Archive for the ‘Fibonacci’ Category

A montage of Uranus’ large moons and one smaller moon: from left to right Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon. Size proportions are correct. [image credit: Vzb83 @ Wikipedia (from originals taken by NASA’s Voyager 2)]

The five major moons of Uranus in ascending distance from the planet are:
Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon

Of these, the first three exhibit a synodic resonance similar to that of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, as we showed here:
Why Phi? – the resonance of Jupiter’s Galilean moons

Quoting from that post:
The only exact ratio is between the synodic periods which is 3:2:1.
It isn’t necessary to have an exact 4:2:1 orbit ratio in order to get a 3:2:1 synodic ratio.


Cyclones in Jupiter’s atmosphere [image credit: NASA]

Octagon and pentagon (8:5) shapes at the poles, with groups of cyclones in a 9:6 (= 3:2) polar ratio. Fascinating.

Jupiter’s poles are blanketed by geometric clusters of cyclones and its atmosphere is deeper than scientists suspected, says

These are just some of the discoveries reported by four international research teams Wednesday, based on observations by NASA’s Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter.

One group uncovered a constellation of nine cyclones over Jupiter’s north pole and six over the south pole. The wind speeds exceed Category 5 hurricane strength in places, reaching 220 mph (350 kph).

The massive storms haven’t changed position much—or merged—since observations began.


Giant planets of the solar system [image credit:]

This post on the ice giants Uranus and Neptune follows on from this one:
Why Phi? – Jupiter, Saturn and the inner solar system

The main focus will be on Uranus. A planetary conjunction of three bodies (e.g. two planets and the Sun, in line) is also known as a syzygy.

Here’s the notation for the table shown below:
J-S = Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions
S-U = Saturn-Uranus conjunctions
U-N = Uranus-Neptune conjunctions

Each of the columns: U, S-U, J-S shows a Fibonacci progression.

Accuracy of best match is between 99.965% and 99.991%.

Quoting Wikipedia: ‘The mathematics of the golden ratio and of the Fibonacci sequence are intimately interconnected.’
The Greek letter φ (phi) represents the golden ratio.


Exoplanet – NASA impression

YZ Ceti is a recently discovered star with three known planets (b,c and d) orbiting very close to it. Although some types of mean motion resonance, or near resonance, are quite common e.g. 2:1 or 3:2 conjunction ratios, this one is a bit different.

The orbit periods in days are:
YZ Ceti b = 1.96876 d
YZ Ceti c = 3.06008 d
YZ Ceti d = 4.65627 d

This gives these conjunction periods:
c-d = 8.9266052 d
b-c = 5.5204368 d
b-d = 3.4109931 d
(Note the first two digits on each line.)

Nearest matching period:
34 c-d = 303.50457 d
55 b-c = 303.62403 d
89 b-d = 303.57838 d

34,55 and 89 are Fibonacci numbers.
Therefore the conjunction ratios are linked to the golden ratio (Phi).

Phi = 1.618034
(c-d) / (b-c) = 1.6170106
(b-c) / (b-d) = 1.618425

Data source:

From left, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. [Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute]

The planetary theory aspect appears a bit later, but first a brief review of some relevant details.

In this Talkshop post: Why Phi? – a triple conjunction comparison we said:
(1) What is the period of a Jupiter(J)-Saturn(S)-Earth(E) (JSE) triple conjunction?
JSE = 21 J-S or 382 J-E or 403 S-E conjunctions (21+382 = 403) in 417.166 years (as an average or mean value).

(2) What is the period of a Jupiter(J)-Saturn(S)-Venus(V) (JSV) triple conjunction?
JSV = 13 J-S or 398 J-V or 411 S-V conjunctions (13+398 = 411) in 258.245 years (as an average or mean value).

Since JSV = 13 J-S and JSE = 21 J-S, the ratio of JSV:JSE is 13:21 exactly (in theory).

As these are consecutive Fibonacci numbers, the ratio is almost 1:Phi or the golden ratio.

