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1AJOUA. CALIFORNIA
92093

Exploration
of the •

Universe fourth edition

George O. ^bell
University of California, los angeles

SAUNDERS GOLDEN SUNBURST SERIES
SAUNDERS COLLEGE PUBLISHING
Philadelphia New York Chicago
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Address orders to:

383 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
10017

Address editorial correspondence to:

West Washington Square
Philadelphia, PA 19105

This book was set in Plantin and Serif Gothic by The Clarinda Company.
The editors were John Vondeling, Lloyd Black, Janis Moore, and Michael Fare.
The art and design director was Richard L. Moore.
The text design was done by Nancy E.J. Grossman.
The cover design was done by Richard L. Moore.
The artwork was drawn by Vantage Art, Inc.
The production manager was Tom O'Connor.
The printer was R. R. Donnelley and Sons.

Front cover: NGC 5128, a peculiar galaxy that is a strong radio emitter. (Color composite by R. J.
Dufour of Rice University, from three photographs taken with the 4-m telescope at the Cerro
Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Copyright © 1980 by R. J. Dufour, Rice University.)
Half-title page: Saturn, observed by Voyager 1 four days after passing the planet. (NASA/JPL)
Frontispiece: The Trifid nebula in Sagittarius. The blue region on the left is starlight reflected by
interstellar dust, and the red region on the right is light emitted by ionized gas. (Kin
Peak National Observatory)
Back cover: The open cluster M16 and associated nebulosity in Serpens. (Palomar
Observatory /California Institute of Technology)

EXPLORATION OF THE UNIVERSE (4/e) ISBN 0-03-058502-3

©1982 by CBS College Publishing. Copyright 1964, 1969, 1975 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Copyright
under the International Copyright Union. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress catalog card number 81-53078.

1234 039 987654321

CBS COLLEGE PUBLISHING
Saunders College Publishing
Holt, Rinehart and Winston
The Drvden Press

PREFACE

These have been exciting times for science in general and for astronomy in particu-

lar. We have learned about the continents of Venus by probing her dense atmosphere
with radar. We think we have discovered the dying glow of the primeval fireball that
began the expansion of the universe. We have identified gravitational lenses in space,
and we think we may have found black holes. Especially thrilling have been the discov-
eries from our exploration of the solar system with our space program: dry rivers on
Mars, belching volcanoes on Jupiter's satellite Io, and rings around Jupiter. We have
when viewed with terrestrial tele-
seen that the rings of Saturn, so smooth-appearing
made up of at least hundreds of thousands of ringlets. We have
scopes, are actually
mapped more than a dozen new worlds, each comparable to our own moon worlds in —
orbits about the giant planets of the solar system. At this writing, our Voyager 2
spacecraft is en route to an encounter with Uranus in 1986.
I am grieved that the U.S. program for the exploration of the solar system is being
phased out, with that activity being hope this setback is
left to scientists of other lands. I

temporary. But I am pleased that interest in the new frontiers of astronomy has not
waned. On the contrary, our classes in astronomy are more crowded than ever. Students
are becoming more sophisticated and more fervent in their desire to understand as
much as they can of what we have learned about the cosmos. People seem, somehow, to
be aware of what astronomy can offer to the human perspective. What they are not aware
of, though, is the method of science —
of the exacting procedure and rigid rules of the
scientific method. It is here that a gap in communications exists between scientists and
nonscientists.
That communications gap becomes especially obvious when we note that many
people, thirsty for knowledge about the new frontiers, have turned to all manner of
unreliable sources for their information. We scientists, in my opinion, have an obliga-
tion to the public to increase our efforts in presenting an honest view of our science. The
universe wondrous place, and it is, I think, the purpose of a liberal arts science
is a
course to open the window to those wonders. We should show not only how the universe
is, but also how, by simple rational processes, we can probe its mysteries. The great

value of science is its approach to understanding nature.
That is what Exploration of the Universe is about. Of course, it is a textbook in
astronomy — specifically for a rather comprehensive course in astronomy for the liberal
arts student. But if the reader finds the book to be only an astronomy text, rather than an
introduction to the rational exploration of nature, I have failed to convey a large part of
my message.
I realize that Exploration can be a rather large dose for a first course in some schools
for the nonscience student, and especially so for one taking less than a full-year course;
that is why there is also a brief version, Realm of the Universe (Saunders College
Publishing, 1980). An even more "basic" book is on the drawing board. Still, I have

tried, as in the three previous editions of Exploration, to be as comprehensive as I could,
not just for the occasional science student who may find the book a useful reference, but
for the lay nonspecialist — like my father and grandmother, both of whom were
interested in the world about them, and to whom new questions always arose amid the
answers to old ones. But book is used for a one-semester or one-quarter course,
if this

the instructor will probably want to make many sections optional. Certainly, these will
include those sections in special type (set off by double horizontal lines). Probably also,
in a short course, the instructor will want to make optional major parts or all of Chapters

iii

iv Preface

6, 9, 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 26, 30, and 35; of course, individual preferences will vary.
However, I urge against too thorough a coverage of the earlier material at the expense of
not reaching the grand messages of the final chapters.
This fourth edition of Exploration of the Universe is a complete revision. Much out-
and much new material has been added. All chapters
of-date material has been deleted,
have been updated, and Chapters 1, 2, 11, 12, 17 through 19, 28, 29, and 31 through 39
either are new or have been substantially rewritten. Of course, new illustrations,
especially those from our spacecraft, have been added. As with previous editions, I have
avoided mathematics beyond the simplest algebra throughout the text. This applies to

the exercises as well, although most will take some original thought, in that their
solutions cannot be found by thumbing back through the chapters. (The more challeng-
ing exercises are marked with a star.) Also, as before, I have tried to stress that
astronomy is a very human endeavor and have related it to those men and women who
created our science. Finally, because of my concern over the widespread confusion
between science and pseudoscience, I have addressed several popular fads.
Many people have reviewed parts of this book and have offered valuable sugges-
tions. They include L. H. Aller, R. L. Bishop, A. D. Fiala, T. Gehrels, O. Gingerich,
C. H. Jerred, M. Jura, W. M. Kaula, W. J. Luyten, D. M. McCarthy, D. Mihalas,
J. D. Morrison, P. J. E. Peebles, D. M. Popper, W. M. Sinton, R. Ulrich,
S. Miller,
and J. Wasson. Special thanks are due Mr. Bradley Wood, our electronics genius at
UCLA, who assisted greatly in the preparation of the material on new detectors in
Chapter 11. Also, I continue to thank three old and dear friends whose help and
encouragement in the preparation of the first edition of this book have continued to be
felt strongly even in this edition. They are Dan Popper, Emeritus Professor of Astron-

omy at UCLA; Paul Routly, now at the U.S. Naval Observatory; and the late Paul
Wylie, whom I replaced at the time of his retirement from UCLA and who encouraged
me to write an astronomy text in the first place.

Obviously, none of the reviewers has seen the final version of the manuscript.
Although I have tried to incorporate their suggestions, I have probably goofed here and
there. There are surely typos and trivial mistakes, some of which have been faithfully
reproduced through the three previous editions! Many good friends, known and un-
known, have written me, calling my attention to such slips in the past. I greatly
appreciate their thoughtfulness and will continue to be grateful to all of you — students,
professors, and others — who let me know of mistakes in this book, so that they can be
corrected in future printings.
I also want to express appreciation for the great assistance I have received from my
editors at Saunders, especially Lloyd Black and Janis Moore. Finally, I thank my dear
wife, Phyllis, who has joined me in the production of the book by reading, correcting,
pasting, criticizing, and in general trying to make it more meaningful to you all. If it
works, it is largely her doing; if not, it is because I didn't listen to her enough. Mainly,
though, I hope you enjoy Exploration and gain from it new insight and a new perspec-
tive of the universe.

G. O. Abell
Encino, California
December 1981

1
11 1 5

CONTENTS

1 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE 7 EARTH AND SKY THE CELESTIAL
CLOCKWORK 100
1.1 The Unify of Structure 1

1.2 The Unity of Behavior 3 7.1 Rotation of the Earth 100
1.3 The Universe 4 7. 2 Relation of Earth and Sky 1 03
1.4 The Scale of the Universe 7. 3 The Revolution of the Earth 1 09

1.5 The Nature of Science 9 7.4 The Seasons 110
7. 5 The Many Motions of the Earth 1 1

2 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND
SCIENCE 12 8 TIME AND DATE 117

2.1 Earliest Astronomers 12 8.1 Time of Day 117
2.2 Early Greek Astronomy 13 8.2 Time Standards 124
2.3 Later Greek Astonomy 18 8.3 The Dare of the Year 127
2.4 Astrology 26

THE MOON IN THE SKY: ASPECTS AND
ECLIPSES 133
THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE
COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL 9.1 Aspects of the Moon 1 33
PRINCIPLE 31 9.2 The Moon's Size and Distance from Eorth 139
9.3 The True Orbit of the Moon 1 40
3. Copernicus 31
9.4 Shadows and Eclipses 142
3.2 TychoDrahe 35
9.5 Eclipses of the Sun 144
3.3 Kepler 37
9.6 Eclipses of the Moon 150
3.4 Galileo 42
9.7 Ecliptic Limits 153
9.8 Recurrence of Eclipses 156
9.9 Phenomena Related to Eclipses 158
4 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE 49
4. Newton's Principles of Mechanics 49
4.2 Acceleration in a Circulat Orbit 56 10 ENERGY FROM SPACE: THE ELECTROMAGNETIC
4.3 Universal Gravitation 58 SPECTRUM 161

10.1 Electromagnetic Radiation 162
10.2 Heat and Radiation 167
5 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM 65 10.3 The Quantization of Light; Photons 170
10.4 Lows of Geomettical Optics 171
5. Center of Mass 65 10.5 Spectroscopy in Astronomy 175
5.2 Orbital Motion Explained 66 10.6 Absorption and Emission of Light
5. 3 Newton's Derivation of Kepler's Laws 68 by Atoms 178
5. 4 Energy of a Two-Body System — 10.7 Cosmic Rays 186
The Vis Vivo Equation 72
5.5 Mosses of Planets and Stars 72
5.6 Orbits of Planets 73
5.7 Artificial Satellites 74 11 OPTICAL ASTRONOMY 192
5.8 Interplanetary Probes 77 11.1 Optical Instruments 193
11.2 Optical Observations 205
11.3 Advances in Detectors 212
6 THE n-BODY PROBLEM 81
6. 1 The n-Body Problem —
Perturbation Theory 81
1 2 NEW WINDOWS: FROM RADIO WAVES TO
6. 2 The Gravitational Effects of Nonsphetical
Bodies 83
X-AND GAMMA RAYS 220
6.3 Differential Gravitational Forces 86 12.1 The Radio Window 22
6.4 Tides 88 12.2 Infrared Astronomy 231
6. 5 Ptecession 95 1 2. 3 The Shortwave Window 232

2

vi Conrenrs

13 SPECIAL RELATIVITY: A CONFLICT DROUGHT 20.2 Discovery 364
TO LIGHT 240 20.3 Orbits of Comers 365
20.4 Physical Nature of Comets 367
13.1 The Speed of Light 240
20.5 Origin of Comers 372
13.2 The Principle of Relativity 243
20.6 Collisions of the Earth and Comets 374
1 3. 3 The Special Theory of Relativity 248
13.4 Conclusion 256

21 METEOROIDS, METEORITES, AND
14 THE SOLAR SYSTEM: ITS STRUCTURE AND METEORS 376
ORIGIN 258
21.1 Phenomenon of a Meteor 376
1 4. 1 Inventory of the Solar System 258 21.2 Orbits of Sporadic Mereoroids 378
1 4. 2 The Planets 263 21.3 Meteor Showers 380
1 4. 3 Origin of the Solar System 270 21.4 Formation of a Meteor 383
21.5 Fallen Meteorites 383
21.6 Meteorite Falls 386
15 THE EARTH: ITS CHANGING FACE 275 21.7 Micromereorires 386
1 5. 1 Appearance from Space 275 21.8 The Interplanetary Material 387
15. 2 The Earth's Atmosphere 276
21.9 The Origin of Meteoritic Material 389
15.3 The Earth's Magnetism 278
1 5. 4 The Earth's Interior280
15.5 Plate Tectonics 282 22 SURVEYING THE HEAVENS 391
15.6 The Ice Ages 285 22.1 Triangulation 391
15.7 Origin of Life 285 22. 2 Relative Distancesin the Solar System 393
15.8 Summary 286 22. 3 Determination of the Length of the
Astronomical Unit 394
16 THE MOON: A GIANT STEP 289 22.4 Surveying Distance to Stars 395
22. 5 Other Methods of Measuring
1 6. 1 General Properties of the Moon 289 Stellar Distances 397
1 6. 2 The Surface of the Moon 292
1 6. 3 The Origin of the Moon 298
23 MOTIONS OF STARS 400
17 THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS 302 23.1 Elements of Stellar Morion 400
23. 2 Solar Morion and Peculiar
17.1 Mercury 302 Velociries of Stars 403
17.2 Venus 306 23.3 Distances from Stellar Morions 405
17.3 Mars 315

18 THE JOVIAN PLANETS (AND PLUTO) 326 24 THE LIGHT FROM STARS 409
24.1 Stellar Magnitudes 409
18.1 Jupiter 326
24. 2 The "Real'' Brightnesses of Stars 41
18.2 Saturn 331
24.3 StarsThar Vary in Lighr 414
18.3 Uranus 340
24.4 Colors of Stars 417
18.4 Neptune 343
24. 5 Bolomerric Magnitudes and Luminosities 419
18.5 Pluto 346
18.6 Are There Unknown Planets? 349

25 ANALYZING STARLIGHT 423
19 THE ASTEROIDS 351 25. 1 Classification of Stellar Spectra 423
1 9. 1 Discovery of the Asteroids 351 25.2 Spectrum Analysis and rhe Study
19.2 Orbits of Asteroids 353 of the Stellar Atmospheres 427
1 9. 3 Physical Nature of the Asteroids 356
19.4 Origin and Evolution of Asteroids 359
1 9. 5 Collisions Between Asteroids and rhe 26 DOUBLE STARS: WEIGHING AND
Earth 360 MEASURING THEM 434
26. 1 Determination of the Sun's Mass 434
20 COMETS: NATURE'S SPACE PROBES 362 26.2 Binary Srars 435
26.3 The Mass-Luminosity Relation 445
20.1 Early Investigations 362 26.4 Diameters of Srars 446

Conrenrs vii

27 THE STELLAR POPULATION: A CELESTIAL 34.3 Pulsating Stars 548
CENSUS 450 34.4 Mass Exchange in Binary Stars 553
34.5 White Dwarfs: One Final Stage of
27. The Neoresr and rhe Brightest Stars 450 Evolution 553
27.2 The Herrzsprung-Russell Diagram 452 34.6 Eruptive Stars 554
27. 3 The Distribution of rhe Stars in Space 457 34.7 Stars With Extended Atmospheres 559
34.8 Consequences of Mass Ejection 562
34.9 Pulsars 563
28 BETWEEN THE STARS: GAS AND DUST
34.10 SS 433 566
IN SPACE 460
34.11 Solar Evolution 567
28. Cosmic "Dust" 460
28.2 Interstellar Gas 465
28. 3 Origin of the Interstellar Matter 473 35 GENERAL RELATIVITY: CURVED SPACETIME
AND BLACK HOLES 570
29 THE GALAXY 475 35.1 Principle of Equivalence 570
35.2 Spacetime 574
29. Size of rhe Galaxy, and Our Position In It 475 35.3 Curvature of Spacetime 577
29.2 Revolution of the Sun in the Galaxy 477 35.4 Tests of General Relativity 578
29.3 Spiral Structure of the Galaxy 479 35.5 Gravitational Waves 580
29. 4 The Mass of the Galaxy 485 35.6 Black Holes 582
29.5 Magnetism in the Galaxy 485
29. 6 The Nucleus of the Galaxy 488
36 LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE: ARE WE
30 STAR CLUSTERS 492 ALONE? 588
30. Description of Star Clusters 492 36. Life in the Solar System 588
30. 2 Dynamics of Star Clusters 496 36. 2 the Galaxy
Possibility of Intelligent Life in 589
30. 3 Determination of Distances to Clusters 498 36. 3 Longevity of Civilization on the Earth 593
30.4 Populations of Star Clusters 499

37 GALAXIES 598
31 THE SUN: AN ORDINARY STAR 503
37.1 Galactic or Extragalactic? 598
31.1 Outer Layers of rhe Sun 503 37.2 The Extragalactic Distance Scale 602
31.2 Solar Rotation 507 37. 3 Determination of Gross Properties of
31.3 Phenomena of the Solor Atmosphere 508 Galaxies 605
31.4 Is rhe Sun Variable? 518 37.4 Types of Galaxies 607
31.5 The Solar Wind 518 37. 5 Galaxies as Radio Sources 61
31.6 The Solar Interior; Stellar Structure 519 37. 6 Galaxy Encounters and Collisions 61
37.7 Quasars 618
37.8 Active Galactic Nuclei 624
32 STELLAR ENERGY: THE ATOMIC
NUCLEUS 523
32. Thermal and Gravitational Energy 523 38 THE STRUQURE OF THE UNIVERSE 628
32. 2 The Elementary Particles and Forces 524 38. Hubbies Faint Galaxy Survey 628
32.3 Nuclear Energy 527 38.2 Clustering of Galaxies 629
32.4 Model S^ars " 531 38.3 The Large-Scale Distribution of Matter:
Superclusters 634
38.4 Evolution the Universe
in 637
33 STAR FORMATION AND EVOLUTION 535 38. 5 Invisible Matter in the Universe 638
33. Formation of Stars 535 38.6 Extent of the Observable Universe 639
33.2 Evolution From the Main Sequence
to Giants 539
33.3 Checking Out the Theory 540 39 THE BIG BANG: THAT VANISHED
BRILLIANCE 641

34 EVOLUTION AND DEATHS OF OLD 39.1 The Expanding Universe 641
STARS 546 39.2 Cosmological Models 645
39.3 The Beginning 650
34. Degenerate Matter 546 39.4 The Future of the Universe 655
34.2 The Helium Flash 547 39.5 Conclusion 656

2

viii Conrenrs

APPENDICES 1 Total Solar Eclipses From 1 952 Through
2030 696
1 Bibliography 659 1 3 The Nearest Stars 698
2 Glossary 663 1 4 The Twenty Brightest Stars 699
3 Some Mathematical Notes 686 1 5 Pulsating Variable Stars 700
16 Eruptive Variable Stars 701
4 Metric and English Units 688
1 7 The Local Group of Galaxies 702
5 Temperature Scales 689
18 The Messier Catalogue of Nebulae
6 Some Useful Constants 690
7 Astronomical Coordinate Systems 691 and Star Clusters 703
8 Some Nuclear Reactions of 19 The Chemical Elements 706
Importance in Astronomy 692 20 The Constellations 708
9 Orbital Data for the Planets 693
21 Star Maps 710
1 Physical Data for the Planets 694
11 Satellites of the Planets 695 INDEX 711

John Muir (1828-1914),
Scots-American naturalist, was
largely responsible for the
establishment of Yosemite and
other national parks. He
wrote, "When we try to pick
out anything by itself, we find
it hitched to everything else in
the universe." (Sierra Club)

THE UNITY OF THE
UNIVERSE

The ancients believed in a sort of unity be- 1.1 THE UNITY OF STRUCTURE
tween the heavens and the earth. To be sure, in
classical Greece the earth was thought to be com- We have learned that all matter ismade of the same
posed of base stuff — the four "elements," earth, stuff — the matter of the earth and moon (by direct
water, air, and fire — and the heavens of crystalline analyses of their rocks), of the other planets
material, but the heavens were the realms of the (through analysis by space flybys and landers) (Fig-
gods; the planets were gods in some early cultures. ure 1.1), and of the stars and even the remotest
And the gods, presumably, controlled or influ- galaxies (from studying their spectra). This stuff is

enced human affairs. Earthly events seemed chaotic not the elements earth, water, and fire of an-
air,

and unpredictable, but the Ancients recognized a tiquity, but approximatelyhundred different
a
regularity in the motions in the heavens and quite kinds of atoms that make up the hundred or so nat-
naturally hoped that by understanding the motions urally occurring elements and, in various combina-
of their planet gods, they would better understand tions, the molecules of the billions of kinds of
the individual lots of men and women. They thus chemical compounds.
sought a unity between the earth and heavens Each atom has a nucleus with a positive electri-
through the primitive religion of astrology. Ironi- cal charge, and surrounding it negatively charged
cally, today, in our 20th-century enlightenment, a electrons, carrying a combined charge equal, but
large fraction of all people still believe in that an- opposite in sign, to that of the nucleus. These at-
cient religion. oms are held together, and different atoms are
But there is a real unity, and one far grander bound in molecules, by the electromagnetic forces
and more beautiful than our ancestors could possi- that act between electrically charged particles. The
bly have imagined. That real unity is in the basic electromagnetic force is the second strongest of the
structure of matter everywhere in the universe, and four forces known in nature (Figure 1.2). In its

in the laws of nature — the rules that govern how binding of molecules together in solids, that force
everything works. accounts for the rigidity of steel!

1

by about 100. as its name implies. has a single in radius. and opposite charges attract). on the average. more so than is the solar system. it is while the neutron is. Then why and neutrons. and one external electron. the solar system by a thousand million times. But are bound together by the strong nuclear force. Neutrons themselves are stable in an atomic cleus of an atom (equal to the number of external nucleus. but on the average the electron in usually 2 neutrons. By the number of neutrons in a nucleus is usually volume. The strong equal in magnitude to the negative charge carried force is the strongest of the forces of nature. and uranium has 92.Yet atoms are almost empty space. the proton carries a positive charge force of repulsion between two protons.2 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE M>-*-* > %^ Figure 1. by the electron.1 Surface of Mors phorographed July 24.000 times the size of that nucleus. The earth's dis. far proton in its nucleus. Lithium has 3 protons. nucleus all repel each other (like electrical charges it is composed of still smaller particles called protons repel. but outside the nucleus after about 11 electrons) determines what kind of atom it is and minutes. usually no neutrons (that is. The positively charged protons in an atomic But even the tiny nucleus is not a single entity. atoms are emptier than the inner part of roughly comparable to the number of protons. and each has doesn't the nucleus fly apart? Because its particles a mass of almost 2000 times that of an electron. The number of protons in the nu. electri. for example. oxygen a hydrogen atom is distant from the atomic nucleus has 8. (NA5A/JPL) The sizes of atoms are exceedingly tiny. cally about one hundred-millionth of a centimeter An atom of hydrogen. typi. Except for hydrogen. what kind of element that kind of atom makes up. about 100 times as strong as the electromagnetic cally neutral. They are similar in size. The structure in rhe foreground is parr of rhe Lander irself. its nucleus is a proton). a neutron spontaneously . tance from the sun is about a hundred times the The helium atom has a nucleus with 2 protons and sun's diameter. 1976 by rhe Viking 1 Lander.

— 1 . that all freely falling bodies near the earth's surface pick up speed accelerate — at the same rate) (Figure 1. from the time when the very first stable matter formed in the universe. in various combinations make up all !*-! of the other nuclear particles. that they move in precise elliptical paths about the sun). it was Figure 1. an electron. The quark theory helps us understand many of the properties of the /'?*> atomic nucleus. man has learned to harness it for myriad the sun and the force that makes apples fall with commercial applications. are used to drop Dales of steel cans into a recycling furnace scrap bucket. the gravitational later).2 While Nature binds matter together with the elec. the Italian physicist Gali- leo Galilei.and neutrons. Gravi- particle called an antineutrino (more about these tation is an incredibly weak force. C &-/<. . cerning his investigation of the paths of falling bodies. everywhere. All matter since then has been subjected to the same kinds of forces and has obeyed the same laws. Later in the same century. r- the protons.3 A reproduction of a page of Galileo's notes con- made up of the same things: mainly protons. The force that is involved in the decay of the attractionbetween the proton and electron in a hy- neutron is the weak force. yet it was the first to be discovered. is basically the same. _ ^ i t> - mi. the deeply significant point is that everything. Gravitation is the fourth and weakest force of breaks up into a proton. this third of the known drogen atom is weaker than the electromagnetic at- forces is about a thousand times weaker than the traction between their opposite (plus and minus) electromagnetic force. Isaac New- ton showed that Kepler's celestial rules and Gali- leo's terrestrial ones are united by the same under- lying laws. but quarks have never been iso- lated and are still only hypothetical. The 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler discovered for the first time certain simple mathematical rules that describe accurately the motions of the planets (for example. But are 7_«. and another nature. the force that makes planets fall in ellipses about tromagnetic force.3). (Bethlehem Sreel) different manifestations of the same thing: gravita- tion.2 THE UNITY OF BEHAVIOR The seeds of modern science began to sprout fol- lowing the Reformation. or at least familiar to the physicist. called quarks. and a host of other sub- «Ti*x£. Here a powerful electromagnet is uniform acceleration near the earth's surface. Newton had the insight to recognize that Figure 1. elec. Nevertheless. 2 The Unity of Behavior 3 trons. His contemporary. *~<nZ tr£t~*>t*£* ft? atomic particles known to exist for brief times? > Most physicists think there are. discoveredsome other precise rules that describe the behavior of bodies on earth (for exam- ple. neutrons. It is widely be- lieved that a few kinds of even smaller particles. -V^tf So far as we know. Up to now we have been on pretty familiar ground. I" - >Ua~ there still more fundamental particles that make up si . 1.

the electromagnetic parison. it is 8 light minutes away. amount of matter that the earth does (Figure 1. Chapter 13) is the speed of light 3 x 10 10 cm/s — trons do not completely cancel. or 186. very close to a body of astronomical mass — the The sun is an enormous ball of tremendously earth.3 THE UNIVERSE Yet Newton's discovery of gravitation (Figure 1. At its surface. so hot that all of its chemical elements. thousands of millions of com- distributed more or less uniformly. Thus over large ets. (mass) of matter. so they pull on each (300. The sun 400 times the is repulsion on its surroundings.6). so it exerts no net electrical attraction or one light second away. Why? The earth is a small planet in the solar system. the sun's temperature is about knows who has tumbled on an ice rink. and The sun's gravitation is great enough to keep all the very electromagnetic force that acts between nine planets. Woolsrhorpe Manor. and most of bulk matter is electrically neutral. It takes light other and bind atoms and molecules together and to just over a second to reach earth from our nearest adjacent molecules.5). with 1000 times the mass of Jupiter: the sun. as everyone 1. (Pho- tograph by rhe author) . far greater number yet of tiny distances matter appears neutral. Four Nuclear forces act only over the very tiny di. on earth. But the solar system is dominated by a far larger Nature seems to have provided equal quantities of body. But bulk matter is electrically celestial neighbor. The gravitational force.4 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE 39 charges by 10 (one followed by 39 zeros) times! 1. positive and negative charge in the universe. chunks of ice and/or rock and metal the meteo. as in the earth. and it takes light 8 minutes to On the other hand. the moon is just over neutral. where he claimed ro have con- ceived his ideas on gravirarion.4 Newron's home. we are aware of the all come from the sun. a hundred thousand or more asteroids charges has assured that plus and minus charges are (or minor planets). moon's distance. the positive The highest speed possible (as we shall see in and negative charges of nearby protons and elec. and a far. The legend is rhar he was inspired by rhe fall of an ap- ple from rhe tree in rhe foreground. 6000 K. of the system's nine planets are enormous in com- mensions of the atomic nucleus.4) preceded by nearly two centuries a comparable un- derstanding of any of the other forces. Jupiter has more than 300 times the force acts only between electrically charged parti. Very locally.000 km/s. cles. Gravitationdepends only on the total amount hot gas. the moon.000 miles/s). — tional forces are important. its gravita. and only gravita. not on charge. dimensions of atoms and molecules. are vaporized to the gaseous state (Figure tional pull can be quite significant. because we are hours away. but at its center the solar temperature Figure 1. over the roids — all revolving about it. despite the great weakness of its other planets range from light minutes to light attraction between ordinary masses. so if enough mass including those like iron and tungsten that are solid is collected together.

000 LY across.46 million million kilometers. we almost always express temperature in Figure 1. As we look into the sky in *In astronomy. 1.) The entire Galaxy is a wheel-shaped system about 100. is the dis- tance light travels in one year: 9. perhaps two-thirds to three-quarters of the way to an edge of the wheel. (Mount Wilson and Los Componos Observatories) . which are Celsius degrees but measured from ab. with the sun far from its cen- ter. (NASA/JPL) Figure 1. The sun has a third of a mil- lion times the mass of the earth and more than a million times the earth's volume. Kelvins (K). Those stars are suns. and the many millions revealed by telescopes. abbreviated LY.6 The sun. (not to the same scale) from photographs by Voyager 1 into solute zero: -273°C. are among the few hundred thousand million stars that make up our Galaxy. or about 6 million million miles. The thousands of stars we see around us in the sky.5 Jupiter and its assembled four largest satellites. the thermonuclear conversion of hydrogen to helium gives rise to the sun's enormous outpouring of energy. this composite picture. more or less like our own sun.3 The Universe 5 ranges up to many millions of degrees. see appendix 5. but at distances of light years. (A light year.* Deep in the sun's interior. Yet the sun is an ordinary star.

Probably tances of unimaginable extent. (Yerkes Observatory) .6 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE directions that take our line of sight edge-on other galaxies in the observable universe (Figure through the Galaxy. are separated Milky Way. tem with it. There is no possibility that of our Galaxy also have planets revolving about someone not already familiar with these concepts them.7). in about 200 million years. of course. Still. and those clusters of galaxies. just as the planets revolve clusters. or simply ters of galaxies. are parts of still larger systems called su- about the sun.These galaxies. it is worthwhile to try to give a feeling Our Galaxy is not the end of the story. of may be to grasp it thoroughly in one run-through. haps also with individual galaxies not members of The Galaxy rotates. probably thousands of millions. There for the scale of the universe. each with those directions produce a faint glow of light — the itsthousands of millions of suns. omy. like remote islands. revolves about the center of the Milky I have been tossing off words describing ob- Way Galaxy in its 200 galactic orbit. per- the Milky Way. That. Still. an irregular luminous band completely from each other by distances many times their own circling the sky (Figure 1. as though they were many of the other stars revolving about the nucleus apples and inches. Our Galaxy is there. no matter how hard it are millions. the very many remote stars in 1. even galaxies tend to group in clus- fore often called the Milky Way Galaxy. is one purpose of studying a whole course in astron- ated with them. diameters. and dis- to 300 km/s.8). but the sun. perclusters. but those other stars are so remote that we can grasp them on a first reading.7 A portion of rhe Milky Way in Sagittarius. at a speed of jects of incredible mass and dimensions. carrying our solar sys. have not yet been able to detect any planets associ. Figure 1.

1.4 The Scale of rhe Universe 7

Figure 1.10 The moon's orbir, to scale, superimposed on a
photograph of rhe sun. (Griffith Observatory)

is about 100 times the diameter of the sun, but the
whole orbit of the moon would fit easily inside the
sun itself (Figure 1.10). We cannot, therefore,
show the earth, sun, and moon to scale on the
same page. But if we show the sun as a small dot
(Figure 1.11a), we can see the relative sizes of the
Figure 1.8 The neighboring spiral galaxy in Andromeda,
orbits of the inner planets (Mercury, Venus,
M3 1 . (Mt. Wilson and Las Campahas Observatories)
Earth, and Mars) to the correct scale, even though
those planetary bodies themselves would not show
up if drawn to the correct size.Even then, we must
change the scale (Figure 1.11b) to show the orbits
1.4 THE SCALE OF THE
of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
UNIVERSE
Neptune, and Pluto) with the right sizes relative to
the size of the orbit of Mars. Pluto's average dis-
The earth is a nearly spherical body about 13,000 tance from the sun is 40 times that of the earth; that
km (8000 miles) in diameter. The moon, about is, Pluto is 40 AU from the sun.

one-fourth the earth's diameter, is 30 of those earth The nearest star beyond the sun is, in con-
diameters away. We can actually present a scale trast, 300,000 AU away. On the scale of Figure
drawing of the earth and moon on a page of this 1.11b, its distance would be more than a kilometer.
book (Figure 1.9). That star is 4 LY away; most visible stars are
The average distance of the earth from the sun hundreds or even thousands of light years away.
is called an astronomical unit (AU). That radius of Suppose we make a rough scale drawing,
the earth's nearly circular (actually elliptical) orbit showing the stars within 10 LY of the sun. In Fig-

Figure 1.9 The earth (left) and moon drawn to scale.

8 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE

ure 1.12a, the circle represents a sphere of 10 LY ning of our universe called the big bang (Chapter
radius centered on the sun. Roughly ten stars are 39). During the few minutes after the big
first

included. Now we change scale. In Figure 1.12b, bang, atomic nuclei formed, but mainly only those
the sphere of 10 LY radius is the small circle in the of hydrogen and helium. It was nearly another mil-
center, and the larger circle represents a sphere of lion years before the universe cooled (because of its
100 LY radius — ten times as great in radius, but expansion) enough to permit electrons to join nuclei
1000 times as great in volume. In that sphere we and make atoms. At this stage the universe became
would find approximately 10,000 stars. Similarly, transparent, so light could flow freely through it; it

the sphere of 100 LY radius is the small circle in is just this radiation that we now observe as radio
Figure 1.12c, while the larger circle represents a waves.
sphere 1000 LY in radius within which there are It was probably another thousand million years
7
ten million (10 ) stars. In our next change of scale, before matter collected together to form galaxies
Figure 1.12d, the stars do thin out, but in some and stars. In the centers of stars atoms were re-
dimensions before others. We have begun to reach heated, and thermonuclear reactions fused hydro-
the boundaries of our Galaxy, but at first only in its gen into helium, providing the energy by which the
thin dimension. The entire wheel-shaped Galaxy, stars shine. Later, in the interiors of certain stars,

in an edge-on cross section, is shown in Figure atoms of helium fused into those of heavier ele-
1.12d, and the sphere of 1000 LY radius is the —
ments carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and silicon, for
small circle on the left side, with the invisible sun —
example those elements that can form rocky
deep in its center. planets.
As are most (if not all) galaxies, our own Milky Subsequently, these stars ejected some of their
Way Galaxy is part of a cluster, actually a collection matter, so enriched in heavier elements, into inter-
of about two dozen galaxies called the Local Group. stellar space, to eventually condense into new stars.

The Local Group about 3 million light years
is

across and is shown, roughly to correct scale, in
Figure 1.13. Far beyond its boundaries are other
such groups, and rare in space, typically tens to
• Sun
hundreds of millions of light years apart, are the
great clusters of hundreds or even thousands of
member galaxies each. One such is the Hercules • Jupiter

cluster (Figure 1.14).
Saturn
The most remote clusters of galaxies yet iden- Mercury
tified are one to two thousand times as far away
from us, on the scale of Figure 1.13, as the size of
a page of this book, perhaps half a kilometer or so.
Even farther off are the remote quasars (Chapter j^^i Venus
37), and yet beyond the quasars is the remote glow

from the past a glow of radio radiation that has
been traveling through space to reach us from all
^|1 Earth
directions for at least 10 thousand million years.
When that radiation began its journey through HB Neptune
space it was light, not radio waves. It has been
transformed by the expansion of the universe and is
our best evidence today that the universe has
evolved from a hot, dense state that existed far in
Pluto
the past. Mars

(a) The Dig Dang
Figure 1.11 The distances of rhe planers, (a) The inner plan-
ers. The sun size is shown ro rhe same scale as rhe planers'
s
The radio waves mentioned above are, in a very orbirs. bur rhe planers rhemselves could nor be seen on rhis
real sense, the dying glow of that explosive begin- scale, (b) The ourer planers ro rhe scale of rhe orbir of Mars.

1.5 The Nature of Science 9

7
10 star: in stars

101 Y _1000LY».

(a) ii-i (c)

11
10 stars

3
10 LY

100,000 LY >
(d)

Figure 1.12 The distribution of stors around the sun within (a) 10 LY; (b) 100 LY; (c) 1000 LY; (d)
the Galaxy.

One such star that formed about 4.6 thousand mil- Very many hypotheses at the scientific frontier (and
lion years ago, with its system of planets, is our the big bang is certainly at that frontier) will turn
sun. Much of the material of the sun and, we out to be wrong. It is far less likely that our ideas
think, virtually all of that of the earth, consists of of electricity and magnetism, of gravitation (as for-
atoms synthesized by nuclear reactions in earlier- mulated in the general theory of relativity), or of
generation stars. We discuss all these goings-on in the behavior of planets in the solar system will be
later chapters. wrong, for these ideas have been extraordinarily
well tested.
It is the testing that is the part and parcel of
1.5 THE NATURE OF SCIENCE
science. Science is not just a collection of knowl-
edge, of figures and test tubes. It is an organized
There are large gaps in our full understanding of
the origin of the universe through the big bang, as
well as of the and evolution of stars, just
life cycles
as there aregaps in our knowledge of the evolution
of life on earth. But the general picture is fairly
clear and becomes clearer as research continues to
advance the scientific frontier.
That is not to say, however, that science ever
provides, or even attempts to provide, the absolute
truth or the ultimate answers to everything. For ex-
ample, we can apply known physical laws — our
best theory — to the conditions of the early uni-
verse, but that does not tell us where its matter and
energy came from in the first place, or how the

matter and radiation got into that hot dense state.
Perhaps our ideas about the big bang are even com-
pletely wrong; we are, after all, extrapolating Figure 1.13 Schematic diagram of the Local Group, approx-
known theory to quite a limit in space and time. imately to scale.

