-Andalus by Julio Samso from
The Legacy of Muslim Spain edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi – BRILL New Edition 2012

Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Maʾmūn ibn Harūn (also spelled Almamon, Al-Maymun, Al-Ma’moon, and el-Mâmoûn (September 786 – 9 August 833) was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833.

The Abbasid Caliphate

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammad’s youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (566–653 CE), whose name was the derivation of the caliphate.

They ruled as caliphs, for most of their period from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after taking back authority of the Muslim empire from the Umayyads in 750 CE (132 AH).

Nicolaus Copernicus [see details above] provides a degree every 72 years in 1543 A.D.

The publication of this model in his book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) just before his death in 1543 is considered a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution and making an important contribution to the Scientific Revolution.

Tycho Brahe [see above] promulgated one degree every 71.5 years in 1598 A.D and Charles Hutton provides a figure of 50.2” each year in 1815 A.D.

Precession of the Equinoxes, is a very slow motion of them, by which they change their place, going from east to west, or backward, in antecedentia, as astronomers call it, or contrary to the order of the signs.

From the late improvements in astronomy it appears that the pole, the solstices, the equinoxes, and all other points of the ecliptic, have a retrograde motion, and are constantly moving from east to west, or from Aries towards Pisces, &c; by means of which, the equinoctial points are carried farther and farther back, among the preceding signs or stars, at a rate of about 50.2” each year; which retrograde motion is called the Precession, Recession or Retrocession of the Equinoxes.

A Philosophical and Mathematical Dictionary – Volume II – Charles Hutton – 1815

Lastly, modern Trepidation data from the Binary Research Institute web site.

Binary Research Institute

Precession Data Analysis – Binary Research Institute

Finally, the sample Trepidation data [spanning almost three millennia] reveals its secrets.

Trepidation Data

Trepidation Graph

The data generally supports Theon’s statement that a Trepidation reversal occurred in 158 B.C.

Little Commentary on Ptolemy’s Handy Tables.
This work survives complete.
It consists of one book and is intended as a primer for students.
In this work Theon mentions that certain (unnamed) ancient astrologers believed that the precession of the equinoxes, rather than being a steady unending motion, instead reverses direction every 640 years, and that the last reversal had been in 158 BC.

The data also supports the view that a Trepidation reversal occurred towards the end of the first millennium A.D. and Trepidation has been gently oscillating since that event.

Trepidation data since Copernucus

The data suggests the 1st millennium reversal occurred between 880 and 890 A.D.

Trepidation Reversal

This timing should generate some fizzing comments from SIS because the data [once again] leans towards Gunnar Heinsohn’s 1st millennium hypothesis.

Evolutionary Standstill or 700 Phantom Years in the 1st Millennium CE

According to mainstream chronology, major European cities should exhibit [separated by traces of crisis and destruction] distinct building strata groups for the three urban periods of some 230 years that are unquestionably built in Roman styles with Roman materials and technologies [Antiquity > Late Antiquity > Early Middle Ages].

None of the ca. 2,500 Roman cities known so far has the expected three strata groups super-imposed on each other.

Dissidents of the Illig-School expect only two strata groups [Antiquity > Late Antiquity].

They delete the Early Middle Ages evidence,
i.e. shorten the 1st millennium by some 300 years (600s-900s).

Yet, even a city with just two super-imposed Roman building strata groups separated by, e.g., dark earth has never been found.

Any city (covering, at least, the periods from Antiquity to the High Middle Ages [10th/11th c.] has just one distinct building strata group in Roman format (with, of course, internal evolution, repairs etc.).

Therefore, all three urban realms labelled as Antiquity or Late Antiquity or Early Middle Ages existed simultaneously, side by side in the Imperium Romanum.

None can be deleted.

All three realms (if their cities continue at all) enter the High Middle Ages in tandem,
i.e. all belong to the 700-930s period that ended in a global catastrophe.

This parallelism not only explains the mind-boggling absence of technological and archaeological evolution over 700 years but also solves the enigma of Latin’s linguistic petrification between the 1st/2nd and 8th/9th c. CE.

Both text groups are contemporary.

The stunning 700 years between codification and vocalization (200/900 CE) of the Hebrew Bible disappear in the same process of adjusting our chronology to the hard evidence of stratigraphy.

Gunnar Heinsohn: In a Nutshell

The 1st Millennium A.D. Chronology Controversy

It is impossible to predict the future because nobody knows what drives Trepidation.

Trepidation Projection

However, if the statistics [and the Trembling Stargazers] are to be believed then it’s probably safer to expect change in the not too distant future.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Catastrophism, Earth, Gravity, Gunnar Heinsohn, History, Lawler Events, Solar System. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Trembling Stargazers

  1. The flaw in the intrepid argument is the assumption that the earth’s geometrical parameters wrt its orbit, inclination etc have been constant since the beginning of time, and that time itself, which is dependent on this geometry to allow extrapolation, time wise, forwards and backwards, is constant. If time, big T, is not constant, but changed, say, at the Heinsohn 1st millennium event, then any retro calculation is valid from today’s observations to the 1st millennium catastrophe. Beyond that time, we actually do not know where the moon and planets were precisely, (astronomical data for the Roman period), so all the ‘cycles’ etc calculated from modern day observations are inapplicable, and not just wrong.

  2. Your graphs all correctly show (arc seconds)/year, while the top table legend shows (arc minutes)/year with the same value! Please correct one way or another!
    BTW, Why does any of this matter? This Universe was built to Mil-specs. With that sloppy constraint to the lowest bidder, it must wobble! -will-

    Reply Thanks – corrected

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