View Full Version : Astronomical Observations - Part 2

Horus Apollo
August 15th 03, 06:15 AM

Continued from part 1...

Open your favorite astronomy program. As always, I use
Astrolog, so all examples given refer to JPL ephemeris
DE-406 with Abramov's expanded version of fixstars.ast
provided by S. Moshier using the Astronomical Almanach.

All data is accurate to within several milliarcseconds,
which is vastly better accuracy than the plus or minus
half a degree or thirty arcminutes we can achieve with
an extended pinky finger at arm's length measuring one
arcdegree...twice the apparent diameter of a full Moon.
Three closed middle fingers spans five degrees, or the
whole hand equals about ten degrees. You can calibrate
simple hand measurements by memorizing bright "marking"
stars near the ecliptic by their approximate longitude
on the caelestial zodiac. The constellations and their
associated myths help us to easily locate and identify
stars as we become familiar with their appearances and
their order in the sky. This is where Carte du Ciel or
SkyMap comes in handy, since they depict the stars and
planets graphically, and include millions more objects
and dozens of unabridged catalogues for the astronomer.

However, only Astrolog can chart the marking stars and
planets by their zodiacal, constellational coordinates
as used by ancient stargazers for tracking the planets.
The complete list of almost 1000 stars is posted on my
website, but here's an abbreviated list for convenient
reference with the values rounded off to whole degrees
and favoring brighter stars in the northern hemisphere.
Remember the goal is not to memorize every star but is
to estimate a planet's position at its heliacal rising,
setting, opposition and other repeating synodic phases
against the fixed background of this caelestial sphere:

Name Longit. Lat. Bayer
Al Pherg : 2 Ari + 5 etPsc
Sheratan : 9 Ari + 8 beAri
Caph : 10 Ari +51 beCas
Hamal : 13 Ari +10 alAri
Shedir : 13 Ari +47 alCas
Cih : 19 Ari +49 gaCas
Ruchbah : 23 Ari +46 deCas
Segin : 0 Tau +48 epCas
Algol : 1 Tau +22 bePer
Alcyone : 5 Tau + 4 etTau
Mirphak : 7 Tau +30 alPer
Aldebaran : 15 Tau - 5 alTau
Rigel : 22 Tau -31 beOri
Bellatrix : 26 Tau -17 gaOri
Capella : 27 Tau +23 alAur
Mintaka : 28 Tau -23 deOri
Alnilam : 29 Tau -25 epOri
Alnitak : 0 Gem -25 zeOri
Saiph : 2 Gem -33 kaOri
Polaris : 4 Gem +66 alUMi
Betelgeuse: 4 Gem -16 alOri
Menkalinan: 5 Gem +21 beAur
Alhena : 14 Gem - 7 gaGem
Sirius : 19 Gem -40 alCMa
Castor : 25 Gem +10 alGem
Pollux : 28 Gem + 7 beGem
Procyon : 1 Can -16 alCMi
Asellus Au: 14 Can + 0 deCnc
Kochab : 19 Can +73 beUMi
Dubhe : 20 Can +50 alUMa
Subra : 29 Can - 4 omiLeo
Alphard : 2 Leo -22 alHya
Algieba : 5 Leo + 9 ga1Leo
Regulus : 5 Leo + 0 alLeo
Thuban : 13 Leo +66 alDra
Dhur : 17 Leo +14 deLeo
Denebola : 27 Leo +12 beLeo
Vindemiatr: 15 Vir +16 epVir
Spica : 29 Vir - 2 alVir
Arcturus : 29 Vir +31 alBoo
Menkent : 18 Lib -22 thCen
Zubenelgen: 20 Lib + 0 al2Lib
Dschubba : 8 Sco - 2 deSco
Antares : 15 Sco - 5 alSco
Rastaban : 17 Sco +75 beDra
: 21 Sco -12 epSco
Sabik : 23 Sco + 7 etOph
Rasalhague: 28 Sco +36 alOph
Sargas : 1 Sag -20 thSco
Gal.Center: 2 Sag - 6 SgrA*
Eltanin : 3 Sag +75 gaDra
Sacred Tre: 5 Sag + 0 -----
Solar Apex: 7 Sag +53 HerA*
Kaus Austr: 10 Sag -11 epSgr
Nunki : 18 Sag - 3 siSgr
Vega : 21 Sag +62 alLyr
Altair : 7 Cap +29 alAql
Dabih : 9 Cap + 5 beCap
Sadr : 0 Aqu +57 gaCyg
Enif : 7 Aqu +22 epPeg
Fomalhaut : 9 Aqu -21 alPsA
Deneb : 11 Aqu +60 alCyg
Markab : 29 Aqu +19 alPeg
Scheat : 5 Pis +31 bePeg
Algenib : 14 Pis +13 gaPeg
Alpheratz : 20 Pis +26 alAnd

