precession of

its the wobblE or earth dance


This monument marking the  Tropic of Cancer was first erected in 1908 on the island of Taiwan and according to the author should be shifted by 1.28 kilometers because of the precession more



This is the science of the skies which informed the great religions before the rise of monotheism
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Earth Rotation

 Looking down on the Earth's north pole, it is rotating counterclockwise.

Such a rotation is essentially a definition of a "north pole"


The Earth's orbit is very nearly circular, and it defines a plane in space called the plane of the ecliptic.

As the Earth moves around the orbit, we say that the Earth revolves around the Sun (to distinguish this motion from rotation).

The Earth's revolution is in the same counterclockwise direction as its rotation

The Tilt of the Earth's Axis

  • Moving from directly above the Earth's orbit down outside one edge of the orbit, we can get a perspective view.

    We then observe that, with respect to the perpendicular to the ecliptic plane (which points to orbital north), the Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5:
Equivalently, we can say that the Earth's equator is at an angle of 23.5 to the ecliptic plane.

The tilt angle is fixed, so the Earth's axis maintains the same orientation with respect to the stars as the Earth revolves around the Sun.

  • When the Earth's north pole is tilted directly towards the Sun, the latter is highest in the sky (in the northern hemisphere), which is what we called the summer solstice.When the north pole is tilted directly away from the Sun, the latter is lowest in the sky (in the northern hemisphere), which is the winter solstice.As before, the intermediate positions are the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

    Precession Earth is not perfect

    the Sphinx at Giza
    The symbolism of the Lion and the Unicorn, which are readily evident on the cover of a British passport as part of the Arms of Dominion, can now be appreciated in terms of astronomy and the Precession of the Equinoxes. The Arms of Dominion encode the Lost Secrets of the remote Ancient Egyptians. more/royalarch/

    Hipparchus [c 190 - 120 BC]  estimated the 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 58 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.


  • The Earth is not a perfect sphere; instead, it is slightly oblate, i.e. it bulges in the middle along the equator.

    This bulge is due to its rotation and the fact that it is not completely rigid.

    As a result, the equatorial diameter is 43 Km greater than the polar diameter, a difference of 0.34%.

  • Precession ForceBecause the force of gravity weakens with distance, the Sun and Moon have non-uniform gravitational forces on the Earth, pulling harder on the near side of the bulge than on the far side.

    This differential gravitational force is called a tidal force.

    Basically, the Sun and Moon try to "straighten" the rotation axis to bring it in line with the orbital axis.

  • However, instead of straightening, the Earth's rotation axis precesses, i.e. it exhibits a slow, conical motion around the orbital axis.

     Precession is the same effect you see with a top.

    As long as it is spinning, the top does not fall over, and likewise the Earth's axis won't straighten.
  • The Earth's precession is a very small effect; it takes 26,000 years for the axis to make one full circle!

    Currently the Earth's axis points within a degree of the star Polaris, and it will slowly get closer until around the year 2100, when it reaches a minimum separation of 27 minutes of arc.
  • Almost 5000 years ago the Earth's axis pointed towards the star Thuban in the constellation of Draco, and this star was used by the ancient Egyptians as their pole star.

    In 6,000 years the Earth's axis will point towards the star Alderamin in Cepheus, and in 12,000 years it will be near Vega in Lyra.

    The Earth's precession can be easily observed by standing at the Earth's north pole, where the north celestial pole is at the zenith, and watching how that point changes over time (note the year in the lower-left corner):

    Precession North Pole

    • Precession of the EquinoxesThe circle traced out by the north celestial pole can also be observed on the celestial sphere.

      Two different positions, now and 13,000 years in the future, are noted in the picture at the right.

    • As the precession of the axis occurs, the orientation of the celestial equator will also change, since it is necessarily perpendicular to the axis.

    • However, the ecliptic is fixed on the sphere.

      As a result, the intersections between the celestial equator and the ecliptic, the equinoxes, move along the ecliptic 50 arc sec (3.3 sec R.A.) per year.

      The vernal equinox moves in the direction shown.
      Star charts are produced on a Macintosh with the Voyager II program, and are 1988-93 Carina Software, 830 Williams St., San Leandro, CA 94577, (510) 352-7328. Used under license.Thanks to Martin Weinelt and his Online Map Creation web page, which generated most of the images of the Earth used in this document. 1996-2001 Scott R. Anderson Last update: 2002 February 13 Reused as described under the Open Course License.
    Age of Aquarius Are we there yet?
    Currently, the vernal equinox is in Pisces; and at the cusp of  Aquarius. The exact date was important to many early civilizations which made no distinction between between science and religion. This date is commonly held to be December 21, 2012  but there are many alternative views.
    On the web, the most cited authority who differs, is Astrological Historian, Dr Shepherd Simpson, [ ]Dr. Shepard uses an alternative definition based upon "the space definition of the vernal equinox" to stretch the Age of Pisces to last from 90 BC to 2600 AD. The ancient world and today's both use a cycle of 360 degrees where 72 years is one degree 2160 (72 x 30) which would put Dr Simpson's end time using the more practical 12 x 30 degrees definition of the Precession of the Equinoxes at 2070. Most other web authorities use the Birth of Christ as the beginning of the age of Pisces and end of Aries. All agree that with every passing day we move more into the Age of Aquarius.

    However, for most of us, its the signs of the season that matter. The Piscean age started fading with the rise of science and new ideas 500 years ago during the Renaissance. Intuitively we understand we are on the cusp of something, be it Armageddon or the Space Age, we are called to be born anew.

     Carl Jung  is the scientist who first used the Age of Aquarius to help us understand the new paradigms available when we bring the unconscious to consciousness. Astrology and the prehistory use of the zodiac, like everything, has a relationship to the zeitgeist today but our story of the future lies more in our ability to see the advantage to seeking balance and knowing when we are close to this harmony.
    This is closer to art than science and has till recently been the territory claimed by religion. Our ability to successfully navigate this change, explained by Jung as a "transformations in the collective psyche",  is not certain, but knowledge is power. more

    "transformations of the collective psyche"


    C. G. Jung
    [1875- 1961]

    "As we know from ancient Egyptian history, there are symptoms of psychic changes that always appear at the end of one Platonic month and at the beginning of another. They are, it seems, changes in the constellation of the psychic dominants, of the archetypes or "Gods" as they used to be called, which bring about, or accompany, long-lasting transformations of the collective psyche. This transformation started within the historical tradition and left traces behind within it, first in the transition of the Age of Taurus to that of Aries, and then from Aries to Pisces, whose beginning coincides with the rise of Christianity.
    e are now nearing that great change which may be expected when the spring-point enters Aquarius. It would be frivolous of me to conceal from the reader that reflections such as these are not only exceedingly unpopular but come perilously close to those turbid fantasies which becloud the minds of world-improvers and other interpreters of "signs and portents".
    But, I must take this risk, even if it means putting my hard-won reputation for truthfulness, trustworthiness and scientific judgment in jeopardy. I can assure my readers that I do not do this with a light heart. I am, to be quite frank, concerned for all those that are unprepared by the events in question and disconcerted by their incomprehensible nature. Since, so far as I know, no one else has yet felt moved to examine and set forth the possible psychic consequences of this foreseeable change, I deem it my duty to do what I can in this respect. I undertake this thankless task in the expectation that my chisel will make no impression on the hard stone it meets."

    C G Jung 1959 AD: Flying Saucers, Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies. Published by the Bollingen Foundation Introduction, pp xi - xii



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