THE TYCHOS CLARIFIES THE STELLAR PARALLAX CONFUSION
I do realize that the question of stellar parallax is a rather tough and complex subject matter. In fact, my head almost exploded the other day, as I realized that astronomers in the Northern Hemisphere might reach the opposite conclusions (in terms of stellar parallax measurements) of those astronomers located in the Southern Hemisphere of our planet. All in all though, and in spite of its somewhat daunting complexity, I think you'll find this to be a truly fascinating discovery journey. In any event, this is certainly the case for yours truly, since my TYCHOS model keeps clarifying things for me - every step of the way! I shall now share with you my latest realizations concerning one of the most spiny and confusing areas of astronomy: namely, the question of stellar parallax, and more specifically, the well-documented and undeniable existence of NEGATIVE stellar parallax. Of course, NEGATIVE parallax cannot exist under the Copernican / heliocentric paradigm: since Earth is believed to revolve around the Sun, we would thus only see the stars moving in the SAME direction - at all times. Only POSITIVE stellar parallax can physically exist in the Copernican model. Let me now quote from a fine treatise
of historical astronomy:
"In 1674 the first of Robert Hooke's Cutlerian lectures was published. Entitled "An attempt to prove the movement of the Earth from observations", it concerned what Hooke called an experimentum crucis, the outcome of which was intended to establish the truth of the Copernican system. The 'proof' was to consist of a measurement of annual stellar parallax. There is no doubt about Hooke's motive in this case: he wished to provide evidence which, he believed, would demolish the arguments of the "anti-Copernicans". In order to do this he gave serious thought to the type of instrument he should use and to the choice of star to observe."
Hence, we can see that the question of stellar parallax was no petty matter: as it were, the entire Copernican heliocentric theory was at stake! Yet, at the time (late 17th century) no stellar parallax had been observed. When Friedrich Bessel finally (in 1838) announced that star 61Cygni exhibited some parallax, the world's scientific community took it as a firm confirmation of the Copernican model. We shall now see how the TYCHOS model can provide more sensible answers as to the cause of the observed stellar parallax and, more importantly, as to the existence of the so-called "NEGATIVE" parallax.
Let's start by looking at how our current Gregorian year count (of our solar and sidereal years) causes the Sun to slowly "slip out of synch" with Earth's motion around its PVP orbit. This, because the Gregorian calendar was devised (by the Church) so as to try and make Easter NOT slip out of synch over time with our earthly calendar. In fact, the ancient Sothic cycle also
attempted to keep Sirius rising "in synch" with the Egyptian civil calendar. The Egyptians, we may say, have had far more luck with their choice of star Sirius as a marker for their calendar, since Sirius has a large ("NEGATIVE") proper motion. In other words, Sirius moves transversally (i.e. its proper motion) very much in the same "clockwise" direction as Earth slowly moves around its PVP orbit (at 1mph) and therefore, its heliacal rise dates have remained remarkably "stable" for several millennia - as documented in this chart :
Note that the average year in both the Gregorian and the Sothic calendars have similar year-count reckonings of about 365.25 days. Hence, we have a clear explanation as to why Sirius's heliacal rise date has remained pretty stable ever since ancient times): Sirius has "stayed with us" for a few thousands of years due its proper motion that "follows" Earth - but also due to the Gregorian calendar letting Earth rotate annually by a bit more than 360°(as it were, by 0.021308°- as will be explained further on) :
However, here's the "problem": neither the Gregorian nor the Sothic calendars are sustainable over longer periods of time, as they cannot forever keep "compensating" for the fact that Earth moves around its PVP orbit. In the long run, both calendars will run into trouble. This, because they let the Sun "drift too much Eastwards" (or, perhaps more correctly put, they let Earth rotate "too much Eastwards"). This following graphic illustrating the difference between a "solar" (or "tropical") year and a "sidereal"year should speak more than a thousand words. Here's what happens :
Note that the "unobservable"
part of the annual / constant "Eastward drift" of the stars (which is nothing but what we call "General Precession" - a.k.a."the precession of the equinoxes") represents ca. 1.68% of the total drift. It is "unobservable" because Copernican astronomers are unaware of Earth's yearly "Westwards" displacement of 14036km. And in fact, the difference between the currently-observed annual precession (50.29") and the true annual "precession"/ i.e. yearly Earth motion (51.136” - as of the TYCHOS) is ca. 1.68%. This is also why the TYCHOS estimation of the duration of a Great Year (25344 years) is 1.68% shorter than the officially-estimated duration of 25771 years.