10 THE UNITY OF THE UNIVERSE

Figure 1.14 A cluster of galaxies in
Hercules. (Mr. Wilson and Las Cam-
panas Observatories)

method for exploring nature. Science involves three spect for its limitations, Newtonian theory is of in-
steps: (1) An observation or an experimental result calculable value.
is noted (say, the falling of a body with uniform So it is that third step in the scientific method,
acceleration). (2) A hypothesis is advanced to de- the test of the hypothesis, that is crucial. Without

scribe that result in terms of a more general model such tests and checks, model is mere speculation
a
(a theory of gravitation). (3) The model is then used and not part of science. For example, an assertion
to predict new observations or the results of new that a civilization of people exactly like us exists on
experiments (that the moon's orbit must be an el- a planet revolving about a star in a remote galaxy,
lipse, or that an unknown planet, Neptune, is

causing irregularities in the motion of Uranus).
Then we must check whether these predictions hold
up. If not, the hypothesis must be discarded or
more tests of additional predictions
modified. If so,
must be devised, and with ever broader applica-
tions, until the hypothesis has been subjected to the
most ruthless scrutiny. Even then, it may later
prove wrong or at least to have limited usefulness,
but the longer it survives and the more documented
it becomes, the better are its chances to become a

part of established theory. As we shall see in Chap-
ter 39, the big bang has survived three crucial tests
and is certainly worthy of being taken very seri-
ously, but it is by no means a fact not yet. And—
the fabric of even the best of scientific theories may
begin to tear when it is pushed to limits beyond the
regime in which it is well tested, as did Newtonian
gravitationaland mechanical theory in the 20th cen-
tury, when it was challenged with speeds near that The Ring nebula in Lyra, an example of a shell
Figure 1.15
of light or with gravitational fields of enormous of gas ejecred from a srar. (Mr. Wilson and Las Camponas
strength. Even so, when applied with proper re- Observatories')

1

1 . 5 The Norure of Science 1

or the contention that far beyond the limits of our action. Time and place (time and space), as we
observations are other universes, are not scientific shall see, are inextricably interrelated, for even at

hypotheses or theories — at least not today — for thismoment we observe the remote past of the uni-
there is no way to test them. Perhaps the assertions verse aswe look to its remote parts. And every-
are true, but in the absence of any possibility of where —
then, there, here, and now we find the —
verifying them, their truth or error is irrelevant and same kinds of stuff: atoms, electrons, and so on.
certainly has nothing to do with science. Unity of action is even more remarkable. The laws
To be sure, science has limitations. It must op- of nature, so far as we can tell, are truly universal.
erate by strict rules, and very many questions can- Nor can they be suspended, even for a mo-
not be asked, let alone answered, in science. Many ment. was when man stopped believing in magic
It

other valid and highly valuable areas of human ac- that science began to advance. Magic is the antith-
tivity, art and music for example, have great im- esis of science. The fake psychics and fortunetellers

portance even though they lie outside of science. notwithstanding, if we could really suspend na-
Still, science has proved itself to be a remarkably ture's laws we would have utter chaos. Far from
successful way of studying nature. It has provided everything being possible, nothing would be pos-
models by which we can understand a great deal, sible!

and which have enabled us to develop a highly ad- As a final reminder of the great unity of the
vanced technology. universe, recall that, according to the results of our
And if it has not yet uncovered the whole truth current research, the very atoms that comprise our
of the universe (and it never can), science has re- own bodies were formed in the centers of past-gen-
vealed a marvelous unity in the universe; as in a eration stars. We are, ourselves, quite literally,
Greek tragedy, it has a unity of time, place, and made of Stardust!

EXERCISES

1. If a gas is ionized — that is, if the electrons are other, as in a chain. How many such circles would it

stripped from the nuclei of its atoms, so that each take to reach a remote cluster of galaxies, say, 300
freed electron moves about in the gas in the same million LY distant?
way an individual molecule would — the gas can be
5. Review how many changes of scale are required to
compressed to a far higher density than ordinary sol-
ids can. Explain why. (Assume prepare a series of scale drawings on standard pieces
that high tempera-
of paper (872 by 11 inches), beginning with a diagram
tures or other effects prevent ions from reuniting
that shows the earth as a circle and ending with one
with electrons, thereby becoming neutral atoms.)
that shows the correct relative distance for a remote
2. The electromagnetic force causes a repulsion between cluster of galaxies.By what factor must the linear size
the positively charged protons in an atom, but the of the largest distance on one diagram be reduced to
strong nuclear force still binds them together in the show it as the smallest one on the next diagram in
atomic nucleus, along with a comparable number of the series?
neutrons. But the strong force is effective only be-
tween particles in virtual contact, while the hundred- 6. Give at least three examples of questions that are im-
times-weaker electromagnetic force acts over a con- proper in the realm of science.
siderable distance. Does this suggest to you why 7. For each of the following phenomena, make up at
atomic nuclei with roughly 100 or more protons are least one hypothesis that is certainly wrong because
not stable, and therefore disintegrate? Explain. it violates other experimental or observational evi-

3. If we were to try to communicate, say by radio waves dence:
(a) Objects, when dropped, fall to the ground.
(which travel with the speed of light), with a hypo-
(b) The room lights go on when the wall switch is
thetical inhabitant of a planet revolving about a star
100 LY away, how long would we have to wait after pushed up.
transmitting a question before we could expect to re- (c) Water boilingin a pan eventually disappears if

ceive an answer? over the fire long enough.
left
(d) Airplanes can fly even though they are heavier
4. From the data given in this chapter, calculate how than air.
many circles the size of the earth's orbit would be (e) Blue-eyed parents have blue-eyed children.
required to reach across the length of a diameter of (f) Drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in
die Galaxy, if they were laid out barely touching each accidents than sober ones.

Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy)
(2nd century A.D.) was one of
the great astronomers of
antiquity. He devised a system
of cosmology that described
the motions of the planets so
satisfactorily that there was no
substantial change until the
time of Copernicus. (Burndy
Library, photograph by Owen
Gingerich)

EARLY ASTRONOMY:
MYTH AND SCIENCE
2.1 EARLIEST ASTRONOMERS weeks or months (such a star is now called a nova).
The most significant of the Chinese observations of
nova outbursts was of the great supernova of 1054
Speculations on the nature of the universe must A.D. in the constellation of Taurus. Today's rem-
date from prehistoric times. It is difficult to state nant of that cosmic explosion is the Crab nebula, a
definitely when the earliest observations of a more chaotic, expanding mass of gas (see Chapter 34).
or less quantitative sort were made or when astron- The Babylonians, Assyrians, and pre-Chris-
omy as a science began. Certainly, in many of the tian Egyptian astronomers also knew the approxi-
ancient civilizations the regularity of the motions of mate length of the year from early times. By a few
celestial bodies was recognized, and attempts were centuries B.C., the Egyptians had adopted a calen-
made to keep track of and predict celestial phenom- dar based on a 365-day year. Of particular signifi-
ena. In particular, the invention of and keeping of cance to them was the date when the bright star
a calendar requires at least some knowledge of as- Sirius could first be seen in the dawn sky, rising
tronomy — the basic units of the calendar being the just before the sun. This heliacal rising of Sirius co-

day, the month (originally, the 29- and 30-day cy- incided fairly well with the average time of the an-
cling of the moon's phases), and the year of seasons nual flooding of the Nile, which gave the astrono-
(the tropical year). mer-priests the ability to predict very roughly when
The Chinese had a working calendar and had this economically important event could be ex-
determined the length of the year several centuries pected to occur.
before Christ (B.C.). About 350 B.C., the astrono- There is evidence of ancient astronomical
mer Shih Shen prepared what was probably the ear- knowledge in other parts of the world as well. The
liest star catalogue, containing about 800 entries. Maya in Central America developed a sophisticated
The Chinese also kept rather accurate records of calendar and made astronomical observations in a
comets, meteors, and fallen meteorites from 700 period contemporary with early European civiliza-
B.C. Records were made of sunspots visible to the tions (Chapter 8), and the Polynesians learned to
naked eye and of what the Chinese called "guest navigate, evidently by means of celestial observa-
stars," stars that are normally too faint to be seen tions, over hundreds of kilometers of ocean sepa-
but suddenly flare up to become visible for a few rating their islands.

12

2.2 Early Greek Asrronomy 13

Particularly interesting are monuments left by (a) Early Concepts of the Sky
Bronze Age people in northwestern Europe, espe-
cially in the British Isles. The best-preserved of the
The Celestial Sphere
monuments Stonehenge (Figure 2.1), about 13
is

km from Salisbury in southwest England. It is a If we gaze upward at the sky on a clear night, we
complex array of stones, ditches, and holes ar- cannot avoid the impression that the sky is a great

ranged in concentric circles. Carbon dating and hollow spherical shell with the earth at the center.

other studies show Stonehenge was built dur-
that The early Greeks regarded the sky as just such a
ing three periods ranging from about 2500 B.C. to celestial sphere; some apparently thought of it as an
about 1700 B.C. Some of the stones are aligned with actual sphere of a crystalline material, with the
the directions of the sun during its rising and set- stars embedded in it like tiny jewels. The sphere,
ting at critical times of the year (such as the begin- they reasoned, must be of very great size, for if its

nings of summer and winter), and it is widely surface were close to the earth, as one moved from
thought that at least one function of the monument place to place he would see an apparent angular dis-
was connected with the noting of these occasions. placement in the directions of the stars.

However, only some of the many hundreds of other Of course, at any one time we see only a hemi-
monuments have alignments that can be interpreted sphere overhead, but with the smallest effort of
as astronomical. imagination we can envision the remaining hemi-
sphere, that part of the sky that below the ho-
lies

rizon. The fact that the full hemi-
sky appears as a
sphere and not merely part of one was further
2.2 EARLY GREEK ASTRONOMY evidence that the celestial sphere must be extremely
large —
infinite as far as the eye can tell compared —
The high point in ancient science was in the Greek to the earth. If we watch the sky for several hours,
culture from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. The earliest we see that the celestial sphere is gradually and con-
Greeks were not scientists in the modern sense. tinually changing its orientation. The effect is
They were often more interested in solving abstract caused simply by the rotation of the earth, which
geometrical problems, reasoning from given axi- carries us under successively different portions of
oms, than in making original observations. Yet, in the sphere. Following along with us must be our
that Greek reservoir of ideas and inspiration, many horizon, that line in the distance at which the
observations were carried out, with the result that ground seems to dip out of sight, providing a de-
science in general and astronomy in particular were marcation between earth and sky. (The horizon
raised to a level unsurpassed until the sixteenth cen- may, of course, be hidden from view by moun-
tury. tains, trees, buildings or, in large cities, smog.) As

Figure 2. 1 Sronehenge. (Courtesy E. C. Krupp, Griffith Observatory)

14 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

our horizon tips down in the direction that the The Greeks regarded that pivot point as one
earth's rotation carries us, stars hitherto hidden be- end of the axis about which the celestial sphere ro-
yond it appear to rise above it. In the opposite di- tates. We know today that it is the earth that spins
rection the horizon tips up, and stars hitherto visi- about an axis through North and South Poles.
its

ble appear to set behind it. Analogously, as we An extension of the axis would appear to intersect
round a curve in a mountain road, new scenery the sky at points in line with the North and South
comes into view while old scenery disappears be- Poles of the earth but, because of the virtually in-
hind us. finite size of the celestial sphere, immensely far
The direction around the sky toward which the away. As the earth rotates about its polar axis, the
earth's rotation carries us is east; the opposite direc- sky appears to turn in the opposite direction about
tion is west. The Greeks, unaware of the earth's ro- those north and south celestial poles.

tation, imagined that the celestial sphere rotated An observer at the North Pole of the earth
about an axis that passed through the earth. As it would see the north celestial pole directly overhead
turned, it carried the stars up in the east, across (at his zenith). The stars would all appear to circle
the sky, and down in the west. about the sky parallel to the horizon, none rising or
setting. An observer at the earth's equator, on the
Celestial Poles other hand, would see the celestial poles at the
north and south points on his horizon. As the sky
A careful observer will notice that do not some stars
apparently turned about these points, all the stars
rise or set. As seen from the Northern Hemisphere,
would appear up in the east and set
to rise straight
there is a point in the sky some distance above the
straight down in the west. For an observer at an
northern horizon about which the whole celestial
arbitrary place in the Northern Hemisphere (for ex-
sphere appears to turn. As stars circle about that
ample, in Greece), the north celestial pole would
point, those close enough to it can pass beneath it
appear at a point between the zenith and the north
without dipping below the northern horizon. A star
point on his horizon, its location depending on his
exactly at the point would appear motionless in the
relative distances from the equator and North Pole
sky. Today the star Polaris (the North Star) is
of the earth (see Chapter 7). The stars that were not
within 1° of this pivot point of the heavens.
always above the horizon would rise at an oblique
angle in the east, arc across the sky in a slanting
path, and set obliquely in the west.

Rising and Setting of rhe Sun

The sun is always present at some position on the
celestial sphere. When the apparent rotation of the
sphere carries the sun above the horizon, the bril-

liant sunlight scattered about by the molecules of
the earth's atmosphere produces the blue sky that
hides the stars that are also above the horizon. The
earlyGreeks were aware that the stars were there
during the day as well as at night.

Annual Morion of rhe Sun
The Greeks were also aware, as were the Chinese,
Babylonians, and Egyptians before them, that the
sun gradually changes its position on the celestial
sphere, moving each day about 1° to the east among
the stars. Of course, the daily westward rotation of
the celestial sphere (or eastward rotation of the
earth) carries the sun, like everything else in the
Figure 2.2 Time exposure showing rroils left by srors os o
heavens, to the west across the sky. Each day,
consequence of rhe apparent rorarion of rhe celestial sphere.
(Lick Observarory) however, the sun rises, on the average, about four

2.2 Eorly Greek Astronomy 15

the obliquity of the ecliptic and was measured sur-
prisingly accurately by several ancient observers.
The obliquity of the ecliptic, as we shall see, is re-
sponsible for the seasons (Chapter 7) and also for
the invariable tilt in the axes of terrestrial globe
maps.

Fixed and Wandering Stars

The sun is not the only moving object among the
stars. The moon and each of the five planets visible

to the —
unaided eye Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupi-
ter, —
and Saturn change their positions in the sky
from day to day. The moon, being the earth's near-
est celestial neighbor, has the fastest apparent mo-
tion; it completes a trip around the sky in about 1

month. During a single day, of course, these ob-
jects rise and set, as do the sun and the stars. We
Figure 2.3 Time exposure showing srar rroils in rhe region of
rhe north celestial pole. The bright trail near rhe center was are referring here to their independent motions
made by Polaris (the North Star). (Yerkes Observatory) among the stars, superimposed on the daily rota-
tion of the celestial sphere. The Greeks distin-
minutes later with respect to the stars; the celestial guished between what they called the fixed stars,
sphere (or earth) must make
more than just a bit the real stars that appeared to maintain fixed pat-
one complete rotation to bring the sun up again. terns among themselves throughout many genera-
The sun, in other words, has an independent mo- tions, and the wandering stars or planets. The Greek
tion of its own in the sky, quite apart from the word planet means "wanderer." Today, we do not
daily apparent rotation of the celestial sphere. regard the sun and moon as planets, but the Greeks
In the course of one year the sun completes a applied the term to all seven of the moving objects
circuit of the celestial sphere. The early peoples in the sky. Much of ancient astronomy was devoted
mapped the sun's eastward journey among the to observing and predicting their motions. In fact,
stars. This apparent path of the sun is called the they give us the names for the seven days of our
ecliptic (because eclipses can occur only when the week; Sunday is the sun's day, Monday the moon's
moon —
on or near it see Chapter 9). The sun's
is day, and Saturday is Saturn's day. We have only to
motion on the ecliptic is in fact merely an illusion look at the names of the other days of the week in
produced by another motion of the earth its an- — the Romance languages to see that they are named
nual revolution about the sun. As we look at the for the remaining planets.
sun from different places in our orbit, we see it

projected against different stars in the background,
The Zodiac
or we would, at least, if we could see the stars in
the daytime; in practice, we must deduce what The individual paths of the moon and planets in the
stars lie behind and beyond the sun by observing sky all lie close to the ecliptic, although not exactly
the stars visible in the opposite direction at night. on it. The reason is that the paths of the planets
After a year, when we have completed one trip about the sun, and of the moon about the earth,
around the sun, it has apparently completed one are all in nearly the same plane, as if they were
circuit of the sky along the ecliptic. We have an marbles rolling about on the top of a table. The
analogous experience if we walk around a campfire planets and moon are always found in the sky
at night; we see the flames appear successively in within a narrow belt 18° wide centered on the eclip-
front of each of the people seated about the fire. tic, called the zodiac. The apparent motions of the
It was also noted by the ancients that the eclip- from a combination of their
planets in the sky result
tic does not lie in a plane perpendicular to the line actual motions and the motion of the earth about
between the celestial poles, but is inclined at an an- the sun, and consequently they are somewhat com-
gle of about 23 V2 to that plane. This angle is called plex.

,

16 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

Constellations so reasoned that the moon is round, the sphericity
of the earth might have seemed to follow by
The backdrop for themotions of the "wanderers"
analogy.
in the sky is the canopy of stars themselves. Like
Another member of the Pythagorean school
the Chinese and the Egyptians, the Greeks had di-
was Philolaus, who lived in the following century.
vided the sky into constellations, apparent configu-
He may have been the first person to introduce the
rations of stars. Modern astronomers still make use
concept that the earth is in motion. Apparently he
of these constellations to denote approximate loca-
held that it is too base to occupy the center of the
tions in the sky, much as geographers use political
universe; he assigned a central fire to that position.
areas to denote the locations of places on the earth.
About the fire revolved the earth and other planets.
The boundaries between the modern constellations
The earth and seven planets or "wandering stars"
are imaginary lines in the sky running north-south
made eight moving objects, and the sphere of
and east- west, so that every point in the sky falls in
"fixed" stars made a ninth object. Philolaus, how-
one constellation or another.
ever, as a confirmed Pythagorean, believed 10 to be
Many of the 88 recognized constellations are of
the most perfect number because it is the sum of 1
Greek origin and bear names that are Latin trans-
2, 3, and 4 (and perhaps also because he had 10
lations of those given them by the Greeks. Today,
fingers); therefore, he believed there must be an-
the lay person is often puzzled because the constel-
other body. This, he proposed, was a counter earth,
lations seldom resemble the people or animals for
which revolved around the central fire exactly be-
which they were named. In all likelihood, the
Greeks themselves did not name groupings of stars

tween it and the earth thus hiding the fire from
view from any place on earth. (The central fire itself
because they resembled actual people or objects,
seems not to have been counted in the numbering
but rather named sections of the sky in honor of the
of celestial objects.) The period of revolution of
characters in their mythology, and then fitted the
earth was 1 day, and the earth rotated as it revolved
configurations of stars to the animals and people as
about the fire so as to keep Greece always turned
best they could.
away from it. Philolaus regarded the celestial sphere
as motionless and its apparent rotation as the result

(b) The First Greek Astronomers of the revolution and rotation of the earth. He pro-
posed that the sun, the moon, and the planets
moved in their respective spheres outside the orbit
The Ionian School
of the earth. It was an imaginative concept based

The earliest Greek were the Ionians, who
scientists entirely on fancy and cannot be regarded as a fore-
lived in Asia Minor. Pythagoras (who died ca. 497 runner of the heliocentric theory.
B.C.) was originally an Ionian, but he later founded Nevertheless, the concept of a moving earth
a school of his own in southern Italy. He pictured had been introduced, although in a completely er-
a series of concentric spheres, inwhich each of the roneous manner. It was a bold idea that may have

seven moving objects the planets, the sun, and had some influence on later Greek thought. Other
the moon —
was carried by a separate sphere from Greek philosophers of the sixth to fourth centuries
the one that carried the stars, so that the motions B.C. who are said to have believed in a moving earth
of the planets resulted from independent rotations are Hicetas, Heracleides, and Ecphantus. Centu-
of the different spheres about the earth. These mo- ries later Copernicus, in his De Revolutionibus
tions gave rise to harmonious sounds, the music of (Chapter 3), quoted the Pythagoreans as authorities
the spheres, which only the most gifted ear could for his own doctrines.
hear. In their invention of cosmological schemes, the
Pythagoras also believed that the earth, moon, Greeks did not always necessarily attempt to de-
and other heavenly bodies were spherical. It is scribe what they regarded as reality. Rather, they
doubtful that he had a sound reason for this belief, were often trying to find a scheme a model that — —
but it may have stemmed from the realization that would describe the phenomena and would predict
the moon shines only by reflected sunlight, and events (eclipses, configurations of the planets, and
that the moon's sphericity is indicated by the so on). The epicycles of Ptolemy, developed later,
curved shape of the terminator, the demarcation line may similarly be regarded as mathematical repre-
between its illuminated and dark portions. If he had sentations of the motions of planets in the sky.

2.2 Early Greek Astronomy 17

• • < » •
Figure 2.4 Phases of rhe moon. The moon's orbir is viewed obliquely. (Below), rhe appearance of
rhe moon from rhe earrh.

(c) The Moon's Phases light side is turned away from the earth. Because its

night side — the side turned toward us— is dark and
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), most famous of the Greek invisible, we do not see the moon in that position.
philosophers, wrote encyclopedic treatises on The phase of the moon is then new. (Perhaps it
nearly every field. Aristotle's writings tell us that would seem more reasonable to call it "no moon"
such phenomena as phases of the moon and eclipses instead of "new moon," for we do not see any
were understood at least in the fourth century B.C. moon at all.) To appear silhouetted in front of the
The basic concepts are so important to the devel- sun, producing a solar eclipse, the moon must be
opment of astronomy that we shall consider them at the new phase and must also lie on the line join-
here rather than in the later chapters that deal more ing the earth and sun (see Chapter 9). A solar
directly with these topics. eclipse does not occur at every new moon because
The moon's changing shape during the month the plane of the moon's orbit is inclined slightly
results from the fact that it is not itself luminous (about 5°) to the plane of the ecliptic; hence the new
but is illuminated by sunlight. Because of its spher- moon usually lies above or below the earth-sun line.
icity, only half of the moon is illuminated, that is, A few days after new moon, the moon reaches
having daylight, at one time —
the half turned to- position B, and from the earth we see a small part
ward the sun. The apparent shape of the moon in of its daylight hemisphere. The illuminated crescent
the sky depends simply on how much of its daylight increases in size on successive days as the moon
hemisphere is turned to our view. moves farther and farther around the sky away from
Even in Aristotle's time it was known that the the direction of the sun. During these days the
sun is more distant than the moon. This was sur- moon is in the waxing crescent phase. About a week
mised from the sun's slower apparent motion after new moon, the moon is one quarter of the way
among the stars on the celestial sphere and also around the sky from the sun (position C) and is at
from the fact that the moon occasionally passes ex- the first quarter phase. Here the line from the earth
actly between the earth and sun and temporarily to the moon is at right angles to the line from the
hides the sun from view (solar eclipse). Thus when earth to the sun and half of the moon's daylight side
the moon is in the same general direction from is visible — it appears as a half moon. (The moon is

earth as the sun (position A in Figure 2.4), its day- seen as half full at this point because the sun is very

18 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

much farther away than the moon, and the sun's indicates that they must have moved over a curved
rays that illuminate the moon and earth are essen- surface of the earth. As a third piece of evidence
tially parallel.) that the earth is round, Aristotle mentioned that
During the week after the first quarter phase elephants had been observed to the east in India
we see more and more of the moon's illuminated and also to the west in Morocco; evidently, those
hemisphere, and the moon is in the waxing gibbous two places must not be far apart! But he also ad-
phase (position D). Finally, about two weeks after vanced a theoretical argument that material falling
new moon, the moon (at E) and the sun are oppo- to a center would take on a spherical shape an —
site each other in the sky; the side of the moon idea consistent with the gravitational theory of
turned toward the sun is also turned toward the Newton two millennia later.
earth; we have full moon. During the next two
weeks the moon goes through the same phases again (e) The Motion of the Earth
in reverse order — through waning gibbous, third (or
last) quarter, and waning crescent. Occasionally the It is interesting that Aristotle pointed out that the
full moon passes through the earth's shadow, which apparent daily motion of the sky can be explained
of course extends outward in space in the direction by a hypothesis of the rotation of either the celestial
opposite the sun. This is a lunar eclipse. sphere or the earth. He rejected the latter explana-
If you find difficulty in picturing the phases of tion. He also considered the possibility that the
the moon from this verbal account, try a simple ex- earth revolves about the sun rather than the sun
periment: Stand about six feet in front of a bright about the earth. He discarded this heliocentric hy-
electric light outdoors at night and hold in your pothesis in the light of an argument that has been
hand round object such as a tennis ball or
a small used many times since. Aristotle explained that if
an orange. If the object is then viewed from various the earth moved about the sun we would be observ-
sides, the portions of its illuminated hemisphere ing the stars from successively different places along
that are visible will represent the analogous phases our orbit, and their apparent directions in the sky
of the moon. would then change continually during the year.
Any apparent shift in the direction of an object
(d) The Spherical Shape of the as a result of motion of the observer is called par-
Earth allax. An annual shifting in the apparent directions
of the stars that results from the earth's orbital mo-
Another important topic discussed by Aristotle was tion is For the nearer stars it
called stellar parallax.
the shape of the earth. He cited two convincing ar- is observable with modern telescopes (see Chapter
guments for the earth's sphericity. First is the fact 22), but it is impossible to measure with the naked
that during a lunar eclipse, as the moon enters or eye because of the great distances of even the near-
emerges from the earth's shadow, the shape of the est stars. Indeed, Tycho Brahe in the sixteenth cen-
shadow seen on the moon is always round (Figure tury was unable to detect stellar parallax and con-
2.5). Only a spherical object always produces a cluded that the earth is stationary.
round shadow. If the earth were a disk, for exam-
ple, therewould be some occasions when the sun-
2.3 LATER GREEK ASTRONOMY
lightwould be striking the disk edge on, and the
shadow on the moon would be a line.
As a second argument, Aristotle explained that The early Greeks, as we have seen, were aware of,
northbound travelers observe the stars near the and to some extent understood, the phenomena of
north celestial pole to be higher in the sky than is the sky. Remarkable progress, however, was made
observed at home, and different stars pass through in the centuries following Aristotle, especially by
the zenith. Conversely, when one travels to more the school of astronomers centered in Alexandria,
southern latitudes the stars near the north celestial where Greek science attained its greatest heights.
pole are seen lower in the sky, and some stars that

are never above the horizon at home are seen to rise (a) Aristarchus of Samos
and move across the southern sky. The only possi-
ble explanation is had
that the travelers' horizons Especially interesting is Aristarchus of Samos (ca.
tipped to the north or south, respectively, which 310-230 B.C.), who is reported to have believed

7 "<
2.3 Later Greek Astronomy 19

that the earth revolves about the sun. We know of On the other hand, the basic ideas were inge-
this, however, only from the writings of others, for nious and beautiful in their simplicity. Moreover
only one manuscript of Aristarchus survives: "On these ideas were applied later by other astrono-
the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon." But mers — especially by Hipparchus — to attempt an ac-
this document alone is remarkable and deserves curate determination of the size and distance of the
some discussion. moon. It is interesting, therefore, to see how the
Aristarchus opens his treatise with several pos- method can work. The following, I emphasize, is

tulates, the "givens" that are needed to proceed not the procedure or reasoning of Aristarchus
with a geometrical proof. The most essential of (whose geometry is actually rather tedious) but is a

these are (1) that the moon receives its light from description of how we would be able to derive these
the sun, (2) that it appears half full when the angle astronomical dimensions, given Aristarchus' as-

in the sky between the moon and sun is 3° less than sumptions.
a right angle (that is, 87°), and (3) that the diame- The moon appears exactly half full (first and
ter of the earth's shadow at the moon's distance is last when the terminator the line divid-
quarters) —
twice the size of the moon. (He also implicitly as- ing the light and dark halves — is a perfectly straight
sumed that the moon's orbit about the earth is a line viewed from the earth. But the moon is
as

perfect circle.) From these assumptions, Aristar- spherical, and the terminator, being a line upon its
chus, using the rules of Euclidean geometry, de- surface, must be curved. Thus, the only way it can
rives that (1) the distance of the sun is more than appear straight is for us to view it exactly edge on.
18 but less than 20 times the distance of the moon That is, the plane of the* terminator must contain
and (2) the ratio of the sun's diameter to that of the the line of sight from the earth to the center of the
earth is more than 19 to 3 but less than 43 to 6. moon. When that is true, the line from the moon
In other words, Aristarchus found that the sun to the earth must be at right angles to the line from
is about 19 times as far away as the moon is (the the moon to the sun. In Figure 2.6 these right an-
correct figure is about 400) and that the sun's di- gles are EMS and EM'S. Now we see that because
ameter is about 7 times the earth's (the correct the sun is not infinitely far away, by assumption,
value is 109). A reading of his account suggests that the points M ', E, and M do not lie along a straight
to Aristarchus the entire exercise is no more than line. Hence the moon, moving at a uniform rate,
an interesting geometry problem. There is no men- should require a shorter time to go from M' to M
tion at all of where the numbers used in his postu- than from M
to M' We could use the difference
.

latescame from. Perhaps he made crude estimates; between these intervals from third quarter to first
perhaps they were someone else's estimates; we do quarter moon and from first quarter to third quarter
not know. But there is no suggestion that Aristar- to determine the angle M'EM. For example, if the
chus himself actually made any careful observations period from M
to M' were, say, twice that from
or measurements. To him, it was, I repeat, an ex- M' to M, the angle M'EM would be a third of a
ercise in geometry. circle, or 120°, and the angle SEM would be 60°.

Figure 2.5 Partially eclipsed moon moving our of rhe earth's shadow. Nore rhe curved shape of
rhe shadow. (Yerkes Observatory)


20 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

We have no idea.how Aristarchus arrived at the fig- We illustrate the geometrical principles of the
ure 87°. Even with our modern equipment of the construction in Figure 2.7. First, at E, which rep-
late 20th century, we could not observe the instants resents the center of the earth, we draw two lines
of quarter moon with sufficient accuracy to deter- that intersect at an angle of V2 . During a lunar
mine the ESIEM ratio meaningfully, because of eclipse the sun and moon are opposite in the sky;
the sun's great distance. thus in direction s the V2 angle can be considered
However determined, the angle M'EM can be as representing the angular diameter of the sun,
constructed inside a circle representing the moon's and in direction m the angular diameter of the
orbit; the lines MS and M'S, drawn tangent to the moon. The sun, S, and moon, M, can now be
circle at M and M' , intersect at S, thus determin- drawn in, and at arbitrary distances from E as long
ing the position of the sun and hence its distance in as the distance ES is 19 times the distance EM.
terms of the size of the moon's orbit. Now at M, the diameter of the earth's shadow,
To find the relative sizes of the sun and moon, AA' , can be constructed at twice the size of the
we use the information that the earth's shadow at moon. Because the rays of sunlight, in which the
the moon's distance is twice the size of the moon earth casts its shadow, travel in straight lines, the
(the correct ratio is about 8 to 3). Now it is well lines AB
and A'B' drawn tangent to the sun at B
,

known that the sun and moon appear to be the and B', must also be tangent to the earth. Thus,
same angular size in the sky. By angular size we finally, the sphere of the earth can be drawn in to

mean the angle subtended by the diameter of an ob- proper scale at E. We have now constructed a scale
ject, that is, the angle of intersection between two drawing of the earth, moon, and sun. We need
lines drawn from a point on the earth (for example, only measure with a ruler to obtain their relative
the observer's eye) to opposite ends of a diameter of sizes.

the object. The sun and the moon each has an an- Perhaps it was his finding that the sun was
gular size of about V2 . If, as Aristarchus had deter- seven times the earth's diameter that led Aristar-
mined, the sun is 19 times as distant as the moon, chus to the conclusion that the sun, not the earth,
it must also be 19 times as big to appear the same was at the center of the universe. At any rate, he is

size. Aristarchus grossly overestimated the angular the first person of whom we have knowledge who
sizes of the sun and moon to be about 2° each (per- professed a belief in the heliocentric hypothesis
haps the error was intentional to emphasize the ge- that the earth goes about the sun. He also postu-
ometry rather than reality). With such data we lated that the stars must be extremely distant to ac-
could find the relative sizes of the earth, the moon, count for the fact that their parallaxes could not be
and the sun by geometrical construction. observed.

S
(Sun)

(Third quarter)

Figure 2.6 Arisrarchus' merhod of determining the relative distances of the sun and moon.

2.3 Larer Greek Astronomy 21

Figure 2.7 The principle by which Arisrorchus could derermine rhe relative sizes of rhe sun, moon,
and eorrh.

(b) Measurement of the Earth all over the earth who could see the sun were to
by Eratosthenes point at it, would all be pointing in the
their fingers

same direction they would all be parallel to each
Aristarchus had derived the dimensions of the sun other. The concept that rays of light from the sun,
and moon, but only in terms of the size of the planets, and stars approach the earth along parallel
The latter was not accurately known to him.
earth. lines is vital to the art of celestial navigation — the
The first fairly accurate determination of the earth's determination of position at sea.

diameter was made by Eratosthenes (276-195 or Eratosthenes noticed that at Syene, Egypt,
196 B.C.), an astronomer of the Alexandrian school. now modern Aswan, on the first day of summer,
To appreciate Eratosthenes' technique for mea- sunlight struck the bottom of a vertical well at
suring the earth, which is in principle the same noon, which indicated that Syene was on a direct
as many modern methods, we must understand line from the center of the earth to the sun. At the
that the sun is so distant from the earth compared corresponding time and date in Alexandria, 5000
with its size, even by Aristarchus' value, that the stadia north of Syene (the stadium was a Greek unit
sun's rays intercepted by all parts of the earth ap- of length), he observed that the sun was not di-
proach it along sensibly parallel lines. Imagine a rectly overhead but slightly south of the zenith, so
light source near the earth, say at position A in Fig- that its rays made an angle with the vertical equal
ure 2.8. Its rays strike different parts of the earth to Vsoof a circle (about 7°). Yet the sun's rays strik-
along diverging paths. From a light source at B, or ing the two cities are parallel to each other. There-
at C, still farther away, the angle between rays that fore (see Figure 2.9), Alexandria must be one fif-
strike extreme parts of the earth is smaller. The tieth of the earth's circumference north of Syene,
more distant the source, the smaller the angle be- and the earth's circumference must be 50 x 5000,
tween the rays. For a source infinitely distant, the or 250,000, stadia. The figure was later revised to
rays travel along parallel paths. The sun is not, of 252,000, so that each degree on the earth's surface
course, infinitely far away, but light rays striking would have exactly 700 stadia.
the earth from a point on the sun diverge from each It is not possible to evaluate precisely the ac-
other by at most an angle of less than one third of curacy of Eratosthenes' solution because there is

a minute of arc (V3')> far too small to be observed doubt as to which of the various kinds of Greek sta-
with the unaided eye. As a consequence, if people dia he used. If it was the common Olympic stad-

To sun-

To sun-

Figure 2.8 The more disranr on object, the more nearly parallel are the rays of light coming
from it.

22 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

To zenith about 850 entries. He designated for each star its
at Alexandria
celestial coordinates, that is, quantities analogous
To sun, at noon to latitude and longitude that specify its position
on June 22
(direction) in the sky. He also divided the stars ac-
cording to their apparent brightnesses into six cate-
To sun
and zenith gories, or magnitudes, and specified the magnitude
at Syene
of each star. In the course of his observations of the
stars, and in comparing his data with older obser-
vations, he made one of his most remarkable dis-
coveries: the position in the sky of the north celes-
tial pole had altered over the previous century and
a half. Hipparchus correctly deduced that the direc-
tion of the axis about which the celestial sphere ap-
pears to rotate continually changes. The real expla-
nation for the phenomenon is that the direction of
the earth's rotational axis changes slowly because of
the gravitational influence of the moon and the sun,
much as a top's axis describes a conical path as the
earth's gravitation tries to tumble the top over. This
variation in orientation of the earth's axis, called
precession, requires about 26,000 years for one cy-
cle (Chapter 6).
Figure 2.9 Eratosthenes' method of determining the size of
the earth.

Other Measurements
ium, his result was about 20 percent too large. Ac-
cording to another interpretation, he used a Hipparchus, refining the technique first applied by
stadium equal to about Ve km, in which case his Aristarchus, also obtained a good estimate of the
figure was within 1 percent of the correct value of moon's size and distance. He used the correct value
40,000 km. The diameter of the earth is found of V2 for the angular diameters of the sun and
s
from the circumference, of course, by dividing the moon and also the correct value /i for the ratio of
latter by tt. the diameter of the earth's shadow to the diameter
of the moon. He tried several values for the relative
distances of the sun and the moon, including the
(c) Hipparchus value found by Aristarchus, but found that the ex-
act distance assumed for the sun, provided it was
The greatest astronomer of pre-Christian antiqui-
large, did not havemuch effect on the figures he
ty was Hipparchus, who was born in Nicaea in
moon. He found the moon's dis-
derived for the
Bithynia. The dates of his life are not accurately
tance to be 59 times the earth's radius; the correct
known, but he carried out his work
Rhodes, and at
number is 60.
possibly also at Alexandria, in the period from 160
He
determined the length of the year to within
to 127 B.C. Many of the phenomena Hipparchus de-
6 minutes and even analyzed his possible errors, es-
tected are quite subtle, and the measurements he
timating that he could not be farther off than about

made all without optical aid were remarkable— 15 minutes. He also carefully observed the motions
foi the time.
of the sun, moon, and planets and found a method
by which he could predict the position of the sun
on any date of the year with an accuracy equal to
Hipparchus' Srar Catalogue
the best observations and the position of the moon
Hipparchus erected an observatory on the island of with somewhat less accuracy. His work made possible
Rhodes and built instruments with which he mea- the reliable prediction of eclipses, and with the infor-
sured as accurately as possible the directions of ob- mation he left, astronomers thereafter could predict a
jects in the sky. He compiled a star catalogue of lunar eclipse to within an hour or so.

2.3 Later Greek Astronomy 23

The Morions of rhe Sun and rhe Moon
Hipparchus' study of the motion of the sun de-
serves special mention. The earth's true orbit
around the sun is not a circle but an ellipse; the
earth's distance from the sun and its orbital speed
both vary slightly. Now we can account for the ap-
parent motion of the sun by imagining it to move
around the earth in an elliptical path of exactly the
same shape as the earth's orbit. This apparent path
of the sun, as we have seen, is the ecliptic. Because
we on (from the
see the sun's apparent orbit edge
inside), the ecliptic is a circle around the sky.
Moreover, the sun's eastward rate of motion on the
ecliptic varies, exactly as the earth's orbital speed
varies. The variation in speed is slight but is observ-
Figure 2.10 The eccentric.
able.
Eudoxus of Cnidas (ca. 408-355 B.C.) had ac-
counted for the sun's motion approximately by rep- Hipparchus pointed out that he could also have
resenting it with a series of rotating spheres pivoted represented the sun's apparent motion by presum-
one on the other. Later the mathematician Apollo- ing it to move on the circumference of a portable
nius of Perga (latter half of the third century B.C.) circle called an epicycle, whose center, in turn, re-
suggested that the motions of all the heavenly bod- volves about the earth in a circle called a deferent
ies could be represented equally well by a combi- (Figure 2.11). He considered the eccentric a simpler
nation of uniform circular motions. By uniform cir- and thus preferable system.
cular motion is meant a motion
uniform speed
at a The moon's motion is more complicated, and
about the circumference of a circle. Because the cir- Hipparchus was not quite so successful in finding a
cle is the simplest geometrical figure, and because geometrical scheme to describe it. According to the
uniform motion seemed the most natural kind, Hip- model he adopted, the moon went in a circle about
parchus, following the suggestion of Apollonius, at- a point near the earth (an eccentric), but the center
tempted to find a combination of uniform circular of the eccentric also revolved slowly about the
motions that would account for the sun's apparently earth. Hipparchus measured the nine-year period of
irregular behavior. this revolution, as well as a 19-year period during
The plan he adopted was to represent the sun's
orbit by an eccentric, a circle, but with the earth
slightly off center (Figure 2.10). The scheme was
highly successful because the true orbit of the earth
is very close to a circle with the sun just off center.
Now, one speed on the
effect of the sun's variable
produce an inequality in the lengths of
ecliptic is to
the seasons. Although the inequality had been
known before, Hipparchus remeasured the small
differences between the seasons' durations and from
them deduced that the earth's distance from the
center of the sun's orbit must be 1/24 of the sun's
distance. He found further that the earth and sun
were nearest each other in early December, which
was correct at that time. (The date has changed
over the thousands of years because of precession
and, to a lesser extent, because of a slow motion of
the long axis of the earth's elliptical orbit; the clos-
est approach now occurs in early January.) Figure 2.11 The deferent and epicycle.