Lunar precession update

Posted: October 15, 2017 by oldbrew in Fibonacci, Maths, moon, Phi, solar system dynamics
Tags: ,

Credit: NASA

I found out there’s an easy way to simplify one of the lunar charts published on the Talkshop in 2015 on this post:
Why Phi? – some Moon-Earth interactions

In the chart, synodic months (SM) and apsidal cycles (LAC) are multiples of 104:
79664 / 104 = 766
728/104 = 7

The other numbers are not multiples of 104, but if 7 is added to each we get this:
86105 + 7 = 86112 = 828 * 104 (TM)
85377 + 7 = 85384 = 821 * 104 (AM)
5713 + 7 = 5720 = 55 * 104 (FMC)
6441 + 7 = 6448 = 62 * 104 (TY)

TM = tropical months
AM = anomalistic months
SM = synodic months
LAC = lunar apsidal cycles
FMC = full moon cycles
TY = tropical years

Here’s an imaginary alternative chart based on these multiples of
104. [Cross-check: 828 – 766 = 62]

In reality, 55 FMC = just over 62 TY and 7 LAC = just short of 62 TY.
For every 7 apsidal cycles (LAC), there are 766 synodic months (both chart versions).

In the real chart:
For every 104 apsidal cycles, all numbers except SM slip by -1 from being multiples of 104. So after 7*104 LAC all the other totals except SM are ‘reduced’ by 7 each.

In the case of tropical years, 6448 – 7 = 6441 = 19 * 339
19 tropical years = 1 Metonic cycle

If the period had been 6448 TY it would not have been a whole number of Metonic cycles.
Also 6441 * 4 TY (25764) is exactly one year more than 25763 synodic years i.e. the precession cycle, by definition.

Fibonacci: 104 is 13*8, and the modified FMC number is 55 (all Fibonacci numbers).

Phi: we’ve explained elsewhere that the number of full moon cycles in one lunar apsidal cycle is very close to 3*Phi².
We can see from the modified chart that the FMC:LAC ratio of 55:7 is 3 times greater than 55:21 (55/21 = ~Phi²)
– – –
Note – for more discussion of the ~62 year period, try this search: 62 year
[see Google site search box in grey zone on left of this web page]

Carrington Rotations = CarRots [credit:]

Carrington Rotations = CarRots [credit:]

Tallbloke recently acquired a book by Hartmut Warm called ‘Signature of the Celestial Spheres: Discovering Order in the Solar System’ which offers this gem:
588 solar Carrington rotations (CarRots) = 587 lunar sidereal months
We’ll call this the HW cycle, about 43.91 years.

‘Richard Christopher Carrington determined the solar rotation rate from low latitude sunspots in the 1850s and arrived at 25.38 days for the sidereal rotation period. Sidereal rotation is measured relative to the stars, but because the Earth is orbiting the Sun, we see this period as 27.2753 days.’ – Wikipedia

Picking this ball up and running with it, we find there are 308 CarRots (27.2753 d) per 331 solar sidereal days (25.38 d) in 23 years (331 – 308). This period, or a multiple of it, can be found in certain identified solar-planetary cycles (as discussed below).


Combined precession cycle [credit: wikipedia]

Combined precession cycle [credit: wikipedia]

‘Because of apsidal precession the Earth’s argument of periapsis slowly increases; it takes about 112000 years for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the fixed stars. The Earth’s polar axis, and hence the solstices and equinoxes, precess with a period of about 26000 years in relation to the fixed stars. These two forms of ‘precession’ combine so that it takes about 21000 years for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the vernal equinox, that is, for the perihelion to return to the same date (given a calendar that tracks the seasons perfectly).’Wikipedia

Here we’ll fit the three precession cycles into one model and briefly examine its workings.


Earth's orbit [credit: NASA]

Earth’s orbit [credit: NASA]

We’ll assume the diagram is self-explanatory but if not, this should help (see opening paragraphs).

We’re looking at Aphelion minus Perihelion (A – P) distances of the giant planets.
Figures are given in units of a million kms. (lowest value first), using Jupiter as a baseline.


Io, Europa and Ganymede - three of Jupiter's four Galilean moons

Io, Europa and Ganymede – three of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons

The resonance of three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter is well-known. Or is it?

