Posts Tagged ‘moon’

View from Titan [artist’s impression]

‘The grains that cover Saturn’s [largest] moon act like clingy packing peanuts.’ An obvious question might be: where is Titan’s electrical charge coming from?

Experiments led by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology suggest the particles that cover the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, are “electrically charged.”

When the wind blows hard enough (approximately 15 mph), Titan’s non-silicate granules get kicked up and start to hop in a motion referred to as saltation. As they collide, they become frictionally charged, like a balloon rubbing against your hair, and clump together in a way not observed for sand dune grains on Earth — they become resistant to further motion.

They maintain that charge for days or months at a time and attach to other hydrocarbon substances, much like packing peanuts used in shipping boxes here on Earth. The findings have just been published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“If you grabbed piles of grains and built a sand castle on Titan, it would perhaps stay together for weeks due to their electrostatic properties,” said Josef Dufek, the Georgia Tech professor who co-led the study. “Any spacecraft that lands in regions of granular material on Titan is going to have a tough time staying clean. Think of putting a cat in a box of packing peanuts.”

The electrification findings may help explain an odd phenomenon. Prevailing winds on Titan blow from east to west across the moon’s surface, but sandy dunes nearly 300 feet tall seem to form in the opposite direction.

Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA

From the research paper: ‘We suggest the possibility that the Earth’s atmosphere of billions of years ago may be preserved on the present-day lunar surface.’

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan, examining data from that country’s moon-orbiting Kaguya spacecraft, has found evidence of oxygen from Earth’s atmosphere making its way to the surface of the moon for a few days every month, reports

In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers describe what data from the spacecraft revealed.

Take that [credit:]

Take that [credit:]

It seems that there’s always another Moon theory, or variation of an existing one, in the pipeline and here’s one of the newest contenders. Each seems to have its own issues though.

The most widely accepted theory about how the Moon formed has been challenged, with scientists saying a series of large impacts – rather than one giant collision – created our natural satellite, reports the IB Times.

By running numerical simulations, researchers say the Earth being hit by several large planetary bodies would help explain why our planet and the Moon are largely composed of the same material – a problem that has plagued scientists for decades.

The giant impact Moon formation theory was first proposed in the mid-1970s. It says a Mars-sized protoplanet called Theia smashed into Earth around 4.5 billion years ago. The ejected material created a disk of debris, molten rock and gas that eventually condensed to form the Moon.

However, there is a big problem with this theory. If it was correct, the Moon’s composition should be a mix of both Earth and Theia. For this to happen, Theia would have had to be almost identical to Earth in terms of its composition, which is highly unlikely.

Why Phi? – a lunar ratios model

Posted: January 8, 2017 by oldbrew in Cycles, modelling, moon, Phi
Tags: ,
Lunar ratios diagram

Lunar ratios diagram

The idea of this post is to try and show that the lunar apsidal and nodal cycles contain similar frequencies, one with the full moon cycle and the other with the quasi-biennial oscillation.

There are four periods in the diagram, one in each corner of the rectangle. For this model their values will be:

FMC = 411.78443 days
LAC = 3231.5 days
LNC = 6798.38 days
QBO = 866 days (derived from 2 Chandler wobbles @ 433 days each)
The QBO period is an assumption (see Footnote below) but the others can be calculated.

Some stones of Rego Grande, known as the 'Amazon Stonehenge'

Some stones of Rego Grande, known as the ‘Amazon Stonehenge’

As soon as the Mail Online report of this historic site said there were 127 stones, an idea occurred. In the lunar Metonic cycle of ~19 years there are 254 lunar orbits (= sidereal months) of the Earth, which is 127 x 2. If this has already been suggested somewhere, I’m not aware of it!

Wikipedia says: ‘the Metonic cycle…is a period of very close to 19 years that is remarkable for being nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic (lunar) month.’

A megalithic stone circle in Brazil hints that the indigenous people of the Amazon may have been more sophisticated than archaeologists first thought.

Rego Grande, known as the ‘Amazon Stonehenge’ after the famous prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, is located in Amapá state, near the city of Calçoene. Experts say the unusual stone arrangement may have been used as a place of worship as well as for astronomical observations related to crop cycles.


Sidorenkov and the lunar or tidal year

Posted: November 27, 2016 by oldbrew in climate, Cycles, Maths, moon
Tags: ,



This is an attempt to understand via the numbers the concept proposed by Russian researcher Sidorenkov of a lunar year interacting with the terrestrial year to produce an effect of a ‘quasi-35 year’ climate cycle.