24 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

which the intersections of the moon's orbit with the angle BEM.
For example, if A is one twelfth of the
ecliptic slide completely around the ecliptic, and way around the earth from B, the angle BEM is
the 5° inclination between the moon's orbit and the 30°. The side BE is of course the radius of the
ecliptic. The apparent motions of the planets are earth. We therefore know two angles and an in-
even more complicated than that of the moon. Hip- cluded side of the triangle MBE. It is now possible
parchus thus declined to fit the planets into a cos- to determine, either by trigonometry or geometrical
mological scheme but rather made careful observa- construction, the distance EM
between the centers
tions of their positions for use by later investigators. of the earth and moon. This is an example of the
principle of surveying. We shall discuss it further in
(d) Ptolemy Chapter 22.
In practice, we do not need another observer
The last greatGreek astronomer of antiquity was at B, for the rotation of the earth will carry us over
Claudius Ptolemy (or Ptolemaeus), who lived there in a few hours anyway, and we can observe
around 140 A. D. He compiled a series of 13 volumes the angle ZBM then. We shall have to correct,
on astronomy known as the Almagest. All of the Al- however, for the motion of the moon in its orbit
magest does not deal with Ptolemy's own work, for during the interval between our two observations;
it includes a compilation of the astronomical the moon's motion being known, the correction is

achievements of the past, principally of Hippar- a detail easily accomplished. Using the principle de-
chus. In fact, our main source of information
it is scribed, Ptolemy determined the moon's distance
about Greek astronomy. The Almagest also contains to be 59 times the radius of the earth or 2972 times
the contributions of Ptolemy himself. the earth's diameter — very nearly the correct value.

The Distance to the Moon Ptolemy's Scheme of Cosmology
One of Ptolemy's accomplishments was a new mea- Ptolemy's most important original contribution was
surement of the distance to the moon. The method a geometrical representation of the solar system that
he used, the principle of which is illustrated in Fig- predicted the motions of the planets with consider-
ure 2.12, makes use of the moon's parallax, dis- able accuracy. Hipparchus, having determined by
cussed by Hipparchus in connection with solar observation that earlier theories of the motions of
eclipses. Suppose we could observe the moon di- the planets did not fit their actual behavior, and not
rectly overhead. We would have to be, then, at po- having enough data on hand to solve the problem
sition A on the earth, on a line between the center himself, instead amassed observational material for
of the earth E, and the center of the moon Sup- M . Ptolemy supplemented the material
posterity to use.
pose that at the same time someone else at position with observations of his own and with it produced
B were to observe the angle ZBM between the a cosmological hypothesis that endured until the
moon's direction and the point directly over his time of Copernicus.
head, Z. The angle MBE would then be deter- The complicating factor in the analysis of the
mined in the triangle MBE (it is 180° minus angle planetary motions is that their apparent wanderings

ZBM). The distance from A to B determines the in the sky result from the combination of their own

Figure 2.12 Ptolemy's merhod of find-
ing rhe distance to the moon.

Armillary Sphere of Antonio
Santucci delle Pomerance,
made for the Grand Duke
Ferdinando I Medici in 1593.
(Istituto e Museo di Storia della

Scienza di Firenze)

Telescopes donated by Galileo to
the Grand Duke Ferdinando II

and to his brother, the Prince
Leopoldo. The longest has a
wooden tube covered with paper,
a focal length of 1.33 m, and an
aperture of 26 mm. (Istituto e
Museo di Storia della Scienza di
Firenze)

Newton's birthplace at
Woolsthorpe. The apple tree in the
foreground grew from the stump
of the one standing in Newton's
time. (Photograph by the author)

First editions of some books of
great historical interest. (Crawford
Library; Courtesy Astronomer Royal
for Scotland, Royal Observatory
Edinburgh)

2.3 Larer Greek Astronomy 25

motions and the earth's orbital revolution. Notice, is shown as an open loop in Figure 2.13.) Ob-
in Figure 2.13, the orbit of the earth and the orbit viously, we need a different explanation for retro-
of a hypothetical planet farther from the sun than grade motion on the hypothesis that the planet is

the earth. The earth travels around the sun in the revolving about the earth.
same direction as the planet and in nearly the same Ptolemy solved the problem by having a planet
plane, but has a higher orbital speed. Conse- P (Figure 2.14) revolve in an epicyclic orbit about
quently, it periodically overtakes the planet, like a C. The center of the epicycle C in turn revolved in
faster race car on the inside track. The apparent di- the deferent about the earth. When the planet is at

rections of the planet, seen from the earth, are position x,it is moving in its epicyclic orbit in the

shown at successive intervals of time along lines same direction as the point C moves about the
AA'A", BB'B", and so on. In the right side of earth, and the planet appears to be moving east-
the figure we see the resultant apparent path of the ward. When the planet is at y, however, its epi-
planet among the stars. From positions B to D, as cyclicmotion is in the opposite direction to the mo-
the earth passes the planet, it appears to drift back- tion of C. By choosing the right combination of
ward, to the west in the sky, even though it is ac- speeds and distances, Ptolemy succeeded in having
tually moving to the east. Similarly, a slowly mov- the planet moving westward at the right speed at y
ing car appears to drift backward with respect to and for the correct interval of time. However, be-
the distant scenery when we pass it in a faster-mov- cause the planets, as does the earth, travel about
ing car. As the earth rounds its orbit toward posi- the sun in elliptical orbits, their actual behavior
tion E, the planet again takes up its usual eastward cannot be represented accurately by so simple a
motion in the sky. The temporary westward motion scheme of uniform circular motions. Consequently,
of a planet as the earth swings between it and the Ptolemy made the deferent an eccentric, centered
sun is called retrograde motion. (During and after its not on the earth, but slightly away from the earth
retrograde motion, the planet's apparent path in at A. Furthermore, he had the center of the epicy-
the sky does not trace exactly over itself because of cle, C, move at a uniform angular rate, not around

the slight inclinations between the orbits of the A, or E, but at point B, called the equant, on the
earth and other planets. Thus, the retrograde path opposite side of A from the earth.

Planet's orbit

(a) (b)

Figure 2.13 Retrograde motion of a superior planer, (a) Actual positions of the planer and earth,
(b) The apparent path of the planet as seen from rhe earth, against the background of stars.

26 EARLY ASTRONOMY. MYTH AND SCIENCE

the realization that celestial worlds are actually
worlds and not ethereal substance is relatively re-
cent in the history of science. Small wonder, then,
that the ancients regarded the planets (including the
sun and moon), which alone moved about among
the stars on the celestial sphere, as having special
significance. Thus the planets came to be associated
with the gods of ancient mythologies; in some
cases, they were themselves thought of as gods.
Even in the comparatively sophisticated Greece of
antiquity, the planets had the names of gods and
were credited with having the same powers and in-
fluences as the gods whose names they bore. From
such ideas grew the religion of astrology.
Astrology began, we think, in the valley of the
Euphrates and Tigris Rivers a millennium or so be-
Figure 2.14 Prolemy's sysrem of deferenr, epicycle, eccen-
tric, and equonr. fore Christ. The Mesopotamians and the Babylo-
nians, believing that the planets and their motions
It is a tribute to the genius of Ptolemy as a influenced the fortunes of kings and nations, prac-
mathematician that he was able to conceive such a ticed what we mundane astrology. When the
call
complex system to account successfully for the ob- Babylonian culture was absorbed by the Greeks,
servations. His hypothesis, with some modifica- their astrology gradually influenced the entire west-
tions, was accepted as absolute authority through- ern world and eventually spread to the Orient as
out the Middle Ages, until it finally gave way to the well. By the third or second century B.C. the Greeks
heliocentric theory in the 17th century. In the Al- democratized astrology by developing the tradition
magest, however, Ptolemy made no claim that his that the planets influenced the life of every individ-
cosmological model described reality. He intended ual. In particular, they believed that the configura-
his scheme rather as a mathematical representation tion of the planets at the moment of a person's birth
to predict the positions of the planets atany time. affected his personality and fortune. This form of
Modern astronomers do the same thing with alge- astrology, known as natal astrology, reached its

braic formulas. Our modern mathematical methods acme with Ptolemy in the second century A.D. Pto-
were not available to Ptolemy; he had to use geom- lemy, as famous for his astrology as for his astron-
etry. omy, compiled the Tetrabiblos, a treatise on astrol-
ogy that remains the "bible" of the subject even
today.
2.4 ASTROLOGY
(a) The Horoscope
Modern research has shown that all matter in the
universe is —
composed of atoms and the same kinds The key to natal astrology is the horoscope, a chart
of atoms. Thus our Viking space probes of Mars that shows the positions of the planets in the sky at
and our telescopic spectra of the light from the most the momentof an individual's birth. The charting
remote quasars indicate that, whatever we do not of a horoscope, as of any map, requires the use of
yet understand about Mars and the quasars, at least coordinates. The celestial coordinates used by as-
they are made of the same stuff that makes up our trology, in antiquity as well as today, are analogous
own bodies. to, and share a common origin with, those used by
we cannot fault the ancients for assuming
Still, astronomers.
that the luminous orbs in the sky, the stars and First, the planets (including the sun and the
planets, are made of "heavenly" substances and not moon — classed by the ancients) are lo-
as planets
of the "earthly" elements we find at home. In fact, cated in the sky with respect to the fixed stars on

2.4 Astrology 27

the celestial sphere by specifying their positions in planets and signs through all of the houses. An ex-

the zodiac —
the belt centered on the ecliptic that ample of a horoscope (my own) is shown in Figure

contains the planets. For the purposes of astrology, 2.15.

the zodiac is divided into twelve sectors called Interpretation of the
(b)
signs, each 30° long. Second, the constantly turning
Horoscope
celestial sphere, with its stars and the planets, must
have its orientation specified with respect to the There are more or less standardized rules for the

earth at the time and place of the subject's birth. interpretation of the horoscope, many or most of
For this purpose the sky is divided into twelve re- which Western schools of astrology) are
(at least in

gions, called houses, that are fixed with respect to derived from the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy. Each sign,
the horizon. Each day the turning sky carries the each house, and each planet, the latter supposedly

1 id heaven

Ascendant Descendant
(Eastern Horizon) (Western Horizon)

/ k i^A 6.^
14'

«
%%>.
«©
& 21°

y> X23°
16°
20°50'

Nadir

Figure 2.15 Naral horoscope of rhe aurhor, who was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 1,
1927, or 10:50 pm, The 12 pie-shaped sectors represent rhe 12 houses, and rhe ourer circular
PST.
zone represents rhe zodiac. The definition of houses used in preparing this horoscope is that of
Placedus, in which, as the rotating celestial sphere carries rhe planets around rhe sky, each place in
the zodiac spends equal time in each of the six houses above the horizon (diurnal houses) and also
in the six houses below the horizon (nocturnal houses); however, the time required for an object to

pass through a diurnal house is not the same as that required for it to pass through a nocturnal house
except for objects on rhe celestial equator. The boundaries between the houses (cusps) intersecr the
ecliptic in the zodiacal signs indicated by their symbols in the outer circular zone. The number beside
each sign symbol is rhe angular distance of the cusp from rhe beginning of that sign. The position of
each planet is shown in the house occupied at the instant of the author's birth.- Beside the symbol
it

for rhe planer is rhe symbol of rhe zodiacal sign ir was also in at that time, and the angular disrance
of rhe planer from rhe beginning of rhar sign. The places where rhe horizon inrersecrs rhe zodiac are
shown, and also the highest point of rhe ecliptic in the sky (midheaven) and its lowest point below
the horizon, or nadir (rhis astrological definition of the nadir is differenr from rhe astronomical one,
in which rhe nadir is direcrly opposire rhe zenirh).


28 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

acting as a center of force, is associated with partic- The feeble radio signals from a small 1000- watt
ular matters. transmitter 100 miles away reach us with a strength
The interpretation of a horoscope is a very millions of times as great as the radio waves from
complicated business, and whereas the rules may Jupiter, and can be picked up by a pocket transis-
be standardized, how each rule is to be weighed tor radio. Even the magnet in the loudspeaker of
and applied is a matter of judgment — and "art." It that radio produces around the listeners a magnetic
also means that it is very difficult to tie astrology field enormously stronger than does Jupiter. More-
down to specific predictions. over, the distances of the planets from the earth
The interpretation of an individual's horo- vary greatly, and any gravitational and radiation ef-
scope, charted for the time and place of his birth is fects would vary as the inverse square of their dis-
natal astrology; his characteristics and fortunes, tances —
factors ignored by astrology.
presumably, depend on his natal horoscope. An- Astrology would have to argue that there are
other branch of the subject is horary astrology, unknown forces exerted by the planets that depend
which purports to answer direct specific questions on their configurations with respect to each other
by casting a horoscope for the time and place at and with respect to arbitrary coordinate systems in-
which the question was first posed. Horary astrol- —
vented by man forces for which there is not a whit
ogy might be used, for example, to find whether of solid evidence. Are astronauts on the moon sim-
the coming Monday would be a good time for a par- ilarly affected by the same kind of force exerted by

ticular business deal. the earth? Or is the earth, alone, subject to these
Because of precession, the signs of the zodiac unknown laws of nature?
are slowly slipping westward with respect to the In the most orthodox astrology, one's entire
constellations. The traditional astrology, neverthe- life (and death) is predetermined by his natal horo-
less, is based on the moving signs, not the constel- scope. If a man dies in an auto accident at the age
lations; it is called tropical astrology. It may have a of 63 because someone else ran a stoplight, are we
logical basis, because the seasons themselves de- supposed to assume that all of the complicated
pend on the sun's position with respect to the equi- chain of events that led to the circumstances of his
noxes and solstices on the ecliptic. On the other being in that accident were blueprinted by the plan-
hand, there is a school of astrology that is based on ets at the instant of his birth, but that all would
the positions of the planets in the constellations have been different if he had been born two hours
rather than in the signs; it is called sidereal astrology. later?Most of us would find this assumption so in-
credible that we would need the most overwhelming
evidence of its validity before taking it seriously. In
(c) Value of Astrology the tens of centuries of astrology, no such evidence
has been presented.
Today, with our knowledge of the nature of the One could argue, on the other hand, that as-
planets as physical bodies, composed as they are of trology only works statistically; that other influ-
rocks and fluids, it is hard to imagine that the di- ences — heredity
and environment, for example
rections of these planets in the sky at the moment are important too, and that astrological influences
of one's birth could have anything to do with his are only important as tendencies, everything else
personality or future. The gravitational influence of being equal. In that case the reality of astrological
the moon and sun on tides is unquestionable, but effects could only be tested statistically. From time
tides produced on a person by a book in his hand to time astrologers have presented statistical

produced by
are millions of times as strong as those "proofs" of astrology, but not one survives objec-
all the planets combined. The sun's light and heat tive scientific scrutiny. A recent and exhaustive
study of the astrological literature by an Australian
1

are obviously of great importance to us, but even
minute variations in the sun's irradiation are mil-
lions of times as great as the combined light of the
planets. Jupiter (and to a lesser extent, the other
Recent Advances in Natal Astrology, by Geoffrey Dean et
x

planets) has a strong magnetic fieldand emits radio
al.,published under the aegis of the Astrological Association,
waves, but their detection requires magnetometers 1977. Distributed in North America by Para Research, Inc.,
carried on space probes and large radio telescopes. Whistlestop Mall, Rockport, 01966. MA

2.4 Asrrology 29

astrologer failed to turn up a single piece of evi- blame for one's failures and misfortunes to an om-
dence that he regarded as verification of traditional nipotent power, continues to be a strong attraction.
astrology. Moreover, it may simply be "fun" to speculate
In retrospect, we can understand the belief in about the unknown and unprovable no matter how
astrology on the part of ancient peoples who little basis there may be for it. Many astrologers to-
thought the heavenly bodies to be made of celestial day acknowledge that astrology cannot be proven
material different from the elements that compose by statistics or by experiment, but assert that it
the earth, and to be placed in the sky by their gods must be "known" or "realized" as knowledge or
for the benefit of mankind. In the light of modern truth. In this context, it is outside the realm of sci-

knowledge, the astrological claims seem so far- ence, and no rational argument based on the rules
fetched as to be ludicrous. Because we would not of science is relevant. To many astrology is still a
expect the supposed influences, even in a statistical religion, and hence is outside the scope of our con-
sense, we would want solid evidence and demon- sideration here.
strable predictions. Physical scientists and others One fact remains: The practice of astrology in
who have investigated the subject with the hope of ancient times required the knowledge of the mo-
finding some grain of validity in it have found neg- tions of the planets in order to construct horoscopes
ative results. Virtually all scientists reject astrology for past or future events. The quest to find a mech-
as an unfounded superstition. Yet it continues to anism for charting the planets, joined with a natu-
appeal to the popular fancy. The hope of predicting ral curiosity about nature, stimulated centuries of

the futureby magical or mystical means, and per- observations and calculations, leading as we shall —
haps of transferring one's responsibilities and the see —
to our modern technology.

EXERCISES

1. Where on earth are all stars above the horizon at 9. Suppose, in applying a method based on Aristar-
one time or another? chus' procedure, we found that the interval from
third quarter to first quarter moon was one week,
2. Where on earth is only half the sky ever above the
and that the interval from first quarter to third
horizon?
quarter moon was three weeks. Then what distance
3. Look up the names of the days of the week in would he have derived for the sun (in terms of the
French, Italian, and Spanish, and compare them moon's distance from the earth)?
with the names of the planets.
10. Suppose the sun were twice as distant as the moon.
4. Why was Philolaus' hypothesis not scientific? What fraction of the month would the moon spend
between third quarter and first quarter?
5. Show by a diagram how a solar eclipse can occur at
new moon but does not usually occur. 11. The earth's diameter is about three and two-thirds
times the diameter of the moon. What is the angular
6. About what time of day or night does the moon rise
diameter of the earth as seen by an observer on the
when it is full? When it is new?
moon?
7. Why can an eclipse of the moon never occur on the
day following a solar eclipse? 12. Suppose Eratosthenes had found that at Alexandria
at noon on the first day of summer the line to the
8. As seen by a terrestrial observer, which (if any) of sun makes an angle of 30° with the vertical. What
the following can never appear in the opposite direc- then would he have found for the earth's circumfer-
tion in the sky from the sun? in the same direction? ence?
at an angle of 90° from the sun? (a) Mars; (b) a star;
(c) the sun; (d) Earth; (e) Jupiter; (f) the moon; (g) 13. Suppose Eratosthenes's results for the earth's cir-
Venus; (h) Mercury. cumference were quite accurate. If the diameter of

30 EARLY ASTRONOMY: MYTH AND SCIENCE

the earth is 12,740 km, evaluate the length of his amples of trine aspects that can never occur. (There
stadium in kilometers. is a hint in Appendix 9.)

14. Why would Eratosthenes's method not have worked
if the earth were flat, like a pancake? 18. Many people try to use pseudostatistical arguments
to justify their beliefs in a pseudoscience. Try the
15. You are on a strange planet. You note that the stars experiment of flipping a coin ten times and then re-
do not rise or set, but that they circle around par- cording the number of heads that turn up. Do this
allel to the horizon. Then you travel over the surface experiment 100 or more times (several people can
of the planet in one direction for 10,000 km, and at flip coins at the same time and then pool results,
that new place you find that the stars rise straight thereby saving labor). Prepare a table showing how
up from the horizon in the east and set straight many times no head was obtained (ten tails in a
down in the west. What is the circumference of the row), how many times one head was obtained, how
planet? many times two heads, and so on. Make a graph
Answer: 40,000 km showing the same data. What was the most frequent
16. Is retrograde motion observed for an inferior planet?
number of heads? What fraction of the time were
less than three or more than seven heads obtained?
Explain.
If an event occurring only one percent of the time is
17. One aspect of the planets that is regarded favorably enough to arouse your suspicions, how many heads

by astrology is the trine when two planets are 120° would you have to obtain in a single experiment to
away from each other in the zodiac. Give two ex- question the honesty of the coin?

volutionibus.1 COPERNICUS significant astronomical investigations were made by the Hindus and Arabs. Then came the Renaissance. Mikolaj Kopernik. His ideas were set forth in detail in his De Re- however. ematics. he vide continuity between ancient astronomy and the was well known as an authority on astronomy. a critical reappraisal of the existing theories of cos- Astronomy made no major advances in medi.1). Nicholas Copernicus (in Polish. mology and the development of a new model of the eval Europe. manuscript circulated by him and his friends. but had access to some of the records of the Greek as. is the center of the solar system had be- mology combined the crystalline spheres of Pytha. Copernicus' main interest was astronomy and math- tronomers. Medieval cos. chiefly through an early goras (as perpetuated by Aristotle) with the epicy. Astrology was widely practiced. They also Poland. By the time he had reached middle age. where the prevailing philosophy was solar system. who was probably responsible for 31 . Copernicus' great contribution to science was sance. clesof Ptolemy. ure 3. but he presented compelling arguments that turned the tide of cosmological thought. His training was in law and medicine. Supervision over the publication of the in science the rebirth was clearly embodied in Ni. His unorthodox idea that the sun. the earth. come known by 1515. development of modern astronomy in the Renais. The Arabs brought the Hindu system of numbers 1473-1543) was born in Torun on the Vistula in to Europe and developed trigonometry. The Hindus invented our system of numbers with place counting by tens. Nicolaus Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik) (1473-1543) did not prove that the earth revolves about the sun. Their greatest contribution was to pro. and an interest in the motions of the plan. published in the year of his death (Fig- ets was thus kept alive. (Yerkes Observatory) THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE In the 13 centuries following Ptolemy the most 3. drew Osiander. not acceptance of the dogma of authority. book fell into the hands of a Lutheran preacher An- cholas Copernicus.

pleasing in the heliocentric system. larger than that of the earth. Copernicus ar- Orbium Celestium (On the Revolutions of the Celes. in the order Mercury. On other occasions. is above the horizon all night long. 1 Plan of rhe solar sysrem in the firsr edition of Co- pernicus' De Revolutionibus. he was able to work out the correct gen- of it was elegant and persuasive. Then that planet ap- pears in exactly the opposite direction in the sky — from the sun or at least as nearly opposite as is allowed by the slight differences of inclination among the planes of the orbits of the planets. Every now and then. eral picture of the solar system. tionary. that is. and Saturn). The pref. about a fixed axis while the celestial sphere is sta- ace was almost certainly in contradiction to Coper. ets. which he about the earth could be equally well represented neglected to sign. De Revolutionibus is that the earth is but one of six Yet. Copernicus worked out the correct ap- A person moving uniformly is not necessarily aware proximate scale of the solar system.. he deduced that the nearer a planet is to the sun.3d) were to Copernicus easily understood without the necessity for epicy- cles. ther. It is then in the same direction from the earth as the sun is. At such time. — 32 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE the augmented title of the work De Revolutionibus we who are moving (or vice versa). about an axis would fly into pieces. the greater is its orbital speed. the even faster motion (because of its greater of planetary motions. or ship ap. To the objection that if the earth rotated nicus' own feelings. Jupiter. He placed the plan- though not widely accepted until more than a cen. We have all experienced the phenom. At such time. expressing the view that science by a motion of the earth about the sun. Osiander wrote a preface. . and Saturn. tury after his death. combinations of uniform circular motions. never disappeared and were Venus. A superior planet is any planet whose orbit is . and Figure 3. it will be helpful to define a few terms that enon of seeing an adjacent train. Fur- ultimately of immense influence. Royal Ob. Mars. His postulates include the as. a planet that is farther from the sun than the earth is (Mars. of course is not visible. Thus the ret- (a) Planetary Motions According rograde motions of the planets (Section 2. he evidently found something orderly and (then known) planets that revolve about the sun. pear to change position. His ideas.2. (Crawford Collection. thus The important point that Copernicus made in Copernicus was not free of all traditional prejudices. and his defense Given this. the planet is servatory Edinburgh) said to be in conjunction. We look one way to see the sun.t*. the earth passes between a superior planet and the sun. and sets at sunrise. The planet is then said to be in opposition. An inferior planet is a planet closer to the sun than the earth is (Venus and Mer- cury). the planet rises at sunset. To understand of his motion. only to discover that it is These are illustrated in Figure 3. Also. describe the positions of planets in their orbits. Copernicus sets forth answered that if such motion would tear the earth certain postulates from which he derives his system apart. gued that the apparent annual motion of the sun tial Spheres). starting nearest the sun. how. Copernicus it In De Revolutionibus. and that presented only an abstract mathematical hypothesis the rotation of the celestial sphere could be ac- and implying that the theory set forth in the book counted for by assuming that the earth rotates was only a convenient calculating scheme. a superior planet is on the other side of the sun from the earth. size) of the celestial sphere required by the alterna- sumptions that the universe is spherical and that the tive hypothesis would be even more devastating motions of the heavenly bodies must be made up of to it. car. al. Earth. Ju- piter. and in the opposite direc- tion to see the planet.

At conjunction.1 Copernicus 33 Quadrature Greatest eastern elongation Elongation (~30 ) Inferior conjunction Earth Opposition | Earth g un Conjunction Sun / Superior conjunction Greatest western elongation Quadrature East East (a) (b) Figure 3.3). When A has elongation of a planet is its angular distance from made one revolution about the sun and has returned the sun as seen from the earth. on ei. In other words. such as the earth to the sun makes a right angle with the line time from opposition to opposition or fr6m con- from the earth to the planet. faster in a smaller orbit (Figure 3. Then the planet is said junction to conjunction. not the sidereal period of a planet. Now planet A An inferior planet can never be at opposition. A moving sets at either noon or midnight. has gained one full lap on B. 3. tween). however. A and B. B has. Planet A has revolved for its orbit lies entirely within that of the earth. the synodic period earth. a to position (1). planet A passes between and the sun S. superior planet. earth and sun. one is the synodic period of one with respect to the When an inferior planet passes between the other. to be at quadrature. a superior planet may appear 90° away The synodic period is also the time required for it from the sun in the sky. In between these extremes (but not halfway be. until both planets reach position (3). the earth. if A is the When it passes on the far side of the sun from the earth and B a superior planet. If B is the earth and Aan inferior planet. of B is the time for the earth to gain a lap on the it is said to be at superior conjunction. In S years. B earth-planet direction and the earth-sun direction is Planet B is at opposition as seen from A. to position (2). it is in the same direction from earth the synodic period of A is the time required for the as the sun and is said to be in inferior conjunction. At position The angle formed at the earth between the (1). its apparent period of one revolution per year. described in traveling from position (1) to position ther the east or west side. By rea- Sidereal Periods of a soning along the lines outlined in the last para- Planer graph.2 (a) Configurations of a superior planet. Let a sidereal period of a planet — that is. that the inferior planet (3) in its orbit. A does not catch up with B and at quadrature 90°. must make S trips around . At quadrature. in its orbit through 360° plus the angle that B has The greatest angular distance from the sun. the in inferior conjunction as seen from B. so that a line from the to return to the same configuration. completing stars — and its synodic period. moved on planet has an elongation of 0°. at opposition 180°. The time required for the faster- can attain is called its greatest eastern elongation or moving planet to gain a lap on the slower-moving greatest western elongation. its actual period planet's sidereal period be P years and its synodic of revolution about the sun with respect to the fixed period 5 years. a planet rises or Consider two planets. we can deduce the sidereal peri- Copernicus recognized the distinction between the ods of the planets from their synodic periods. revolution about the sky with respect to the sun. and is again in the same direction as the sun. and A is called the planet's elongation. (b) configurations of on inferior planer. inferior planet to gain a lap on the earth. In fact. What is observed directly from the earth is the and Synodic synodic. in the meantime.

We have.08434 = 11. Consider first an inferior by geometrical construction or by trigonometric cal- planet. The planet's distance from the sun revolution in P years. we can For a superior planet. suppose (Figure 3.86 years. For the sake of illustration. the sun. EP. in which case the earth would complete less elongation). The angle is observed (it is the greatest than 1. . and ods of a planer.4).09211 years. S/P trips around the sun. PS. completing one from the sun.a ereal periods of the planet and the earth. relorive ro rhe earrh's disrance. which the distance of a superior planet can be can be written found. is 1 for an inferior planet. can then be found. The problem is particularly simple for the inferior planets. When an inferior planet is at greatest elongation (Figure 3. so As a simple illustration of the procedure by S + 1 = S/P. in terms of the earth's distance. (The quantity S. It has made one more trip around the sun culation. The side SE' is the earth's distance Figure 3. would make. the line of sight from the earth to the planet.5) the planet P is at op- position. during its synodic period than has the earth. 1/1. it is the earth that gains the calculate the fractions of their respective orbits that extra lap.3 Relation between rhe sidereal and synodic peri. With knowledge of the sid. Since Jupiter is a su- perior planet. Thus the angles PSP' and ESE' can be determined. hence perpendicular to the line from the planet to the sun. J. *3 angle P'SE' . We can now time the interval until the 1 l — = + — c * planet is then at P' next at quadrature. can be less PES EPS. the planet • i • . by rearrangement of terms. 1 o and the earth at E' . Figure 3. which.91566. and subtraction gives the angle P'SE' in the right tri- — = 1 — — for a superior planet. whose syn- odic period is 1. 1/P = 1 .4 Determination of rhe disrance of an inferior planer from rhe sun.08434.09211 = 1 - 0. must be tangent to the orbit of the planet. let us assume that the orbits of the planets are precisely circular. therefore. Relative Distances of rhe Planers Copernicus was able to find the planets' distances from the sun relative to the earth's. a right triangle. even though that as- sumption is an oversimplification. of course. or MP = 0. in S years. and the side ES is the earth's distance than one circuit.34 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE As an example. consider Jupiter. Thus.) The other planet. which can be written have been traversed by the two bodies. P = 1/0. and 5 = SIP + 1.

so enough data are available to solve Philosophically. eccentrics.5 Determination of the distance of a superior ernicus. from the sun. How.2 Tycho Brahe 35 Revolutionibus to inspect the handwritten marginal annotations of the original owners of the books. 1 Distances of Planets from the Sun with some adjustments the old Ptolemaic system could have accounted as well for the motions of the PLANET COPERNICUS MODERN planets in the sky. a "giant step for mankind. Many of these readers turned out to be famous as- tronomers themselves. It will be brought up again and again in our Also given are the values determined by modern investigation of the universe as a whole. relative to the earth's distance. It was. introduced epicycles. more than 500 copies of early editions of De believed to be a supernova — see Chapter 34) that . which brought a kind of unity to the Jupiter 5. marked the origin of modern science and of our ever. It is an interesting comment on the in- sights of scholars of the generation following Cop- Figure 3. are summarized in Table 3. has observations. dealing with the rather dull detailsby which Copernicus was able to account for the motions of the planets without equants.387 Venus 0. in which Coperni- cus sets forth his general plan of the heliocentric hypothesis. Copernicus made the earth an astro- Mars 1.54 universe. P'S (again in terms of the earth's distance). we have discussed the Copernican ernicus was honored by scientists throughout the theory as though Copernicus regarded the planets world in 1973. about the sun.72 0. for the Copernican revolution as having circular orbits centered on the sun. merely one of the several planets in revolution by construction or calculation. rather than a special place in the universe. Three years after the publication of De Revolutioni- as unworthy of the perlection of heavenly bodies bus. who has and as a young man made significant astronomical a special interest in the history of astronomy. Copernicus did not prove that the earth revolves about the sun. and equants to ac- count for those minor irregularities that arise be- cause of deviations from uniform circular motion 3. But the Ptolemaic cosmology Mercury 0. but sun. we recall that centuries earlier Ptolemy had contemporary understanding of the universe. measurement.Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was born of a family and instead introduced a system of eccentrics and of Danish nobility. ev- idently this part. In 1572 he observed a nova or "new star" (now vate. 3. Gingerich has noted that the early part ofDe Revolutionibus.00 its successor. Table 3. Well read and marked-up portions of the books were the later ones. was not very attractive to astronomers of the six- teenth century. The values obtained by Copernicus for the dis. searched out in various libraries.2 TYCHO BRAHE (actually because the true orbits of planets are el- Copernicus rejected the equants of Ptolemy lipses).20 Saturn 9. Copernicus' cosmological ideas lightly. is some- tances of the various planets from the sun. usually have rather few annotations. The idea that we are at a typical. in units times referred to as the Copernican cosmological prin- of earth's distance. In fact.52 nomical body.1. Tycho (as he is generally small epicycles to take care of the irregularities.723 was clumsy and lacked the beauty and coherence of Earth 1. to borrow from Neil Armstrong.52 1. But of course not all astronomers took planer from the sun. public and pri.22 5." It is fitting that the quinquecentennial celebration of the birth of Cop- So far. ciple. Contrary to popular belief.18 9.38 0. known) developed an early interest in astronomy Harvard astronomer Owen Gingerich. the main point of Copernicus' the triangle and find the planet's distance from the idea is that the earth is not something special.00 1. with its radical new cosmology.

as perfect and unchanging. Tycho and his assistants carried out the most the moon about us. workshops. The effect is the same a library. because of of Hveen. for 20 rotation or a rotation of the celestial sphere carrying years. Uraniborg. whether we regard it as being caused by the earth's a printing press. despite the most careful complete and accurate astronomical observations observations. in 1597 Tycho was forced to leave Denmark. Tycho was both arrogant and more distant than the moon. Now. the new the utmost importance.36 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE rivaled the planet Venus in brilliance. living quarters. fine astronomical observatory on the Danish island or apparent displacement in direction. Christian IV. laboratory. taking with him Figure 3. Tycho. motions of the planets. apart from the regular Thus. for it showed that changes king. There. The reputation of the young Tycho Brahe as served the star for 16 months until it disappeared an astronomer gained him the patronage of Freder- from naked-eye visibility.3c) that the moon exhibits a diurnal parallax. This conclusion was of extravagant. his nova and accordingly concluded that it must be Unfortunately. Tycho ob. ick II. generally regarded mer and eventually discontinued his support.6 Tycho Brahe's observarory. The chief building of the observatory was the rotation of the earth. The facilities at Hveen included position of observation. lost patience with the astrono- can occur in the celestial sphere. and even a jail. and after Frederick II died. which constantly shifts our named Uraniborg. was unable to detect any parallax of yet made. He took up residence near Prague. (Yerkes Observatory) . and in 1576 Tycho was able to establish a tion 2. we have seen (Sec.

ets. unlike the plan- by him or his students in 1580. Venus. to have angular comet appeared for which he could observe no par. moving earth with certain Biblical statements. 1582. the farther away an object is. was he off by as much as 2'. The brightest of them he thought to (a) Tycho's Observations be 2' across. he even noted regularities in the variations. be. was in exile from his native land. Now. and with the other planets revolving about the sun damental starts in his excellent star catalogue were in the order Mercury. that he believed that he could measure the angular sizes of stars. suggest an original sys- servations of the positions of the stars and planets. The positions of the nine fun. a bright atmosphere. The great void that would be required between 20 years of observation. Mars. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was born in Weil-der- ets. In 1600. to be proportionally greater. Jupiter. even more convincing to Tycho was the fact Tycho. Tycho did. the power of the Catholic church in Graz grew to the point where Kepler. make observations accurate to the limit of vision with the sun revolving about the earth each year. 1590. There he learned the principles within 1 ' . who. and this was a star whose position was distorted by atmospheric refrac- 3. He reevaluated nearly every astronomical of the Copernican system. The fact that he compatible with the long series of observations . He became an early con- constant and determined the length of the year to vert to the heliocentric hypothesis and defended it within one second. however. Accordingly. Tycho could not detect as lieved comets were luminous vapors in the that much as 1 ' of parallax for any star. Even- (b) Tycho's Cosmology tually.Other comets were observed servations showed that the stars. His daily observations of the sun. like earth. could not detect a parallax for even a single star. however. that the stars were so distant that. and accurate in most cases to within Only in one case 1 ' . the larger must be its true size in order that it have Tycho. Wurttemberg (southwestern Germany). He over years and comprising thousands of individual attended college at Tubingen and studied for a sightings. led to solar tables that were good to theological career. pearance to the naked eye is illusory. he esis on what seemed at the time to be very sound went to Prague to serve as an assistant to Tycho grounds. their disklike ap- 1593. 3. extending Stadt.3 Kepler 37 some of his instruments and most of his records. Tycho's observations included a continuous record of the positions of the sun. he was offered a position teaching mathe- planets from those given in published tables.7). as court astronomer for Emperor Rudolph moreover. in arguments with his fellow scholars. was forced to quit his post. however. although it was not worked out With instruments of his own design. There. vations of planetary positions enabled him to note In 1594. His extensive and precise obser. and plan. in contradic. he secured the assistance of a most able been enough to make him doubt the motion of the young mathematician. moon. a given angular diameter. isfactory theory of planetary motion —one that was gish" as the earth to be in motion.) Tycho is most famous for his very accurate ob. tem of cosmology. like others of his time and before him. with the naked eye.3 KEPLER tion (see Chapter 10). and matics and astronomy at the high school at Graz. Tycho concluded that the comet was at least twice the size of the entire orbit of the earth. Tycho Brahe spent the remaining enormously distant if the earth revolved around the years of his life analyzing the data accumulated over sun. If they three times as distant as the moon and guessed that were still farther away. their actual sizes would have to be allax. As part of his duties at Graz. (Later telescopic ob- tion to earlier beliefs. he was able to in full detail.appear as luminous points. He envisioned the earth in the center. meant that the would have to be stars II of Bohemia. and 1596. 1585. diameters of 2'. because of his facility as a mathema- that there were variations in the positions of the tician. Johannes Kepler. nor Tycho set Kepler to work trying to find a sat- could he even imagine an object as heavy and "slug. a Protes- Tycho rejected the Copernican heliocentric hypoth. he found it difficult to reconcile a Brahe. Saturn (Figure 3. their diameters would have it probably revolved around the sun. the year before the orbit of Saturn and the stars would alone have his death. tant. he prepared almanacs that gave astronomical and astrological data. so it followed earth's In 1577. First.

but without success. Properties of the Ellipse The maximum diameter of the ellipse is called Next to the circle. called cluding eccentrics and equants. If the make progress. an open curve results that is called a hyperbola. The parabola separates sive. After Tycho's death. Kepler suc. to the observed the foci of the ellipse. This property motion of Mars. the intersection is a circle. so that the string is held taut. for ellipse. the sum of the soon discovered that the orbit could be fitted very distances from the pencil to the two tacks is a con- well by a curve known as an ellipse. the dis- of closed curve. The Kepler's most detailed study was of Mars. is known as conic sections (Figure 3. however. The shape of an .7 Tycho's model for the solar system. The ends he found a hypothesis that agreed with observations of a length of string are tied to two tacks pushed to within 8' (about one quarter the diameter of the through a sheet of paper into a drawing board. the ellipse is the simplest kind its major axis. with characteristic integrity.8). 1609 in The New Astronomy. but he believed that Tycho's observa- that the string is slack. It belongs to a family of curves tance from the center of the ellipse to one end. cuts completely through the surface of the cone. was reluctant to cone (whose base is presumed to extend downward supply Kepler with enough data to enable him to indefinitely) and a plane that cuts through it. He published the first results of his work in the family of ellipses from the family of hyperbolas. Their study occupied most of Kep.9). and so.38 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE » Jupiter Mercury Mars Saturn / Figure 3. If a pencil is then pushed tions could not have been in error by even this against the string. dolph and obtained possession of the majority of the resulting curve is an ellipse. of course. in- the distances to two points inside the ellipse. made at Hveen. Half the distance. quite cuts all the way through the cone. the curve that results is an ellipse. If cian. At one point suggests a simple way to draw an ellipse. Such a curve is called a parabola. but still ceeded him as mathematician to the emperor Ru. parallel to its base). then. ranges from a circle at one extreme which the observational data were the most exten- to a parabola at the other. is the same. it never ler's time for more than 20 years. and then slid against the string around the tacks he discarded the hypothesis. are at the two foci of the ellipse. The tacks. allel to a line in the surface of the cone. If the plane is par- Tycho's records. If the plane is inclined at (a) The Investigation of Mors an even smaller angle to the axis of the cone. A conic section the semimajor axis. Brahe. He had spent several years trying lipse is that from any point on the curve the sum of to fit various combinations of circular motion. perhaps Brahe was substantial plane is perpendicular to the axis of the cone (or afraid of being "scooped" by the young mathemati. so full moon). the plane is inclined at an arbitrary angle. stant length — the length of the string. Kepler tried (Figure 3. Finally. that is. at to represent the orbit of Mars with an oval. or Commentaries on the An and important property of an el- interesting Motions of Mars. and any point where the pencil may be. The size of an ellipse depends is simply the curve of intersection between a hollow on the length of the major axis. and the curve of intersection is open at one end. though. small amount.

elastic are compared to the major axis.3 Kepler 39 distance between the tacks divided by the length of the string. infinitely long ellipse is a parabola. Figure 3. and the eccentricity is the law of areas. an ellipse of eccentricity zero. Fig- ure 3. If one tack is removed to an infinite distance. 3. Kepler found that Mars has an orbit that is an ellipse and that the sun is at one focus (the other focus is empty). The eccentricity of the orbit of Mars is only about 0. If an ellipse is drawn out in space by this imaginary line are always equal as described above.10 shows several ellipses. the length of the major axis is (Figure 3. the orbit. would be practically indistinguishable from a circle. After some calculation. An ellipse is completely specified by its major axis and its eccentricity. Ellipses of various shapes are obtained by varying the spacing of the tacks (as long as they are not farther apart than the length of the string).11). This relation is commonly called the the length of the string. Kepler expressed this relation by imagining that the ellipse depends on how close together the two foci sun and Mars are connected by a straight.1.8 Conic sections. The Varying Speed of Mars Before he saw that the oribt of Mars could be rep- resented accurately by an ellipse. the ellipse is a circle. then. A parabola has an eccentricity of one. The ratio of the line. Kepler had al- ready investigated the manner in which the planet's orbitalspeed varied. sun and slows down as it pulls away from the sun. "our end" of the result- ing. a circle is. in equal intervals of time the areas swept the eccentricity of the ellipse. drawn to scale. he found that Mars speeds up as it comes closer to the Figure 3. If the foci (or tacks) coincide.9 Drawing an ellipse. and if enough string is available. Parabola It is a tribute to Tycho's observations and to Kep- Hyperbola ler's perseverance that he was able to determine that the orbit was an ellipse at all. As Mars around travels in its elliptical orbit distance between the foci to the major axis is called the sun. .