We’re usually told there’s a 1:2:4 orbital ratio between Ganymede, Europa and Io, but while this is not far from the truth, a closer look shows something else.


lunar_TYTallbloke writes: Stuart ‘Oldbrew’ has been getting his calculator warm to discover the congruences in various aspects of the Lunar orbit around Earth, and its relationship to Earth-Moon orbit around the Sun. Emerging from this study are some useful insights into longer periods, such as the ‘precession of the equinoxes‘.

Some matching periods of lunar numbers:
86105 tropical months (TM) @ 27.321582 days = 2352524.8 days
85377 anomalistic months (AM) @ 27.55455 days = 2352524.8 days
79664 synodic months (SM) @ 29.530589 days = 2352524.8 days

These identical values are used in the chart on the right (top row). The second row numbers are the difference between the numbers in the first row (TM – AM and AM – SM).
The derivation of the third row number (6441) is shown on the chart itself [click on the chart to enlarge it].

The period of 6441 tropical years (6440.75 sidereal years) is one quarter of the Earth’s ‘precession of the equinox’.
Multiplying by 4: 25764 tropical years = 25763 sidereal years.
The difference of 1 is due to precession.


The orbit of Triton (red) is opposite in direction and tilted −23° compared to a typical moon's orbit (green) in the plane of Neptune's equator [image credit: Wikipedia]

The orbit of Triton (red) is opposite in direction and tilted −23° compared to a typical moon’s orbit (green) in the plane of Neptune’s equator [image credit: Wikipedia]

Triton is the seventh largest moon in the solar system. Not only that, it has over 99% of the mass of all Neptune’s moons combined. Its retrograde orbit makes it unique among the large moons of the solar system, and it is also the coldest known planetary body at -235° C (-391° F).

Turning to the orbit numbers, and looking at Triton’s closest ‘inner’ (nearer to Uranus) neighbour Proteus and the next two ‘outer’ moons, we find these values (in days):
1.122d Proteus
5.877d Triton
360.13d Nereid
1879.08d Halimede

We’ll treat Proteus and Triton as a pair, and the same for Nereid and Halimede.
Nereid is over fifteen times further from Uranus than Triton is, so hardly a neighbour at all.

Looking at the orbit ratios (which are also the rotation ratios, as usual with moons):
T/P = 5.877 / 1.122 = 5.238
H/N = 1879.08 / 360.13 = 5.218

The first thing to say is that the two results are very similar. One is about 99.62% of the other.


Neptune (top), Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter (bottom)

Neptune (top), Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter (bottom)

Continuing our long-term series researching Fibonacci and/or Phi based ratios in planetary conjunction periods, it’s time for a look at the inner- and outer-most gas giants of our solar system: Jupiter and Neptune.

Initial analysis shows the period of 14 Jupiter orbits is close to that of one Neptune orbit of the Sun, and even closer to the period of 13 (14 less 1) Jupiter-Neptune (J-N) conjunctions.

It also turns out that there’s a multiple of 13 J-N that equates to a whole number of Earth orbits:
Jupiter-Neptune(J-N) average conjunction period = 12.782793 years
221 J-N = ~2825 years (2824.9972y)
(221 = 13 x 17)

But this period is not a whole number of either Jupiter or Neptune orbits.
This is resolved by multiplying by a factor of 7.


From the top: Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter [image credit: NASA/JPL]

From the top: Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter
[image credit: NASA/JPL]

Continuing our quest to understand more about planetary frequencies, we turn to links between the largest planet Jupiter and the two ‘outer’ giant planets, Uranus and Neptune.

This model is based on a match of synodic periods, which is found to be:
22 Uranus-Neptune (U-N) = 273 Jupiter-Uranus (J-U) = 295 Jupiter-Neptune (J-N)

The period is just under 3771 years (~3770.93y).
To find a link to Fibonacci numbers we can look first at Jupiter-Uranus:
273 J-U = 13 x 21 (13 and 21 are Fibonacci numbers)


See main post for details [image credit: Wikipedia / WolfmanSF]

See main post for details [image credit: Wikipedia / WolfmanSF]

In this extract from Wikipedia we’ve highlighted the relevant part in bold, so without more ado:

Styx, Nix, and Hydra are in a 3-body orbital resonance with orbital periods in a ratio of 18:22:33. The ratios are exact when orbital precession is taken into account. This means that in a recurring cycle there are 11 orbits of Styx for every 9 of Nix and 6 of Hydra. Nix and Hydra are in a simple 2:3 resonance. The ratios of synodic periods are such that there are 5 Styx–Hydra conjunctions and 3 Nix–Hydra conjunctions for every 2 conjunctions of Styx and Nix.