The lunisolar tides repeat with a period of 355 days,
which is known as the tidal year. This period is also
manifested as a cycle of repeated eclipses. Meteorological
characteristics (pressure, temperature, cloudiness, etc.)
vary with a period of 355 days. The interference of these
tidal oscillations and the usual annual 365-day oscillations
generates beats in the annual amplitude of meteorological
characteristics with a period of about 35 years (Sidorenkov
and Sumerova, 2012b). The quasi 35-year variations in
cloudiness lead to oscillations of the radiation balance
over terrestrial regions. As a result of these quasi-
35-year beats, the climate, for example, over European
Russia alternates between “continental” with dominant
cold winters and hot summers (such as from 1963 to 1975
and from 1995 to 2014) and “maritime” with frequent
warm winters and cool summers (such as from 1956 to
1962 and from 1976 to 1994)


sun-earth-moonA key point of the new theory is that as the Moon migrated outwards from Earth, its orbit reached a critical distance where the Sun’s gravitational influence overtook that of the Earth, as explains. Needless to say there’s more to it than that.

Earth’s Moon is an unusual object in our solar system, and now there’s a new theory to explain how it got where it is, which puts some twists on the current “giant impact” theory. The work is published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature.

The Moon is relatively big compared to the planet it orbits, and it’s made of almost the same stuff, minus some more volatile compounds that evaporated long ago. That makes it distinct from every other major object in the Solar System, said Sarah Stewart, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Davis and senior author on the paper.

“Every other body in the solar system has different chemistry,” she said.


Brodgar standing stones, Orkney [image credit: BBC]

Brodgar standing stones, Orkney [image credit: BBC]

University of Adelaide research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago. H/T ScienceDaily

The research, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, details the use of innovative 2D and 3D technology to construct quantitative tests of the patterns of alignment of the standing stones.


Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Strictly speaking it’s been 68 years but we get the idea.
For links to videos see the original IB Times report

For the first time in 70 years, the full moon will rise on the day of the summer solstice. The rare astronomical event will occur on Monday (20 June 2016) and will be observed all around the world.

Solstices happen twice a year and correspond to the moment when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point from Earth as it orbits the Sun.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice marks the beginning of summer and is the longest day of the year, because it has the longest period of daylight. [Well, yes.]


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Cornell/SSI

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Cornell/SSI

The text below is the caption to the graphics shown here, taken from a new report. It gives some interesting insights into the physics of moons and sets some new puzzles for theorists.

This set of images from NASA’s Cassini mission shows how the gravitational pull of Saturn affects the amount of spray coming from jets at the active moon Enceladus. Enceladus has the most spray when it is farthest away from Saturn in its orbit (inset image on the left) and the least spray when it is closest to Saturn (inset image on the right).


Earth from the Moon [image credit: NASA]

Earth from the Moon [image credit: NASA]

ScienceDaily points to new research saying ‘We suggest the Moon as a necessary ingredient to sustain the Earth’s magnetic field’.

They believe ‘The Earth continuously receives 3,700 billion watts of power through the transfer of the gravitational and rotational energy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system’.

The Earth’s magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun.


Why Phi? – lunar eclipses at Stonehenge

Posted: February 19, 2016 by oldbrew in Celestial Mechanics, Cycles, moon, Phi
Tags: ,

Bluestone Horseshoe at Stonehenge - 19 Stones

Bluestone Horseshoe at Stonehenge – 19 Stones

Stonehenge Visitors Guide – under ‘Eclipse Cycles’ – says:

‘Now, it’s widely accepted that Stonehenge was used to predict eclipses. The inner “horseshoe” of 19 stones at the very heart of Stonehenge actually acted as a long-term calculator that could predict lunar eclipses. By moving one of Stonehenge’s markers along the 30 markers of the outer circle, it’s discovered that the cycle of the moon can be predicted. Moving this marker one lunar month at a time – as opposed to one lunar day the others were moved – made it possible for them to mark when a lunar eclipse was going to occur in the typical 47-month lunar eclipse cycle. The marker would go around the circle 38 times [2 x 19] and halfway through its next circle, on the 47th full moon, a lunar eclipse would occur.’


The Moon in front of Earth [credit: NASA]

The Moon in front of Earth [credit: NASA]

Talkshop regular Ian Wilson features this story in his own latest blog post at Astro-Climate-Connection:

Many scientists deny that factors external to the Earth can have a significant impact upon the Earth’s climate yet there is considerable evidence that this indeed the case. Their instincts tell them that they must always look for internal factors, and internal factors alone, to explain the Earth’s climate systems. Most will admit that Moon might have some influence upon the Earth’s climate through the dissipation of its tidal forces in the Earth’s oceans but beyond that they have little time for thinking outside the box.

It is now emerging that those who reject the idea that factors external to the Earth can have a significant influence upon the Earth’s climate are increasingly at odds with the evidence.


Saturn's moon Titan [image credit: NASA - Cassini]

Saturn’s moon Titan
[image credit: NASA – Cassini]

Clues here in Earth-like atmospheric behaviours of planetary bodies, as reported by Saturn Daily. This despite the fact that Titan orbits Saturn rather than the Sun.