. In that latter triangle ture. the earth will have re- turned to £.M and Kepler believed in an underlying harmony in na- E.E2 in .E2 and 5£2 £. KEPLER'S SECOND LAW (THE LAW OF pleted nearly two full revolutions around the sun and AREAS): The straight line joining a planet and the sun sweeps out equal areas in the orbital plane will be E2 Angle 5E7 M can now be observed. In Figure 3. with Mars and the sun is observable. 7 40 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE (a) (b) Figure 3. therefore. respectively. from 5f. Kepler's First Two Laws of HOW KEPLER DETERMINED THE ORBIT Planetary Motion Summarized OF MARS We may summarize the most important contribu- Kepler determined rhe distance between Mors and the tions in The New Astronomy.687 = 43 2 days of completing two revolutions about the sun.E7 and SE7 Ey (b) The Harmony of the Worlds Subtraction of angles 5E. the major axis of a planet's orbit is the sum dares separared from each orher by inrervals of 687 of its maximum and minimum distances from the days. and 5E2 are the validity of these two laws only for the case of each the earth's distance from the sun. gives the angles E2 E. Thus two sides Mars. the distance of Mars from the sun (but in terms algebraic relation between the lengths of the semi- of the earth's distance) can be found from either tri- major axes of the planets' orbits and their sidereal angle 5f.M at the earth between about the sun in an orbit that is an ellipse. The earth. after 687 days Mars will return to point M. the Kepler found the distance of Mars from the sun at five points along its orbit by choosing from Tycho's rec- distance between a given planet and the sun varies. half of this sum. (b) ellipses of rhe same eccenrriciry bur various major axes./V1 and 5E2M. and he constantly searched for numerological since two angles and an included side are now known. or 73072 days. In ex- at . However. that he found a simple Finally. 5 represents Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion: the sun and M represents Mars at some point in its path around the sun.12. and the triangle can be solved for the side E.10 (a) Ellipses of rhe same major axis bur various eccenrriciries. he expressed the opinion that they and an included angle of the triangle E. sun. will have com. meanwhile. Because planetary orbits are elliptical. periods. Kepler appears to have demonstrated the earth moves in 4372 days. in equal intervals of time. held also for the other planets.E2 M. ords rhe elongarions of Mors on each of five pairs of Now. Thus At the time of publication of the New Astron- the angle E. : sonal triumph.SE2 is known — it is the angle through which omy (1609). The earth is short by 7307 2 . actly 2 years. It was a great per- sides E M and E2 M and the third angle can be found. both in the triangle E : ME2 . terms of the distance from the earth to the sun. Therefore. Since the sidereal pe- the sun at one focus of the ellipse. by stating what are now known as process of rriangulorion.5E2 are known. Lines 5£.M or SE^M. riod of Mars is 687 days. and for the angles SE. can be thought of as the average distance of a . relations in the celestial realm. Suppose we observe Mars when the KEPLER'S FIRST LAW: Each planet moves earth is at Ev The angle SE. the semimajor axis. or Commentaries on the sun at various positions of the planet in its orbit by the Motions of Mars.

a is in agreement with observations. 5. a. P. CD. Saturn. and K Kepler published his discovery in 1619 in The is a numerical constant whose value depends on the Harmony of the Worlds. and Kepler's third law can be written Ka' P = 2 a\ We see that to arrive at his third law it was not necessary for Kepler to know the actual distances of the planets from the sun (say. a 3 . 1 Kepler's merhod of rriangularing rhe disrance ro Kepler's law holds exactly. the limit of accuracy of the data given. the period of Mars. planet from the sun. 1.88 years. as determined by Copernicus and by Kepler. are It is simplest to express Kepler's third law with the in astronomical units. With this choice of units. the as- tronomical unit.524 is 3. where P represents the sidereal period of the major axis is simply the radius of the circle. Note found that the values tion to the cubes of the semimajor axes of their for the distances of the planets from the sun. only the distance in units of the earth's distance. the semi. and P To 2 .54. except for Jupiter and Mors. and by rhe so on. nearesr ir rhe focus of rhe ellipse. planet. The planer's orbiral speed varies in such a way rhar in equal inrervals of rime ir moves disrances AD. The semimajor axis. tance the semimajor axis of the earth's orbit.3 Kepler 41 Figure 3. The cube of 1. The relation is now known kinds of units chosen to measure time and distance.. According to the above formula. algebraic equation: K . where rhe sun is. law.54. the dereal periods of the planets are in direct propor- astronomical unit (AU). or 1. both orbits. of Mars' orbit is » M 1. The length of the astronomical unit in kilometers was not determined accurately until later (see Chapter 22). A planer moves mosr rapidly on irs ellipri- cal orbir when is ar posirion A. for which there are very slight discrepan- .2 gives for each of the six planets known to Kep- ler the modern values of a. consider Mars. a is the semimajor axis of its orbit. in kilometers. As an example of Kepler's third law. as his third. 2 3. or harmonic.11 Law of equal areas.524 AU. should be the square root of 3. DC. Table result that 3. It is convenient to choose for the unit of time the earth's period — the year — and for the unit of dis- KEPLER'S THIRD LAW: The squares of the si. we see that Figure 3. so rhar regions swepr our line connecring and rhe sun (shaded ir and clear zones) are always rhe same in area. in years. In a circular orbit.

quia ipfc refpeftu (Stterou: . Aristarchus (Section 2. MOM C S L I I B.iT.m.862 140. communia Contra- pi.quiaaphcliocjus motuad Caccommo- that the harmonic (third) law applies to the motions daco.2 Observational Test of Kepler's Third Law the earth's distance from the sun the astronomical — unit.615 0.percomprehenfionemcertiimervalliconcinni.funcpropria/iraquc voce quodam- mod^fumufus.000 1. H AR. fc _±^s±s* +*H**^ s oacuinu* Jupiter M. The book includes ac- :ic Acorn fi-naturaduarunimcoiiimuni Syflematefl avium. Sciocquidcm. &for- counts of discoveries. Decades later. fa. distance to be about 60 times the radius of the Harmonias uni vcrlalcs omnium earth." h« convemeiu: VcnenoKin^urtnniincervilli.537 3. . . & vercjj^ ** »JJ p-imumi'lornm Tomruminter-allinieOremitonium Mercoriouw "i>'i.378 Earth 1.peri!icluuad £ pcrrenicMarci Quincum vel Scxcum noneo . Venus manec in umfono nonxquans "ere tcnfionisaniplicu- d vcl muiiruurn ex concinms inrervallis. i fames (famine).^Jj to the Sun niuneS\ (tenia.' TelluridaremTerriun Tel" aatj v. Kepler concluded Mercury 0.241 0. If the latter were only 1200 earth ORBIT.rtfcrc Terra (c) The Epitome (5 In 1618.4). he music played by the planets tried to derive notes of as they move harmoniously in their orbits.9 867.adforn a- t mem & derinicioncm diflinclorum Modorum requin plura qus . pocuit exprimi quam per concinium icricm Nucirum intermedia- .* rumobunec <•. 1620. lijmcij.quodinccrvallunieommunceft of the four newly discovered satellites of Jupiter as ornnibusmodis : fedideo potidimJm quia rcdaclus cumcarcensad . which placed the sun at a distance of at most Haimoiiiva.000 1. V.adaUiora sonlcendo /q'^ige auiau* 1200 earth This figure survived until the sev- radii. Royal Observatory Edinburgh) . relations in the solar system with music. Kepler was not able to detect any diurnal parallax (Crawford Collection.^.881 3. m-uioleelect Octna.*. qu-drilormiadiri.3) that both Hipparchus and Ptolemy had rather accurately measured the moon's CAPVT VII.7 3.7 Saturn 9.537 too small but nevertheless an improvement. pernican view.42 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE cies. the Epitome of r m. rgo Sacurno darcm ex ufuacis Scptiniuin vel Octavum. P radii. luum. penhelius mocus alcendic ad t): JoviPrimum velSeaindum . a PERIOD.058 0. implies that his first two laws had been tested and Libcrum autem eric Hirmonifra: (entenciam depromerc fu.4 GALILEO Muchof the rest of Harmony of the Worlds Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Now was justified in considering his formula to be exact. was born in Pisa.3a) had found icx Planctaruin vcloti . quojdam diftinclionis Tonotum feu Modorum. the great Italian con- deals with Kepler's attempts to associate numerical temporary of Kepler. Figure 3.058 that the astronomical unit must be at least three Venus 0. the distance to Mars was known only in terms of Table 3. qtlippe unci vaUati. '.524 1.na fi radicalem ejus clavem ponas C. when Kepler revised it upward. communefvftema.im : . icQuariuj. 'J£?* We recall (Section 2. Kepler's Discussion of the Distance rero ob amplirodincn) intervalli promifcue omnes Modi vclToni'uj. and 1621. and firmly supports the Co.456 867.nda. Kepler server from one side of the earth to the other. cluding the earth) and for the moon..tatci.13 Derail from Kepler s Harmony of the Worlds. 207 mnia(mfinitainpocetuii)penneintesaftu idquodaliceramenoa •*' rI which he took to symbolize the "miseria (misery). ergCiModi Mufici nicer Planecasdifpercici. that the sun was 18 to 20 times as far away as the J^"nc ipii? . leo (see Section 3. Vniiic.aphelioad /'alliidu: well as to the motions of the planets about the sun. for example. ciumTertiu.378 0. tanri. mi. he states q-. Kepler eannn (v unani. Jupiter 5.723 0.387 0. Earlier. found valid for the other planets besides Mars (in.acobcom. qua: radix ell i~i>ni feu Modi Qumci vel . indeed. Also. the actual assumed distance to Mars would be SEMIMATOR proportional to whatever value was assumed for the AXIS OF SIDEREAL astronomical unit. both by himself and by Gali.534 29. Newton gave an explanation for of Mars.-l Qaartum : quia intra I'cmitomum eju> mocu? vtrtuncur.8 140.000 times the accepted figure — still a value seven times Mars 1. miseria" of our planet. i lemquifqucplanetaModumexprimacpropius cxcremitliicipliaf. plane nullus . the Copernican Astronomy. Here. for the first time. The earth.quiarereDiapenceaflequitiu. that is. Galileo.000 1. enteenth century. but within the limit of accuracy caused by the rotation of the earth carrying the ob- of the observational data available in 1619.funt eft rudinta nr. Kepler published '(in in- \ cnus Mercxinus Hi lie locum habec ceiam J stallments) his text on astronomy. penhelio mocu c aucquitur. any apparent shift in direction the discrepancies. plays the notes mi.il caluliimir.203 11.. fonitu majorc: dumper fcalam moon. Mars should be near enough to allow obser- PLANET (AU) (Years) a 1 P 2 vation of such a daily parallax.

He found Galileo's greatest contributions were in the field of that such bodies accelerate uniformly. unchanging. with falling bodies. Galileo noted that the less the retarding ematics and astronomy at the university at Pisa. could easily be accounted for by the resistance of for the Church authorities still upheld the ideas of the air. On a smooth layer of ice. The principles of mechanics out- in speed. will slide farther before coming less. this was not a popular philosophy. given the complete his formal university training. Aristotle and Ptolemy. Although the seeds of experimental science predict. In school he in. Galileo formulated these newly found laws lined by Aristotle had still not been completely dis- in precise mathematical terms that enabled one to carded. However. in mechanics (the study of motion and the actions of equal intervals of time they gain equal increments forces on bodies). that rest was curred the wrath of his professors by refusing to no more natural than motion. the friction of the floor or he left to become mathematician to the Grand Duke ground. fundamental that they have become the basis of a Galileo experimented with pendulums. 3. stop. In fact. defended.4 Galileo 43 like Copernicus. and incorrupti- the body change of motion. Perpetual circular motion. Once Galileo had . because friction between it and the floor acts classmates he gained the nickname "Wrangler. how far and how had been sown by certain of the later Greek schol- fast bodies would move in various lengths of time. reer. In force. While at Padua he became famous a steady state of motion indefinitely. if the floor and ob- For financial reasons. it will slide far- gained him the post. or rolled down inclined planes. that is. that is. From his rest. Galileo discovered was "false and absurd" and was not to be held or laws that invariably described the behavior of phys. but a force is also required to slow down. it soon comes to the authority of great writers of the past. even from a Sometime in the 1590s Galileo accepted the Coper- great height. with light and mirrors. In Roman Catholic Italy. and many other ob- (b) Galileo's Astronomical jects. speed up. It was that resists any ble. ther still. balls rolling down inclined planes. when removed (for example. changed their speed. in future experiments. was regarded as the natural state of a body is at rest it tends to remain at rest. or change the direction of a moving object. What little difference there was nican hypothesis of the solar system. and of the air) the body would continue in of Tuscany. with great part of our modern technology (Chapter 4). and he reasoned that if all resisting effects could be sity at Padua. affairs for those heavenly bodies. notably Archimedes. ars. Galileo was never able to ject are both highly polished. moving from rest. and re. Galileo argued that if a heavy and light object were dropped together. The inertia of a body is that property of where all is perfect. as they fell freely. same initial speed. Neverthe. (a) Galileo's Experiments in Galileo also studied the way bodies acceler- Mechanics ated. but he had little interest in the subject and Rest was thus generally regarded as the natural state later switched to mathematics. however. not only is a force required to start an object foremost scientific investigator. ical objects. the body. It was primarily because of Galileo that in 1616 the Church issued a prohibition Laws of Morion decree which stated that the Copernican doctrine In the course of his experiments. If an object is slid accept on faith dogmatic statements based solely on along a rough horizontal floor. The most far-reaching of these is the The prevailing notion of the time was that the law of inertia (now known universally as Newton's celestial bodies belonged to the realm of the heavens first law). his exceptional ability as a mathematician to rest. 1592 he obtained a far better position at the univer. both would hit the ground at practi- cally the same time. began training for a medical ca. the less the body's tendency to slow down. quires some outside influence to start it in motion. Aristotlehad said that heavy objects fall faster Contributions than lighter ones. he ar- throughout Europe as a brillant lecturer and as a gued." as a retarding force. in 1589. the practice of perform- It remained for Newton to incorporate and gener- ing experiments to learn physical laws was not stan- few simple laws so alize Galileo's principles into a dard procedure even in Galileo's time. Galileo showed. where he remained until 1610. being the "perfect" familiar to all persons then as it is to us now that if kind of motion. of matter. of professor of math.

What does ^ft£^*-*Z 14>j6**Jl. making them appear nearer.44 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPEPNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE established the principle of inertia — that on the fa earth bodies in undisturbed motion remain in mo- tion — it was no longer necessary to ascribe any spe- cial status to petually in orbit. In an analogous way. how- ever. it made distant objects appear three times nearer and larger. Figure 3. tr. if it Galileo noted that if a stone dropped from the is masthead of a moving ship it does not fall behind <b-i7. * o* *" for. Evidently. *- one of his own with a three-power magnification. rightly deserves the honor of having been the first to make significant astronomical telescopic ob. could continue to the fact that the planets remain per- By same token. At any rate. or possibly sooner. for they share the earth's forward motion. his best with a magnification of about 30. but rather lands at the foot of the mast.14 Galileo's drawings of Jupirer and its sat- servations. Galileo. even the earth the move. and without ever having seen an assembled telescope. Galileo heard of the discovery in 1609.?t. Claims for the discovery exist as early as the time of Roger Bacon (13th century). H-r. for he realized the importance of careful ellites. '* + o * ~ ~ that is. Galileo was sufficiently imbued with Aristotelian concepts that he accepted uniform circular celestial motion without subjecting the planets to the same objective scrutiny that he ap- plied in his terrestrial experiments. ~f. objects on the earth would not be swept off and left behind if the earth were mov. Sidereal Messenger It was a fairly obvious step to apply the newly in- vented telescope to celestial observations. In answer to the common objection that objects could not remain on the earth were in motion. He quickly built other instru- ments. need to be explained is why the planets move in curved paths around the sun rather than in straight <* ve. . *thtil&^ ing. one started. for the stone already has a forward inertia gained from its com- mon motion with the ship before it is dropped. The idea may have occurred same time as to others about the it did to Galileo. he constructed ? V =i. the first telescopes that attracted much notice were made by the Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey in 1608. £ vv^ the ship and land in the water beyond its stern. 1—-r O Galileo's Telescopes <b. <T-t<t. -7-7W T It is not certain when the principle was first con- ceived of combining two or more pieces of glass to <t>-7/^W^ *_jOL*_ produce an instrument that enlarged distant ob- jects. H.UC *- lines.

and concluded seen with the naked eye became visible with his tel. He found that Jupiter had four satellites or moons revolving Irregularities in the Heavens about with periods ranging from just under 2 it Galileo's observations revealed much about our days to about 17 days (12 other satellites of Jupiter have been found since). Venus is always closer to argued that the valleys and mountains on the ics. Messenger (Sidereus Nuncius). Sidereal our view — it would always appear as a crescent. regarded as hardly keep up with a rapidly moving planet. Mercury also Praesepe in Cancer) and that the Milky Way was goes through all phases. Not only did these dis- the moon would be left behind. smooth. the moon. and thus. criticized. because it could coveries show that the heavenly bodies. and incorruptible. or be centers of motion that in turn are in motion. but they showed the moon to be not so dissimilar to the earth. valleys. Galileo. 3. Ludovico delle Colombe. it would 1610 he startled the world by publishing a list of his never be able to turn its fully illuminated surface to remarkable discoveries in a small book. strongly supported the Copernican view was the Of course. made up of multitudes of individual stars. Yet perfect. In never has more than about 45° elongation." on the moon were thought to be water until had been argued that if the earth were in motion long after Galileo's time). mountain ranges. as does the earth. could belong to the Another important telescopic discovery that realm of celestial bodies. saw that Venus went through Galileo found that many stars too faint to be both crescent and gibbous phases. passing at times escope. and flat dark areas that ularly important because it showed that there could he guessed might be water (the dark maria.15). too. do indeed have here were Jupiter's satellites doing exactly that! irregularities.4 Galileo 45 Gibbous 3ibbous Sun ^H Crescent Crescent Earth Figure 3. the earth than is the sun. which Phases of Venus suggested that the earth. however. he found that some nebulous behind and beyond it. It "seas.15 Phoses of an inferior planer. Galileo's conclusions did not go un- fact thatVenus goes through phases like the moon. In particular. rather than revolving di- blurs resolved into many stars (for example. This discovery was partic- nearest neighbor. that it must travel around the sun. one of his crit- In the Ptolemaic system. because Venus moon were actually submerged beneath an invisible . He saw craters. and persistent study of the objects he viewed. the rectly around the earth (Figure 3.

" Sun. he showed. He also noted that they moved most rapidly when near the center of the sun's disk and increasingly slowly as they ap. was of spots on the sun. lasting through whom Galileo generally expresses his own usually only a few weeks to a few months. although his telescope was not good show those of other nationalities that Italians were enough to show the true nature of the planet. to convert his perfectly smooth. (Yerkes Obser- defend" the odious hypothesis. a magnificent and unanswerable argument for Co- spots are now known to be large. across the disk of the sun. He determined the sun's pe- riod of rotation to be a little under a month. Sagredo. Sunspots are temporary. \ but near the limb most of their motion is either to- ward or away from us. Pope Urban VIII. after about two weeks. to allow him to publish a invisible substance rising ten times higher than any book that explained fully all arguments for and mountains that could be seen on the moon! against the Copernican system. Due Massimi Sistemi). It is in the form of a conver- cool areas on the sun that appear dark because of sation. day by I day. (c) Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems As we have had accumulated a great seen. The Dialogue is written in to his contemporaries. Galileo ex. It was not ignorant of new theories. then more rapidly toward the center of the disk. and move slowly at first. lasting four days. not until 1655 that Huygens described the magnifi. Galileo deal of evidence to support the Copernican system. the most brilliant and the one face (Chapter 31).16 Galileo's drawings of sunspors. 1U* ju* i tfit efi\C r>^ „J% \ proached the limb (the sun's limb is its apparent / "edge" as we see it in the sky). Often. when near the center of the sun's disk they are being carried directly across our line of sight. but he still hoped vorory) . Galileo answered that if so he He upon his long-time acquaint- finally prevailed could argue that there are mountains of this same ance. The book appeared in 1632 under the title Dia- cent system of rings about Saturn (Chapter 18). not for the purpose Galileo also found that Saturn seemed to ap. and Simplicio. comparatively pernican astronomy. the same spots would reappear on the opposite limb. audience and is Italian (not Latin) to reach a large showing that this body alsohad "blemishes. but were generally regarded either istotelian philosopher who brings up all the usual assomething in the earth's atmosphere or as planets between the earth and the sun silhouetting them- selves against the sun's disk in the sky. and to pear strange. Galileo observed the spots to move. By the decree of 1616 he was forbidden to "hold or Figure 3. is an effect of foreshort- ening. In fact. but merely to examine it. Large views. Their variable speed. logue on the Two Great World Systems (Dialogo dei One of Galileo's most disturbing observations. \ plained that the spots must be either on the surface of the sun or very close to it and that they were carried around the sun by its own rotation. A jij*r+ ftju>r* . phers: Salviati. of extolling it. with truth of Salviati's arguments. who is usually quick to see the sunspots actually had been observed before. among three philoso- their contrast with the brighter and hotter solar sur.46 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE sea of a crystalline material whose outer surface was countrymen to the heliocentric view. an Ar- the unaided eye. I ate- some of Galileo's critics attempted to explain the spots as satellites revolving about the sun.

4 Galileo 47 objections to the Copernican system. of an inferior planet that had a great- Which if any of the following can never appear at est elongation of 30°? Assume circular orbits for the opposition? at conjunction? at quadrature? planet and the earth. his life in The plaque under rhe busr between the front windows invites against Galileo. Arrange the tacks so that (c) Sun (f) Mars they are separated by one tenth the length of the string. using (b) Earth (e) Saturn (h) Moon a string and two tacks. Does full moon occur at intervals of the sidereal or This (if you have been careful in your construction) synodic revolution of the moon about the earth? is approximately the shape of the orbit of Mars. (a) Jupiter (d) Venus (g) Mercury Draw an ellipse by the procedure described. (Courtesy Professor G. what would this period be? Which orbits. as claimed. It was removed from the Index. which Salviati promptly shows to be absurd. in 1835. with respect. where Arcetri Paul II ordered a reexamination of the evidence Galileo spent rhe lasr years of home imprisonment. years. Comment on the appearance of your ellipse. or planet most closely approximates this condition? why not? . in (near Florence). he was nearly 70. and Galileo's enemies acted quickly to build a case against him. It is pointed out in the preface to the Dialogue that the arguments to follow are merely a mathe- matical fantasy. The Dialogue joined Copernicus' De Revolu- tionibus and Kepler's Epitome on the Index of Pro- hibited Books. What is its distance 5. how- ever.17 Villa Galileo. It is at opposition on January 1 and is next at quadrature on May 1. This was thinly cloaked irony. The result of the new investigation passersby to stop and contemplate. near Florence for the last ten years of his life. 3. His life sentence was commuted to confinement in his own home at Arcetri. At the time of his inquisition. Suppose a superior planet has a synodic period of rature? two years. He was called before the Roman Inquisition on the charge of believing and holding doctrines that are false and contrary to Divine Scriptures. Galileo was forced to plead guilty and deny his own doctrines. Could such a planet actually exist? Why. and the earth and pitcher The synodic period of Saturn is 1. Pope John Figure 3. a baseball pitcher could throw a ball straightup in the air. Godoli. What would be the sidereal period of an inferior as the scientists claim.03513 sidereal would move to the east out from under the ball. because if a point on the planet that appeared at greatest western elongation equator were being carried eastward at about 1000 exactly once a year? mi/hr. in astro- this friend of yours? nomical units. however. the great has not been announced at this writing. Arcerri expected that Galileo will be exonerated. Observatory) EXERCISES A friend tells you that the earth cannot be rotating. Why? What is the phase of the moon when it is at quad- 10. Moreover. How might you straighten out What would be the distance from the sun. in late 1980. and that divine knowledge assures us of the immobility of the earth. What is its sidereal period? which would land some distance behind (or to the Answer: 29. but it is observer of rhe skies. If a superior planet had a synodic period equal to its from the sun in astronomical units? Assume circular sidereal period.5 years west) of the pitcher.

(a) What is the major axis of a circle? (b) Where is the second focus of a parabola? Answer: 0.48 THE HELIOCENTRIC HYPOTHESIS: THE COPERNICAN COSMOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE 11.016 rule out Tycho Brahe's system? Why.1 million km.3.04 seconds of arc. Venus ruled Galileo's observations of the phases of G of its orbit? out Ptolemy's system of cosmology. The earth's distance from the sun varies from 147. in Section 3. At best the positional accuracy attainable with the 15. Did they also Answer: 0. Suppose Kepler's laws apply to the motion of Jupi- of 0.3? around that planet.2 million to 152. What would be the period of a planet whose orbit has a semimajor axis of 4 AU? an angle of only 0.2? other one. Consider Kepler's third law as given in the equation I naked eye approaches one minute of arc. What would be the distance from the sun of a planet whose period is 45. What is the eccentricity 20. or why not? A A .196 times as long as an- of 3. What would be the ratio of the semimajor axes of their orbits? 13.66 days? 12. Carefully explain why K = 1 whenll less Tycho was able to determine the length of the a is measured in astronomical units and P in years. How could he have done this? 17. Draw a diagram showing Galileo's argument that sunspots are on or very near the solar surface. What is the eccentricity of the orbit of a planet Answer: 3:1 whose distance from the sun varies from 180 million to 220 million km? 19.25 AU (c) Which conic section could have an eccentricity 18. Neverthe. during which time the sun moves along the ecliptic through 16. and that one of ter's satellites (d) Which conic section could have an eccentricity the satellites has a period 5. year to within about one second of time. 14.

precise value of that acceleration. of electrons in atoms. Many thinkers 4. for example. that every action in the universe follows by Isaac Newton (1643-1727) was born at Wools- mechanistic laws from conditions immediately pre. Newton's laws seen. only four days 49 . in Lincolnshire. that this view of the ultimate suc- mathematical nature of this force. The success of that accelerates falling bodies near the earth is the our space program and of our other technology at- same force that keeps the moon in its orbit around tests to the validity of Newtonian mechanics. thorpe. GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE Kepler deduced that a force from the sun ceding the action. The philosophy of determinism reigned: namely. however. they provide a magnificent description insights by showing that the force of gravitation of the behavior of material objects. that of light. they fail to describe the motions motion that result from it. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) had the insight to realize that the force that makes planets fall around the sun and the force that makes apples fall to the ground are different manifestations of the same thing: gravitation. at least in essence. in the century following his death they strongly in- fluenced the prevailing philosophy. Meanwhile. Newton unified these they work. England. it is now known But the fact that Newton's laws are limited that every second that a body falls (in a vacuum) its does not invalidate them. Although he was not able to measure the ter model. He did not determine the ters. and they fail when of falling bodies. that a freely falling speeds are involved that are not small compared to body near the surface of the earth accelerates uni. We shall see in the coming chap- pulled on the planets. but as we have cess of science was overoptimistic. beautifully simple that. for which the covered some of the laws that describe the behavior quantum theory is needed. it can Indeed. Newton's principles of mechanics and be understood and appreciated by those not special- law of gravitation are so general and powerful that izing in science.1 NEWTON'S PRINCIPLES OF held that the basic rules of nature were finally known. within the realm in which speed increases by 980 cm/s. in which case relativity provides a bet- formly. Galileo dis. he did discover some of the rules of planetary are not absolute. More- the earth and the planets in their orbits about over. the Newtonian description of nature is so the sun. that all remained was to fill in minor that MECHANICS details. for example.

but by the mod- ern Gregorian calendar his birth date was January 4. as science was called then. that he worked out the main outline of his ideas on Profeflbre Lncafiano. unless it is compelled to proof to Halley. . however. (New- ton was born on Christmas Day. Soc. Principia for a year and a half during 1685 and 1686. The change of motion is proportional to the force Royal Society.50 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE less than one year after the death of Galileo. As a young man in college. losophy. have realized. Keg. P 1 S i ades before he turned his attention again to gravi. Coll. To appreciate Newtonian mechanics. culties. But on his later return to Cambridge. his research was mainly in mathe- matics and optics. and it was to be nearly two dec- IMPRIMATUR R c >. mutual actions of two bodies the posite reaction: or. according to the calendar in use at his time. or of uni- a short time later sent the demonstration of the form motion in a straight line. Newton worked on the directions. and astronomer Edmund Halley had all fuflu ac Typis come independently to some notion of the law of plun Bii MDCLXXXVH ( gravitationand had realized that a force of attrac- tion toward the sun must become weaker in propor- tion to the square of the distance from the sun. submitted a formal paper on the subject to the II. and act in opposite its Latin title. was to become the line in which that force is impressed. and supervision of its though he did not state them as precisely as Newton publication was in the hands of Halley. and Halley himself covered the cost of pub. University of Oklahoma Li- how a planet should move under the influence of braries) such a force. Cantab. he was able to re-solve the problem. Newton's return to gravitation was almost for- Robert Hooke. and /.) PHILOSOPHIC in 1661 Newton entered and eight years Trinity College at Cambridge was appointed Luca- later NATURALIS sian Professor of Mathematics. Early the following year Newton change that state by forces impressed upon it. and is made in the direction of the straight theorems and seven problems. (History of Science Collections. He was astonished to hear that Newton had solved the problem years previ- ously and had found that the orbit of a planet should be an ellipse. the Society at that time was in financial diffi. P T P V S. This treatise. 1643. 1642. certain terms. consisting of four impressed. Inn. Halley chanced to consult Newton on the matter. deeper than Galileo could out. was able to solve the problem of pia. usually known by the abbreviated form of upon each other are always equal. Soc. he became interested in natural phi- PRINCI PI A losophy. The University was closed during the plague years of 1665 and MATHEMATICA 1666. was published under the imprimatur of the It Galileo had arrived at the first two laws. To every is always an equal and op- action there tation. They are. however. architect Christo- tuitous. Figure 4. we must understand thoroughly the meanings of lication from his own personal funds. Principia. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Phi. al- Royal Society of London. He wrote later that it was in those years Autore NEWTON. during which Newton returned to Wools- thorpe. Physicist L o s n t N 1 pher Wren. Every body continues in a state of rest. i : S- tation. Mathcfcos J S.1 Tirle page of rhe firsr edition of Newton's Princi- None. Although Newton was unable In the Principia Newton gives his three laws of motion: to find his original notes containing the mathemati- cal proof. As it turned did. mechanics and gravitation. a post that he held during most of his productive career. In 1684. $: Socieraris Rcgalis Sodali. nucleus of his great work on mechanics and gravi- III.

how many thingas a hare . the amount of paint (c) Speed. 1 Newton's Principles of Mechanics 51 (a) Some Basic Concepts: Length larly. it is equal The story of the swinging chandelier may be apoc- in length to 1. for example. principle of the pendulum clock. Similarly. a General Conference sponsored by the Interna. A more universal unit of time is the second (s). Thus the sphere 10 result. thus inventing the the United States." a side (and fraction thereof) it would take to cover We could count how many majigs it took for water its surface. choose any convenient 1 inch = 2. We could. thingas. for example. however. length. is 760 of a hour.631. length times its width. like a tuning fork. Simi. terms must be defined operationally. is being phased out. such as its radius. The volume of a rectangular ments. But the earth ber of cubic containers of water. Velocity. defining a quantity. or a large man 2 m tall and an identical res). we could call that unit. it takes four times as much skin to cover the large man as it does the In science. One hundredth of a length and not on the amount of arc of swing.763. Volumes of solids are cubic measures.770 periods of one of the — but of different size say. We could hold one end of Areas of surfaces are defined as square mea. The modern standard was defined in 1960 at found that the time for one swing stayed the same.73 times the wavelength (in ryphal. since 4 is the square of 2. which is V24 of a day. The area of our desk top. fine speed. The meter was originally intended to be ~ 7 10 times the distance from the equator of the Another basic concept is time. and start sures.192. say. The 1967 General Conference turned to the solid is its length times its width times its height. so that someone else repeating The volumes of solids are proportional to the our observation or experiment will obtain the same cubes of their linear dimensions. the volume of the desk might be the num. spheres 1 cm and 10 cm radiations from a certain isotope of the cesium atom in radius. the large is. The area of a rectangular surface is its to leak out of a can with a hole in the bottom. whatever their shape may be. the archaic British imperial sys. the once used the beat of his pulse as a unit of time to actual standard was a metal bar stored in a Paris measure the swing of a chandelier in church. we must supply a recipe or procedure for sions. For years. 4. atomic clock (Chapter 8) and defined the second as Suppose we have two solids of identical shape the duration of 9. We might find a stick and define it as a small one. The surface area of one of the spheres (for example." Then by laying out the stick along the cubes of the linear dimensions of similarly shaped desk top we might learn that it has a length of 3. for ex. He vault. of course. and needed to cover it) is proportional to the square of Acceleration any of its linear dimensions. period for a unit of time. It is convenient to remember that areas unit of length. which ample. small man with half the large one's linear dimen- that is. small one only 1 m tall. It is said that Galileo earth to the North Pole. Thus the area of the larger sphere is 100 times that With ways to measure length and time we can de- of the smaller (for 100 is the square of 10). a are proportional to the squares. Also by international ileo later suggested that the pendulum would be a agreement." Suppose we wished to measure the length of a man has eight times as much flesh and bones as the desk top. The international standard unit of length is the (b) Time meter (m). tional Bureau of Weights and Measures. Consider. although the system in common use in good device to regulate a clock. Gal- meter is a centimeter (cm).650. the other end vibrating.5400 cm. for example. It obviously cm in radius can hold 1000 times as much water as will notdo to define length as "how long something the one with a radius of 1 cm. It was originally meant to be Veo of a minute. but Galileo did discover the law that deter- a vacuum) of the orange light emitted by a certain 86 mines the period of a pendulum that the period of — isotope of krypton ( Kr) under specified conditions its oscillation depends only on the pendulum's of pressure and temperature. The might be the number of squares each one thinga on time of a single vibration might be called a "majig. even though the length of the swing died down. tem of weights and measures. each one thinga does not rotate quite regularly enough to serve as on a side. and volumes to the "thinga. that stick we used to define the thinga.5 objects. it would take to fill a box the exact size an accurate enough standard for modern measure- and shape of the desk.

gravitationis almost zero. defines force. he is as obese as ever. slowing down. he weighs only one-sixth of what he weighs tor (Figure 4. or both. It states that if a force acts on a body it produces a change in the momentum of the body A moving body tends to keep moving and a station. For now it is enough to say that our intuitive Speed and velocity are often confused. the friction of air slowing down ob- jects moving through it. The ary body tends to remain at rest. mass. Starting. or of direction. technically. the pressure exerted by air. But if the hare had sped up part of the time. Weight. for clearly a body moving at 50 produces a change in the momentum of the body on km/hr certainly has more "motion" than one mov.2 Two vecrors. stop. *-E There are three ways in which the momentum ->~E of a body can change. Force (d) Newton's First Low The second law of motion deals with changes in Momentum momentum. or both. for there the pull of Any change in velocity requires acceleration. or if he goes to a remote place in space he (speed in this case) and direction. that distance di. say. that Newton's third law provides a means of doing ing one calibrated in thingas per majig. At any point along his portionality as mass. Note that Newton's first law of motion is con- / v 25 k with his second. so. With no force on it. the velocity changes. An au. it is a de. or its mass. Velocity idea of what is usually meant by weight is actually conveys more information than speed. or changing direction of a body's mass and velocity is constant if no out- are all accelerations. a quantity that has both magnitude on earth. that is. — — 52 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE can run in one majig. The acceleration produced by stant speed forever. and its direction is the direc. But momentum also depends on the Some familiar examples of forces are the pull amount of matter in the moving object. therefore. moon. a moving body would go in a straight line at a con- tion of that change. Thus Newton defined momentum as propor- or had stopped to eat some grass along the way. Momentum is a second law. then. of the earth. mobile going 30 km/hr certainly has more "mo- tance the hare ran in 1000 ma jigs. a change ro rhe north and 50 km/hr ro rhe northeast. If one goes to the direction of motion. weighs essentially nothing. Velocity is an example of a vec. or turn vided by 1000 mean speed of the is the average or than. an auto. the instantaneous speed of the hare is the acterizes the total amount of material in the body number of thingas he would run in a majig if he and is the property that gives the body its inertia. the sistent is change in momentum is zero. Acceleration is also a vector. tion. which it acts. that person's bulk Acceleration. We have tomobile speedometer measures instantaneous not yet defined mass operationally. when there no force. This means that motion The magnitude of acceleration is the rate at which is as natural a state as is rest. a bicyclemoving with the same speed. and the thrust of a rocket engine. Momentum de. strength of a force is defined as the rate of which it pends on velocity. is a measure of the scription of both the instantaneous speed and the gravitational pull upon an object. Now if we measured the dis. that makes it resist acceleration. that is in the direction of the applied force. and defined the constant of pro- speed would be changing. stopping. for example. the impact of a bat on a baseball. Its velocity can change. ing 10 km/hr. speed. the friction of the ground or a floor similarly slowing bodies.2). represenring velocities or 25 km hr does not change when a force acts upon it. hare. Thus Newton's first law says that the product speeding up. although we might have some trouble find. side force is applied to it. involves a change of or mass is unchanged. but we shall see speed. in momentum usually results from a change in ve- . Still. is 980 cm/s per second (often written 980 cm/s 2 ). Most often the mass of a body (a) Figure 4." and is harder to speed up. Mass is a quantity that char- journey. kept that identical speed for one full majig. gravity at the surface of the earth. in a (e) Newton's Second Low direction toward the center of the earth. his tional to velocity. The magnitude or measure of this state of motion.

