Astronomy 2: The Chariot with One Wheel


What really happens when Earth turns? The rotation of Earth describes periods that are measured in days. The solar year is 365.242 days long, the lunation period 29.53 days long, and so forth.

Extracted from Matrix of Creation, page 42.

Earth orbits the Sun and, from Earth, the Sun appears to move through the stars. But the stars are lost in the brightness of the daytime skies and this obscures the Sun’s progress from human view. However, through observation of the inexorable seasonal changes in the positions of the constellations, the Sun’s motion can be determined.

The sidereal day is defined by the rotation of Earth relative to the stars. But this is different from what we commonly call a day, the full title of which is a tropical day. Our day includes extra time for Earth to catch up with the Sun before another sunrise. Our clocks are synchronized to this tropical day of twenty-four hours (1,440 minutes).

The Sun circumnavigates the zodiac in 365 tropical days, within which 366 sidereal days have occurred. There is one full Earth rotation more than there are sunrises within a year. This hidden oneness within the year is recapitulated in the one-unit difference between the number of sidereal days and the number of tropical days in a practical year.

The small catch-up time in every day is about three minutes and
fifty-six seconds long. This unit defines not only a sidereal day with 365 such units but also the practical year of 365 tropical days. The catchup unit is the difference between the duration of a sidereal day and that of a tropical day. It relates the Sun’s daily motion to the rotation of Earth and is a fundamental unit of Earth time (figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6. A polar view of Earth’s equator showing sunrises for two consecutive days. Compared with clock time, the stars rise three minutes and fifty-six seconds earlier each evening. (Drawn by Robin Heath)

THE MOON GATHERS THE TEN THOUSAND WATERS

The sidereal day (the duration of one rotation of Earth) is a very significant cosmic unit. The Jupiter synodic period of 398.88 tropical days is within 99.993% of four hundred sidereal days long. Therefore, twenty-five Jupiter synods (365 lunar orbital periods) equal 10,000 sidereal days since four hundred times twenty-five is 10,000.

A sidereal day differs from a tropical day due to the motion of the Sun during one tropical day. The three-minute-and-fifty-six-second time difference between these two days, the aforementioned catch-up unit, is quite useful when applied as the unit to measure the length of these days. A tropical day has 366 of these units while the sidereal day has 365 of the same units. The difference between the two is one unit.

Since 365 lunar orbits equal 10,000 sidereal days, it follows that a single lunar orbit has a duration of 10000/365 sidereal days. There are 365 units in a sidereal day, and therefore 10,000 units in a lunar orbit, so this new unit of time is 1/10000 of a lunar orbit. One ten-thousandth of a lunar orbit coincidentally is three minutes and fifty-six seconds in duration. The proportions in the Jupiter cycle combine with the lunar orbit, solar year, and Earth’s rotation to generate a parallel number system involving the numbers 25, 40, 365, 366, 400, and 10,000.

This daily catch-up unit I shall a chronon. Its existence means that the rotation of Earth is synchronized with both the lunar orbit and the Jupiter synodic period using a time unit of about three minutes and fifty-six seconds.

The sidereal day of 365 chronons is the equivalent of the 365-day practical year, the chronon itself is equivalent to the sidereal day, and so on. The creation of equivalents through exact scaling enables a larger structure to be modeled within itself on a smaller scale. This is a recipe for the integration of sympathetic vibratory rhythms between the greater and the lesser structures, a planetary law of subsumption.

The exemplar of the chronon was found at Le Menec: It’s egg-shaped western cromlech has a circumference of 10,000 inches and, if inches were chronons (1/365th of the earth’s rotation), then the egg’s circumference would be the number of chronons in the lunar orbit of 10,000. Dividing 10,000 by 366 (the chronons in the tropical day) gives a lunar orbit of 27.3224 – accurate to one part in 36704! The forming circle of Le Menec’s egg geometry provided a circumpolar observatory of circumference 365 x 24 inches, which is two feet per chronon versus the chronon per inch of the egg as lunar orbit.

The quantified form of the Le Menec cromlech was therefore chosen by the builders to be a unified lunar orbital egg, with a forming circle represented the rotation of the Earth at a scaling of 1:24 between orbital and rotational time.

The form of Le Mence’s cromlech unified the 10,000 chronon orbit of the Moon and 365 chronon circle of the Earth rotation because Thom’s Type 1 geometry naturally achieved the desired ratio. When the circle’s circumference (light blue) was 24 x 365 inches there were 10,000 inches on the egg’s. Underlying site plan by Thom, MRBB.