Scientists at UCL have observed how a widespread polar wind is driving gas from the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The team analysed data gathered over seven years by the international Cassini probe, and found that the interactions between Titan’s atmosphere, and the solar magnetic field and radiation, create a wind of hydrocarbons and nitriles being blown away from its polar regions into space. This is very similar to the wind observed coming from the Earth’s polar regions. [bold added]


This repost of Ian Wilson’s Jan 1st article at his Astro-Climate-Connection blog continues development of his hypothesis that the Moon triggers El Nino events. This is relevant as we are currently on the cusp of El Nino, which may develop as the year goes on. Ian predicted El Nino for later this year in a comment here last year, based on his investigations.

The El Niños during New Moon Epoch 5 – 1963 to 1994
Jan 1st 2015 : Ian Wilson PhD

A detailed investigation of the precise alignments between the lunar synodic [lunar phase] cycle and the 31/62 year Perigee-Syzygy cycle between 1865 and 2014 shows that it naturally breaks up into six 31 year epochs each of which has a distinctly different tidal property. The second 31 year interval starts with the precise alignment on the 15th of April 1870 with the subsequent epoch boundaries occurring every 31 years after that:

Epoch 1 – Prior to 15th April  1870
Epoch 2 – 15th April 1870 to 18th April 1901
Epoch 3 – 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
Epoch 4 – 20th April 1932 to 23rd April 1963
Epoch 5 – 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994
Epoch 6 – 25th April 1994 to 27th April 2025
The hypothesis that the 31/62 year seasonal tidal cycle plays a significant role in sequencing the triggering of El Niño events leads one to reasonably expect that tidal effects for the following three epochs:
New Moon Epoch:
Epoch 1 – Prior to 15th April  1870
Epoch 3 – 8th April 1901 to 20th April 1932
Epoch 5 – 23rd April 1963 to 25th April 1994

Reblogged from Ishtar’s Gate, a blog covering diverse subjects relating to antiquity, myth, culture, legend and ancient arts. Although the idea that the Aubrey holes around the outside of the stone complex have an astronomical observation and eclipse prediction purpose has been dismissed because later cremations were found in them, their number, spacing and mathematical relationship to the station stones indicates otherwise. Ishtar’s introduction follows:

This is from the book of the same title by the highly regarded Robin Heath, and it is a deeply researched and expert interpretation of the sacred geometrical azimuths and alignments of Stonehenge.

It is well established that the axis of Stonehenge aligns approximately to the midsummer rising sun azimuth. In addition, the station stone rectangle is constructed perpendicular to the axis and has a ratio of 5:12. In Megalithic yards, this is 40:96, i.e. the units of the rectangle’s ratio are expressed in 8 MY ‘quanta’.



Two long-term models of lunar cycles

Posted: January 6, 2015 by oldbrew in Celestial Mechanics, moon
Lunar chart 1

Lunar chart 1

The idea here is to link up different lunar periods in a schematic intended to show how they integrate into a ‘bigger picture’, for lack of a better phrase.

This chart of selected lunar data is based on the numbers from this blog post comment:

The top line of the chart contains original data. The rest shows the differences between the original figures (e.g. 2079 – 1973 = 106) in a structured format. By using periods where there’s a good match with whole numbers, the patterns of the relationships can perhaps more readily be identified in diagrammatic form.


What is a Saros? Quoting Wikipedia:
‘One saros period after an eclipse, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to approximately the same relative geometry, a near straight line, and a nearly identical eclipse will occur’

‘It takes between 1226 and 1550 years for the members of a saros series to traverse the Earth’s surface from north to south (or vice-versa)’

Only a few lines to go … (more…)

venus-transit-2012Congratulations to Astrophysicist Ian Wilson who has had a new paper published at Pattern Recognition in Physics:
Discussion of this paper is going to be in the form of a workshop with specific objectives, and comments will be strictly moderated for relevance. The objectives will be announced by the main participants, Ian Wilson and Paul Vaughan, in their opening comments. Basically, unless you have something to contribute to the mathematical exposition, please sit this one out and watch.

This new peer-reviewed paper is available for (free) download at: . This post reproduces the one at Ian’s blog.


The Secret Astronomer’s Other Ball
Tim Cullen April 2012

There are a series of celebrations and jamborees scheduled for the 5th and 6 June 2012 to commemorate a last in your lifetime event, lasting 6 hours and 40 minutes[1], called the Transit of Venus 2012[2].

For the children born after 8th June 2004[3] this is a once in a lifetime event because the next cyclical pair[4] of transits are scheduled for the 2117 and 2125, while the previous pair occurred during the Victorian age in 1874 and 1882.

Image Credit: NASA[5]