[credit: F.Espenak / NASA]

[credit: F.Espenak / NASA]

NASA: 2004 AND 2012 TRANSITS OF VENUS – Introduction says:
‘Transits of Venus across the disk of the Sun are among the rarest of planetary alignments. Indeed, only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope (1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882). The next two transits of Venus will occur on 2004 June 08 and 2012 June 06.’

Obviously there are three pairs of transits (eight years apart per pair) shown in the brackets, plus the fourth pair that occurred in 2004 and 2012. The model we use here is structured as per this graphic:

This is where it gets a little bit tricky perhaps.


[image credit:]

[image credit:]

Only two questions are needed here:

(1) What is the period of a Jupiter(J)-Saturn(S)-Earth(E) (JSE) triple conjunction?
JSE = 21 J-S or 382 J-E or 403 S-E conjunctions (21+382 = 403) in 417.166 years (as an average or mean value).

(2) What is the period of a Jupiter(J)-Saturn(S)-Venus(V) (JSV) triple conjunction?
JSV = 13 J-S or 398 J-V or 411 S-V conjunctions (13+398 = 411) in 258.245 years (as an average or mean value).

Since JSV = 13 J-S and JSE = 21 J-S, the ratio of JSV:JSE is 13:21 exactly (in theory).

As these are consecutive Fibonacci numbers, the ratio is almost 1:Phi or the golden ratio.
Golden ratio: relationship to Fibonacci sequence


Comparison of the eight brightest TNOs [credit: Wikipedia]

Comparison of the eight brightest TNOs [credit: Wikipedia]

As Pluto is getting some media attention due to the impending ‘fly-by’ of a NASA space probe, let’s take a look at its orbital relationship with its neighbours.


Planetary conjunction [image credit: EPA / Daily Mail]

Planetary conjunction [image credit: EPA / Daily Mail]

For the Jupiter-Venus-Mercury (JVMe) model, we start with this basic synodic conjunction relationship:
61 Jupiter-Venus (J-V) = 100 Venus-Mercury (V-Me) = 161 Jupiter-Mercury (J-Me) conjunctions in 39.58 years.
Orbit numbers per 39.58y: 64.337~ Venus, 164.337~ Mercury, 3.3365~ Jupiter
Jupiter-Venus-Mercury chart

[3 x 39.58 years = 118.74 years]

Since the ratio 61:100:161 is only one conjunction different from 60:100:160 (= 3:5:8), there is a very close match to a Fibonacci-based ratio as 3,5 and 8 are all Fibonacci numbers.

In the model we convert the orbits to whole numbers using a multiple of 3, to obtain a triple conjunction period where there are (very close to) a whole number of orbits of the relevant planets, as per the chart [right].


Jupiter dominates the solar system

Jupiter dominates the solar system

By far the two largest bodies in our solar system are Jupiter and Saturn. In terms of angular momentum: ‘That of Jupiter contributes the bulk of the Solar System’s angular momentum, 60.3%. Then comes Saturn at 24.5%, Neptune at 7.9%, and Uranus at 5.3%’ (source), leaving only 2% for everything else. Jupiter and Saturn together account for nearly 85% of the total.

The data tell us that for every 21 Jupiter-Saturn (J-S) conjunctions there are 382 Jupiter-Earth (J-E) conjunctions and 403 Saturn-Earth (S-E) conjunctions (21 + 382 = 403).

Since one J-S conjunction moves 117.14703 degrees retrograde from the position of the previous one, the movement of 21 will be 21 x 117.14703 = 2460.0876, or 2460 degrees as a round number.

The nearest multiple of a full rotation of 360 degrees to 2460 is 2520 (= 7 x 360).
Therefore 21 J-S has a net movement of almost 60 degrees (2520 – 2460) from its start position.