This design is further considered in Sacred Number and the Lords of Time, chapter 4: The Framework of Change on Earth, from the point of view of the cromlech’s purpose of providing a working model of the lunar orbit relative to the rotation of the circumpolar sky, leading to the placement of stones in rows according to the moon’s late or early rising to the East.

Capturing Sidereal Time


We can now complete our treatment of Carnac’s astronomical monuments by returning to Le Menec where the challenge was to measure time accurately in units less than a single day. This is done today at every astronomical observatory using a clock that keeps pace with the stars rather than the sun.

The 24 hours of a sidereal clock, roughly four minutes short of a normal day, are actually tracking the rotation of the Earth since Earth rotation is what makes all the stars move. Even the sun during the day moves through the sky because the Earth moves. Therefore, in all sidereal astronomy, the Earth is actually the prime mover. The geometry of a circumpolar observatory can reveal not only which particular circumpolar star was used to build the observatory but also the relatively short period of time in which the observatory was designed. Each bright circumpolar star is recognizable by its unique elongation on the horizon in azimuth and its correspondingly unique and representative circumpolar orbital radius in azimuth. …

The knowledge that was discovered due to the Le Menec observatory is awe inspiring when the perimeter of the egg shape is taken into account. It is close to 10,000 inches, the number of units of sidereal time the moon takes to orbit the Earth. The egg was enlarged in order to quantify the orbit of the moon as follows: every 82 days (three lunar orbits) the moon appears over the same part of the ecliptic. Dividing the ecliptic into sidereal days we arrive at 366 units of time per solar day.*

*These units are each the time required for an observer on the surface of the Earth to catch up with a sun that has moved within the last 24 hours, on the ecliptic, a time difference of just less than four minutes.

82 days times 366 divided by the three lunar orbits gives the moon’s sidereal orbit as 122 times 82 day-inches. Instead of dividing 82 by three as we might today to find the moon’s orbit, the pre-arithmetic of metrology enabled the solar day (of 366 units) to be divided into three lengths of 122. If a rope 122 inches long is then used 82 times (a whole number), to lay out a longer length, a length of 10,004 inches results. If 10,004 is divided by 366 units per day then the moon’s orbit emerges as 82/3 or 27⅓ days.

If a moon marker is placed upon the Le Menec perimeter and moved 122 inches per day, the perimeter becomes a simulator of the moon. …
Knowing the moon’s position on the western cromlech’s model of ecliptic and knowing which parts of the ecliptic are currently rising from the circumpolar stars enabled the astronomers to measure the moon’s ecliptic latitude.

Hence the phenomena related to the retrograde motion of the lunar orbit’s nodal period could be studied and its 6800 day length.

Astronomy 1: Knowing North and the Circumpolar Sky

In response to a question from D.P., about how the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west were determined, I have found this from Sacred Number and the Lords of Time, chapter 4, pages 84-86.

Away from the tropics there is always a circle of the sky whose circumpolar stars never set and that can be used for observational astronomy. As latitude increases the pole gets higher in the north and the disk of the circumpolar region, set at the angular height of the pole, ascends so as to dominate the northern sky at night.

Northern circumpolar stars appearing to revolve around the north celestial pole. Note that Polaris, the bright star near the center, remains almost stationary in the sky. The north pole star is constantly above the horizon throughout the year, viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. (The graphic shows how the apparent positions of the stars move over a 24-hour period, but in practice, they are invisible in daylight, in which sunlight outshines them.)
[courtesy Wikipedia on “circumpolar star”, animation by user:Mjchael CC-ASA2.5]

Therefore, the angular height of the pole at any latitude is the same angle we use to define that latitude, and this equals the half angle between the outer circumpolar stars and the pole itself. For example, Carnac has a latitude of 47.5 degrees north so that the pole will be raised by 47.5 degrees above a flat horizon, while the circumpolar region will then be 95 degrees in angular extent.

It is perhaps no accident that the pole is called a pole since to visualize the polar axis one can imagine a physical pole with a star on top, like a toy angel’s wand. The circumpolar region is “suspended” around the pole like a plate “held up” by the pole. Therefore, a physical pole, set into the ground, can be used to view the north pole from a suitable distance south (i.e., with the pole’s top as a foresight for the observer’s backsight). Such an observing pole would probably have been set at the center of a circle drawn on the ground, representing the circumpolar region around the north pole. This arrangement, a gnomon,* existed throughout history but usually presented as part of a sun dial.

*According to the testimony of Herodotus, the gnomon was originally an astronomical instrument invented in Mesopotamia and introduced to Greece by Anaximander. It was innovated even earlier, in the megalithic period, because structures that could operate one still exist within megalithic monuments.