Since we're beginning with Saturn, set restrictions in
Astrolog to restrict all then uncheck only the Sun and
Saturn. Set the date & time to December 31, 2003 12 UT,
and you'll see Saturn at opposition in 15 Gemini. This
is just one "pinky finger" in longitude from Alhena at
14 Gemini. With the Sun in 15 Sagittarius, then Saturn
will be at southing about midnight LAT January 1, 2004.
- From this we can estimate Saturn's next opposition, by
adding 378 days, which is January 13, 2005. But Saturn
is a little slow in getting there, reaching opposition
the next day January 14, in 29 Gemini. The oppositions,
which we'll skip for Jupiter and Mars, prove to us the
planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are orbiting the Sun
beyond Earth's orbit, and these orbits are predictable,
especially over long-term observations. As with Saturn,
by adding 3781 days to its synodic phase, we arrive at
Saturn's tenth opposition counting from January 1 2004,
which is May 9, 2014, again missing exactitude by only
one or two days, due to Saturn's moderate eccentricity
and about 2.5 degrees inclination to the ecliptic. For
long-term predictions, the ancient Babylonians noticed
that 9 sidereal orbits of Saturn coincided with around
256 synodic periods and 265 tropical years speaking in
round numbers. Add 265 years to January 1, 2004 and we
have January 1, 2269. Sure enough, there's Saturn near
opposition in 14 Gemini directly above Alhena and just
two days from true opposition January 3, 2269, showing
that the Babylonians knew what they were talking about
two thousand years before Christ. It's no mystery, but
is readily observable, predictable and reproducible in
the laboratory of the night sky, like heliacal risings.

The predawn risings of stars and planets have been the
carefully watched and predicted since men could mark a
cave wall with a piece of coal, blood or whatever else
has handy. Primitive stone observatories emerged which
had much greater longevity, and showed the teamwork of
prehistoric stargazers, and the importance they placed
on the ephemeris of the Sun, Moon & Stars to the Earth.

Naturally, the Sun is the single most important object
visible in the Earth's sky. Man has watched the Sun as
it rises and sets every day since humankind has walked
the Earth. All life forms follow the diurnal circadian
rhythm of Earth's daily rotation in one way or another.
Hence the Sun formed the fundamental basis of tracking
time from the beginning of every civilization that has
come and gone, from primitive tribes of early hominids
to more advanced human cultures, most of which are too
distant in the past for their records to have survived.
More recently, the Egyptians, Babylonians, Mayans, and
others around the post-deluvian world are close enough
in time for many their records to be extant, mostly in
bits and pieces, some fairly intact, like the pyramids.

In mans present time, secular-religious archaeologists
prefer to believe that civilization is basically under
7000 years old worldwide, due to their historical ties
to the Roman church, and continued use of the language
in their laws and their sciences. This is not to blame
the ancient translation of the bible, the Vulgate, but
has been the politics of religion, as men serve mammon.
After all the bible predicted this would happen, so it
isn't surprising that the schism of religious-apostasy
should continue to rule the minds of men. Yet the Moon
& Stars have continued to illuminate the night sky for
geological aeons and shall continue to do so for aeons.

So it is that Saturn has been rising and setting helia-
cally in very predictable intervals and shall continue
to do so for many long ages to come. Since the initial
date and time for observation of Saturn before sunrise
will vary, we know the Sun needs to be some 18 degrees
below the horizon to ensure visibility of any brighter
star or planet from moderate latitude any time of year,
weather permitting. But in fixed locations, i.e. where
ancient and antediluvian population centers flourished,
the heliacal risings of stars and planets were readily
estimated to within a few days time and by the seasons
of the year, tied directly to planting, harvesting and
every single aspect of their lives, thus astrology was
the natural result of watching and predicting when the
stars and planets would rise and set, by knowing where
the planets are day and night. This knowledge was made
by simple observation, counting days, months and years
between cycles and phases. When Saturn rose heliacally,
it was always about 378 days give or take a day or two
since the last time it was observed to rise heliacally.