Note also that the observed precession has not always been 50.29". It has kept "mysteriously" increasing in the last centuries; this is actually one of the great unsolved riddles of astronomy, and one which caused much trouble to the famed astronomer/mathematician Simon Newcomb who tried, in vain, to compute a fix/constant increase of the secular precession : as all modern astronomers know full well, the rate of increase
is NOT constant / linear: it is exponential (yet they have no rational explanation for it!). In Chapter 30 of my TYCHOS book, you will find this graphic which, I dare say, neatly resolves this longlasting and still unexplained puzzle:
To return to the problem of the Gregorian calendar "letting the Sun drift too much Eastwards", my next graphic illustrates what this will ultimately entail (over the coming millennia - and ultimately, over a full Great Year). If we choose, say, June 21 (the Northern Hemisphere's Summer Solstice) as our "calendar marker", here is how our Summer Solstice will gradually "slip Eastwards". That is, if we should keep using our current Gregorian calendar count :
This, you may agree, is not a desirable thing! It means that, in 25344 years time (see the Sun's position 12 in my above graphic), our Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice will be inverted, June 21 thus occurring when the Sun is LOWEST in our (Northern Hemisphere's) skies! In Chapter 31 of my book I show how this can be prevented by simply shortening the current duration of our calendar years by about 5.1146 seconds of time (or, what amounts to the same, to "shorten" our day
count by about 14 milliseconds). This would accomplish the smoothest possible (i.e. most gradual and "un-traumatic") transition of our current calendar count towards the desirable "re-synchronization" of the Sun's and the Earth's respective revolutions - as proposed by the TYCHOS. Here is how the Sun and Earth would be ideally (and harmoniously) get "re-synchronized" - if we were to implement my proposed, ideal TYCHOS calendar year count :
I shall now further clarify the rather "tricky" question of stellar parallaxes - and what such measurements would entail within the TYCHOS model. My next graphic shows the trochoidal path around which any earthly observer (or fixed telescope) will be carried in the course of the year. We may easily imagine how, depending on WHICH time interval
, or D
) is chosen to measure a given star's parallax, astronomers will obtain variable and consequently, wildly conflicting results (such as can be found all over historical astronomy literature.
It should be easily envisioned how and why the parallactic displacement of any given "nearby" star will depend on the time interval
chosen to measure it (and, of course, depending on the given star's celestial location). Two astronomers measuring the same star (but choosing different time intervals to measure it) may well end up with wholly different / conflicting results. The possible combinations and consequent measurements (collected by two astronomers monitoring the same star but at different times of the year) are virtually endless.
In fact, in an academic paper of 1966, Stan Vasilevskis (of the famous Lick observatory), reported how the four major American observatories were totally puzzled by the disturbing differences, discrepancies and disagreements between their respective stellar parallax measurements:
"Parallaxes of the same stars determined by different observers and instruments often disagreed to such an extent that the reality of some parallaxes were in doubt. (...) Although the homogeneity has high statistical merit, the absence of various approaches makes it difficult to investigate and explain discrepancies between various determinations of parallaxes for the same stars. There are disturbing differences, and many investigations to be reviewed later have been carried out on these discrepancies. The present paper is a review of the present material, and a consideration of the possibilities of modifications in the technique of parallax determination in view of past experience and the present status of technology."
http://adsbit.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-i ... lassic=YES
To be sure, the history of the extremely difficult and laborious search for stellar parallaxes is riddled with accounts of "inexplicable" conflicting results (and of the vexing yet undeniable existence of NEGATIVE stellar parallax). Those accounts, buried in the vast amounts of relevant astronomy literature, may be somewhat hard to find - but this should be of no surprise, since the very existence of NEGATIVE stellar parallax is the nemesis of the Copernican model : to admit its existence would be tantamount to admit the IMPOSSIBILITY of the heliocentric geometry.
In the literature, the numerous instances of NEGATIVE stellar parallax observations are thus, unsurprisingly, regularly dismissed and swept under the rug with claims of "obvious errors of observation"
- or other assorted ad hoc "explanations".
Today, even ESA (the European Space Agency) claims that the reason why 25% [or HALF of the stars which show any parallax at all] listed in their huge million-star "TYCHO" catalogue exhibit negative parallax values is due to ..."systematic errors". One can only wonder just how ESA can keep claiming such things while, at the same time, assuring us that their alleged "Hipparcos satellite" (and its successor, the "Gaia satellite") are capable of collecting stellar parallax measurements within an error margin / resolution of "better than 0.001 arcseconds" (i.e. 1 milliarcsecond!!!). This glaring contradiction has, thankfully, been noticed by a number of attentive independent researchers in recent years. Does ESA ever reply to these people? Apparently not.