1 Newton's Principles of Mechanics 53 locity. the earth pull The acceleration of falling bodies is downward itdown. it continues forward in a only the direction of motion of the body. The directions of the vectors show the directions of the forces. both the speed and direction of a tirely different forces. 4. Now suppose that for a short time. Gravity accelerates a body in change. Thus. a far greater force is needed to — Greek letter A capital delta is commonly used to — stop the automobile as quickly as the bicycle. back to accelerate the rocket forward. illustrate the procedure when there are two forces. It is there. is called a parallelogram of forces. On the to the velocity. its momentum A changes. is the resultant force actingon the body. for example. that is. and so simply acceleration. The force rection as the velocity. OfJf2 The di. of gravity is constantly pulling falling bodies down- if the acceleration occurs in the opposite direction ward. celeration over the time Af.) Acceleration is the rate at which the velocity changes. and the lengths show the magnitudes of the forces (say.3. and hence Av.4). If the force (and Newton showed how to compute the effect of two hence acceleration) were not constant in magnitude or more forces acting at once on an object. of differential calculus. its acceleration. only while a force acts upon it. with its re- ity.3 Change in velocity. the body slows down. so we rea- son that if the velocity of a body changes by an Combinations of Forces amount Av in time Ar. agonal of the parallelogram.) because acceleration is the rate at which velocity body accelerates. that is. if the inter. Two equal accelerations may correspond to en- In general. its friction between the moving body and the rough mass continually diminishes. the body simply speeds up. once the bodies are both mov- and the new velocity v' is in direction AC. (The ing at that speed. its veloc. we cannot assume that force = mass x the direction it is already moving. pleis a rocket. Af. as the rocket accelerates. in direction BC. so many dynes to the cm). However. the body accelerates as if acted upon by just that one force. the val Ar. (Instantaneous rates of change are the subject force = mass x acceleration. If accelera. is Av/Ar. If the acceleration occurs in the same di. Av/Ar becomes second law can be written as the simple formula a good approximation to the instantaneous accelera- tion. other hand. it slows down uniformly in time. Thus. . thus. We can represent the forces by vectors just as we can veloc- ities (Figure 4. The acceleration is produced by the force of maining fuel. Suppose. they continually accelerate. Clearly. contact with the bat. An important and familiar exam- face. (in the direction toward which the gravitational pull Whenever the mass of an object is subject to of the earth is acting). Av/Ar would be only the average ac. changes. Exhaust gases are ejected from the fore accelerated in a direction opposite to its veloc. denote a small change in a quantity. forever if air friction did not slow it. /j and f2 . the rate at which it changes. Consider the forces required body may change. duced by a force. is very small. The force pro. invented by Newton to han- dle such problems in mechanics. a force of the car's greater mass. a proportionately greater with direction BC acts on the body. surface. and not straight line at a constant speed and would do so its speed. acting together on a body at O. an automobile and a bicycle each to a to accelerate ity is the vector v lying in direction AB in Figure speed of 30 km/hr in 20 seconds. into account in calculating the acceleration pro- If a body is slid along a rough horizontal sur. or an eager outfielder intercept it. once a baseball ceases to be in actual tion occurs exactly at right angles to the velocity. Similarly. We note now that the two arrows define two sides of a parallelogram. We shall and direction. The variation of mass must be taken speeds it up. force will be required to produce the necessary ac- duces a change in velocity Av. changes. Of. because 4. in the vast majority of examples. The arrows representing the vec- tors both from the object on which the two start forces are acting. The figure shown Figure 4. celeration. .

a body's erating only a negligible amount. mentum. law states that in the absence of a force. Suppose. were to explode into thousands of pieces. If a force is exerted on an object. in fact. when a rifle is discharged. a system may be far more complex than something else. of the rocket is accompanied by a force that shoves Sraric Equilibrium the rocket forward. were discharged through a port in the missile. Incidentally. the remnants of the explosion has exerted a force on If a man pushes against his car. a rocket operates best Of special interest is the situation in which two or of all in a vacuum. The first perience the same change of momentum by accel. each ob- rometer. the force of gravity pulling the ball downward. The momentum imparted to the bat by the ball is trans- mitted through the batter to the earth. the car pushes each other in such a way that all the forces balance back against him with an equal and opposite force. It states that all forces occur as pairs of forces that are General iry of the Third Law mutually equal to and opposite each other. the force pushing the bullet out the muzzle is equal to that pushing backward upon the gun and marksman. All other. so that the momentum of the gravitational force between him and the earth. Of course. Here. the earth accelerates far less than the car. so the accel- eration produced is far less than that suffered by the ball. is the same as before the explo- mentum because of the influence of this mutual sion. in other words. The recoil of the bat shows that the on the bat during ball exerts a force the impact. if garbage state of static equilibrium and does not accelerate. passengers on a more forces actupon a body in such a way as to rocket ship would have to take care how they dis- cancel each other. as long as it has not been acted on he and the earth suffer the same total change of mo. Because mo- mentum is the product of velocity and mass. and the object will exert an equal just a pair of bodies exerting mutual forces on each and opposite force back upon that something. the An example is a ball hanging from a rubber band reaction force would accelerate the rocket slightly the rubber stretches until its tension exactly balances off course. force. must be mutual forces act. the boy does most of the moving. by external forces. is the principle of rockets the — force that discharges the exhaust gases from the rear Figure 4. nature of forces between objects is familiar to all the total momentum of the system is conserved. All these changes in momentum ground. but the sum total of all changes in mo- ground.4 Parallelogram of forces. Each particle has suffered a change in but if the man has his feet firmly implanted on the momentum. tum associated with all the particles going the op- Suppose a boy jumps off a table down to the posite direction. The him down is a mutual force pulling balance each other. Because of its enormously greater equal and opposite to the total change in momen- mass. Both entire system. a mutual Another example is the column of mercury in a ba. In other words. Newton's third law can be because of the greater mass of the earth. thought of as a generalization of his first. In- . the reaction force is transmitted through mentum of particles accelerated one way will be him to the earth. the (f) The Third Law — Reaction object of lesser mass will end up with proportion- ately greater velocity. it must be exerted by In fact. The exhaust gases need not push against air or the earth. a rocket in space forces. Then the body is said to be in a posed of waste material. Similarly. just as the bat does on the ball. each other. the mercury stands in static equilibrium ject always experiences the same total change of mo- between its own weight and the pressure of the air. momentum is conserved. — 54 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE who have played baseball. force acts upon the two objects concerned. Each of ing between two objects or things. but in opposite directions. for example. it can ex. Newton's third law of motion was a new idea. The third law means that A more obvious manifestation of the mutual if we isolate an entire system from outside forces. In all the cases considered above. For example.

igin or reference point. the volume is the "size" of an from which we obtain object — it has nothing to do with its mass. DN. say in cubic centimeters or liters. which sure mass. Then the mass of any other the moving object and also its distance from the or- object can be compared to it by measuring the rel. It is not necessary to under- ative accelerations produced when the same force stand the precise definition of angular momentum acts on each of the two.9 or a density of 7. between them. that is. The latter is de. density is "how tightly packed. one cubic centimeter of water. If The watch and balloon are also very different themomentum does not change (that is.9 g/cm . Angular momentum is defined ple. definition of mass. Another useful concept is angular momentum. Note that half of the numerical 1 cm/s . This is called the inertial distance Now. Moreover. the area of the trian- gle MNP is constant as well. 1 g an acceleration of 2 of its momentum. so (g) Density we have the proportion It is important not to confuse mass. the line from the body to P sweeps out equal areas in equal times. mass density volume . A lady's wrist watch and an inflated balloon may both have angular momentum = r x DN = MN x PC. In short. and DN PC density. which is a measure of how much mass is acts on the body). Specifically. then. which is the the object about P is defined as the product of its dis- force needed to give a mass of tance rfrom Pand that perpendicular component. does not which case it is called specific gravity. Thus. at right angles now express the value of a force numerically. and the other. for example. gold tum of exhaust gases and any other object (such its has a specific gravity of 19. it is that if the momentum of the body is constant. some object must be adopted measures the momentum of an object about some as a standard and said to have unit mass. we can resolve the momentum MN r. in momentum of a rocket. volume. cific gravity of 7. Iron has a spe- 3 change. MD. to appreciate its consequences. so is its the ratio of mass to volume: angular momentum. the same mass. but they have very different vol- umes. Initially. Sometimes density is 3 panied by equal and opposite changes. by separating them with a compressed spring Consider (Figure 4. The triangle MDN is similar to the triangle MCP. indicated in triggering device or by detonating a small charge the figure by the vector MN. the third laws permits an op. DN. as the atmosphere of the earth) that may have come mass is "how much. Thus we see contained within a given volume. lies along the Having found a way to measure mass. The to the line of sight from P. of the object from P at some arbitrary rime by the erational definition of mass.5) on object moving post poinr placed between them and released by an internal P along line AD with constant momentum. 1 Newron's Principles of Mechanics 55 ternal forces in the system may changes of result in The units of density are usually expressed in grams 3 momentum within it. Now PC the fixed distance of P from the is line AD.3. value of the angular momentum (r x DN) is the area of the triangle MNP. so long as we always include the momen. into two components. in such a way as to involve the mass and velocity of fined as one gram (g). The angular momentum of most common unit of force is the dyne. fixed point or origin. we can line of sight from P. thus we take up jected to the same force by isolating them from some of the details in the section that follows: other objects and producing equal and opposite changes in their momenta with an internal force say. if no force in density. per cubic centimeter (g/cm ). The total given in terms of the density of water (1 g/cm ). MP. To sum up." volume is "how big." Measuring Mass (h) Angular Momentum We are now in a position to see how we can mea. for exam. but these are always accom. We denote the distance. We assure that each is sub. Volume is simply a measure of the physical MN r > space occupied by a body. MN is always the same. 4." and in contact with these gases. one of which.

such as the earth. keep spin. The body can rearrange its parts in such a way as to correct solution to the problem was first published move some of them farther away from or closer to (in 1673) by the Dutch physicist Christian Huygens the axis of rotation (the origin of angular momen. Galileo had not considered this prob- ning.2 ACCELERATION IN A rected toward the sun. copy of this book and sit on the stool while holding tum about any point or origin is also constant. In particular. provided that the only force on ing even your first copy. the satellites. origin. If she than in a straight line. if she pulls her arms in to her body. is why the planets move in nearly circular orbits tation (called a torque) a rotating body will continue rather than in straight lines (the latter motion would with constant angular momen- to rotate indefinitely eventually carry them away from the vicinity of the tum. can only change if that had considered the problem of circular motion. skaters. its angular momen. Now pull your arms in so the body is along the direction toward or away from the that the books are next to your body and you will origin point.5 Angular momentum. However. sence of any outside force tending to change its ro. CIRCULAR ORBIT Consider a rigid body rotating about an inter- nal axis. tum may be conserved even if the body's momen. a figure skater can start a spin with her arms out. We shall refer to it again swept out by a line connecting the body and the in coming chapters. it is Moreover. What does require explanation. solar system). in the ab. Such an . pushing her arms (or a free leg) out from her body. some parts of her mass are closer to their rotation axes. that both books out from your body at arm's length. Each part of that body is constrained to revolve about a point on that axis in a circular path. and even angular momentum is proportional to the area the formation of galaxies. However. old-fashioned rotating piano stool. as was shown above. the there is no external force acting in such a way as to planetswould remain in motion — that the state of make a part of the body try to move faster or slower motion for planets was as natural as for terrestrial about its axis of rotation. lem. forces binding the atoms and molecules of the^ body Galileo argued from the principle of inertia (New- together. including the rings of Saturn. The rotation rate of a body. a number of investigators that there are no torques. the angular momen- conserved. Purchase another mentum of a body is constant. again assuming By Newton's time. These forces are all radial. objects. it must continually suffer an holds her body rigidly until friction with the air and acceleration toward the center of the circle. Thus. This is exactly what is accomplished by figure lution independently in 1666.56 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE ice produce enough torque to slow her down. or you may not have the opportunity to finish read- tum is not conserved. Thus planets. for a force toward or away from that experience a dramatic demonstration of the conser- point cannot affect the component of momentum vation of angular momentum. however. she rotates at a constant rate. Newton had found the so- tum). (1629-1695). it was shown that if the mo. a The conservation of angular momentum is an force of attraction between a planet and the sun important concept to an understanding of the for- cannot change the angular momentum of a planet mation of the solar system with its planets and their around the sun. Figure 4. It might be assumed that some force or power is The forces causing this constraint are the cohesive required to keep the planets in motion. — Have a friend start you spinning but not too fast. Kepler's law of areas (his second law) shows that the only force acting on a planet must be di- 4. provided that ton's first law of motion) that once started. M N C thereby spinning faster so that her angular momen- tum is She can slow down again by conserved. and then pull them in. However. is. Consequently. Since. perpendicular to that direction. You can perform the same experiment with an In the foregoing. and hence decrease in angular momentum unless she compensates by spinning faster. suppose a skater is spinning on the tip of For a body to move in a circular path rather her (or his) skate with arms outstretched.

6). The particle's velocity still has magni. and mv the tangent to a circle at any point is always perpen- F = dicular to a line from rhat point to the center of the circle. For a stone whirled been at £. the vector AD. for it did not continue central force that produces the centripetal accelera. because its velocity at any point is always in a direction tangent to the circle. the centripetal force is acted in the direction toward the center. celeration the particle suffered during the rime At is just laws of motion and some elementary mathematics the change offrom direction D£to direction its velocity we can calculate how great that central force has to The angle through which the veloc- GH. ) At r Figure 4. 4. The acceleration of the particle is then tially the straight-line distance DG along the chord of rhe arc. it would continue to Since the triangle OAD in Figure 4. . its circle centered at O (Figure 4. The The particle has accelerated. If the interval At is very short.7 Centripetal acceleration.6 we have the sim- it is at G a distance along the circumference of the ple proportion circle from D equal to its speed times At (for distance = rate x time). the velocity has magni- (a) DERIVATION OF THE CENTRIPETAL tude v and direction OD. We find that if a particle of mass m moves with ity changed must be the same as the angle a at the a speed v on the circumference of a circle of radius center of the circle subtended by the arc DG along r. After a brief interval of time At.2 Acceleration in a Circular Orbir 57 acceleration is called centripetal acceleration. Because the particle is tion (centripetal force) is.7. Suppose rhe particle moves on rhe circumference of a The magnitude of the acceleration of the particle. be. through an angle a at O. At some instant it is change in velocity during one second.7 is exactly sim- move in direction DE. G is a distance v x At along Av v At rhe arc from D. divided by At. The line representing the ve- FORCE locity has turned. that is.6 Morion in a circular orbir. ilar to the triangle ODG in Figure 4. v tude v but is now in the direction GH. if there were no by At. Wecan represent a change in velocity when that change is only in direction by a diagram such as in Figure 4. in time At. After time At. the centripetal force is given by the formula which the particle moved. an attraction closer to the center of the circle than it would have between the planet and the sun. the distance v At along the arc is essen. Since accel- eration is the change of velocity per second. Figure 4. for a planet. (The angle a in Figure 4.6 is grearly exagger- a = Av v ated. is thus the at position D and has a velocity of magnitude v and change in velocity Av. The original velocity has magnitude v and direction OA. By Newton's first law. rhe ac- With the help of Newton's the tension in the string. to move along direction DE. divided direction DE. that is. forces acting upon rhe particle. the force that accelerated it must have about at the end of a string.

and we have It is obvious that the earth exerts a force of attrac. the central force required to Now the period P of rhe planer. Since rhis is a murual force force of attraction between the sun and planet. Newton reasoned that this force of at. P = 2 Ar 3 . We shall now force * —f. from Kepler's rhird law we know rhat the squares of the periods of planets are in pro- portion to the cubes of their disrances from the sun. we find tractionbetween the earth and objects on or near its surface might extend as far as the moon and pro. r spective orbit. or F = as stated above. Here is anorher example in which Newton em- 2-nr ployed differential calculus (which he called fluxions). see how Newton formulated his law of universal gravitation. or required for rhe planer to go completely around rhe sun. the time produce this acceleration is m x a. he obtained the result we derived.V' where m is rhe sun's mass. Because the sun is observed ro be almost at the center of a planer's orbit. by allowing Iv and Ar to become infinitesimal. depends on the units used to measure time and dis- tance.58 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE If rhe particle has moss m. If rhe gravitational attraction For mathematical simplification we make the assump- on the sun be given by the some of the planet is to tion that planets revolve around the sun in perfectly mathematical formula as rhar for rhe attraction of rhe circular orbits. bur rigorously. terial bodies. m force * moving with speed v in a circular orbir of radius r. On the other hand.2> Ttlr." Thus Newton hypothesized that there is a uni- versal attraction between all bodies everywhere in If we substitute the above formula for v 2 inro rhe one expressing rhe sun's cenrriperal force on the space.2 we find that the centripetal force that the sun must exert upon o planer of moss mp . we obtain nature of the attraction and test the hypothesis by using it to predict new phenomena. a falling apple and the earth are pulling on where A is a constant of proportionality whose value each other. the planet's force on rhe sun musr made to apply to the actual elliptical orbits. that distance is very nearly the ra- 4. Using the be results of Section 4. He further speculated that Ar Ar' there is a general force of attraction between all ma- that is. P = — v Clearly. This is a mutual force. OF GRAVITATION however. he found the instantaneous rare of change of v. that is. Combining the last two equations. is . r. the attractive force between the sun and each of the planets could provide the cen- tripetal acceleration necessary to keep each in its re.3 UNIVERSAL GRAVITATION dius of the orbir. 2 2 2 2 4ttV 4Ttr duce the centripetal acceleration required to keep v 2 = 3 the moon in its orbit. rhe planer musr exert an equal and opposite attractive force on rhe sun. A more complicared analysis can be sun on rhe planer. must be it . that is. where rhe symbol * means "proportional to. Next he had to determine the mathematical planet. we find small. The centriperal force exerted on the planet by the sun must therefore be in proportion to the planet's mass and in inverse proportion to the square of rhe planer's (a) THE MATHEMATICAL DESCRIPTION disrance from rhe sun. is rhe circumference of its orbir (2-rrr) divided by its mv~ speed. rhe above analysis is precise only if rhe angle a and the quantities Aa and Ar are extremely Solving rhe above equarion for v. tion upon all objects at its surface. According ro Newton's third law. If so.

Similarly. independently upon a mass outside the surface of and m 2 and separated by a distance d. of the square of the distance between them. 4. however.3e). the statement is correct only if the density distri- pendix 3. is . his law of gravitation.67 x 10 means 0. The actual value of G has method of mathematics which he called inverse flux- to be determined by laboratory measurement of the ions (today we call it integral calculus). mass M.8). and earth and each infinitesimal piece equation. the sun. It tation. and force used. the dominant of rhe planer. let us investigate some of its other con- rhon rhar of rhe planets. the constant of proportionality in the of the earth. which is stated as follows: planets as geometrical points as far as their gravita- tional influences are concerned. each pulling Thus the force F between two bodies of masses m. centimeters for distance.0000000667.Therefore. G has the numerical value 6.3 Universal Gravitation 59 proportional ro borh rhe mass of the sun and rhe mass cause of the sun's far greater mass. between an ob- of the masses of the objects and in inverse proportion to ject of mass m on the earth and the earth itself. it house). but this force is insignificant compared to ence rhe same change of momentum as a result of the force between each of them and the very mas- this mutual force between them. A body acts gravitationally as spherical mass. Between any two objects anywhere in space there exists a force of attraction that is in proportion to the product The gravitational force. then. The fact that the sun sive earth. attractive force between two material bodies (see the solution to theproblem gives a beautifully sim- Section 4. Not only is there a force between the sun and by the square of the distance from the object to the each planet.* 8 its center (Figure 4. rhe arrracrive force between force felt by any planet is that between it and the rhe two has rhe mathematical form sun. is a number called the constant of gravi- then calculate how all of these forces combined. Newton had to calculate the force between an object on the surface of the Here G. relarively small. is observed ro remain more or less at rhe center of the sysrem while rhe planers revolve around it is evi- solar Before we see how Newton tested his law of dence that the sun's mass must be enormously greater gravitation. itational attraction (for example. The attractive forces between the planets have relatively little influence. and the universal gravitation. fStrictly. is equal to the constant of gravitation times the produce of the masses m and divided M . but also between any two planets. The latter distance is just the 8 *The notation 6. effect of the many parts of a sphere. (c) Weight The Law of Universal Newton hypothesized a force of attraction between (b) all pairs of bodies. or be- tween the kitchen sink and a tree outside the Doth the sun and a planet revolving around experi. between two flying airplanes. Fortunately. see Ap. there must be an attractive force be- feels the simultaneous attractions of the many parts tween all pairs of objects everywhere whose value is of the earth pulling on him from many different di- given by the same mathematical formula as that rections. say a man. bur ir is acrually observable.. its acceleration is sequences. Therefore. on the surface of the earth be correct. and dynes for though all its mass were concentrated at a point at force). the moon. Exactly what is the resultant gravitational above for the force between the sun and a planet. . Be. The earth is a large spherical Gravitation mass. If metric units are used (grams for ple result. bution within the body is spherically symmetrical. there is a grav- mm between any two objects on earth force * ——-. For Newton's hypothesis of universal attraction to An object.67 x 10" . To solve the problem.f This means that we can The above equation expresses Newton's law of consider the earth. the sphere? Here was a difficultproblem to which Newton had to find a solution before he could test F = G^. was necessary for him to invent and use a new distance. whose value depends on the units of mass. center of the earth. that can be thought of as being composed of a large number of component parts.

384. If. If the hypothesis of gravitation is two bodies decreases as the square of their separa. At 6400 km D 2 above the earth's surface.R. earth and a massive object is greater than between tional to its mass. radius of the earth. Care- ful laboratory experiments are able to detect such acceleration = G M subtle changes in gravitational force.8 Attraction of o sphere is as though all irs mass were concenrrored or irs cenrer. the tween the earth and a body on its surface is the downward acceleration is equal to the force acting body's weight. Suppose an apple is dropped from a height above measured as described in Section 4. the surface of the earth. as by measuring its weight. Far out the earth. If an object is dropped from a height. a person's weight drops virtually to zero. so an object there would weigh V2 . should in space. W = G m R 2 • R Thus. the accelerations toward the earth of the tion. an object is determined by its gravitational influ- ence. namely. in other words. (d) The Test of Gravitation: termined is defined as a gravitational mass. ence the same acceleration and fall at the same rate. about 60 times as far. We have seen that it accel- 2 Because the gravitational attraction between erates 980 cm/s . Thus the accel- .403 km. although the gravitational force between the We see that the weight of a body is propor. Apple and the Moon the results of all experiments indicate that gravita- tionalmass is exactly equivalent to inertial mass. be inversely proportional to the square of the dis- In the vicinity of another gravitating body. the earth and a less massive one. his tance from the earth's center. the mass so de. suring the weight of a body. its weight. a body is twice as far from the earth's center as it would be at the sur. that is. where M mass of the earth and D is the dis- is the 2 l face. an object weighs less if above the it is lifted apple (at the earth's surface) and of the moon surface of the earth. This gravitational force be. all objects experi- other method of measuring mass. divided by its mass: body is given by mM acceleration = — = G— 5. This circumstance gives us an. correct. and the moon's distance is and that body. So far. Algebraically. The acceleration. the weight of a ^ on it. A person actually weighs less should both be given by the equation at the top of a step ladder than on the ground. Whenever the mass of as Galileo had found.60 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE (a) (b) Figure 4. by mea. The apple's distance weight is determined by the attraction between him is about 6400 km. or U tance of the object in question from the center of times as much as at the surface of the earth.

pended at two different places. one on the north ton must have felt in discovering that the same sim. or for its acceleration earth (that is. throughout the 5 by "63 from the vertical. Surveys of Schie- once from the known acceleration of gravity: hallion and samplings of its surface rocks were car- ried out and refined at various times. and Director of the is Royal Greenwich Observatory. mountain one obtains enough information to calcu- If the latter were known.844 x 10 10 cm. as where R and ME are the radius and mass of the much as the apple's. 4.023 x 10 cm/s. if G earth is a perfect circle (its orbit is. Overlooking Scot- land's Loch Rannoch is Mount Schiehallion. indeed. on the moon stars. G. All depend on a comparison of the 3. that is exactly the acceleration that we ob. we can use the formula for centrip- etal acceleration found in Section 4. Mount Schiehallion deflected a plumb bob sus- tion.272 cm/s . The distances in- toward the earth. volved are known.844 x 10 paring the pull of the earth to that of large natural 2 = 0. but the difficulty of G = ME ' knowing the precise density of the mountain's inte- . Astronomer Royal. and the other on the south slope. the mass of the earth could be found: nearly circular). such as mountains. Its average orbital speed is gravitational attraction between some object of 5 1. features. The test gives results that are Maskelyne measured by which the angle consistent with Newton's law of universal gravita. its acceleration should be Veo as the bob slightly. He found that the mountain deflected the bob and planets. equiva- (1. by sighting ple algebraic formula describes the law of the direction of its supporting cord against distant gravitation that operates on the earth. a plumb bob suspended near a large mountain is The law of gravitation predicts that because the pulled on dominantly by the massive earth itself. so by estimating the mass of the always occurs multiplied by the mass of the earth. The most famous such experiment was carried out in 1774 by Nevil Mas- The acceleration predicted by the law of gravitation kelyne. and that of the earth depends on its mass and Note that in the formula for the weight of an object the distance from the surface to the center of the at the surface of the earth. If we substitute these numbers known mass and the earth. the earth's crust affect the "down" direction. It works! We can imagine the thrill that New.9). There are various methods of finding the mass The moon's distance (the radius of its orbit) is of the earth. very were known.272 cm/s . the constant of gravitation. slope.2 to calculate R 2 g the moon's acceleration: ME = acceleration = Hence the determination of G is equivalent to the D' determination of the mass of the earth. Now such irregularities in 2 = 0. serve for the moon. yielding fair estimates of the earth's mass. earth and g is the known acceleration of gravity at If we assume that the moon's orbit about the the earth's surface — 980 cm/s 2 . a shal- 980 moon's acceleration = 2 low conical peak so symmetrical that it is feasible to (60) estimate its total mass. and hence to draw it a bit off ver- much. G could be evaluated at late the mass of the earth (or G).023 x 10 moon's acceleration = 10 ) lently. with the attraction be- in the above formula we find tween two objects of known mass. and thus determined the entire universe! pull of Schiehallion on the bob compared with the pull of the earth. the mass of the earth) were made by com- 3. 5 2 The first attempts to evaluate G (or. tical (Figure 4. or V3600. (e) The Mass of the Earth and The strength of the pull on the bob by the the Determination of G mountain depends on the mountain's distance and mass. moon is 60 times as far from the center of the earth but the mass of the mountain is enough to attract 2 as an apple is. Conversely. the earth's radius).3 Universal Gravitation 61 eration of the moon should be Veo 2 . and so far as we know.

is out entirely within the laboratory. However. von Jolly inMunich in 1881. In a torsion . we obtain and the earth. we find C. B is far enough from M M ^M M G—gE A + G * B A A ^M*E MA G ^M M C E the weight A in the other pan so that the attraction -r = + G—> ' R 2 R 2 R 2 between B and A' is negligible. the Two equal weights. there is a small gravitational force between A and B. A and A'. for ME . and C. Now. A more accurate modern method of "weigh- of the weights A. B. + G ME MC for both. earth and A . the M We let E and R be the mass and radius of the mass of the earth can be calculated. One such procedure is with the use of a deli- r M E MA MA MB cate balance.62 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE i Force between bob and earth Figure 4. the Since all the masses and distances on the right side downward force on both pans must be the same. Since the system is again in perfect balance. Thus A feels a greater downward force than A'. the attrac- is tion between the earth and C is just enough to counteract the attraction between weight A and the large ball. are placed in force between A' and the earth plus the force be- the two pans of the balance. is same mass and are the same distance from the cen- ter of the earth. and the total downward force on the right pan.10.9 Deflection of o plumb bob from the vertical by o nearby mountain. rior makes the method necessarily crude. A R 2 R 2 very large mass B is then placed under the pan with the mass A. Thismethod was applied by P. and the system is in perfect balance. Far more force on the left pan. The total downward ing" the earth is with a torsion balance. and the balance is After canceling out the common terms. To restore the balance. with its center only a small distance d we now equate these two If forces (and remember from A.M A M M B and . of the last equation can be measured directly. and the pans hang evenly again. Both weights have the tween C and the earth. placed in the pan with A'. in addition to the force between A M M that A = A ). Now. so the earth has the same attraction C M E MA . M c be the masses . the force between A and the accurate were later techniques that could be carried earth plus the force between A and B. a very small weight. The principle of the bal- ance method is shown in Figure 4. and solving upset. B.

3 Universal Gravitation 63 tni 1 c \\ M " GM C M R2 GM A . the case of a bodyy at rest? 8. The mass of the earth give 5. the large mass and the sphere causes the sphere to The results of the best determinations of the 27 move toward it. How could a certain ward while the cue ball stands motionless or moves mass of lead be less dense than an equal mass of only slightly. How can this be explained in terms of feathers? Newton's third law? 3.10 "Weighing" rhe earrh with a balance. What is the momentum of a body whose velocity is 7. Why is it nonsense to speak of the "force of forward Ignore the pull of the earth's gravity and the friction motion"? of the air. Ignoring fric- zero? Does the law of motion (in the absence of first tional forces. EXERCISES 1. Now you hold up a razor blade directly in front of your ular to another force of four dynes. x 10 tons. If 24 g of material fills a cube 2 cm on a side. 10. How many accelerators are there in a standard pas- senger car? Explain. This force can then be compared to quartz fiber. Explain how a quantity of lead could be less massive after theimpact the other ball moves quickly for- than a quantity of feathers.M E GM A M E R' Figure 4.98 x 10 g. A body moves in a perfecdy circular path at con- is the density of the material? stant speed. what 9. Then another large mass is placed near that between an object and the earth to obtain the one of the spheres. Suppose two billiard balls collide. or about 6 21 amount of twist. . Sometimes a cue ball hits another billiard ball and 2. What can be said about the presence or absence of forces in such a system? 4. 4. balance two spheres are connected by a horizontal curate measure of the force between the two gravi- light rod that is suspended middle by a thin in the tating masses. describe their velocities and accelera- a force the momentum of a body is constant) include tions. in the fiber is an ac. The gravitational force between earth's mass. twisting the quartz fiber. 6. A force of three dynes acts in a direction perpendic- around over you head at the end of the string. or torsion. What is the face so that you cut the string just as the stone is magnitude of the resulting force? out at the end of the string direcdy in front of you. Suppose you tie a string to a stone and whirl it 5.

and showing that it is the same as that due to the tween the woman and the earth. (Neglect air resistance. earth? How much would he weigh at 25.600 km ance? above the surface of the earth? Answer to second part: about 4 kg 12. Compare this to the attraction be. By what factor would a man's weight at the surface neously dropped from the top of a building. At some point along a line connecting the earth and kilometers to test his theory of gravitation with the the moon a mass would experience equal but oppo- apple and moon? Why or why not? site forces due to the gravitational attractions of those two bodies. 16.) present mass? 13. Calculate the gravitational attraction between a man point from the earth is about 346. . of this calculation. (For the purpose moon. What does a pan balance measure? A spring bal. Consult Appendices 10 and 11.000 km by calcu- weighing 100 kg and a woman weighing 50 kg 10 m lating the acceleration at this point due to the earth away from him. Verify that the distance of this '14. How much would a 100 kg man weigh at 6400 km (about one earth radius) above the surface of the 11. Suppose a 10-g ball and a 1000-g ball are simulta. Did Newton need to know the size of the earth in 17.64 GRAVITATION: ACTION AT A DISTANCE (a) Just after the string is cut. assume the man and woman to ing on the stone? be perfect spheres. but eight times its present volume? (b) (b) Explain why they would strike the ground at the the earth had its present size but only one-third its same time.) (b) Which way does the stone move after the string is cut? Why? 15. (a) of the earth be reduced if (a) the earth had its pres- What is the ratio of the weights of the two objects? ent mass. what forces are act.