With each consecutive heliacal rising of Saturn, fixed
stars in the background showed that Saturn moves about
13 degrees in keeping with the Sun's progress relative
to the stars some 13 days later each year--again, give
or take a day or two, talking about long-term averages
rounded off to integer days since the whole premise is
to show that ancient stargazers could and did see that
the planets clearly orbit the Sun, and that they could
readily observe and recognize the sidereal and synodic
orbits by watching the heliacal risings of planets and
stars. The accuracy of the ancient ephemeris increased
commensurate with continued calibration by observation
of heliacal phenomena over the centuries and millennia
of that civilization from its rise until its fall. The
quality of long-lost very ancient ephemeredes is known
by mans inherent ability as a man to see the night sky
and to notice patterns and repetition in nature. These
are perfectly natural talents that all people are born
with--at least most people are. Once again, this comes
down to how much credit we give prehistoric man. There
are anthropologists who have recognized that early man
was smarter than modern day, secular-religious science
had theretofore acknowledged. Likewise the recognition
that at least semi-intelligent hominids have been here
many millions of years earlier than the orthodoxy used
to believe albeit some still cling to their hopelessly
obsolete superstitions about the antiquity of man, etc,
it is clear that man and man-like sentient beings have
roamed the Earth for aeons. One might reasonably argue
that dolphins or whales are smart enough to notice the
planets and stars rising and setting, and to count the
days and years of these events. Elephants are known to
remember things very well. At a minimum, we can safely
say that early man was intelligent enough to count the
days, months or years of observable heliacal phenomena
and we see that such observable events are predictable,
simply counting these events by days, months and years.
__________________________________________________ ____

I think this is what makes modern astronomers angry at
those of us who have realized that planetary motion is
not nearly as mysterious as they'd like you to believe.
__________________________________________________ ____

The Egyptians, Babylonians and Mayans showed admirable
levels of sophistication in their astronomical records
and their ability to predict very long-term periodical
events, the great year of precession being among these,
since the Earth's axis of rotation visibly gyrates one
degree against the fixed stars about every 26000 solar
days, which is about 71 tropical years, two months and
nine days, therearound. This is according to the Mayan
astronomers, whose astronomical skills were comparable
to those of the Babylonians. Both left records proving
that they could see the night sky, and that they could
accurately count and predict periodic planetary orbits
against the starry background of the caelestial sphere.

As in this case, we *see* Saturn observably progresses
about twelve degrees every year against the stars seen
from Earth. Every twenty-nine and a half years, Saturn
goes full circle against the stars, and over centuries
of observation we see that Saturn circles the Sun nine
times every two hundred sixty-five years--meaning that
Saturn advances closer to twelve and a quarter degrees
longitude per year thereby making short-term estimates
of Saturn's motion a little more accurate and reliable
than our round number of twelve degrees per year. Thus
we may safely predict that Saturn will have moved east
by closer to forty-nine degrees every four years, plus
our ephemeris for Saturn has improved significantly by
repeated observation and simple mathematical deduction.

We'll notice Saturn's thirteen degree advance at times
of entering or leaving retrograde motion and that this
retrograde lasts for about one hundred thirty-eight or
so days centered on inferior conjunction or opposition
to the Sun. Every three hundred seventy-eight days, we
see these motions repeat, when Saturn appears to stand
still in the sky then begin to move backwards for some
four and a half months before standing still again and
returning to normal motion. Every time we see it again,
about 378 days have passed and Saturn is approximately
13 sidereal degrees from where it was last time around.

Carte du Ciel is especially useful for animating these
apparent synodic motions against the background of the
stars, since you can fine-tune increments down to days,
hours and minutes, and mark the locations with "finder
circles" to readily observe a planet's motion relative
to the stars & constellation figures, and to the other
planets. Although the accuracy of the ephemeris is not
very reliable beyond plus or minus four thousand years,
especially for the Moon, you can view distant dates to
circa 20,000 years BC / AD. While tropical seasons can
be way off the mark the apparent motion of a planet to
the stars may not be far off the mark for say, 9000 BC.
You just won't know the season, or the Moon's position
at such a distant date, but other planets are probably
within a couple of degrees of where they actually were.