For example, Vittorio Goretti (1939-2016), a distinguished Italian astronomer who - with good reasons - questioned ESA's catalogues for many years, never received any reply from ESA. Here's a short extract from a 2013 paper of his:
"The Hipparcos Catalogue stars, about 118,000 stars, are a choice from the over 2,000,000 stars of the Tycho Catalogue. As regards the data concerning the same stars, the main difference between the two catalogues lies in the measurement errors, which in the Hipparcos Catalogue are smaller by about fifty times. I cannot understand how it was possible to have such small errors
(i. e. uncertainties of the order of one milliarcsecond) when the typical error of a telescope with a diameter of 20÷25 cm [as the telescope ESA claims was mounted on their Hipparcos satellite] is comprised between 20 and 80 milliarcseconds (see the Tycho Catalogue). When averaging many parallax angles of a star, the measurement error of the average (root-mean-square error) cannot be smaller than the average of the errors (absolute values) of the single angles." http://www.vittoriogoretti-observatory6 ... -jan-2013/
But this is by no means the only problem that Vittorio Goretti found with ESA's stellar parallax catalogues. I am currently in the process of translating Goretti's best papers to the English language. In short, Goretti made some quite astonishing findings which very seriously question the credibility of the public institution known as "ESA" (financed by the European taxpayers) - much like NASA is by the American taxpayers. In spite of Goretti's distinguished astronomy career and credentials (read about his discovery of 32 main-belt asteroids here
- "The main-belt asteroid 7801 Goretti has been named in his honour"), ESA simply ignored his many requests for clarification. This may come as no surprise to most Cluesforum readers, since we now know what NASA ("N
ever A S
nswer") has been up to - ever since its very inception, on the 29th of July 1958, when T. Keith Glennan (former studio director at the Paramount and Goldwyn-Mayer Hollywood studios) was inaugurated on October 1,1958 as NASA's first administrator...
In light of this, I trust that most of my readers may understand and appreciate why I am more inclined to lend more trust & credence to independent (yet highly qualified) voices such as Vittorio Goretti's - in REAL matters of astronomy. Similarly, I also tend to place more trust in the collective work of the best astronomers of yesteryear (prior to the 20th century and before the clownish, artificial "geniuses" like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking stole the scene) - rather than in our modern-day, arrogant and impermeable-to-critique "science churches" such as NASA and ESA, locked up as they are in their impenetrable ivory towers built in Hollywood.
BESSEL's NEGATIVE STELLAR PARALLAXES
Perhaps the most ironic "twist" of the entire history of stellar parallax detection is the fact that Bessel, the man credited for making the very FIRST "indisputable stellar parallax determination", initially detected and announced NEGATIVE
parallaxes, not only for the star 61Cygni, but also for Cassiopeaie - and even for our very North Star, Polaris! Here's an extract from one of the many books written by sharp astronomy historians that I have devoured over the years:
"But Bessel was to be disappointed again: when he had finished the reduction of the position of 61 Cygni relative to the six different stars he was forced to the conclusion that its parallax was negative
! The paper in which this result was announced took the form of a report only, with no explanation of why a negative answer might have been obtained
. Bessel gave tables of observations, and results of the application of the method of least squares to these observations for each comparison in turn; he followed this with exactly the same information for μ Cassiopeiae which he had compared with θ Cassiopeiae. For this star also he had a negative
, though numerically smaller result.
In volume III of the Konigsberg observations Bessel gave another set of observations, this time of the difference of right ascension between α and 61 Cygni from which he deduced an even larger negative result
for the parallax of 61 Cygni. A different account may be constructed from Bessel's private correspondence. In a letter to Olbers written at about the time that the first set of negative results for 61 Cygni was published, Bessel stated that :
" The negative parallax which one [found]
here and there and which [he had] in fact
found for the Pole Star from Bradley's
observations [was] of course the result
of observational errors".
Full source text backed up here: http://septclues.com/TYCHOS/Williams-ME ... Thesis.pdf
So the question becomes: since ESA, still today, claims that "NEGATIVE stellar parallaxes are just a matter of observational errors", for HOW LONG will the astronomy establishment be able to get away with this preposterous and undefendable "observational error"
"NEGATIVE" STELLAR PARALLAXES ARE NOT OBSERVATIONAL ERRORS
I shall now address the "mystery" as to why the values / magnitudes of the (ca. 25%) NEGATIVE parallax values listed in the official stellar parallax catalogues are generally far smaller
(numerically) than the magnitudes of the (ca. 25%) POSITIVE parallax values.