It is called the center of mass. . entire mass of the system were concentrated at that we can wrire rhe orbiral speed of each body in rerms of its period of revolurion and its disrance from rhe cen- point.3. 1 ). of mosses m. French mathematician and astronomer. (Yerkes Observatory) THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM Newton's laws of motion and gravitation en. 5. developed many of the fundamental techniques in celestial mechanics and is responsible for the famous nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system close to our modern view. borh bodies have rhe same period — rhe The center of mass (or gravity) for two bodies period of rheir murual revolurion. define a point within the system into a circular orbit. Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827). With we shall consider the interactions of two bodies. somewhat more advanced mathematics. 2ht. The disrances of rhe changes of momentum within it are balanced. It can be shown rer of its orbir. In this chapter body revolves about it in a circular orbit. Of course. thus it is also often called the center of gravity. It must lie The same force —rhe gravirarional attraction be- on a line connecting the centers of the bodies. We rwo bodies from O are r. Pierre Simon. We rween rhe bodies — produces rhe cenrriperal accelera- 65 . According to Newton's third law. that the center of mass of a complex body (which is a collection of point masses joined rigidly together) 2TTT. is that point at which the body balances when and placed near a gravitating body. we would both of which are either point masses or spherically find that the result we derive is correct for any kind symmetrical. can. rhar is. is given a special name: the barycenter. therefore. that is. the total momen. all between rheir cenrers (Figure 5. now derive the location of the barycenter relative to able us to predict the motions of bodies under the the bodies. 1 CENTER OF MASS Ler rhe two bodies. problem. The subject is called the two-body acted on only by mutual forces between them. rhe force upon ir musr be m v^/r v 1 2 that remains fixed (or moves uniformly) as if the The force on body 2 is /r9 As in Secrion 4. and m 2 revolve . For simplicity we shall assume that each influence of their mutual gravitation. so that they act (gravitationally) as — of motion of the two bodies as long as they are point masses. about and on opposite sides of rhe poinr O on rhe line tum of an isolated system is conserved. and r2 To accelerate body 1 .

surface. the ward the ground. rion of each. then. and other celestial objects. rhe two bodies.we can and often do speak of the but relative orbit of the moon about the earth's center. the fulcrum (support point) must be lo- cated proportionately closer to the boy of greater orbit is an ellipse of major axis equal to the sum of the major axes of the elliptical orbits of the two mass. The similarity of the two orbits makes it easy or to refer to the orbit of one object relative to the 2 other. mutually revolve about point O. and if one comes closer. the sizes of the orbits being in inverse * r. We mutual revolution of see that the point of The size of the relative orbit is the sum of the two bodies on between them is located so that sizes of the individual orbits about the barycenter. that the orbits of the two bodies are similar to each other (that is. are the m x v\ ™ 2 v\ same shape).66 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM Figure 5. for example. Similarly. body) is the sum of the speeds of the two individual ing of the sun and a planet bodies about their barycenter. The concept of center of mass reminds us of the sum of the distances of the two bodies from the two boys on barycenter (it is also equal to the distance between For the seesaw to balance a seesaw. satellites. greater mass. more massive body as reference. the relative properly. It is conventional to choose the center of the m^TTr. all three ellipses have the same eccentricity. This is called the relative orbit. We see. the bodies). Thus we can write amount. lies very close to the center of the sun — in most cases. proportion to the masses of the bodies. the relative orbit is a circle with a radius equal to verse proportion to its mass. The earth and moon. The earth is not at the center of the moon's orbit. (a) Relative Orbits 5. they must always maintain the same relative distances from it. if one body doubles its distance If an object near the earth's surface is dropped to- so must the other. the cen. 1 and 2. revolve about their barycenter on a line between their centers. orbit (its speed with respect to the more massive ter of mass of a system of revolving bodies consist. Of course neither P 2 r. rhe centripetal force acting on other must lessen its distance by a proportional each of them must be the same. within the sun's We now turn to the motions of the planets.1 Center of moss.2 ORBITAL MOTION EXPLAINED As two bodies revolve mutually about their bary- center. the above center — but it is often convenient to regard one (the more massive) as origin. a line the distance of each body from that point is in in- If the bodies move in circular paths (Figure 5. P 2 r. Therefore. and consider the motion equation becomes of the other with respect to it. If the orbits are ellipses. at the end of one second it has . The speed of the less massive object in the relative Because of the sun's far greater mass.2). body is actually fixed — both move about the bary- After cancellation of common factors. mArfr. the bary center of two revolving bodies lies proportionately closer to the body of bodies.

However. continuing in Orbital motion is thus easily understood in the direction it was moving at the instant the string terms of Newton's laws of motion and gravitation. there is no outside force same distance of 0. drops toward the earth only about 490/3600 cm in This tug is the tension in the string. Thus it drops. and same distance from the earth. because of the earth's curvature. Consequently.14 cm toward the tripetal force needed to accelerate the stone into a earth. removing the central or literally "falls around the earth. away from you. the moon con- tinually falls toward the earth without getting any closer to it. as of the mutual pull between your hand and the the moon moves forward in its orbit for one second stone. It is the result one second. or about 0. However. broke. one second. The orbital motions of the planets are similarly explained. tangent to its former circular path.14 cm. .2 Relative orbit- accelerated to a speed of 980 cm/s. in is a nearly circular orbit. if the string broke. through the string. the end of a string. the plete circuit of the earth and is back to its starting stone would fly off in a straight line in a direction point (Figure 5. The you whirl a rock around over your head at If moon. The gravitational attraction be- tween the earth and the moon provides the proper centripetal force to accelerate the moon into its nearly circular path. the force of gravitation pulling the moon toward the earth and an outward "centrifugal force" that keeps the moon from falling into the earth. If there were. The stone tugs with a mutual force the ground has fallen away under the moon by that on your hand. which accelerates only 1/3600 as much. so the moon is still the pulling the stone away from you." In the period of centripetal force. Actually.3 Velocity and acceleration of rhe moon. through a distance of 490 cm. In other words. 5. At any given instant. it either would not Figure 5. the orbital speed of the moon would tend to carry it off in space in a straight line tangent to its orbit. circular path. But if the moon were in a balance between two forces. Its average speed move at all or would move in a straight line.14 cm. you feel a "tug" in the string. In this way the moon the string were to break.3). the stone would move radially about one month. (a) The Fable of 'Centrifugal Force" Orbital motion is often incorrectly described as being a balance between two forces. in accord with Newton's first law of motion. it has "fallen" through one com.2 Orbirol Morion Explained 67 i/l + i/ 2 Figure 5. not in during that second 490 cm/s. You provide. the cen- and travels about 1 km it falls 0.

which from the introduction of a rotating co- arises ordinate system. predicted by Newton's orbir. Then rhe planer each other. Newton's laws of motion and grav- itation were proposed by him as the basis of all me- to the side of the car. As ir does so. diagram Newton used in the proof (from the Princi- pia) is reproduced on the British one-pound note tion applies equally to the planets' motions about (Fig. located by making careful observations of the other jusr as rhe speed of a ap- falling srone increases as ir planets — — Mars and. Thus it should be possible to derive Kep- In short.68 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM As a further example. and will moveir in somewhar of mass about which they mutually revolve can be closer ro rhe sun. this discussion of the moon's mo. both pull mutually and centrally toward each other. Newton did so. Of course. chanics. will move outward as rounds the sun until it has ir . The force you feel is Kepler's laws of planetary motion are empirical the mutual force between you and the car that pro- laws. No force is pulling outward on the moon to balance the attrac. ar consranr disrance from rhe sun. but the earth. being much more mas. accelerates far less. The reaction to the earth's gravitational force on the moon is the mv p moon's equal but opposite gravitational attraction force = for the earth. is third law.you round a corner in if 5. it was Newton's deri- vation of the shape of the orbit of an object moving tion between the moon and earth. Evenrually.) (a) KEPLER'S FIRST LAW (b) The Mutual Forces and the Moon's Moss Consider a planer of moss m a distance r from the p or sun moving with a speed v a direction at right an- in gles ro rhe line from rhe planer ro rhe sun. there is no such thing as centrifugal ler's laws from them. On his three laws of planetary that instant. The car has pushed against you to accel- erate you into a curved path. saw in the previous chapter. rhar is. Small monthly periodic creased disrance from rhe sun. more recently. they describe the way the planets are vides your centripetal acceleration. a grearer cenrriperal variations in the apparent motion of Mars result force is required ro keep ir ar a consranr disrance from from the earth's monthly revolution about the bar- rhe sun. If the side of the observed to behave. as rhe planer conrinues ro sweep ycenter. The center keep ir in a circular orbir. (A "fictitious" centrifugal force. Today.4). Because of rhe planer's increased speed and de- by tracking space probes. It is. or about 1700 km below its sur. will receive more accelerarion rhan is necessary ro sive than the moon. just the unbalanced gravitational force that causes the under the influence of an inverse-square force that moon tomove in its nearly circular path around the had so astonished Halley. in fact. The earth and moon suffer the planer and rhe sun happens ro be grearer rhan rhe same change of momentum as they revolve around force given by rhe above equarion. is sometimes useful in the solution of more advanced problems in mechanics. however. and would not fly out at right angles the other hand. From the size of those variations we find in closer ro rhe sun ar higher and higher speed. In other words. especially of proaches rhe ground. Thus rhe planer than the earth (Chapter 9). In fact. as we (or outward) force in orbital motion.3 NEWTON'S DERIVATION OF a rapidly moving car you your body being feel KEPLER'S LAWS shoved against the side of the car on the outside of the curve. The cenrrip- Some authors explain that "centrifugal force" is a eral force needed ro keep rhe planer in a circular reaction force to gravity. Kepler himself did not know of car were to dissolve suddenly. a poinr that the barycenter about 4700 km from the cen- is will be reached ar which rhe gravirarional force be- ter of the earth. the principal earth. you would continue the more fundamental laws or relationships from moving forward in the direction you were going at which motion follow. 5. there is no outward Now suppose rhe gravirarional force between rhe "reaction" force. The moon is about 81 times as far from the enough cenrriperal accelerarion ro keep rhe planer barycenter and so is correspondingly less massive from moving our away from rhe sun. that is. This too is incorrect. irs speed will increase. the sun. tween rhe rwo is no longer sufficienr ro produce face.

their orbits. In a short interval of rime. el. however. that the gravitational inter- action between any two bodies would result in an or- bital motion of each body about the other that is some Figure 5. or the velocity of es- ON 1 POUND is cape. which we repeat here. . the planet would move outward and con. must be elliptical. The latter divides the family of elliptical (closed) from If were reversed. and the planet were the situation rhe family of hyperbolic (open) orbits that actually do moving fast enough for the centripetal force required occur. Thus we see. made use of his new fluxions. We shall see what conditions determine the for circular morion to be greater than the gravitational type of orbir in Section 5. pull it back again. There is a certain critical with a simple geometrical proof of this law of equal speed. in qualitative agreement with Kepler's would then be a hyperbola rather than a closed. do attraction. thus we would not expect to find a planet (or tion is again greater than the circular centripetal accel.3 Newton's Derivation of Kepler's Lows 69 called rhe parabolic velocity. in solving the problem. at which the planet can just barely escape the Consider a planer at A revolving about the sun at solar system along a parabolic orbit.5). qualitatively. eration.3).5 Relative hyperbolic orbits. the gravitational force between it and the sun might never be enough to provide sufficient In the preceding paragraphs we saw how a planet centripetal force to hold the planet in the solar system. a planet had a high If. not have hyperbolic orbits or they would long since sequently slow down until the gravitational force could have receded into interstellar space. of course. nature. The planets. Newton. This critical speed 5 (Figure 5. or *# hyperbola is beyond the power of elementary alge- bra.6). other object) with exactly a circular or parabolic orbit. and parabolic orbits require theoretically Circular precise speeds that would not be expected to occur in reached a position where the gravitational accelera.4 Back side of a British one-pound nore. parabola. ellipse. rhe planet's Figure 5. (b) KEPLER'S SECOND LAW enough speed. Newton derived rhe second law rigorously liptical path (Figure 5. He showed. Its orbit it pulls away. 5.4. To prove rigorously that the gravitational force be- tween the sun and a planet must result in an orbit for the planet that is either a circle. how a planet may fol- low an elliptical orbit. and the process is repeated. in fact. speeds up as it approaches rhe sun and slows down as and the planet would move off into space. which we now know as differential cal- a X^0 culus. as found by Kepler. which depends on the planet's distance from areas. the sun. form of a conic section (see Section 3. then. second law.

Many such brief intervals of rime can be com- If we cancel our rhe masses common ro each side of bined ro show rhar rhe areas swepr our in any rwo each equarion and add rhe rwo equarions. SDC Those rriangles also have equal alrirudes. again rhe sun accelerates rhe gravirarional arrracrion berween rhe rwo provides rhe cenrriperal accelerarion ro keep them in circular orbirs. and m and disrances r. and rhe proof is srill valid. G(m + m. They also same alrirude — rhe perpendicular disrance of 5 from body. we can regard rhe accelerarion of rhe planer as being along a direcrion DC. so rhe planer If rhe bodies have masses m. Thus rriangles ASCand C5D. + r2 and we can equate have rhe rhe gravirarional force ro rhe cenrriperal force for each rwo rriangles have equal bases. The planer now has a velocity We may now use rhe ideas we have developed ro along rhe direcrion AC In rhe nexr brief inrerval of demonsrrare a simple derivarion of Kepler's rhird law. rral force. bur again only for circular orbirs. in rhe case of a planer going around . Newron derived rhe rime. orher. consranr speed and would end up ar D. rhe planer would ordinarily conrinue moving in a srraighr line ar a same form of rhe law for rhe more general elliprical orbirs. How. so rhar rhe disrance CD was equal ro rhe Foreach of rwo murually revolving bodies. + r 2 is rhe disrance berween rhe rwo bodies. In facr. rhe disrance AC. + O 2 rance berween rhe parallel lines 5C and ED. These are rhe areas swepr our by a line from rhe planer ro rhe sun in rwo successive equal intervals of rime. Thus Kepler's second law is verified. have equal areas. Because rriangles A5C and CSE are borh equal in area ro rriangle 5CD. rhe gravitational pull between ir and rhe sun ac. having equal bases and alrirudes. Here is anorher example in or which Newron employed differenrial calculus.4Tr 2 r. If any rwo objecrs re- volve abour each orher under rhe influence of a cen. rhey are gles A5C and C5D. rhe law of equal areas will apply. rhe dis. angles A5C and CSE ro be as small in area as we like. respecrively.6 Geometrical proof of rhe law of areas. lerring rime intervals approach zero. planer roward ir (now in direcrion CS). areas. + m )P z 2 = — 4-rr 2 (r. (c) KEPLER'S THIRD LAW rhe direcrion from rhe planer ro rhe sun ar rhe begin- ning of rhe insranr. and for body 2. equal in lengrh ro rhe first inrerval. Bur we can imagine rri. 1 for cenrriperal force. is rhe geo- ever. 0\ + r/ . rhey are equal in area ro each Gm m l 2 m. Since AC = CD. acrually moves along CE. merrical manifesrarion of rhe conservarion of angular celerates ir we are considering a very brief ro C Since momenrum.2 and 5. we obrain equal intervals of rime are equal. + r 2 f. forward velocity would ordinarily carry ir ro D. as we have seen (Secrion 4. planer moving around rhe sun. along rhe ex- tension of AC. However. (r. we did nor need ro resrricr ourselves ro a («. rhe separated by a disrance r.4TT 2 r. The law of we recognize ir. parallel ro AS. Thus rri- angles 5£C and SDC are equal in area.) _ 4tt The argumenr given is rigorous only if rhe brief i p2< r + 0> rime intervals are infinitesimal. AD or its extension. Since r. 1h). Equaring rhe formulas derived in Secrions 4.70 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM Figure 5. Now 5C is a common base of rriangles SEC and Gm m ] 2 m. 2 Consider AC and CD ro be rhe bases of rhe rrian- and r2 from rheir common center of mass. we obrain for body 1. inrerval of rime.

a number so nearly equal to 1.000 times that of the earth. + m2 ).2 and the factor 4tt/(/ The latter is simply a constant of proportionality. respectively. + m 2) Sun's mass + Earth's mass + earth's mass moon's mass olution of the sun and a planet. m. the sidereal month KEPLER'S SECOND LAW: If two bodies re- (the moon's period of revolution about the earth) for volve about each other under the influence of a the period. Newton's moon from earth equation reduces to .1 is used. 1 Examples of Systems of Units compared to the sun accounts. in the orbital plane in equal intervals of time. of (m. and the moon's mean distance from earth central force (whether or not in a closed elliptical for the separation of the bodies. the fact that the masses of Jupiter and Saturn are not completely negligible Table 5. (m x + m )P = a\ 2 2 cho's observations. (If the units of length. their orbits of units is the combined mass of the earth and the will be hyperbolas. Suppose we choose the mass of the sun for our unit of mass. + m. ellite. where G is the constant of gravitation. 2 We now restate Kepler's three laws of planetary the constant of proportionality 4tt /G = 1. the sum of the masses of the . the period in years. One such motion more general form. + m 7 = 1 Furthermore. in the earth-sun system. the law becomes = 1. has only 1/1000 of . G will take on such a value that 4tt'7G will equal unity. G has the value 6. ets moving about the sun but also for any pair of mu- KEPLER'S THIRD LAW: If two bodies revolve tually revolving bodies — two stars. + m )P = 2 2 (1)7° 2 = P = 2 a\ the relative Then the above equation looks the orbit. sun and any other planet is also very nearly unity. + m2 5. In particular. orbit). 5. as the semimajor axis. + m 2 )P = 2 —a 3 . if the bodies are per- than the factor 4it7G is equal to unity. m.000 that Kepler was unable to detect the difference from Ty. Units of (m. third law. for the slight for Which 4tt7G = 1 discrepancies in Kepler's version of his third law as ap- plied to Jupiter see Table 3. a line joining them sweeps out equal areas Newton derived his equation not only for the plan. and time are centimeters. + w2 . revolutionis in proportion to the cube of the semi- Newton's version of Kepler's third law differs from major axis of the relative orbit of one about the the original if contains as a facror the sum of the in that other. Units of a Astronomical unit Mean distance of and the solar mass for the unit of mass. unity also. for the sun and Jupiter. same as the formula we gave in Chapter 3 for Kepler's in agreement with Kepler's formulation of the law. If the proper units are chosen for distance and time. If is easy to see that another suitable choice If they are not permanently associated.2. a planet and a sat- mutually about each the sum of their other. the is. in their as they were system is to measure the sum of the masses of the re- derived by Newton: volving bodies.001. in part.and KEPLER'S FIRST LAW: If two bodies interact the separation of the bodies in astronomical units.) the mass of the sun. to all intents (m. if we and Saturn. the algebraic formulation of note that we can consider the sun and earth to be a pair of mutually revolving bodies. Then gravitationally. grams. (However. moon for the sum of the masses. masses of the two revolving bodies.67 x 8 10 If either of the sets of units shown in Table Jupiter. let us illustrate two systems of units such that First. so it must be manently associated. or even a plate and a spoon revolving about masses times the square of their period of mutual each other in space. Even and seconds. in units of the combined mass of the sun and earth. their orbits will be ellipses. a. We shall see in Newton's version of Kepler's third law is Chapter 31 that the sun has a mass of about 330.) Thus. Thus the combined mass of the sun and the earth and purposes. except for the factor w. mass of the sun itself. I II apply the equation Newton derived to the mutual rev. If will become clear why Kepler was not aware of that term if we In metric units.3 Newton's Derivation of Kepler's Lows 71 the sun in a circular orbit. the most massive planet. mass. Then. (d) Kepler's Laws Restated We shall see in a moment why Kepler was unaware Summary of the factor (m. and choose years and Units of P Sidereal year Sidereal month astronomical units for the units of time and distance. the earth's mass being negligible in comparison. m. each will describe an orbit that is if the equation applied to the mutual revolution of is common center of mass a conic section about the the earth andeverything in the equation other sun. of the pair.

As an example. or. EQUATION It is important to note that if two objects approach each other from a great distance in space they can Ir can be shown rhar any rwo mutually revolving for never "capture" each other into elliptical orbits. its satellites all being very small com- the corresponding value of a. and the perbolic orbir. which includes a velocity of escape is equal to the circular velocity times term involving the sum of the masses of the revolv- the square root of 2. Otherwise. of the planet in terms of the mass of the earth. and the vis viva equation gives for 5. in sidereal months) and the distance of the itational attractive force. A sideways velocity equal ro rhe velocity of es- cape of one body with respecr ro rhe other will result *"l + m = 2 -pi' in parabolic orbirs. + m 2 is. . If that sideways velocity is just grear parent planet as a pair of mutually revolving bodies. rhe magnitude of the velocity.72 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM a must be positive and finite. and to cause it to )[. enough so that the centripetal force required for a cir.5). We measure the period of revolution of the satellite cular orbir is exactly equal to the bodies' mutual grav- (say. A still higher sideways motion will produce elliptical orbirs into the equation of larger major axes than the diameters of rhe circular orbits. we can immedi- need not be ately calculate the combined mass of the planet and of one body with respecr ro rhe orher its satellite. Thus m. r If the relative orbit is a parabola. Newton's because a parabolic con be considered an ellipse orbit of eccentricity 1. If two bodies have the most minute sideways mo. Our only means of measuring the masses of astro- nomical bodies is to study the which they way in react gravitationally with other bodies. STARS v 2 = G{m + mx 2 )-. the energy equation. and insert those values velocity given by the second to last equation above. That is why a rocket intended for lunar orbit carries a retro- Thisequation is called the vis vivo equation. v. The semimajor axis of a hyperbolic orbit is token SYSTEM—THE VIS VIVA as negative.5 MASSES OF PLANETS AND rhe parabolic or escape velocity. We can toward each orher but will move in elliptical orbirs select one of those satellites and regard it and its about each other. and m 7 wirh a relative orbir of mutual attraction will speed them up so that they pass semimajor axis a. If the relative orbir of moon. ond still higher velociries give hy- perbolic orbirs. m )-. Note that the derivation of Kepler's third law. ing bodies.4 ENERGY OF A TWO-BODY bits. the moon from the earth). it is impossi- ble to send a rocket to the moon. whatever the direcrion. without slowing it down when it is in the lunar vicinity. If v is the speed of one body with respecr ro the other. The v/5 viva equation is quite general. For any closed orbit (circle or ellipse). the mass rhe relarive orbir. ir would bypass the moon on a hy- one body around the other is a circle. is most useful for this purpose. equation gives for the circular velocity v 2 = G{m -I. r = a. that has tion with respect to each other. with a = * (infinity). such as Jupiter. they will move about each satellite from the planet (in terms of the distance of other This critical speed is the circular in circular orbirs. rhe semimajor axis of pared to it. A value of v greater than the parabolic velocity results in open or hyperbolic or- 5. each other with a relative speed greater than their of one body with respect to the other at on instant mutual velocity of escape. essentially. Obviously most of this mass belongs to sideways. ~ ~ move on an elliptical orbit about the moon. moving in orbits that are the equation hyperbolas (Figure 5. Their bodies of mosses m. rhe morion Since both a and P are observed. rhe equation gives the planet. be- rocket designed to reduce its speed at an appropriate cause it expresses the conservation of energy of rhe rime so that it can enter an elliptical orbit about the system. they cannot fall straight one or more satellites revolving about it. and they will swing out when the bodies are at a distance r apart is given by away from each other again. Consider a planet. rhe bodies escape from each other.

If rhe objecr is one of small mass circling rhe sun.however. If sky of the object on each of at least three different rhe orbir is nor an ellipse.11 earth mass. seen from the earth. its where rhe objecr is in its orbir ar some particular rime. rhe period of murual revolurion of is Kepler's third law to estimate the mass of our entire rhe bodies suffices for rhis sevenrh element. rhe same rwo W Mars " m Deimos 2 10" 3 quanriries serve ro specify rhe size and shape of any (0. usually designated by a set of quantities known as its elements. for it can be obtained from rhe ets from a moving earth. areal velocity is rhe rare ar which an imaginary line between rhe rwo bodies sweeps our an area in space with respecr ro one of the bodies.262/27. In sidereal months. the The complication is that we observe the other plan- period is superfluous. when finally determined. The rime of extending over only a few weeks (Chapter 19). is in the solar sysrem are given in Appendix 9. so rhar its locarion ar orher rimes can be computed. In facr. describe rhe orienrarion of the orbiral plane. In units abour rhe sun can be specified uniquely by six irems of of the distance of the moon from the earth. a sevenrh datum is nary star is a pair of stars that revolve around each needed ro specify rheir orbir complerely. vented a method of determining the orbit of an ob. gives rhe orientation of ject moving around the sun from observations of it the orbir in its plane. If rhe relarive other). In fact. informarion. Three orher dara = 0. The argumenr of perihelion.0611. rhar rhe size and shape of an elliprical orbir can be specified by rhe semimajor axis (0. 5. The orbit. to. say. Deimos. The semimajor axis a and eccen- rriciry e give rhe size and form of rhe orbir. that other sets of observations of its directions at various times as data can be used for rhe elements of an orbir and. it is possible to find If rhe ser of elemenrs given in Table 5.6 Orbirs of Planers 73 As a numerical example. mathematical technique to determine the masses of If. must be known to calculate its detailed path around Some of the elements of the orbirs of the planers the sun.13 x conic secrion. or elements. A final elemenr is needed ro specify km mass can be neglected compared across). A with that of Mars.500 km. The ele- how Kepler determined the orbit of Mars geomet. We have seen (Section 3. rhe areal velocity rarher rhan dates.0462. for ex- orbir. rhe ser of elemenrs rhar is most conventional for de- scribing rhe orbir of an objecr revolving abour rhe sun. and hence of any orbir.3a).262 days and a mean distance from the center of (a) ELEMENTS OF ORBITS Mars of 23. we can use Newton's version of orbir an ellipse. one defined by Since Deimos is a very tiny satellite (only about 13 rhe earth's orbir. i data.With the additional knowledge of Newton's ure 5.7. mos has a distance from the center of Mars of Two elemenrs are needed ro describe rhe size 23.3a) indeed. the outer- most satellite of Mars.0462) 2. perihelion passage T and period P are rhe data re- Since Gauss's time various mathematical techniques quired ro calculare rhe posirion of rhe objecr in its orbir. jecr is around rhe sun and if it has a mass rhar in orbir In Chapter 26 we shall see that we use the same can be neglecred in comparison wirh rhe sun's mass.3 = 0. have been developed to handle the same problem. revolving bodies is nor known.6 ORBITS OF PLANETS The six elements can be speci- (or seven) orbital fied in a multitude of ways.28 x 10 and eccenrriciry of rhe ellipse. preferably separated by more than a week. rhe areal velocity replaces rhe period. has a sidereal period of 1.404 = 0. . If it is a Galaxy (Chapter 29) or even of other galaxies hyperbola. laws of motion and gravitation. 5. and we find that Mars has a roral of six such orbiral elemenrs are sufficient if rhe ob- mass of just over one tenth that of the earth. however. The (Chapter 37).2 is summarized A classic problem in celestialmechanics is to com. pute the orbit of a planet (or minor planet) from Ir musr be emphasized. the orbit of a planet with far fewer observational the inclination and longitude of rhe ascending node. are required ro specify rhe orienrarion of rhe orbir wirh respecr ro some reference sysrem.2 is used. the period The orbit of a planer or some orher body moving of the satellite is 1. the period can be used. plus the mass of Deimos is given by ample (Secrion 3. Thus the mass of Mars and shape of an We have already seen. and fl.500/384. often are used in modern practice. In 1801 Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) in.2 are illustrared in Fig- rically. menrs described in Table 5. In Table 5. rhe sum of rhe masses of rwo mutually stars that are members of binary-star systems (a bi. Accurate positions in the semimajor axis wirh rhe use of Kepler's rhird law.0611) 3 2. Dei.

firing a rifle south to north (the ascend- in a direction exactly parallel to the surface of the ing node). to the perihelion all hindering objects. Longitude of the fl Angle from the vernal equi. If units). Then the only to the sun). it will remain in orbit indefinitely as an as- east along the ecliptic tronomical body. to the point where the object crosses the To illustrate how a satellite is launched. and so on. zle of the rifle is the gravitational force between the helion point. Argument of peri. point (its closest approach buildings.8 — adapted from a similar diagram helion node.2 Elements of on Orbit 5. Earth's orbit Plane of planet's orbit Major axis of planet's orbit Ascending node of nodes Plane of earth's To Vernal equinox Figure 5. a) Angle from the ascending earth (Figure 5.74 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM Table 5. most of the artificial satellites that have been Eccentricity e Distance between the foci of launched are temporary astronomical objects. that the friction of the air could be removed. It is an astronomical body in its own right. such as other mountains. Period P The sidereal period of revo- If the bullet is fired with muzzle velocity v a . plane.9). measured to the sphere.7 ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES NAME SYMBOL DEFINITION Semimajor axis a Half of the distance between the points nearest the foci An artificial satellite is a manmade object that is in on the conic that repre- orbitaround the earth or some other astronomical sents the orbit (usually measured in astronomical body. it lution of the object about the sun. bullet and earth. but mean- while the gravitational force acting upon it will ac- Closest approach of planet to sur Projection of plane on plane of earth Planet's ' '. it is the conic divided by the major axis. If an artificial satellite is launched so with the sun crossing the equator from south to that its entire orbit is outside the earth's atmo- north). imag- ecliptic traveling from ine a man on top of a high mountain. force that acts on the bullet after it leaves the muz- Time of perihe. and that and in the direction of its motion. further. The fric- the orbital planes of the tion of the air causes a satellite to lose energy so object and of the earth. are absent. Imagine. . because they dip into the atmosphere of the earth Inclination i Angle of intersection between during some portions of their revolutions.7 Elements of on orbir. T One of the precise times that lion passage the object passed the peri. measured in the plane of the object's orbit by Newton — Figure 5. that eventually it spirals into the denser part of the ascending node nox (where the ecliptic and atmosphere where friction heats it until it burns up celestial equator intersect completely. will continue to have that forward speed.

"falls around" the earth in a complete circle.10 Various satellite orbits that result from different few hundred miles.9 A diagram by Newton in his De mundi system- atic. for. . downward gravitational acceleration its of which depend critically on the exact direction is the same. is about 8 km/s. Royal Obsetvatory celerate it downward so that it strikes the ground at Edinburgh) a. (Ctawford Collection. The speed v c. and are shown in Figure 5. Novelist Jules Verne anticipated earth satellites long ago. its orbit will be an el- the gravitational force between the bullet and earth is produce the centripetal acceler- just sufficient to ation needed for a circular orbit about the earth. and finally given a forward horizontal face. if it is given a higher muzzle velocity vb . as it accelerates toward by its fuel is shut off.7 Artificial Satellites 75 "b*. 5. the instant when the thrust supplied enough muzzle velocity. However. its higher forward speed will carry it farther be- fore it hits the ground. First. In one of his stories an enemy force was planning to bomb a city with a gigantic cannon ball. the circular satellite veloc- ity — so it passed harmlessly over the city and on into a circular orbit around the earth. The possible kinds of orbits it can enter remains the same distance above the ground. the circular satellite velocity at the sur- face of the earth. the cannon ball was propelled with too great a speed — in fact. the curved surface of the earth will ing exactly horizontally. regardless of its for.10. / Figure 5. % * > * Figure 5. proceed in an orbit the size and shape thrust.8 Firing a bullet into a satellite orbit. cause the ground to tip out from under it so that it at burnout. vc." that is. then turned so that it is moving burnout velocities but that are all parallel to the earth's sur- horizontally. It will ward speed. or parallel to the ground. 1731 Edition. However. This If the missile's burnout speed is less than the is another way of saying that at a critical speed v c circular satellite velocity. (a) Possible Satellite Orbits Suppose that a missile is sent up to an altitude of a Figure 5. suppose that it is mov- the ground. Thus this faster-moving bullet will and speed of the missile at the instant of its "burn- ground at b. If the bullet is given a high strike the out.

or center of the earth would result (orbit C). that point the semimajor axis of the orbir. most of its elliptical orbit Negative values of a correspond ro hyperbolic orbits. The apogee point of the orbit. it will traverse only a small section of its locity.381 km above the surface. mosphere of the earth).76 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM lipse.047 slightly below the circular satellite velocity. from the earth's surface. will put the missile into a parabolic orbit that will just enable the vehicle to escape from the earth into space (orbit E). the parabolic ve- shape. It is ex. If the burnout speed were exactly the circular Such a satellite would have an apogee distance of satellite velocity.1 1 Various sorellire orbirs rhor resulr from rhe some Suppose a satellitelaunched from a point near rhe is burnour speed bur in different directions. the ma- jor axis of its orbit would depend only on its burnour A burnout speed equal to the velocity of escape speed (see Figure 5. the satellite cannot travel. of rhe orbir does deoend on rhe direcrion of locity (about 11 km/s). Let us measure speed in terms of the circular-satellite velocity at the earth's surface. con. . . In these units. As an example.263 in units of the circular-sarellire ve- sequently.17 earth radii. that is. the or missile may clear the surface of the earth (orbit B). The higher the burnout speed.= v . or about 1 . about 27. the nearer will the orbit be to a straight line (orbit G). can easily be calculated if the burn- the point of burnout. Note that there is no term in rhe equarion for an burnout speed will produce an elliptical orbit with earth satellite that involves the direction in which a mis- perigee at burnout point and apogee halfway around sile moving at burnout. the perigee point (closest ap. and r and a in units of the radius of the earth. atmosphere for the satellite to be longlived. 2 (1. a (a measure of the that is farthest from the center of the earth. of course. a circular orbit centered on the about 33. rhe eccentricity. If the burnout speed is just 1. km/s. the masses in terms of the earth's mass. .315. Thus. traordinarily unlikely that a missile could be given The vis vivo equarion holds regardless of rhe direc- so accurate a direction and speed that a perfectly tion the two bodies are moving with respect to each circular orbit could be achieved. out speed is known: proach to the center of the earth) will be halfway 1 2 around the orbit from burnout. We can apply the vis viva equation ro rhe orbir of a satellite moving about the earth. suppose the burnour speed is 1 where. and the equa- tion simplifies to 2 1 I r a Figure 5. will be size of rhe orbir). burning up in the dense lower at. will lie beneath the surface of the earth (orbit A). A slightly greater other. A still higher burnout speed will produce a hyperbolic or- bit inwhich the missile escapes the earth with en- ergy to spare (orbit F).047 and v at that point is the burnout speed.760 km from rhe center of the earth. All rhese orbirs hove earth's surface (say at an altitude of 300 km): r is rhe some major axis. not moving parallel ro rhe ground ar burnout. we find for a orbit before colliding with the surface of the earth (or more likely. a r If the burnout speed is substantially below the circular satellite velocity.263) = 0. Then the ellipse. Then. or ). with the center of the earth at one focus of 1. the constant G is equal to unity. although its orbit will probably he too low in the a = 3. even if the missile were is the orbit (orbit /_)). 1 1 However.

However. rockers or space probes rravel in . travels along that part of its orbit that lies launched a second satellite that survived in orbit outside the earth's surface until it collides with the until April 14. tons.10. The missile must have the atmosphere. however. A ballistic missile travels in an elliptical orbit with the center of the earth at one focus. Satellites carry instruments that radio mosphere. it gradually lost energy. so that photographs can be obtained of the earth.8 INTERPLANETARY PROBES "satellite"). carry quite simple. almost a month af- the earth will occur at the target. 5.8 Interplanetary Probes 77 morion of rhe missile. lies beneath the surface of the earth. once they have left rhe earrh. One of the two from 230 950 km above the earth's surface. 1958. This second satellite was very earth at the calculated point (Figure 5.12). and. the drag of the earth's at- under way. make routine weather observations. the solar spectrum. In orher words. an important milestone in the his- tory of human technology. other purposes. is a The first successful American satellite was complicated task. called Sputnik I (the Russian word for 5. earth satellite. 1957. 1958. (c) First Artificial Satellites Ballistic rockets (which are satellites in a sense. as in orbit A in Figure 5. Since to intersections of the orbit with the earth's surface is Sputnik I was never completely outside the earth's at the launching point. By this time. are asrronomi- weighing about 80 kg. the basic principles are ronment. the Russians then. had an overall weight of about four We have now learned rhe principles of space travel. similar to the first except that it had a heavier in- The calculation of precise trajectories for ballis- strument pay load and included a live dog. ter Sputnik I was put in orbit. 1 1 rhar for a missile launched inro a satellite orbit near rhe surface of rhe earth. The missile. and were completely out all manner of reconnaissance for military and described by Newton. chanics as rhe planers and narural and arrifkial satel- riod of 96 minutes in an elliptical orbit that ranged lites. tic missiles. Most of Figure 5. rhe resulting orbir will be too ec- centric to clear rhe surface of rhe earth.12 Orbir of a ballistic missile. and a scientific instrumentation package Rockets. and finally correct burnout speed and direction so that the burned up in the denser lower atmosphere on Jan- other intersection of the orbit with the surface of uary 4. the "space age" was well the earth (Chapter 6). as we have seen. as we have explained) carry instruments 150 or more For the International Geophysical Year 1957-1958. and so on. One advantage itwas proposed to launch small earth satellites that of rockets that return to the ground is that instru- would carry instruments to investigate the condi. as with regular earth satellites. 1958. This first So- viet satellite. Such missiles can be considered earth satellites and temporary astronomical bodies. ment pay loads can sometimes be recovered intact. of course. the orbit. tions just outside the earth's atmosphere. Account must be taken of various launched by an Army Jupiter C missile on January perturbations introduced by the slight asphericity of 31. We see in Figure 5. are the means of what have now become routine communications. unless the burnout direction is nearly par- allel to the ground. The first successful launching of an artificial the sun. and complicating effects due to the back to earth data about our immediate space envi- earth's rotation. was accomplished by the Soviet Union on October 4. The instrument package and cal bodies. (b) Ballistic Missiles A ballistic missile is a rocket or missile that is given an initial and then allowed to coast in an or- thrust bit to its target. They obey rhe same laws of celesrial me- launching rocket traveled about the earth in a pe. On November 3. kilometers above the earth's surface.

of rhe Mariner and Viking Mars our ro rhe orbir of Mars.5 km/s less (rarher rhan more) rhan rhe earth's speed. orbirs of rhe earrh and Venus. (1. From is rhe vis viva equation we find rhor rhe speed ar rhe aphelion poinr in rhe orbir is 27. Half of rhis major axis rangenr ro rhe orbir of Venus (Figure 5. spaceship is a planer.26 AU. 13). The rime required ro reach rhe counr.8 km/s. Rocket me.8 km/s). aphelion poinr rhar rhe rrajecrory ellipse is rangenr ro cal orbir we wanr ro achieve is rhe sum of rhe radii of rhe earth's orbir. so The earrh is traveling around rhe sun ar rhe righr rhar minor correcrions in rheir rrajecrories can be made. The enrire period of rhe orbir is rhus 02 rhe slighr ellipriciry of plonerary orbirs is raken inro oc. rhor is same type as rhe trip from rhe earth ro Venus. rhe enrire orbir is a years if a is measured in asrro- Earrh. 14).p here at Perihelion Figure 5. we em. The rrip will have ro be planned very carefully is an ellipse rangenr ro rhe earth's orbir ar rhe space so rhor when we reach rhe aphelion poinr of rhe leasr- vehicle's perihelion (closest approach ro rhe sun) and energy orbir.86 AU. ir may be possible ro alrer rheir and rhe spaceship (rhe larrer is negligible). Figure 5. rhe earth's disrance from rhe is. we need jectoryby showing one of rhe many possible ways ro ro leave rhe earth wirh rhe proper speed and direcrion reach each of rhe planers Mars and Venus. and m. eaith wirh a speed relarive ro of abour 3 km/s.78 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM orbirs. abour 2. The major axis of rhe ellipri. 13 Leosr-energy orbir ro Mors. ro which slighrly grearer rhan rhe earth's circular velocity (which we now rurn our artenrion. The leosr-energy orbir rhar will rake us ro Mors monrhs. If rhe space vehicles carry auxiliary rocker en. aphelion poinr (Mars' orbir) is half of rhis. sun. bur rhe principles remain rhe same. For us as necessary. The period required ro rraverse 3 2 Suppose. and of rhe similar Sovier probes. we ore srill moving in rhe same direcrion as rhe rhe earrh and are rhus rhe mosr economical of fuel. Mars will be rhere ar rhe some rime. + m 2 is rhe combined mass of rhe sun gines and extra fuel.41 years. similar ro rhe orbir ro Mars. for rhem ro achieve rheir missions. we musr achieve a speed. excepr now ir is ar rhe ploy rhe vis viva equarion. were all can be found from Kepler's rhird law. and Mars are circles cenrered on rhe sun (when nomical unirs.3 km/s. . rhe elliptical orbir ro Mars. To calculare rhis speed. which 0. be ocrivared by radio command from rhe earrh. ir The orbirs of rhe successful Unired Srares Mariner and We hove now enrered an orbir rhar will carry us Pioneer Venus probes. The appropriare value of a is 1. and ar rhe perihelion poinr rhor ir is rhe orbirs of rhe earrh and Mars.26) =1. 1 4 Leosr-energy orbir ro Venus. major axis of rhis orbir is half rhe sum of rhe radii of rhe The value r of course. speed for a on rhe earth to enter circular orbir. or abour 8V2 cared). The rime required for rhe rrip probes. The orbirs so rhor when we are far enough from rhar irs gravi. for simplicity. rhor rhe orbirs of Venus. ir ro Mors and Venus we show are rhose rhor require rhe rarionol influence on us is negligible compared ro rhe expendirure of rhe leasr energy as rhe rocker leaves sun's. We one particular kind of space tra- shall illusrrare Since rhe earth is already moving 29. because our nearly of rhis type. The rerurn rrip from Mors ro rhe earth is of rhe in rhe same direcrion as rhe earth is moving. rangenr ro rhe orbir of Mars ar rhe vehicle's aphelion Space probes generally carry rocker engines rhar can (farrhesr poinr from rhe sun) (Figure 5. The semi- is rhe value a. The orbir ro Venus is very is abour 29. rhe problem is similar bur slighrly more compli. The re- orbirs or will. quired speed rurns our ro be slighrly under 33 km/s.

of 2. if we want a prolonged configurarion or rhe rime of launch.8 Interplanetary Probes 79 The space vehicle would have to leave rhe earth. jargon. found as before from Kepler's tion of Jupiter. earrh and rhe planer ro be visired musr be ar a crirical On the other hand. We did this in 1974 with Mariner 10. the vehicle is action of Venus. What is the period of mutual revolution of the two barycenter with die idea of epicycles and deferents stars described in Exercise 2? (Chapter 2). is abour five monrhs. The orbit of such a flyby probe relative to the center of the planet it visits is a hyperbola. Most of our space probes have been flybys. Rerunning from Venus ro earrh is similar ro rraveling from earrh ro Mars. Closeup observations of the visited planets thus must be made in a matter of hours.3 km/s and will reach rhe 1974 and with Voyagers 1 and 2 in 1979. and is seldom probe in 1971 and the Pioneer Venus probes in feasible.5 km/s bur in a opposite that of the direction which was directed to Mercury by the gravitational earth's morion. Why does Newton's version of Kepler's third law the mass of the sun in a double-star system in have the form which the other star has a mass equal to the sun's and a distance of 4 AU from the first star? (m. we must slow the probe down space vehicle meer rhe planer ar rhe orher end of rhe with a retrorocket while it is near its destination vehicle's heliocenrric orbir. However. can be supplied by rhe rocker). called a "window" in space ters 17 and 18. rhose for Venus trips at intervals of about 584 days. using cameras and radios to whip" action of the planet on a flyby. and of course with Pioneer 11 in moving of the required 27. which means they have made the relevant observa- tions of the planets they visited during the brief pe- riods during which they passed near those planets and then flew on into space. "Windows" for Mars journeys occur ar inrervals of abour 780 days. 5. How barycenter from a star of three times far is the 4. depends on rhe rhrusr copabiliries of rhe avail- able rockers (rhar on how much energy. + m 2 ) P = 2 a\ . above rhe is. we have sometimes been able to take advantage of this Figure 5. Then. "gravitational measure how sunlight is affected as ir shines between rhe ring by timing the launch and choosing the flyby dis. is a shorr range of rime (typically a few weeks) during which a nearly leasr-energy orbir con be achieved. 2. or a landing. We did this with the Mariner 9 Mars planer. in order rhar rhe visit. ro launch rhe rocker ar exacrly rhe proper in- 1978. (NASA) particles. rhere Mars in 1976 were launched from similar orbiters. The We shall describe these probes more fully in Chap- lengrh of rhis rime period. In 1981 Voyager 2 was similarly re- rhird law. In pracrice ir is nor necessary. directed by Saturn into a trajectory that will take it From rhe foregoing discussion ir is obvious rhar rhe close to Uranus. Compare and contrast the earth's motion about the 3.15 Artist's rendering of the Voyager spacecraft flying behind the rings of Saturn. The were sent on to Saturn by the gravitational deflec- rravel rime ro Venus. with enough speed so rhar when If has left rhe trajectory will direct it to another planet in the solar earth's vicinity it has a speed with respect to the earth system. the planet gravitationally deflects the probe into a dif- ferent direction from that which it had when it ap- proached the planet. These crirical configurarions planet so that it can enter an elliptical orbit about occur ar inrervals equal ro rhe synodic period of rhe that planet. leasr possible needed. which orbir of Venus along rhe desired elliprical orbir. relarive ro the sun. as tance just right so that the probe's post-encounter before. By careful planning. The Viking landers sent to the surface of sranr ro achieve rhe leasr-energy orbir. EXERCISES 1.

