The lunar cycle
Under the current lunisolar theory of precession it is assumed that the earth goes around the sun 359 degree 59 minutes and 10 arc seconds in a Tropical year, the period from like equinox to like equinox, which is equal to 365.2422 rotations of the earth. This is true if you measure the position of the equinox relative to the fixed stars “outside” the solar system but it is not true if you measure the movement of the equinox relative to the sun or moon or other objects “within” the solar system, where the lunar data shows us that the earth goes around the sun a complete 360 degrees in a tropical year. Unfortunately, neither NASA VLBI nor any other official agency measures the earth’s orientation relative to nearby objects, so the paradox goes unnoticed.
Earth orientation measurements are typically made relative to quasars because these objects are so distant (outside the galaxy) that they act as virtual fixed points, ideal for making measurements. And they are ideal. However, failure to consider that we are measuring from a moving frame (the SS) to a non-moving frame (the fixed stars) has led to a misinterpretation of the VLBI data.
If the solar system were not moving then simple conclusions about the earth orientation data would be correct (Footnote 1). Or if we knew exactly how much the solar system was moving we could account for such movement and add or subtract such amount from the VLBI measurements. The problem is the solar system moves, and this moving frame needs to be taken into consideration when using points of reference outside the moving frame. As of this writing VLBI data interpretations do not account for this motion or any moving frames.
Ironically, astronomers unknowingly recognize the two different frames at work when it comes to routine calculations within the solar system. For example, when they plot the position of planets or moons within the solar system they use a tropical frame, which by definition excludes precession (Footnote 2) thus no precession adjustment is required or even considered. However, when the position of a star needs to be found you first find the object at a point in time (say J2000) then add precession for each year that has passed since that point. Thus current ephemeris methods account for the two frames; precession is excluded when plotting objects within the solar system and included when plotting objects outside the solar system.
The Lunar Cycle
There are several different methods employed in measuring the timing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. A Tropical Year is defined as the annual interval from equinox to equinox, while a Sidereal Year is the time required for the Earth to re-align with the fixed stars. The annual time delta between the two is approximately 20 minutes. Current LuniSolar theory dictates that the Tropical Year be slightly short of a complete orbit, and that the Sidereal Year be representative of a complete 360 degree trip around the sun. The 20 minute time interval is the temporal equivalent to the precession rate of 50.29 arc seconds annually.
If this is the case, it should be reflected in lunar data comparisons, specifically in looking at the revolution delta between Synodic and Tropical Months within a single orbit. In one complete orbit around the Sun, the delta should be exactly 1, meaning if there were N Synodic revolutions there should be N+1 Tropical revolutions. The expectation under the LuniSolar model would be for the delta of one to occur only within the timeframe of the Sidereal Year. The following comparisons, though, show that the opposite is the case.
Missing Motion and the Lunar Witness
In Ptolemy’s day people thought the Sun orbited the Earth. Everyone could see the Sun rose in the East and set in the West, and no one could feel the Earth spin, therefore the only way to explain the Sun’s motion through the sky was to conclude the Sun itself went around the fixed Earth. Therefore, a missing motion (the Earth’s spin) led to an incorrect conclusion.
Although this European belief held for almost a thousand years, the Moon never confirmed the incorrect motion of the Sun and Earth. Had one bothered to look carefully, they would notice the phases of the Moon were out of synch with the Moon’s revolutions around the Earth. The only way the Moon could go around Earth every 27.3 days, yet a new Moon could only be seen every 29.5 days, was if the Earth itself was curving around the Sun. This is proved with relatively simple rotation calculations but unfortunately, no westerner seemed to correlate the two facts for over a thousand years.
A similar misunderstanding; missing motion and failure to look at the lunar data, has led to another incorrect conclusion about the mechanics of our solar system. Specifically, the phenomenon known as “precession of the equinox” has been attributed to torque primarily from the Sun and the Moon, wobbling the Earth. The logic goes something like this: Everyone can see the Earth does not realign with the fixed stars at the time of the annual equinox, it is off by about 50.29 arc seconds per year. Copernicus said this is because the Earth “wobbles”, and Newton said that if it did wobble it must be due to the gravity of the Sun and the Moon acting upon the oblate Earth. The combination of these two principal forces is supposed to cause the pole to shift clockwise by the observable 50.29 arc seconds per year, meaning the equinox would arrive 50.29 arc seconds short of that point in the Earth’s orbit path that the equinox occurred at in the prior year. Because this is the observable, and there are no other theories, this “lunisolar” theory of precession has become widely accepted.
While the observable is true, lunar data shows the purported cause is not. Just as Ptolemy failed to consider another motion, the spinning Earth, and therefore came to the wrong conclusion when observing the Sun going around the Earth, so too are modern scientists forgetting to account for a motion. This time the missing motion is the solar system curving through space. With the solar system curving through space at about 50 arc seconds per year, and apparently some light torque upon the Earth, the solar system is gradually reorienting the Earth to inertial space (or precessing) at this rate. It is the motion of the solar system that causes the precession of the equinox, not lunisolar forces. Lunar rotation calculations help us understand this point:
If the Earth were coming up about 50 arc seconds short of the equinoctial point that it was at in the prior year, then lunar data would show the Earth goes around the Sun 50 arc seconds short of 360 degrees in an equinoctial year. But it does not show this. It shows that the Earth goes around the Sun 360 degrees in an equinoctial year. Yet anyone can see that the Earth in relation to the fixed stars appears to move around the Sun 360 degrees only in a sidereal year. Indeed, fixed star to fixed star has almost become the litmus test for what is or isn’t a 360 degree movement. But like Ptolemy’s Sun, that appears to orbit round the Earth, motions in space can be deceiving (if you don’t account for moving frames).
Lunar calculations based on tropical data clearly show the Earth goes around the Sun 360 degrees in an equinoctial year. Interestingly, if one plugs in only sidereal data they also show the Earth moves 360 degrees relative to the fixed stars in a sidereal year, yet this orbit path of the Earth around the Sun takes 20 minutes longer and is 22,000 miles wider in circumference. Now obviously, the Earth does not have two different orbit paths around the Sun each year. So which is right? Mathematically, they are both correct; the Earth does move 360 degrees around the Sun in a solar year (relative to local objects) and does move 360 degrees relative to the fixed stars in a longer sidereal year. The only conclusion is, while the Earth is moving 360 degrees counterclockwise around the Sun in a solar year, the entire solar system (containing the Earth Sun reference frame) is moving clockwise relative to inertial space. The mathematical calculations support no other conclusion.
It is the missing motion of the solar system curving through space that modern scientists have failed to calculate in their lunisolar precession theory. But the Moon does not lie. Its movement is exact and acts like a witness to the Earth’s motion. The only way the Sun can appear to move around the Earth, and be confirmed by lunar data, is because the Earth is spinning on its axis. Likewise, the only way the Earth’s axis can appear to precess or wobble relative to inertial space, and not wobble relative to the Sun as confirmed by lunar data, is if the solar system (the reference frame that contains the Sun and Earth) is curving through space. Furthermore, the only way the solar system can be curving through space at a rate of 50 arc seconds per year, is if it were gravitationally affected by another very large mass: a companion star.