It now appears a gnomic pole was also used in prehistory to locate the north pole in the middle of circumpolar skies. The north pole is opposite the shadow of the equinoctal sun at midday. The gnomic pole could also be used to find “true north,” as located halfway between the extremes of the same circumpolar star above the northern horizon. This can make use of the fact that when the sun is at equinox, it lies on the celestial equator and therefore is at a right angle to the north pole (see figure 4.4). This right angle is expressed at the top of the gnomic pole used and hence can enable the alignment of the pole through the similarity (or congruence) of all the right-angled triangles within the arrangement.

Figure 4.4. From pole to pole. It is possible to determine the angle of the north pole using a gnomic pole as shadow stick, but only at noon on the equinox. The laddie on the left cannot do this to a possible few minutes of a degree, but the geometry of the stick and shadow length can, providing true north and equinox alignments of east and west can be determined. Illustration on left from Robin Heath, Sun, Moon and Stonehenge, fig. 9.3.

Figure 4.4. From pole to pole. It is possible to determine the angle of the north pole using a gnomic pole as shadow stick, but only at noon on the equinox. The laddie on the left cannot do this to a possible few minutes of a degree, but the geometry of the stick and shadow length can, providing true north and equinox can be determined. Illustration on left from Robin Heath, Sun, Moon and Stonehenge, fig. 9.3.

To achieve an accurate bearing to true north, a circumpolar observatory can use the gnomic pole method, not just at noon on the equinox but every night, by dividing the angular range of circumpolar star, in azimuth. The north pole’s altitude, known to us as latitude on the Earth, can then be identified by dividing the angular range in altitude of a circumpolar star, a task achievable through geometry and metrology, so as to create a metrological model of the latitude upon the Earth.

It would seem obvious today that the pole star Polaris could have been used, but this is a persistent and widespread misunderstanding of the role of pole stars within the ancient and prehistoric world. Epochs in which there is a star within one degree of the pole are very rare and shortlived. Our pole star, Polaris (alpha Ursa Minor), is currently placed two thirds of a degree from a pole that is moving through the northern sky (figure 4.3 on p. 83) in a circle around the ecliptic pole of the solar system. Polaris will be nearest the pole (about ½ degree) at the end of this century.

The last time there was a star at all near the north pole was prior to the construction of the Great Pyramid in 2540 BCE . That pole star was Thuban (Alpha Draconis), and it was just one-fifteenth of a degree from the pole in 2800 BCE . The Great Pyramid has a narrow air shaft that pointed to Thuban, at which time it was already departing the pole and nearly one-third of a degree from it. Therefore, the megalithic people at Carnac, as well as almost all cultures throughout time, did not have the convenience of a pole star in approximately locating the north pole.

From 5000 to 4000 BCE , the time of megalithic building at Carnac, the north pole was a dark region surrounded by many bright stars. The inability to locate the north pole using a pole star challenged the people of the megalithic to develop a more sophisticated and accurate method. In any case, true north and latitude needed to be located more accurately than by using a pole star, which can only ever approximate the position of the north pole. Also, through the circumpolar observatory, sidereal time and even longitude between sites could be measured once the movement of the circumpolar stars could be exploited. True north, based upon these stars around the pole, can give the cardinal directions to an observatory.

The equinoctial sunrise in the east and sunset in the west can give a mean azimuth (horizon angle) to obtain south and north but only if the horizon is dead flat to each of these alignments. Far better then to observe the extremes of motion of a single circumpolar star, to the east and the west, to then find the North pole in between those two alignments.

Defining North by bringing the “clock in the sky” down to earth


One can therefore see that the circumpolar stars and sighting techniques, involving a gnomon, allowed north and the cardinal directions in a more reliable way than recording sunrise and sunsets since the sun on the horizon is variable between years due to the solar year having nearly ¼ day more than 365 days. The circumpolar stars enabled buildings and long sights to be built to true north-south-east-west, and by ignoring this, a building such as the Great Pyramid of Giza surprises us with its accurate placement relative to the cardinal directions.

Geometry 4: Right Triangles within Circles

This series is about how the megalithic, which had no written numbers or arithmetic, could process numbers, counted as “lengths of days”, using geometries and factorization.

This lesson is a necessary prequel to the next lesson.

It is an initially strange fact that all the possible right triangles will fit within a half circle when the hypotenuse equals the half-circles diameter. The right angle will then exactly touch the circumference. From this we can see visually that the trigonometrical relationships, normally defined relative to the ratios of a right triangle’s sides, conform to the properties of a circle.