Calculate the velocity of escape from the sun at the 9. appear stationary in the sky above a particular tance and period are 384. what orbit? would then be its orbital period? 8. *14. Why? *17. Calculate the radius of the orbit of respectively. face of the earth is 7. what is its distance from the the earth's surface were known? surface of the earth at apogee? . sun had eight times its present mass and the If the earth than to put a satellite into a perfectly circular earth'sorbit were twice its present size. A cow attempted to jump over the moon but ended in an orbit around the moon instead. for 42.400 km 7. Show why the times at which a space vehicle can which the constant of proportionality is unity. What would be the period of an artificial satellite distance from the earth's center. + m is in units of the combined mass of the required to reach the planets Venus and Mars 2 earth and moon. How could you calculate the period of an artificial gee? If the semimajor axis of its orbit is twice the perigee and apogee altitudes above satellite if its radius of the earth. place on earth. Why is it easier to get a space probe to escape the 15. be sent to a planet on a least-energy orbit occur at intervals of the synodic period of the planet. Verify the periods given in the text for the times if m. 1. what is the ratio of apogee to peri- 10.) such a synchronous satellite. other than those given in the text.9 km/s. If an artificial earth satellite has an orbital eccen- orbit be nearly one? tricityof 0.80 THE TWO-BODY PROBLEM with the constant of proportionality equal to unity. its orbital speed increases.1. why must the eccentricity of the 18. units of the moon's distance? Find another such set of units. it will have a pe- around the earth with a radius in a circular orbit riod or revolution equal to one day and thus can equal to 96. As air friction causes a satellite to spiral inward *16.5. Answer: About h week l Answer: About 42. and compare this with the earth's surface into an elliptical orbit whose apogee point actual orbital speed.000 km? (Assume that the moon's dis. 5.000 km and 27'A days. Show that the circular satellite velocity at the sur- closer to the earth. Describe how a space vehicle must be launched if the cow could be used to determine the mass of the it is to fall into the sun. and a in along least-energy orbits. moon. Describe how k 13. is at the moon. If a lunar probe is to be launched from the earth's earth's distance. If a satellite has a nearly circular orbit at a critical 6. P in sidereal months.

the planets (and different satellites of a planet) exert gravita- tional forces upon each other as well. is gravitational effect of the entire ensemble on any very complicated. the problem of treating the motion of a If the exact position of each body is specified body that is under the gravitational influence of two at any given instant. John Couch Adams (1819-1892) John Couch Adams (1819-1892). (top). ence of their mutual gravitation. Unfortu. (Yerkes Observatory) The n-BODY PROBLEM Until now we have considered the sun and a 6. as a pair PERTURBATION THEORY of mutually revolving bodies. English and French mathematicians. called the n-body problem. or a planet and one of its satellites. (bottom). Actually. — one member of the group it is merely an extension 81 . that of describ- planetary attractions cause slight variations from the ing the motion of any body in a collection (or clus- orbits that would be expected if the gravitational ter) of many objects all interacting under the influ- forces between planets were neglected. nately. and Urbain Jean Joseph Leverrier (1811-1877). Their prediction led to the discovery of Neptune. independently predicted the direction in the sky of an unknown planet that was perturbing the motion of Uranus. in general. The n-body problem is. we can calculate the combined or more other bodies. These inter.1 THE n-BODY PROBLEM- planet.

evolution of hypothetical clusters. ever. by numerical calculation rived which express. and hence of any one. which facilitated the cal- principle.82 THE n-DODY PROBLEM of the application of the parallelogram of forces determined mainly by the gravitational force between (Section 4. The resrric- . but they are not how. these corrections are called perturbations. is revolving about each other in circular orbits. in principle. for example. Algebraic formulas can then be de- no solution. to specify the average in general only by laborious numerical calculation. as it is in the two-body problem because it will gradually be perturbed by orher bodies (in which the orbits are always conic sections). sion. with elec- system that it passes near. we can find how it will accelerate. RESTRICTED THREE-BODY PROBLEM ever. Lagrange investigated the behavior of a small nantly the gravitational force of one orher mass. This is the restricted three-body problem. sun (or earth). We shall see in Chapter 18 how perturbation Calculations have been performed to follow the theory led to the discovery of the planer Neptune. the n-body problem is often said to have osculating orbit. therefore. that is. it is called an sequently. how- ever. however. is small corrections to be applied to the two-body solu- enough to calculate how it will move in the next tion. Such extremely com. In other words. these solutions star clusters. tronic computers. however. turbations. instant of time. first (a) PERTURBATION THEORY considered by rhe French mathematician and astrono- Fortunately. Usually. and tem. The pro- cedure is especially tractable with modern computers by the combination of the gravitational attractions of all the others to follow the motions of all of and is the one most often used to calculate the orbit of them. planet (or minor planet or satellite) with respect to the Although computations of the type just de. It is. to follow the dynamical evolution The other approach is the method of general per- of hypothetical clusters of up to thousands of mem. Here the position at any moment of a bers. is used to calculate the elliptical orbit it would the motion of any one member of a group or cluster follow if there were no perturbations. possible to derive certain properties of a clus- ter of particles interacting gravitationally in order to As srared above. in combination with its velocity at that scribed can be carried out. Actually. (b) SPECIAL SOLUTIONS— THE feasible for the study of all problems. Thus the influences of the other planets can be regarded as knowledge of its initial velocity. a other planets being very small in comparison. apply only when the collection of particles has a very particular (and unlikely) configuration. This orbit is only a temporary one for the object body for all time. owing to the perturbations of the other planets. elements of the osculating orbit will change with time. In computers were developed. the combined attraction of all perturbing bodies. the force between and any of the it question. the n-body problem can be solved study it statistically. The particle moving in rhe gravitational field of two objects morion of a planet around the sun. it is not possible to write an equation its orbit is computed on the basis of the two-body that will describe the trajectory (or orbit) of that theory.1e). and thus to follow its motion. behavior of its members. does not describe the motion. even the procedure was usually employed before high-speed biggest electronic computer is not adequate. How- There are two approaches to perturbation theory. Since they. Con- than the sun (although it may well represent the body's actual motion for a considerable rime). we must simultaneously in detail how the object in question will move. with tolerable accuracy. the problem is complicated by the fact that One is to calculate directly the actual gravitational the gravitational acceleration of one body depends on a planet force (or minor planet or satellite) due to on the positions of all the other bodies in the sys. in turn. although for some problems of importance. to calculate members of the cluster. a lunar or planetary probe moving under the com- bined influences of the various members of the solar plex calculations have been carried out. Knowing the force on the body in itand the sun. rather accurately when a given body feels predomi. many-body problem can be solved the mer Louis Lagrange (1736-1813). in the form of algebraic equations. has partial solurions with very interesting appli- cations. or partial solutions. This such as the evolution of the solar system. which deals with which there exist solutions. *. We shall discuss some of There are. This is calculate the acceleration of each particle produced called the method of special perturbations. some special circumstances in these applications in Chapter 30. One case. to study instant. how the many problems can be solved to rather high preci. are accelerated by all the knowing how each orher planet is moving. of bodies. the n-body problem is not culation of special perturbations. General perturbations solvable only in the sense that a single equation are still widely used in many applications.

and rhe minor planers have negligible mass in 6. the atoms of its outer revolve exactly in those configurations. it is the earth's gravitation that provides this acceleration. that during the evolution of stars in bi- not be forced away by slight perturbarions. so rhe conditions of the problem are ap- proximately met. such as Jupiter. Only a small part of this gravitational force on an Figure 6. in the sense that a giant. move about The points marked D in Figure 6. The one stage in the evolution of a typical star. Lagrange found that there are five positions rela. however. find natural examples of this kind of mo. at infinitesimal moss moves in a circular orbit. defined by the sun. in an orbit points ore at the corners of an equilateral triangle. the remainder accounts for the object's . matter can flow from one star to an- the two bodies of larger mass and either of the D other. and the simple two-body theory does not give precise re- sults. ies. the small object at one of those positions would We find. We shall see (Chapter 33) that in at least orienrarion with respect to the two greater masses. distended layers. and one if to find many examples in nature in which three bodies evolves to a large enough size. Therefore. the inertia of its constituent parts tends to make them fly off tangen- tially into space. stable. Note that nary systems. once placed. Of course. The rotational flattening of the earth is slight but is important. will which the small particle can move relative to the two move on a circular orbit always maintaining a fixed larger ones. how- •B ever. greatly distending its outer layers. having negligible mass.1) where rhe small mass. (The sun and Jupiter move in nearly circular paths around each other. In nature. Now there if the small body is displaced slightly from one of them are many double-star systems in which the two stars it will leave its circular orbit. are in the system in the manner predicted by Lagrange. or can flow around one or both stars.2 The Gravitational Effects of Nonspherical Bodies 83 tion is that rhe particle must have too small a mass to that could be clouds of such particles reflecting sunlight have any gravitational influence on rhe other two bod. escaping the two stars do. Because small perturba. as point masses. each particle on and in the earth must be undergoing a constant centripetal acceleration to keep it in place. Rapidly rotating planets. If the tions are always likely to occur. 6. 1 . (a) The Shape of the Earth Because of the earth's rotation. the centripetal acceleration that keeps it on the ing in circular orbits. in fact. Some observ- Bodies with spherical symmetry act. the planet Jupiter. Examples will be encountered in Chap- tion. for which the gravitational influences are easily calculated. We or can even flow info space. it becomes three points marked A are unstable. The best known is the equilateral configuration ter 34. If the shape of a body deviates only slightly from a sphere. 1 Lagrangian each of which a body of poinrs. most bodies are not exactly spherical. to us. thus. altogether. ground. maintaining a object at the earth's surface is required to provide fixed orientation with respect to two bodies mutually revolv. revolve about each other in nearly circular orbits. Lagrange's solution to the restricted three-body tive to the two objects in mutual circular revolution! problem also specifies the regions of space within (Figure 6.2 THE GRAVITATIONAL comparison. we would not expect two stars are relatively close together. we usually approximate its gravita- tional influence by that produced by a point mass and treat the small effects of its asphericity as per- turbations. A common cause of the deformation of a star or planet from a perfect sphere is its rotation. gravitation- ers have even reported sighting faint patches of light ally. are no- ticeably flattened. and the two groups of Trojan asteroids (Chapter 19). but these sightings have never been confirmed. ) It has been suggested long ago that EFFECTS OF NONSPHERICAL small particles could similarly revolve about the earth BODIES 60° ahead of and/or behind the moon.

in general. Now the centrip. a person at one of the once again apply the principle of the parallelogram poles would be nearer the earth's center than he of forces.84 THE n-DODY PROBLEM weight. The earth should be flattened at the poles. of the earth has zero speed and suffers no centripe. Richer found that at Cayenne (5° north latitude) a pendulum beat slower than it did at Paris. moving. a earth (except for objects at its equator) but rather is slightly flattened sphere that has an elliptical cross toward the center of the path on which the rock is section. North pole Centripetal force The gravitational acceleration. The variationwas first measured by John Richer. Thus the centripetal force is directed per. If a spherical earth were infinitely rigid. Later these results were used in a theoretical analysis to compute the shape of the earth. is not infinitely rigid. force on the rock and its weight. we see that it is not. Consequently. and if it is subjected to such cent of his weight this way. varies slightly over the surface of the earth. a force over a very long time. whereas the equatorial regions should be slightly pendicularly toward the earth's axis of rotation. along the surface. The direction of the gravitational pull cally. The in a direction toward the equator. the weight of equator. We bulged out. In other words. Now. who was sent on a scientific expedition from Paris to Gravitation Cayenne (in French Guiana) in the years 1671-1673. This force must mountains. produce the combined effects of the centripetal like grains of gravel floating on the molasses. Richer's measurements showed the variation of the acceleration of gravity between Paris and Cayenne. because some part of the gravitational force tion a freely hanging plumb bob would point. of a pendulum is proportional to the square root of the ratio of its length to the gravitational accelera- Equator \ tion. at either pole of the would be the end of the story.2). the rotation of the earth center and is not in a direction perpendicular to the slightly reduces the weights of objects on the earth's surface the earth would have if it maintained a per- surface (and the interior parts of the earth itself as fectly spherical shape. and is used up in providing the centripetal acceleration. Figure 6. Both effects together. In 1673 Huygens showed that the period. along what is called an equipotential surface). constantly pulling on those rocks where the centripetal acceleration is greatest. in other words. that tal acceleration. one would lose only about 1/2 per. In other words. upon a constituent rock in the earth near its surface Superficial crustal features.2 Direction of the weight of a body on a spherical Another consequence of the earth's oblateness earth. Therefore. The gravitational force can be resolved would be at the equator. is to make the distance along the surface of the . so As a person travelsaway from a pole. But itwould mean earth (at either end of its rotational axis) the full that the weights of the crustal rocks would not be force of gravity goes into the weight of an object. reduce the weight of an object at the equator compared to its j* weight at a pole by 1 part in 190. such as is toward the center of the earth. perpendicular to the mean surface of the earth. Here is an additional effect into two components: the centripetal force and the that causes the weight of an object to be less at the weight of the body. or swinging rate. a center. like heavy molasses Newton showed that the result of this effect it eventually flows. until it takes on such a shape should be a distortion of the earth from a purely that its mean surface is everywhere perpendicular to spherical shape. Analysis shows that the resulting shape of the etal force is not directed toward the center of the earth should be nearly that of an oblate spheroid. Suppose the earth were spherical the direction of the weight of the surface (techni- (Figure 6. the earth effect is slight. toward the earth's On body exactly on the axis the other hand. the rotation of the the rock in question is not directed toward the earth's earth and the earth's oblate shape. his weight that there would be component of force lying a gradually diminishes and is least at the equator. Thus. however. are rigid enough to hold their shapes. The weight is in the direc- well).

In the nonspherical gravita- tional field of the oblate earth the satellite is contin- ually being accelerated from the two-body orbit. a here. Gradually. turbation will nor be attempted however. and the line of nodes slowly rotates to the west.4 Effect of the earth's equatorial bulge on an earth earth.2. as the of the earth's rotation. Figure 6. there are harmonics that are south and then to the north.4. For a satellite with a period of two hours.4° per day. its orbit slides in a direction opposite to that of its motion. a slightly oblate figure superimposed on the spherical As it approaches the equatorial plane. about 1 part in 298. only cross sections are shown in satellite passes from north to south it is pulled first to the the figure. . the changes are not abrupt. depends critically on the precise shape of the earth. All these shapes are really ward. then. and an orbit inclined at45° to the equa- torial plane. The deformations of the earth's shape from that of physical feeling for how the asphericity of the earth can a perfect sphere are usually represented by a series of produce such an effect can be gained through the fol- what are called spherical hormonics. Many other perturbations of satellite orbits exist. cally symmetrical earth. The orbit of the satellite has thus been displaced three-dimensional and are symmetrical about the axis a little westward. and the length of a degree at various latitudes has been measured. careful studies of perturba- section between the plane of the earth's equator and tions on satellite orbits should enable us to derive the that of a satellite orbit. EARTH'S SHAPE As an example. more precisely. A rigorous discussion of this per- earth's shape rather accurately. again its orbit is displaced slightly westward. an orbital eccen- tricity of 0. as it revolves about the earth. It varies from 1 10.2 The Gravitational Effects of Nonspherical Bodies 85 earth corresponding to one degree of latitude longer 10° at pole in the vicinity of the poles than near the equator (Figure 6. or. As it passes north of third. we illustrate the perturbation on Since the motions of earth satellites depend on the the orientation of the line of nodes — the line of inter- precise shape of the earth. the equatorial plane.5. many of them subtle.4). or re- gresses (if the motion of the satellite is to the east).3 Length of 10° of lotitude ot the equotor ond at the North Pole (the difference is greatly exaggerated). the equatorial plane from south to north (Figure 6.5). (b) PERTURBATIONS ON EARTH SATELLITES The equatorial bulge of the earth is responsible for a deformation in the earth's gravitational field from that which would be produced by a point moss or spheri. the line of nodes rotates 3.3). 6. These deformations are espe- cially important near the surface of the earth and pro- duce conspicuous perturbations in the orbits of low. satellite. tant deformation is the equatorial bulge. the bulge pulls it slightly south- schematically in Figure 6. The effect is easily observable. The most impor- lowing oversimplified description. and fifth zonal harmonics are also shown fourth. (c) SATELLITE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE altitude earth satellites. In addition. On the other side of the earth. The exact nature of these effects. The kind of deformations represented by the bulge pulls it slightly northward. on the distribution of mass within the Figure 6.7 km at the poles. which is rep- Consider a satellite moving eastward and crossing resented by the second zonal harmonic (Figure 6. as suggested here and in Figure 6. the equatorial earth.6 km at the equator to 10° at 111. Its diameter from pole to pole is only 43 km less than through the equator. Actually. equator The actual oblateness of the earth is small.

The rela.25. respectively: The form of the second.86 THE n-BODY PROBLEM (a) (b) (c) Figure 6. Vanguard sarellire firsr revealed a deformation repre- senred'by rhe rhird harmonic. This showed rhar rhere is a very slighr amounr of "pear shape" superimposed on rhe oblare earrh. located at their own centers.5 From (a) ro (d). by William Kaula at UCLA. and fifth spherical harmonics. The earrh is body deviates from perfect sphericity. a in Figure 6. and other crus- shape of rhe earth is obrained.6. nor symmetric about the rotation axis. of rhe geoid above (positive num- harmonics are correcrly indicared. as has been ex- sensitive measures of surface gravity over rhe earrh. dicular ro rhe direction of gravity. UCLA) . of the mean surface of rhe earth above (positive numbers) and below (negative numbers) rhe surface of an oblare spheroid with a flattening of 1 parr in 298. even firsr represenred by an oblare spheroid (a flattened slightly. have seen in Section 6. mountains.25. Analyses of sarellire perrurbarions. The topography the — monics. bers) or below (negative numbers) rhe surface of rhar marions of rhe earth are exceedingly small. as shown in Figure 6. If however. A com- an in- 6. The geoid is rhe same as mean sea tive imporrance of rhe various harmonics is revealed level over rhe oceans. The figures on rhe map are rhe forms of rhe deformarions represenred by rhe various heighrs. properly scaled. (Courtesy of William Kaula.2 how satellite orbits are con- rorial diamerer exceeds rhe polar diamerer by only 1 sequently perturbed. combined wirh Two perfectly spherical bodies.3 DIFFERENTIAL plete representation of the gravity field requires finite set of harmonics. ups and downs of continents. it no longer acts as a point mass. plained.-port of a series of surfaces superimposed ro represent rhe mean shape of rhe earth. rhird.5(b). orher. Hundreds of harmonics have GRAVITATIONAL FORCES now been measured wirh sarellire radar alrimerry. in merers. The shape of a planet can be Figure 6. are superimposed on one an. bur rhe actual defor. observations of rhe earliesr Navy For slighr gravirarional arrracrions. and we sphere wirh elliptical cross section) in which rhe equa. oblare spheroid. in meters. fourrh. rhe ral fearures — affecrs rhe geoid only indirecrly rhrough example. The general parr in 298. ir is a surface everywhere perpen- by satellire observations. When a large number of har.6 Height. attract each other as if they were point lead ro an accurare knowledge of rhe form of rhe earrh and permir rhe preparation of maps like rhe one masses.

In rhe example described in rhe preceding para- The force of attraction between the large mass graphs. Another contribution to as. body 1.8) is great produced by point masses. 2. to be unity — say.8 the forces x Similarly. is GRAVITATIONAL FORCE at a distance R + d. R + d is so nearly equal to R that we can write body 2. as vectors pointingtoward the large mass to the left. the other.8 Forces on the smaller masses shown as vectors. This force is intermediate between the force on boring particles by a third more distant body.7. body 2. 6. two neighboring bodies exert on each forces that Now the center of mass of two small bodies is other. smaller masses. in which three bod. of mass. result in such phe. body of mass M To the right are two bodies. As an body and that on body 2. rhe differential gravitational force AF was and body 1 is found to be = GM F> ' R 2 (R + df R 2 Combining the two terms of AF. GM AF = GM d{2R + d) (R + df R\R + df Note that F is slightly smaller than F because of Now let us suppose that the distance R is very much 2 the greater distance between the large mass x and greater than the distance d. in turn. themselves pulled outward. consider Figure 6. The difference F — F x 2 is the differential gravitational force of the large mass on the two R + d~ R. affected by rotation. F and F 2 are shown In Figure 6. therefore. the attraction it would feel toward the large body. M. If either of the two unit nomena as tides and precession. . with simple and that between the large mass and body 2 is algebra. halfway between them. Because the force on body 1 is greater than on body 2R + d « 2R. of whose masses we shall assume. If the bodies are free to masses or perfectly spherical objects whose gravita.7 Attraction of a large mass and rwo smaller ones. masses were at that point. With respect to the center 1 example.These forces.3 Differential Gravitational Forces 87 Figure 6. each has a mass of 1 g. each . the differential force tends to separate the two phericity is supplied by the differential gravitational bodies. In this case. is at a dis- tance R from the large one. they will separate unless their mutual gravi- tional effect on external objects is the same as that tational attraction (not shown in Figure 6. we find. would be (a) One Body's Attraction on Two Others GM CM "" (R + x lzdf A differential gravitational force is the difference be- tween the gravitational forces exerted on two neigh. (b) CALCULATION OF DIFFERENTIAL The first of the small bodies. move. for ease of cal- culation. To the left is a large enough to hold them together. both body 1 and body 2 feel ies are shown These are either point in a line. Figure 6.

For the moment. however. and their relative motion would be the three bodies are in a line. because the semi-daily delay in perturbs the orbital motion of two bodies because the time of high tide ("high water") is half the daily its gravitational force on both bodies is not the delay in successive transits of the moon across the same. the two bodies would be acceler.9 Vector differences between forces of attraction of mass M on each of masses A and D. Actually. A third body lated to the moon. Both are about the same distance from the third body. In each case the vector difference no role at all in the orbital revolution of the earth between the force of attraction of M on B and on A is and the moon about each other. Usually. 1e). How. both are accelerated approximately the so culated according to the rules of vector subtraction (see same amount and follow a nearly common orbit Section 4. (c) Differential Forces and 6. Since a force is a vector (for it has both magnitude and direction). A satisfactory explanation of the tides. by the differential force of the sun slightly altered on the earth-moon system. In general. The relative motion of the earth and attracting each of two masses. .- R' M A Now denore by 8F rhe differential force corre- let us sj sponding to a unit separation of the two small bodies. In Figure 6. sun. we shall consider the effects of the moon's The minus sign in the gravitational force denotes that the force acts in such a direction as to decrease R. however. this differential gravitational force acts ferential force upon them would have to be zero. \B J< 2GM i 5F = ' B R 3 and the total differential force is Figure 6.4 TIDES Perturbations Many perturbations can be looked upon as an effect Early in history it was realized that tides were re- of differential gravitational forces. and in the In the foregoing calculations ir was assumed that same direction. our equation for AF becomes t ^ AF = 2GM^ R* = 2GM4. in such a way as to tend to separate A and B. the directions and tends to pull them closer together. that for the case where d = 1 Then* is. then the differential force on B is directed more or less to- gravitational between earth and moon is force ward A. dF = d l -GM \ = 2GM (a) Earth Tides dR ~ dR\ ' ' R 2 ) /?' First. the bodies unchanged. attraction on the solid earth.9 a mass M (to the left) is about the sun. Mass B is the moon. depends mainly on their mutual shown in various orientations with respect to the line attraction and not on the sun. awaited the theory of gravitation. This is the most impor- tant cause of those irregularities in the motion of the moon described in Chapter 9. Therefore. consider the influence of the force between two of them is not simply the arithmetic sun on the mutual revolution of the earth and the difference between the forces exerted on each by the moon. and the differential gravitational As an example. *This result could have been obtained immediately with dif- supplied by Newton. ated by the third body the same amount. A and B. are not lined up. AF = d x 5F. when B is nearly at right angles to the line joining more strongly toward the sun. its dif- shown. ferential calculus by differentiating the gravitational force. local meridian.68 THE n-BODY PROBLEM B With rhis approximation. For the sun to play between A and M. M's force on the two is in slightly different earth feels the stronger acceleration. If it were. then. at new moon the moon is accelerated ever. we . and at full moon the M and A. the difference must be cal.

Thus the These forces differ slightly from each other because tidal forces are directed toward the moon. 6. earth. The side of the earth near. They are called the tidal forces. than parts of the earth near its center. one in the ver- the earth's center. each of unit mass. the forces are shown with re- spect to the earth's center. Those parts tion and cohesive forces. Such is approximately true. the earth. The effect of the horizontal component is Consequently. The actual earth. 1 1 Gravitational and tidal forces at various places the weights of various parts of the earth. To moon lipse with its major axis in the earth-moon direc- tion. and one in the hori- resultant force on the earth that causes it to accel. vectors (much exaggerated in length) represent the Our planet can be regarded as being composed of a differential gravitational forces due to the varying largenumber of particles. the resultant of moon. Figure 6. however. that is. all these forces would be that of the force on a point In each case. its gravi- est the moon is attracted toward the moon more tational attraction for objects on its surface would strongly than is the center of the earth. the same direction from the moon. In each case. however. 10 The moon's attraction on different parrs of rhe earth. the differential force of the moon's to attempt to cause the surface regions of the earth attraction on different parts of the earth causes the to flow horizontally. along the surface of the earth. If the earth were perfectly spherical. Thus. zontal direction.11 shows the forces (as vectors) that are acting at several points on the surface of the earth. . Those of the earth's finite size. toward or away from the di- cause the earth is nearly spherical. Figure 6. the earth takes on a shape such that a cross section whose plane contains the line be- tween the centers of the earth and moon is an el. be. is attractedmore strongly than is the side of earth. the differential force tends to "stretch" the earth slightly into a pro- late spheroid with major axis pointed toward the its moon. The gravitational forces of the earth closer to the moon than the earth's cen- exerted by the moon at several arbitrarily selected ter are attracted more strongly toward the moon places in the earth are illustrated in Figure 6. toward the center of the turn. in be in a vertical direction. equal to the mass of the earth.10. The dashed vectors rep- resent the forces due to the earth's gravity. all parts are not equally parts on the opposite side of the earth are attracted distantfrom the moon.4 Tides 89 Moon Figure 6. The erate each month in an elliptical orbit about the effect of the vertical component of the tidal force is bary center of the earth-moon system. distorts under the earth opposite the moon. nor are they all in exactly less strongly than are parts at the earth's center. ignore the flattening of the earth due to its rotation. That is. The solid on the earth's surface. the vector representing the force mass. is not perfectly rigid. If the earth re. earth to distort slightly. all attraction of the moon on different parts of the bound together by their mutual gravitational attrac. which. and located at can be broken into two components. and it is this rection of the earth's gravity. that is. The tidal forces there are directed away from the tained a perfectly spherical shape. to change slightly the weight of the surface rocks of The earth. tical direction.

a result in agree. tidal forces on the earth. its distortional it is on the ground. to its center. but by only earth upon its surface regions (Figure 6. Then more rigid than steel and to be highly elastic. are normal to the surface of the earth at that point. This circumstance implies that the earth is of weight would be welcome. in terms of the force on the soles of his feet (I am . within a space station in near earth or- any given place on the earth's surface are constantly bit. those components of the earth's from the tidal distortions described above is super- gravitational attraction and of the tidal force that imposed on the equatorial bulge due to its rotation." Clearly a more specific definition neously. small degree of its tidal distortion. In fact. astronauts feel no effects of adjustment would lag somewhat as the tidal forces gravity at all. changing distort until all the horizontal components of the just as quickly as the tidal forces change due to the tidal forces were exactly balanced by the horizontal earth's rotation. Consequently. an object's weight. These facts show the earth to be pull of the earth at all points throughout it. slightly. In one sense they cannot be truly on it change. we often speak of one's weight on the As the earth rotates. as would a liquid. It is found that the solid earth does distort. there is a slight ually from a spherical shape. not only almost perfectly rigid. the rigidity of the In Section 4. yet they are often said to be experiencing ence of the changing tidal force almost instanta. rising up and down horizontal component in the gravitational pull of the and tilting as a fluid surface would do. but we have ment with seismic studies (Chapter 15). like water. The latter is a very much greater distortion than the Measures have been made to investigate the ac. these If the earth were fluid.1(d) we defined weight as the gravita- earth must exceed that of steel to account for the tional pull of the earth on an object at its surface. "weightlessness. spherical (we are still ignoring distortion due to ro. If the earth were viscous. so the off in space remote from all gravitating bodies. For its greatest to only about 20 cm. different parts of it are moon or on some other planet. earth. for they are falling freely about the that the earth readjusts its shape under the influ. where the earth's gravity is almost as strong as changing.90 THE n-DODY PROBLEM Horizontal component of gravity Vertical component of tidal force Tidal force To moon Horizontal component of tidal force Figure 6. that is.12 Deformation of the solid earth under the influence of tidal forces (much exaggerated). also distorts the earth's would be in a vertical direction. However. that matter. because of the high rigid- ity of the earth's interior. the earth's gravitational pull traction on different parts of the earth with respect upon objects on its surface is not exactly in a direc. the differential gravitational forces of the moon's at- tation). Most authors define weight this way. It would depend shape. distortion due to tides. Furthermore. seen in this chapter that the earth's rotation and mum tidal distortion of the solid earth amounts at tides also affect. The maxi. of course. but only (b) A Comment About "Weight" about one third as much. the inward force on an object at the earth's surface Rotation. the influence of the tidal forces and is not quite In summary. direction and magnitude of the tidal force acting at Moreover. but also highly elas. Some physicists prefer to define one's weight tic on the time scale of tides. direct observation shows weightless. The slight elongation of the earth that results on two factors. cause the solid earth to distort contin- tion perpendicular to the surface. it would deformations are nearly instantaneous. tual deformation of the earth.12). about one third the amount. or his lack of weight continually being carried under the moon.

that is. but because assume. water. the waters in less toward the center of the earth. B gestion). the oceans.13 is resolved caused by the horizontal components of the tidal into components perpendicular to and parallel to force are very small. with the greatest depths at the sublunar point. horizontal components of the tidal forces. the tidal forces are exactly radial. and weight would be the force with which such free fall is impeded or prevented (such as the supporting force To moon of the ground upon one standing on the earth). However. (c) Ideal Ocean Tides In Figure 6.13 the vectors represent tidal forces that if the earth were fluid it would take on a shape on (relative to the earth's center) at various points such that points on its surface would feel no hori- the earth's surface. B Figure 6. piling up water to greater depths on that side of the earth. zontal component of force. At those points the horizontal components are zero. Then an object in free fall (or in orbit) would be weightless by definition. directed away from the earth's center. acting over a the earth's surface (dashed arrows). it is in by adeep ocean. the earth is erally toward the moon on the side of the earth fac.These forces are directed gen. Consequently. producing a tidal bulge on the side of the earth opposite the moon (Figure 6. only about one third of the amount required to re- posite side. that the earth is covered uniformly of the relatively small distance to the moon. and investigate the nature of the a direction that tends to pull those points closer to tides produced in it. first. but because of the low compressibility of Figure 6. its physical expansion (because of its re- . however. sufficiently rigid to be distorted from a sphere by ing the moon and away from the moon on the op. Bishop for this sug. Each of the vectors (solid arrows) The actual accelerations of the ocean waters representing a tidal force in Figure 6. We shall nitude as it is at the center of the earth. and there is no acceleration causing the water to flow along the surface of the earth. At these points. The tidal forces serve only to reduce very slightly the weight of the water. water moves in the opposite direction.4 Tides 91 indebted to Professor Roy L. for example. objects roughly the same distance from the moon as the at the surface of the earth that are not restrained earth's center. Water on the lunar side of the earth is drawn toward the sublunar point (the point on the To moon earth where the moon appears in the zenith).14 Tidal bulges in rhe "ideal" oceans. produce motions of the water that result in measurable tidal bulges in the oceans. the tidal forces are directed more or from horizontal motion. The latter would be equal to the force of the earth's gravitation adjusted for rotational and tidal effects. the reader had best be warned that the term "weight" is often used ambiguously. At the two opposite points on the earth where the moon is at the zenith and at the nadir. the earth's center. We have seen number of hours.14).13 Components of rhe ridal forces. are free to flow in the direction of the the attraction toward the moon is the same in mag. Within a zone around the earth that is move these horizontal forces. But until some such rigorous convention is adopted. On the opposite side of the earth. These forces. It is important to understand that it is the hor- izontal components of the tidal forces that produce the tidal bulges in the oceans. 6.