To be sure, the TYCHOS model expects precisely what is observed
(and listed in the official catalogues), namely that the values of the NEGATIVE stellar parallaxes are systematically smaller than the values of POSITIVE parallaxes. Here follow two more graphics which should clarify this matter. But first, a short reminder (and a brief computation) is in order, concerning our Gregorian calendar count:
As expounded above, the Gregorian calendar lets Earth rotate each year by slightly more than 360°. The extra annual rotation amounts to 0.021308°. This, because under the Gregorian year count (as of the TYCHOS reckonings) Earth is expected to complete an [undesirable] extra 1.5 full rotations over the course of a Great Year. Hence, the TYCHOS proposes to shorten our annual rotations by 5.1146 seconds - which is equivalent to 0.021308° of one Earthly rotation (in fact, in 25344 years - a TYCHOS Great Year - this will "trim / eliminate" 1.5 Earth rotations: 0.021308°X 25344 = 540°, or 1.5 X 360°). Now, since we are currently letting Earth rotate a tad more than 360° each year, this will affect / distort our stellar parallax measurements in the manner illustrated below:
This goes some way to explain why the magnitudes of the observed NEGATIVE paralaxes are generally smaller than the POSITIVE parallax values. However, a second geometric cause (related to our yearly trochoidal path*
) concurs to explain why NEGATIVE parallaxes are generally smaller:
* Any observers on Earth (and their telescopes) will be gyrating annually around the below-illustrated trochoidal loop.
If two astronomers (JOE and JIM - located in our Northern Hemisphere) were to measure the parallax of star 72 Ophiuchi,(JOE choosing the period "A"
and JIM choosing the period "D"
) here's what would they would conclude:
-JOE (choosing the March 2000 > Sept 2000 time interval) would conclude that the star has a (large, "100%") POSITIVE parallax
-JIM (choosing the Sept 2000 > March 2001 time interval) would conclude that the star has a (far smaller, ca."30%") NEGATIVE parallax
(Note also that if JOE and JIM instead would have chosen period B
and period C
, they would both
probably fail to detect ANY parallax at all
for 72 Ophiuchi). And in fact, 50% of all the stellar parallax values in ESA's largest "TYCHO" catalogue exhibit a ZERO [i.e. non-detectable amount of] parallax).
100% POSITIVE versus 30% NEGATIVE? Well, that is very interesting indeed. It so happens that, back in the days when stellar parallax detection was the most vividly debated topic among that epoch's top astronomers (e.g. Bessel, Hooke, Bradley, Struve, Huygens, Herschel, Cassini, Maskelyne, Lacaille, Lalande, et al), their first obvious choice of a star to measure was Sirius (the very brightest star in our skies). All of their observations of the Sirius parallax were conflicting, but what is of strong interest to the TYCHOS is to compare their stated maxima and minima values of their measurements: the largest parallax reported for Sirius at the time was 8"(eight arcseconds) - whereas the lowest was 2.5" arcseconds, although "in the wrong direction"!
"After thus disposing of Lacaille's Cape observations, Lalande referred to a series of observations made at Paris between the summer of 1761 and early 1762, during which time Sirius appeared to have been displaced by a more realistic 2.5". but this displacement could not be
owing to parallax because it was in the wrong direction."
Source back up: http://septclues.com/TYCHOS/Williams-ME ... Thesis.pdf
If we do a little math, we see that 2.5"
(the NEGATIVE parallax of Sirius reported back in those days) is roughly 30% of 8"
(the largest POSITIVE parallax reported back in those days). Note also that Sirius (being located as "low" as -16°42' of declination) is best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere, so while some were made in Paris or London, many of those Sirius observations were made in Cape Town (South Africa), at the famous Cape of Good Hope observatory. Therefore, we may reasonably assume that the reported (and starkly conflicting) maxima and minima values of Sirius's parallax (8" POSITIVE and 2.5" NEGATIVE) originated from those Southern Hemisphere observations. Let's see how this would have played out, under the TYCHOS' perspective:
Indeed, we would expect (under the TYCHOS paradigm) that the largest and smallest parallax of Sirius would be, when choosing period A or when choosing period D, respectively in the proportion of "100% POSITIVE" or "30% NEGATIVE". However, as we saw earlier, Sirius also has a fairly large transverse proper motion parallel to the direction of Earth's motion (which keeps its heliacal rise date fairly stable). Hence, Sirius is a bit of a special case. In any event, this all goes to show the complexity (and the many possible variables) which come into play when measuring stellar parallax. It is therefore no wonder this caused so much confusion for the astronomers of yesteryear - and continues to do so today.
All in all, it would appear that the TYCHOS may gradually resolve, one by one, the many historical puzzles & conundrums of astronomy.