A triangle with sides {3 4 5} demonstrates the general fact that, when a right triangle’s hypotenuse is the diameter of a circle, the right angle touches the circumference.
Continue reading “Geometry 4: Right Triangles within Circles”

Geometry 3: Making a circle from a counted length

The number of days in four years is a whole number of 1461 days if one approximates the solar year to 365¼ days. This number is found across the Le Manio Quadrilateral (point N to J) using a small counting unit, the “day-inch”, exactly the same length as the present day inch. It is an important reuse of a four-year count to be able to draw a circle of 1461 days so that this period of four years can become a ouroboros snake that eats its own tale because then, counting can be continuous beyond 1461 days. This number also permits the solar year to be counted in quarter days; modelling the sun’s motion within the Zodiac by shifting a sun marker four inches every day.

Figure 1 How a square of side length 11 will equal the perimeter of a circle of diameter 14

Our goal then is to draw a circle that is 1461 day-inches in perimeter. From Diagram 1 we know that a rope of 1461 inches could be divided into 4 equal parts to form a square and from that, an in-circle to that square has a diameter equal to a solar year of 365¼ days. Also, with reference to Figure 1, we know that the out-circle will have a diameter of 14 units long relative to the in-circle diameter being 11 units long, and this out-circle will have the perimeter of 1461 inches that we seek.

Figure 3 A general method, using the equal perimeters model, applied to a 4 solar year day count of 1461 day-inches, found as a linear count at the Manio Quadrilateral. A square, formed from this linear count, can be transformed into an outer circle of equal perimeter using the simple geometry of π as 22/7.

For this, the solar year rope (the in-circle diameter) needs to be divided into 11 parts. Start by choosing a number that, when multiplied by 11, is less that 365 (and a 1/4). For instance, 33. A new rope will be formed, 11 x 33 = 363 inches, marked every 33 inches to provide 11 divisions. Through experience, we discover we need 2 identical ropes so as to make practical use of the properties of symmetry through attaching ropes to both ends of the solar diameter rope.

Place one rope at the West side of the in-circle diameter and swing it up until it touches the in-circle. Place the other rope at the East side of the in-circle diameter and swing it down until it touches the edge of the in-circle. Now connect the 33 inch marks between the 2 ropes. This will divide the 365 1/4 diameter into 11 segments.

Seven of those segments are the new radius to create the 1461 inch outer-circle.

Figure 3 Division of the in-circle into eleven equal parts so as to select 7 units as a radius rope to then form the circle of diameter 14 units and perimeter 1461 inches.

This novel application of the equal perimeters model, rescued from Victorian textbooks by John Michell and applied by him most memorably perhaps to Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid (in Dimensions of Paradise) is a general method for taking a counted length and reliably forming a radius rope able to transform that counted length into a circle of the same perimeter as the square, easily formed by four sides ¼ of the desired length.

The site survey at the start, drawn by Robin Heath, appeared in our survey of Le Manio.

Geometry 2: Maintaining integers using fractions

understanding the megalithic: circular structures: part 2

The megalithic sought integer lengths because they lacked the arithmetic of later millennia. So how did they deal with numbers? There is plenty of evidence in their early monuments that today’s inch and foot already existed and that these, and other units of measure, were used to count days or months. From this, numbers came to be known by their length in inches and later on as feet, and longer lengths like a fathom of five feet, the cubit of 3/2 feet and, larger still, furlongs and miles – to name only a few.

So megalithic numeracy was primarily associated with lengths, a system we call metrology. Having metrology but not arithmetic, the integer solutions to problems became a necessity. Incidentally, it was because of their metrological numeracy that the megalithic chanced upon a rich seam of astronomical meaning within the geocentric time world that surrounds us, a seam well-nigh invisible to modern science. Their storing of numbers as lengths also led to their application to the properties geometrical structures have, to replicate what arithmetic and trigonometry do, by using right triangles and a system of fractional measures of a foot (see later lesson – to come). In what follows, for both simplicity and veracity, we assume that π was too abstract for the megalithic, since they first used radius ropes to create circles, so that 2π was a more likely entity for them to have resolved.

Continue reading “Geometry 2: Maintaining integers using fractions”

Geometry 1: π

understanding the megalithic: circular structures: part 1
What is the relationship of a circles perimeter to its width, called its “diameter”?

It would require 3 and a bit diameters to wrap around the circle – the ratio of 3 and a bit diameters to the perimeter is known as “Pi”, notated by the Greek symbol “π”. Half of the diameter, from the circle’s center to its edge, is named its radius.

Continue reading “Geometry 1: π”