Not that this matters much, since you are simply using
the present-day ephemeris to view synodic and sidereal
motion of the planets that are visible and predictable.
For example, most of us'll probably be up and about at
midnight January 1, 2004. If your skies are clear, you
should remember to walk outside for a moment and check
out Saturn in 15 Gemini--just above and east of Alhena,
and right below Mebsuta which marks sidereal 15 Gemini
just 2 degrees above the ecliptic. Your extended thumb
at arm's length spans about two arcdegrees thus you'll
see that Saturn is maybe a pinky fingernail's width or
so (about 2/3's of a degree) below the ecliptic at the
time of observation. Since Asellus Australis (see list
above) marks 14 Cancer right on the ecliptic (actually
+0:04'38" but round degrees are all a stargazer needs),
and bright Regulus at 5 Leo is less than half a degree
above the ecliptic, you can quickly visualize the line,
rather the arc of the ecliptic across the sky. Jupiter
at 24 Leo and about a degree above the ecliptic should
be visible in the eastern sky. Sirius at 19 Gem and 40
degrees below the ecliptic will be hard to miss in the
southern sky (unless you live north of Barrow, Alaska).
If you live in the southern US or similar latitude you
might spot bright Canopus at 20 Gem -76 degrees barely
above the south horizon. Orion should be in clear view
below right of Saturn. See if you can spot Al-debaranu,
the prime fiducial of the caelestial zodiac at 15Tau00
and 5 degrees below the ecliptic. As you see, when you
look at a planet in the night sky the background stars
help you to locate the planet's longitude and latitude,
hence confirming previous predictions, and calibrating
future predictions. In ancient times this was done for
centuries & millennia. Let's look at Saturn heliacally.

Just to be on the safe side, we'll put 30 degrees past
Saturn for the predawn Sun. That ought to make it easy
to spot Saturn before sunrise, whether you're watching
from the old, royal Greenwich observatory at 25 meters
above sea level & 00E00:00 longitude 51N28:38 latitude,
or viewing atop the Great Pyramid at 31E09:00 29N58:51,
or from the Sun Pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico ~19:44N
98:50W or from the site of ancient Babylon 44E24 32N33.

Use your own default observation location, set up your
favorite astronomy program to watch the sky from there.
I'm using my own location here in central Colorado USA.
Saturn is plainly visible at heliacal rising August 14,
2004 after about 3:30 AM MST. For continuity, I've set
Astrolog to 12 PM August 14 2004 or Julian Day 2453232,
with Saturn 27 Gemini and the Sun 27 Cancer. We'll add
the 378 days for Saturn's synodic period, to August 27,
2005, with Saturn 10 Can and Sun 9 Leo. Like before we
are just a day short, so on August 28, 2005, Saturn is
rising about 3:50 AM, and it is apparent that Saturn's
some 13 degrees further along in the caelestial zodiac
than it was back on August 14 2004. Add twice 378 days,
which is 756 days, and we have September 9, 2006 which
is about two days shy of Saturn 30 sidereal degrees to
the Sun, thus September 11 2006 finds Saturn rising at
4 AM. Let's jump ten times 378, which we know from our
previous observations is closer to 3781 than 3780. The
date is December 21, 2014. Low and behold, Saturn's at
5 Scorpio and the Sun is 5 Sagittarius, right where we
expected it to be. Remember, Saturn was at 27 Gem back
on August 14, 2004 with the Sun 27 Can. Now, ten times
Saturn is heliacally risen we see that Saturn is 5 Sco
and the Sun 5 Sag. That's near 128 degrees that Saturn
has progressed in ten synodic periods or ten times our
round figure of 13 degrees. Again, as observations are
made over longer and longer periods of time, ephemeris
calibration and improvements are the inevitable result.
By the way, Saturn rises near 6 AM on December 21 2014.

These long-term observations of the heliacal phenomena
inevitably reveal the limits as to how far the planets
can appear to stray from Earth's ecliptic with the Sun,
revealing each planet's orbital inclination to Earth's,
and also revealing other obvious limits, such as Venus
and Mercury display their orbital eccentricity when at
maximum elongation, Venus very little, Mercury a whole
lot more. This plainly shows the observer that Venus &
Mercury are closer in heliocentric orbit than Earth is,
and of course the paths of Mars, Jupiter & Saturn show
that they are further away from the Sun in their helio-
centric orbits than Earth is. We'll cover more on this
in later parts. Jupiter is next on the list of planets.

End Part 2. See Part 3 For Continuation...
Daniel Joseph Min

*Min's Planetary Awareness Technique (chapters 1 thru 6):

*Min's Official PGP Public Key on the MIT server:

*Min's Home Page On The World Wide Web:


Thomas McDonald
August 15th 03, 06:22 AM
"Horus Apollo" > wrote in message
> Continued from part 1...
> Open your

...veins, or read MiniMin's baseless drivel. Your choice. The effect
is startlingly similar.

Tom McDonald

Merry Christmas
August 25th 03, 06:15 AM
why is this asshole here - to plague the world?

Thomas McDonald wrote:

> "Horus Apollo" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > Continued from part 1...
> >
> > Open your
> ...veins, or read MiniMin's baseless drivel. Your choice. The effect
> is startlingly similar.
> Tom McDonald