he would be carried these points. causing the water to pile up to greater The sun also produces tides on the earth. For example. when carried away from those regions. or "tide-raising forces. In ex- resultfrom the moon compressing or expanding the treme cases there may appear to be only one "high water.15 Inequality of rhe rwo "high rides" during o day. "the tideis coming in". complete equilibrium with the tidal forces. (d) Tides Produced by the Sun face. but it is not appreciably compressed. moving freely over the earth's surface. elongating it slightly toward gravitational pull on the earth is greater than the the moon. even though its total gravitational attraction because of its high rigidity. but the sun is so distant the moon often seems mysterious to students who that it attracts all parts of the earth with almost picture the tides as being formed by the moon "lift. The moon. The weight of the water is increased very observer in the northern hemisphere (shown in Fig- slightly." During a day. . the tidal bulges result from an actual flow of water over the earth's sur. its differential to stretch the earth." What actually close enough for its attraction on the near side of happens. however. The sun's attraction for the earth is much The tidal bulge on the side of the earth opposite greater than the moon's. he would say. It is the horizontal compo. We recall. not ac- tually realized even in the largest oceans." are traction between the sun and the earth is about 180 greatest in regions of the earth intermediate be. the direction of equally "high. although depths at those places. then. The nents. that the tidal force is zenith or the nadir (points A in Figure 6." however. Conse- quently. Here. the gravitational at- those components. toward the center of the or southern temperate latitudes. The rotation of the earth would carry an observer at any given place alter- nately into regions of deeper and shallower water. flows in such a way as to increase the elon- gation and piles up at points under and opposite the moon. although it is in earth facing the moon much higher than the high this belt that the ocean level is lowest. the axis of the tidal earth. on the other hand. do not hemisphere would find the opposite effect." Rather. agent as the moon. is that the differential the earth to be substantially greater than its attrac- gravitational force of the moon on the earth tends tion on the far side. Actually. and again there are no horizontal compo. at going out. as we have seen. tide half aday later. The solid earth distorts slightly. is ing the water away from the earth. but. In this section we have regarded the earth as though its ocean waters were distributed uniformly over its surface. ure 6. bulges is periodically inclined to the equator. the tides To moon would cause the depths of the ocean to range through only a few feet. the sun is less than half as effective a tide-raising nents of the tidal forces that produce this flow. An observer in the southern The tidal bulges in the oceans. from the earth. he would say. in northern the tidal force is inward. earth. sun's. In this idealized picture. nor from the moon lifting the water "away tide" a day. even though that is where the water is piled earth) and so would experience two "high tides" up the most. the tidal forces play virtually no role through two bulges (one on each side of the tidal at all.92 THE n-BODY PROBLEM duced weight) is completely negligible. Thus. In other words. toward the regions below and opposite the moon. the ocean. and two "low tides. As he was being carried toward the regions under or opposite the moon where the water was deepest. the tidal forces have no effect. times as great as that between the earth and the tween those from which the moon appears at the moon.14) and on the differential gravitational force of a body on the the horizon (points B). not enough to reach is less." In a beltlike zone around the earth from which The two high tides during a day need not be the moon appears on the horizon. equal strength. "the tide is Figure 6.15) would find the high tide on the side of the also.

so that In contrast. acting upon it. These are called Both the times and the heights of high tide spring tides. upon the shape and depth of the adjacent ocean tances between the earth and sun and the earth and basin. in hours and minutes.16. because the dis. the fric- now have. the tides produced by If there were completely surrounded by very deep oceans. produced by the tidal forces in Figure 6. the variable lined up. winds. would be sufficient if the earth lation of water sloshing back and forth in the sea Moon 1 Moon Sun Sun (a) Figure 6. and the and if it rotated very slowly. all compli- tides produced by the sun and moon reinforce each cate the picture. and so on. they are not all equally high.4 Tides 93 were no moon. These lowest below the horizon). when the sun and moon are ocean floors. and the tides are lower than usual. However. establishment of the port. therefore. Sometimes shallow coastal seas have such The "simple" theory of tides. The moon's distance varies highest (or lowest below the horizon) is called the by about 10 percent. up forced oscillations in the ocean surfaces. The time. described in the pre. but rather when the os- are neap tides. whether The earth's rapid rotation causes the tide-raising at new moon or full moon. Spring and neap tides are illustrated cillations of the ocean. The moon's tides. moon (or sun) and the side away from the moon (or These however. 6. The establishment of the ness varies by about 30 percent. or last quarter (at quadrature). forces within a given mass of water to vary too rap- cur on both sides of the earth — the side toward the idly for the water to adjust completely to them. the presence tides would be less than half as great as those we of land masses stopping the flow of water. at depth of the ocean. The highest spring port is different for different places but is very tides occur at those times when the moon is also at nearly constant for a given place. tion in the oceans and between oceans and the On the other hand. the is. other and are greater than normal. The United States perigee. Spring tides (which have nothing to do vary considerably from place to place on the earth. with spring) are approximately the same. (b) Neap rides. the sun would be all we would experience. the highest water does not necessar- by the sun partially cancel out the tides of the ily occur when the moon is highest in the sky (or moon. the rotation of the earth. recurring periodically. shapes and sizes that the natural frequency of oscil- ceding paragraphs. dominate.16 (a) Spring rides. pile up the water to its greatest Although spring tides are the highest type of depth at that location. which give the times and (e) The Complicated Nature of heights of tides at principal ports throughout the Actual Tides world. when the moon is at first quarter the water over a large area rises and lowers in step. The latter depends critically tides. the tides produced Consequently. because tidal bulges oc. that new moon or full moon. and its tide-raising effective. Coast and Geodetic Survey prepares and publishes each year the Tide Tables. sun). by which moon (and hence the tide-raising effectiveness of high tide lags behind the time when the moon is these bodies) both vary. set forces. .

but in principle they are the same as earth be inferred. 1979. on January 29. the earth was near perihelion (nearest the sun). (Courresy Roy L Bishop) basins is very nearly the same as that of the tidal they were measured simply and directly by the rise and fall of the water in the adjacent ocean. The earth moon might seem very difficult indeed.94 THE n-BODY PROBLEM Figure 6. Roy L. extent of the tides produced in the solid earth could nomena. and the baromerric pressure was low. The Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine act as water level that could be measured through sealed a single oscillating system. but it its approximately 50-fold increase in depth. of impor. American physicist Albert Michelson in 1913. ters. The low ride phoro- groph (lefrJwQs raken at 8:30 am: the high tide photo (right) was taken five hours later. percent as great as would be expected from calcu- ure 6. Head of rhe Deportment of Physics at Acadia University. The tides produced in the pipes were only 69 stances the tidal range here can exceed 50 feet (Fig. He Then the ocean tides can set the water in these seas laid out horizontal pipe. in the north-south and into strong resonance. These phorographs were token by Prof. completely rigid. Bishop. The range in this system is the edge of the continental shelf with depth of the water was less than 0. a dote when several factors were favorable for an excep- tionally high tide: The moon was just past new and was near perigee (nearest the earth). They are.025 mm.17). half filled with organ pipe. like wind blowing into an east-west directions. The was measured with a microscope to within 1 per- highest tides on earth occur at the head of the Bay cent. (f) Measurement of Ideal Tides (g) Other Tides In view of the complexity of tides. obviously. These at. lations based on the assumption that the earth is Tides also occur in the atmosphere. It is from this experiment that the mospheric tides are complicated by weather phe. causing periodic fluctuations in the Scotia. The outer boundary of windows at both ends of the pipe. However. of Fundy. Nova Scotia. 1 7 A 1 6-merer (52-foor) ridol range or Honrsporr. 150 m long. The most famous such place is the Bay water. Under favorable circum. Today earth tides are measured more and ocean tides. Tides were produced naturally in the water of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova in the pipes. The objects flooring on rhe water are pieces of ice. exerts a tidal force upon the moon that is stronger . the problem of The tides produced by the moon and the sun upon measuring the tidal forces produced by the sun and the earth are not the only tides in nature. in Minas Basin. or rhe head of rhe Boy of Fundy. accurately and conveniently with delicate gravime- tance to meteorologists.

the satellite suffers only traction of the moon on representative parts of the Moon ^> Figure 6. and if the satellite has the same density as its The latter pull is illustrated in Figure 6. is inclined at planer. just as they exert a gen- somewhat smaller distance from rhe planer. phen Plageman (New York: Walker and Company).For example. 6. If rhe sarellire has a higher density.44 times the planet's The solid arrows are vectors that represent the at- radius.18. The Jupiter Effect. and indi. . are entirely negli.18 Differential force of rhe moon on rhe oblare eorrh rends to "erect" its axis. the tides produced by planets parricles that are closer to the planet than the distance on each other. the rings are wirhin book. causing catastrophic earthquakes. despite claims made in 1974 in a sensational as Saturn has can survive — that is. or a In fact. The differential withstand the differential. lire together. Ar a grearer distance. its equatorial diameter is 43 km greater than its polar diameter.5 Precession 95 than the one the moon exerts upon the earth. or tidal. the plane of the earth's equator. 6. The rings of Saturn are fects. for example. forces exerted on it gravitational forces of the sun and moon upon the by the planet and would be torn apart. fectly spherical but has taken on the approximate shape of an oblate spheroid. is inclined at about 23 2° to the ' There a minimum distance a satellite can be from its is plane of the ecliptic. in turn. in a liquid dence with the ecliptic. by John Gribbin and Ste. and on the sun. as. The circuitous reasoning behind the The earth. and thus of (h) ROCHE'S LIMIT its equatorial bulge. The crirical eral gravitational attraction.5 PRECESSION rectly. at which a large solid body wirh the same low density gible. all bodies in the universe exert a tidal high rigidity. the earth's rotation. planer. is not per- theory was completely without sound basis. body. The thesis (subsequently retracted by one of the au- thors) was that a fortuitous configuration of the planets in 1982 would produce tides on the sun strong enough to influence solar activity. which. for they are rotation. because of its rapid rotation. Roche in- earth not only cause the tides but also attempt to vestigated the problem in 1850 and found that if the pull the equatorial bulge of the earth into coinci- constituent parrs of a sarellire are held together only by their murual gravirarion. so that today the moon keeps the same greater than the gravirational forces holding rhe sarel- face turned toward the earth. At smaller distances a large sarellire could not 5° to the plane of the moon's orbit. As we have seen. Roche's limit. The tidal distortion. ir could survive ar a force on all other bodies. so that cohesive forces add ro gravira- rional ones in binding it together. Ar a smaller dis- on the lunar earth's tidal force has acted as a brake tance it is torn apart by the tidal forces. bur holds rogether. In most cases these distance at which a large satellite can survive tidal de- tidal forces are too small to produce observable ef- struction is called Roche's limit. the crirical distance is 2. E.

Note how they tend not only to (b) QUALITATIVE EXPLANATION OF "stretch" the earth toward the moon. for simplicity. farthest from the moon. The differential force of the sun. we must digress for a moment to con. to the axis of rotation. only masses 2 and 4 do not feel forces in the vertical direction. although less derstood in terms of Newton's laws of morion. the masses are in the positions the top's weight that is perpendicular to its axis. the jock-shaped gyroscope in Fig- the gravitational attractions of the sun and the ure 6.19. masses. As the gyroscope spins. Mass 1 feels a force rending to raise it (in the orientation of the diagram). after the axis of rotation of the top is that component of a part of a revolution. but be- actual force that acts to change the orientation of cause of its forward motion follows path cd. pendicular to the plane defined by the axis of the jack sider what happens when a similar force acts upon and the line between masses 2 and 4. Suppose now plane of the earth. consisting of four masses supported at the moon on the earth act in such a way as to attempt ends of rigid light rods perpendicular to each other and to change the direction of the earth's axis of rotation. When by friction. the so that it would stand perpendicular to the orbital masses move in the plane indicated. The dashed ar- rows show the differential forces with respect to the earth's center. the axis does not change its angle of we consider how each of rhe constituent parts of the inclination to the vertical (or to the floor). Thus. If the top's axis is not per. Until the spin of the top is slowed down not yield in the direction of a force acting on it. sider. but top should behave under rhe influence of the applied rather describes a conical motion (a cone about the force we can undersrand the apparenrly srrange mo- vertical line passing through the pivot point of the rion of the axis of the whole spinning body in terms of Component of weight tending to "topple" top Weight of top Figure 6. but also to PRECESSION pull the equatorial bulge into the plane of the eclip- The surprising phenomenon of precession can be un- tic.96 THE n-BODY PROBLEM earth. Con- than half as effective. The part of the earth's equatorial bulge near. force was applied. mass 3 accelerares downward. The force is transmitted through the rods to each of the four a top or gyroscope. Similarly. top does not fall toward the horizontal. . Thus.20(a). The axis of rorarion has changed. and the earth's center is pulled with an intermediate force. bur be- fectly vertical.20(b). The ab. but know from watching a top spin that the axis of the at righr angles to it. Mass 1 accelerates upward. top). not in the direction of the applied force. and mass 3 feels a force (a) Precession of a Gyroscope rending to lower it. its weight (the force of gravity be. continue moving in the same plane as before the tured in Figure 6. cause of its forward motion it moves along the path tween it and the earth) tends to topple it over. This conical motion of the top's axis is called est the moon is pulled more strongly than the part precession. We shown in Figure 6. does the same thing. To understand what actually that a force F is applied to the axis in a direction per- takes place. Masses 2 and 4 tend to Consider the top (a simple form of gyroscope) pic. but rather The above discussion is not a very rigorous descrip- moves off in a direction perpendicular to the plane tion of precession. 1 9 Precession of o rop. intended only to give some it is defined by the axis and the force tending to change its feeling for rhe facr rhar the axis of a spinning top does orientation.

(b) The new orienrorion raken by rhe gyroscope. and that of the moon tends to pull the bulge into the plane of the moon's orbit. is this motion of the axis of the Precession earth. one complete cycle of the axis about the cone requires about 26. Itmust not be confused with wobble or varia- tion in latitude (Chapter 7). however. tend to pull the earth's axis into a di- rection approximately perpendicular to the ecliptic plane. to the earth's rotational axis. In the 20th century. the earth's axis does not yield in the direction of these forces.21 Precession of rhe earrh. affect the positions move in a plane perpendicular ro rhor defined by rhe among the stars of the celestial poles.000 years. Newron's laws. for example. which is caused by a slight wandering of the terrestrial poles with respect to the earth's surface. rhar if a force is applied tion of the axis with respect to the celestial sphere. but only the orienta- ous marhemarical rrearmenr. The obliquity of the ecliptic remains approx- imately 2372°. (c) Precession of the Earth the north celestial pole will move on the celestial sphere along an approximate circle of about 2372° The differential gravitational force of the sun on the earth tends to pull the earth's equatorial bulge into the plane of the ecliptic. 6. The precessional motion is ex- ceedingly slow. Ir can be shown. In the course of 26. Precession does not affect the cardinal directionson the earth nor the positions of geographical places that are measured with respect Figure 6. however. ro rhe axis of any spinning body.20 (a) Force applied ro rhe axis of o simple gyroscope. rhe axis irself will Precession does. The earth's axis slides along the sur- face of an imaginary cone. and with a half-angle at its apex of 2372° (see Figure 6. These forces. where extensions of the earth's axis intersect the ce- lestial sphere.21). This was not always so.5 Precession 97 (a) Figure 6. in other words. by o rigor. Like a top. but pre- cesses. perpendicular to the ecliptic. . those points force and rhe insranraneous axis of rorarion. the north celestial pole is very near Polaris. which is nearly in the ecliptic.000 years. however.

Figure 6. These directions change as the earth and moon move in their respec- tive orbits. moon upon were always rhe earth's equatorial bulge exactly the same. but rhey do mea- the continental United States. It was by noting the surably alrer the plane of the earth's orbir and hence very gradual changes in the positions of stars with rhe posirion of rhe pole of rhe ecliptic on rhe celestial respect to the celestial poles that Hipparchus dis- sphere. plications of precession.98 THE n-BODY PROBLEM radius. This slight pole will be fairly close to the bright star Vega. Moreover. Not only is that 5° inclination slightly variable irself. the effect of the dif- ferential forces on the orientation of the earth's axis de- pends on the directions of rhe sun and moon with re- spect to the direction of its 2372 ° tilt. the celestial arc —small compared to the 237 2 ° radius of rhe precessional orbit of the pole in the sky. These which are quite small. v^ . can be fairly well variations. for example. The motion of the actual celestial pole varies Polaris slightly around rhe morion of rhe mean pole.C. • Ursa Minor * /J mean pole of rotation of the celestial sphere as a fic. We define rhe • . represented by an elliptical orbir of rhe actual pole about the mean pole with a semimajor axis of 9". 2000 years ago. but a slightly wavy circle. The two kinds If and the differential gravitational attractions of rhe sun of morion combined give general precession. Moreover. centered on the pole of the ecliptic (where motion of the celestial pole about the ecliptic pole is the perpendicular to the earth's orbit intersects the not quite o perfect circle. the ecliptic pole moves only about one fortierh as fasr as rhe celesrial pole. "nodding" of the pole about a smooth circle is colled As the positions of the poles change on the ce- nutation. only a covered precession in the second century B. the moon's orbit is inclined at about 5° to the ecliptic.6-year intervals (the regression of rhe nodes). In about 12. (Sec. The average effecr of rhe sun and moon on the earth's equatorial bulge is to produce rhe relarively smoorh precession we have described. adds ro rhe com- tion 2. the ever. precession of the earth's axis would be the smooth conical motion we have described in the preceding sections. In orher words. because of planetary per- rurbarions of the earth's orbital morion. lestial sphere. fraction of a second of arc per year. is constantly being perturbed by the gravirational Southern Cross was sometimes visible from parts of attractions of rhe orher planers upon rhe earrh. The morion of rhe mean celesrial pole with respect to the eclipticpole is called lunisolar precession.22. how- temperate latitudes. so do the regions of the sky that are circumpolar. that is. bur the intersections of rhe moon's orbit with the ecliptic slide around rhe ecliptic in 18. These perrurbarions are very slighr. with celestial sphere). This motion of the pole is shown the "waves" having amplitudes of about 9 seconds of in Figure 6. . The earth's orbir.-V tion. The Little Dipper. that are perpetually above (or (e) PLANETARY PRECESSION below) the horizon for an observer at any particular place on earth.000 years.3c). 2. is called plan- (d) NUTATION etary precession. The motion of the ecliptic pole. Up ro now we have implied that the plane of the will not always be circumpolar as seen from north earth's orbir is fixed in space. • ririous one that describes rhis smoorh precessional mo. However. This morion of rhe pole of rhe eclipric.22 Precessional path of rhe north celestial pole and a period of abour 19 years. rhe among rhe northern srars.

The radius of curvature of the earth at a particular quired only 360 years? point is the radius of a sphere whose surface matches the curvature of the earth at that point (see 11.000? change as the bodies move? 9. will Orion be circumpolar as 3. Find the separation d between two small bodies. M.000 years. should it be a 24-hour period 12. Does a bicycle offer another example of precession? during which there are two "high tides"? If not. (Hint: Consider how a rider can steer by what should the interval be? leaning to one side. that the complete cycle is about 26. Explain. and R.000. 8. such that the gravitational attraction as the moon. that the sun 300. What would be the annual motion of the equinoxes along the ecliptic if the entire precessional cycle re- 4. how may their motion be described for various stellations as seen from Los Angeles (latitude 34° separations of the small bodies? How do the forces north) in the year 18. at a distance R from the nearest of the as the earth. If the three bodies described in the last exercise are free to move and no other bodies or forces are pres. but were far more massive than it actually is. . lined up with a large body of the moon. Describe how perturbations of the earth's motion by Figure 6. and that the sun is 400 times as distant small bodies. seen from the North Pole? Explain. show sun and the moon. would itsshape be more or less oblate? Why? 10. Answer: Moon 8 between the small bodies is just equal to the differ. sky along a circle centered on the pole of the eclip- tic. Mars can be considered as due to differential gravi- vature of the earth at the poles than at the equator? tational force. If the precessional rate is about 50" per year. What will be the principal north circumpolar con- ent. If the earth had itspresent size and rotation rate.5 Precession 99 EXERCISES 1. is A times as effective ential gravitational force between them caused by their attraction to the large body. The answer 7. Explain why the north celestial pole moves in the should be in terms of G. 6.3). rather than some other point. In the year 13. 2. How much greater is the radius of cur. For this approximate calcula. Strictly speaking. tion. assume is 80 times as massive as that the earth each of unit mass.) Compute the relative tide-raising effectiveness of the 13.000 times as massive is mass M.

We have seen that the apparent rotation of the ce. Foucault had taken great care of the earth as a planet in Chapter 15. in accord with Newton's first ple direct proofs were devised to show that New. same direction. precession of the equinoxes. Copernicus. Thus. and. pended a 60 m pendulum weighing about 25 kg can imagine the plane of swing of the pendulum from the domed ceiling of the Pantheon in Paris. and nearly every other astronomical constant known at the time. that could cause the plane of oscillation of the pen- but it was not until the nineteenth century that sim. while the earth turns under it every ing it to one side with a cord and then burning the day. dulum to alter. If Galileo.1 ROTATION OF THE EARTH that the plane of oscillation of the pendulum was slowly changing with respect to the ring of sand. at the North (or South) Pole. to the stars. a pendu- 100 . Now we turn our attention to the mo. length of the year. and Newton had piled up convincing cir. recorded on a ring of sand placed on a table beneath lestial bodies. thependulum should continue to swing in the ton's laws require that the earth be in rotation. there would be no force cumstantial evidence in favor of a rotating earth. law. of rotation of the earth itself. course. At the end of each swing a tion of the earth. lestial sphere could be accounted for either by a The only force acting upon the pendulum was daily rotation of the sky around the earth or by the that of gravity between it and the earth. (Yerkes Observatory) EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK In the preceding chapters we were concerned cord. after a few moments it became apparent 7. and. maintaining a fixed direction in space with respect He started the pendulum swinging evenly by draw. We shall consider the physical properties a notch in the sand. pendulum experiment at theHere we North Pole. Brahe made meticulous measurements of the lengths of the seasons. and the relation between earth pointed stylus attached to the bottom of the bob cut and sky. It is comparatively easy to visualize a Foucault In 1851 the French physicist Jean Foucault sus. the earth were stationary. TychoBrahe (1546-1601). its point of suspension. and hence with respect to the earth. to avoid air and other influences that currents would disturb the direction of swing of the pendu- lum. Yet. The direction of swing of the pendulum was with the mechanics that dictate the motions of ce. Danish astronomer whose extensive observations of the planets led to Kepler's discovery of their laws of motion. Kepler. The fact that the pendulum slowly changed its direction of swing with respect to the (a) The Foucault Pendulum earth is proof that the earth rotates. this force was in a downward direction.

therefore. The time required for one full rotation <$> hours. the rate of rotation of the earth to change direction of swing. we can minutes — see Chapter 8). 1 A Foucoulr pendulum. *The following is a brief derivation of the period of a Fou. For example. Since a> = 3607(23 hours 56 minutes). while at latitudes in- about an imaginary line from the center of the earth termediate between the equator and the poles its pe- out through the point of the pendulum's suspen. Then the component of this angular velocity about a radius vector through a point on the earth's surface at Foucault pendulum has a period of just under 43 latitude is w sin <J>. If we imagine ourselves once completely in 24 hours (actually. That plane do not see a rotation of the earth beneath us. At the the rate at which the earth turns around directly equator. 23 hours 56 looking down upon the earth's North Pole. the polar axis be w. At intermediate the stars.* About this line the plane of swing of the pen. at a cault pendulum: Let the angular velocity of the earth about its latitude of 34° (the latitude of Los Angeles). if we imagine dulum must always swing in a vertical plane that ourselves looking down on the earth's equator. 7. or the time required for a spectator to be car- m h 23 56 ried completely around the pendulum by the turn- P = sin <J> ing earth. graph record. the problem is complicated because the pen. latitudes we see beneath us a combination of west- We must think of the pendulum as measuring east motion and a certain degree of rotation. (Griffirh Observarory) lum would appear to rotate its plane of oscillation dulum does not rotate. only of oscillation obviously must change with respect to a west-east translational motion. This is the time required for the earth to about this radius vector is 3607(a) sin cj>).1 Rotation of the Earth 101 Figure 7. we passes through the center of the earth. At other places than the "see" the earth spinning beneath us like a phono- poles. — plane of oscillation through 360° would have a value somewhere between 24 hours and infinity. . depending on the exact latitude. a pendulum would not appear beneath it — that is. On the other hand. the period of a pendulum turn around a line from its center through Los An- at latitude <$> is geles. riod — the time required for it to change its apparent sion.

The moving body need not missiles. This rhe northern hemisphere.2).102 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK It should be noted that the turning earth also turns the support system for the pendulum. be the bob of a pendulum. relative to the ground. because that ground. The ple of the effect. erates the wind toward the low-pressure area. However. and consequently the wire and bob of the pendulum it- self. then. closer to the earth's axis. to the right for one looking in the direction of its motion. We see. has less far to move in its daily rotation. the rotation of the wire and bob of the pendulum does not alter the direction of swing. . say a watch and watch chain.2 Coriolis effecr. In the northern slow it down. consider a projectile fired to the wind. winds would earth just before it is fired (Figure 7. blow directly into low-pressure regions. the watch will twist with the chain. Now twist the chain in your fingers. but be- tor this eastward velocity is about 1700 km/hr. Improvise a small pendulum. As an exam. rotation of the earth underneath a freely moving body. Try the following simple experiment. they There is no westward force on the projectile to end up with a cyclonic motion. the projectile's linear speed to the eastmust increase if its distance from the axis of rotation decreases. To conserve its an- gular momentum (Section 4. holding the end of the chain in your fingers. at the equa. (b) The Coriolis Effect The apparent rotation of the plane of oscillation of the Foucault pendulum is a demonstration of the Figure 7. however. cause the winds veer off and miss the lows. Meanwhile the ground beneath the northbound projectile moves eastward progressively slower. that is. rather than "falling" directly into the low north from the equator.3 Circulation of winds abour o low-pressure area in southern hemisphere to the left of its target. but will not change its direction of swing. that the eastward speed of the projectile increases and that of the ground beneath it decreases. is caused to circle around the low center by The projectile starts its northward trip with an the inertia of the forward moving air (Figure 7. Any object moving Winds blowing toward a low-pressure area sim- freely over the surface of the earth appears to be ilarly veer off to the right of this area (left in the deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere southern hemisphere). Thus. eastward velocity that it shares with the turning If it were not for the earth's rotation.3). the force contin- (to the left in the Southern Hemisphere) because of ually trying to equalize the pressure of the air accel- the rotation of the earth beneath it. resulting from the earth's rotation. center. and in the Figure 7. However. Swing the watch to and fro. it comes closer to the axis of the earth's rotation. Any such apparent deflection in the motion effect must be corrected for in the firing of long- of a body. A would show that no matter similar analysis in what direction a projectile moves.1h). in the launching of called the coriolis effect. in the north- ern hemisphere it veers off to the right. Proceeding northward over the curved surface of the earth. is range artillery and of course. so it continues to move eastward after being fired. the missile veers off to the east.

Suppose a body is dropped down a deep vertical well located. minutes. the body would strike the east wall. at the equator. 7. Because of the earth's Greenwich. or about 0. minutes. or those great general cy- clonic storms that blow into our west coast from the Pacific. England. Falling bodies display a similar phenomenon Equator caused by the rotation of the earth. the longitude of the bench tude by a few seconds of arc. owing to the deflection of the mark in the clock house of the Naval Observatory plumb bob by mountains or other crustal irregularities. we must tudes are measured either to the north or south of set up a system of coordinates on the earth's sur. As an example. D. is caused the number of degrees. whether they Greenwich be hurricanes. this is geocentric latitude. The principle dictates that if the well were deep enough. Astro- nomical latitude and longitude.01. We can also imagine a series of great circles that pass through the North and South Poles. In the southern hemisphere.3 m. Apparently.C. The earth's axis of rotation (that is. and seconds of arc along the equator between the meridian passing through the place and the one passing through fStrictly. and seconds of arc measured along itsmeridian to the place from the equator.2 Relation of Earth ond Sky 103 hemisphere.0 N. they move around storm centers in a clockwise direction.C. 0". The is a great circle on the earth's earth's equator (b) Variation of Latitude or surface between the North and South halfway Wobble Poles. the winds always blow around storm Longitude eenters in a counterclockwise direction. The longitude of the place is called wobble by modern geophysicists. Thus. sphere whose center is at the center of the sphere. in Washington. say. may differ from geodetic latitude and longi- trary.4 that the number of degrees along the equator between the meridians of Greenwich and 7. tude of the above-mentioned bench mark is tions of its North and South Poles) is the basis for 38°55'14". The latitude of a place is the number of de- (a) Positions on the Earth grees. the body is deflected toward the east wall of Figure 7. the rocks. Note in Figure 7. the winds are Latitude reversed.7 W. usually location of that place. Longitudes are measured either to the detic (or geographical) latitude commonly used is defined by the angle between the equatorial plane and the perpendicular to the east or west of the Greenwich meridian from to mean "sea-level" surface of the earth at the place in question. the loca. the site of the old Royal Ob. oblate shape. As an example. It 180°. These With astronomical observations it is possible to circles are called meridians. Lati- To denote positions of places on the earth. the well. the equator from to 90°..2 RELATION OF EARTH AND Washington is also the angle at which the planes of SKY those two meridians intersect at the earth's axis. the lati- face. are slowly. obtained directly from astronom- Greenwich meridian is of course completely arbi- ical observations. on the other hand. The geo- servatory. Pro- it falls Longitude gressively deeper down the well.4). there are several ways to define latitude. . The convention of referring longitudes to the may differ by several minutes from geocentric latitude. being closer to the axis of rota- moving to the east more and more tion. that is. tornadoes. this variation. ton is also the angular distance between it and the A great circle is any circle on the surface of a equator as seen from the center of the earth. they intersect the equa.4 Lorirude and longirude of Washington. D. The eastward velocity of the body increases as toward the axis of rotation. It is found that the latitude A meridian can be imagined passing through of any given place on earth shows a periodic varia- an arbitrary point on the surface of the earth (see tion of several hundredths of a second of arc or sev- Figure 7. This meridian specifies the east-west eral meters. measure the latitude of a place to within about tor at right angles. Note that the latitude of Washing- such a system. is 77°03'56".

(c) Positions in the Sky As the earth turns. is the celestial equator. Of course we are really restrial poles. equator. alent way of putting it is to say that as the sky turns ples accepted literally (seeChapter 2). Then if we imag- ine ourselves at the center of the earth. while the direction of its axis of rotation called hour circles. looking out systems. and the zenith (and also through the nadir) is called the observer's celestial meridian. and horizons. These wanderings seem to be composed of two independent motions. It should be emphasized The Celestial Meridian that the variation in latitude is very slight — only a few meters. An equiv- sphere. ameter. in a period of one year. down. an observer (defined as opposite to the direction of Altitude and Azimuth a plumb bob) is his zenith. is his horizon.] north and south points.5c). shifting of the earth's rotation axis with respect to The celestial meridian intercepts the horizon at the the stars. we recall. so we can speak of their positions on the celestial sphere. which is a slow from the earth's center. which may be in- Systematic observations over the earth show terrupted with such things as mountains. is the observer's nadir. (This is horizon and zenith of the observer. The annual and 14-month wobbles do The great circle passing through the celestial poles not seem to be connected in any way with such phe. — 104 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK by a slight shifting of the solid earth with respect to the celestial horizon and will not necessarily coin- its axis of rotation.) Note that observers at different ends of the axis of the earth's rotation —wander places have different zeniths. It coincides with nomena as the ice ages. that is. The celestial objects appear to be set in the inner surface we imagine that the earth is a hollow transparent spherical shell with the terrestrial coordinates (lati- of this sphere. Celestial Equator and Poles The first is a motion of each pole along the circum- The apparent rotation of the sky takes place about ference of an approximate circle about 6 m in di- an extension of the earth's axis of rotation. [Variation of latitude should not be confused the projection of his terrestrial meridian. through the zenith of a person on the equator of the The variation of latitude can be thought of as earth. that many early peo. The causes of Halfway between the celestial poles. but the diameter of the north celestial pole and the south celestial pole. it is of- meridian moves under the celestial sphere. and 90° from each. a great circle on earth in response to seasonal and also irregular the celestial sphere that is in the same plane as the variations in atmospheric density and motions and earth's equator. sweep- ten convenient to make use of the fictitious celestial ing continually eastward around the sky. it is actually the earth itself that does the angles (analogous to meridians on the earth) are shifting. to through its transparent surface to the sky. the observer's terrestrial In denoting positions of objects in the sky. 180° Straight from his zenith. and trees. the ter- designate these positions. Halfway The most obvious coordinate system is based on the between. poles and intersecting the celestial equator at right However. build- that the exact positions of the poles — that is. Halfway between these north and south points on the horizon are the east and west points. a concept. The point on the celestial sphere directly above imposed upon the celestial ones. We can think around the earth. centered on the observer. about with respect to the ground. nadirs. the ings. onto the celestial sphere. as seen with precession (Section 6. Great circles . and meridians will be super- only denoting their directions in the sky. remains fixed relative to the stars. We have devised coordinate tude and longitude) painted on it. the celes- tial poles are unaffected. Great circles passing through the celestial a motion of the terrestrial poles over the ground. The second motion the sky appears to rotate about points directly in has a period of about 14 months and is also a nearly line with the North and South Poles of the earth circular wandering of the poles. of the celestial sphere as being a hollow shell of ex- It helps to visualize these circles in the sky if tremely large radius. the stars pass by the observer's stationary celestial meridian. cide with the apparent horizon. this circle has varied from 3 to 15 m. analogous to latitude and longitude. and thus 90° these changes may be natural oscillations of the from each. it would appear to pass directly to crustal shifts of the earth. That is.

lies star from a reference point on the celestial equator. Imagine a vertical circle through a particular star (Figure 7. A system that comes close to meeting these requirements is right ascension and (d) The Orientation of the declination. just as the system of latitude mon use. 90° from the celestial poles. poses and is important to astronomers. Right ascension and declination are muth system (the horizon system) is that as the therefore very useful for pointing telescopes and earth turns the coordinates of the celestial objects moving them to follow the daily motions of the stars are constantly changing. of rotation. but in mod. but it is still the most convenient one above the horizon. (Chapter 11). available. lestial equator and the ecliptic intersect. must be at the to be important. one of trial poles would never see more than half the sky. directly over the ascension gives the arc distance measured eastward earth's North Pole. it intersects the horizon the right ascension and declination of a star contin. The altitude of that star is the number of degrees along this cir- cle from the horizon up to the star. In any case. the problem is very simple circle north or south of the celestial equator. Each has its advantages for special pur- and longitude is permanently attached to the earth. Evidently at of one year or so.5 Altitude and azimuth. . therefore.2 Relation of Earth and Sky 105 passing through the zenith (vertical circles) intersect Zenith the horizon at right angles. to devise a coordinate system that is attached to the Several celestial coordinate systems are in com- celestial sphere itself. but the changes are so gradual as not being 90° from the celestial equator. the two points on the celestial sphere where the ce. both the celestial equator and the vernal earth's equator. Declination gives the arc distance of a star (or zon of a particular observer on the earth. azimuth formerly was measured from the south point on the observer's horizon. azimuth is mea. appears at the zenith. than changing rapidly as the earth's rotation makes the sky seem to rotate. These sys- Then the positions of the stars remain fixed rather tems are defined in Appendix 7. passes through the zenith. At the other point on the celestial sphere) along an hour North (or South) Pole. The lack of constancy of right points on the earth between the equator and poles. The ce- along the celestial equator to the hour circle of the « lestial equator. Because of The celestial equator. along the horizon. and equinox slowly move with respect to the stars. The next step is to determine the orientation of the gitude and latitude do to the terrestrial equator and celestial sphere with respect to the zenith and hori- poles. The celestial poles. or the equator system. in the same plane as the precession. The north celestial pole. At the equator the problem is almost as simple. at the east and west points. Celestial Sphere Right ascension and declination bear the same relation to the celestial equator and poles that lon. over a period north and south points on the horizon. ascension and declination makes the system less one of the celestial poles must be a certain distance than ideal. Horizon ern practice azimuth is measured from the north •Azimuth point. An observer at one of the terres- That reference point is the vernal equinox. It is desirable.5). Figure 7. ually change. in conformity with the convention of navi- gators and engineers. for it is based on the celestial equator and Right Ascension and Declination is thus symmetrical with respect to the earth's axis The principal disadvantage of the altitude and azi. for most purposes. thus since it runs east and west. It is also the angular "height" of the star as seen by the observer. In astronomical tra- dition. sured to the east (clockwise to one looking down from the sky) along the horizon from to 360°. 7. The azimuth is the number of degrees along the horizon to the vertical circle of the star from some reference point on the horizon. Right indeed.

Being on the celestial sphere. it east and must cut through the west points on the horizon.6 shows an observer at an arbitrary on Earth latitude north of the equator. North celestial pole: zenith The situation is very different for an observer at the equator (Figure 7.(See Figure 7. the north Similarly. the north celestial pole will have to be on sky turns about a point directly overhead. since the celestial equator is 90° from the celestial poles. they circle parallel to the hori- north point on the horizon.6. Finally. Thus we see that the altitude of the north (or south) celestial pole is equal to the observer's north (or south) latitude. an observer at the South Pole would only see the southern half of the sky (Figure 7. Suppose the angle from zon. Figure 7.6 The altitude of the celestial pole equals the ob- server's latitude.8 Sky from the equator.) We recognize that z is just 90° minus the ob- server's latitude. The stars his celestial meridian. at some altitude above the neither rise nor set. (e) The Motion of the Sky as Seen from Different Places Figure 7. the meridian. and cross the celestial meridian a distance south of the zenith that is also Equator equal to the observer's latitude. . the angles of intersection e «ey ^<\„«N N between each of two parallel lines and a third line are equal. Since the ter- celestial north pole is at his zenith and the celestial restrial North Pole is on the observer's terrestrial equator along his horizon. pole is z. There the celestial Zenith South celestia pole Diurnal circle Figure 7. for a southern latitude Imagine an observer at the earth's North Pole.106 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK celestial pole is so distant that it is seen in the same direction as by an observer at the center of the earth. 7 Sky from the North Pole.7). Figure 7. Only that half of the sky that is north of the the observer's zenith down to the north celestial celestial equator is ever visible to this observer. As the earth rotates.8). southward as it ex- tilt tends up above the horizon. Thus the angle at the center of the earth be- tween the observer and the north celestial pole is also z. But also z is 90° (the altitude of the zenith) minus the altitude of the north celestial Observer's horizon pole. The the case would be exactly analogous.

from the Al- N. poles. appear to circle around parallel to the celestial equa. For an observer between the equator and North Pole. As the earth turns. they move straight up from the east equator. The celestial coordinates of the sun. To find his tor. all stars are above the horizon exactly half the time. Now the angle in the sky between the naviga- time. 10 Circles of position.9 Sky from latitude 34° N. say at 34° north latitude. the planets. an accurate clock set to keep Greenwich tial pole never rise. That part of the sky is the south time. the situation (f) CELESTIAL NAVIGATION is as depicted in Figure 7.2 Relation of Earth and Sky 107 Zenith fclestial equati North n celestial pole North circumpolar region South circumpolar . say. On Greenwich. west side. the horizon. half of it Eratosthenes' method of determining the size of the above the horizon and half below. for their diurnal circle is the celestial equator. a navigator must measure the altitudes of at celestial pole can never set. Let that place be denoted 5 (Figure Stars on the celestial equator are up exactly half the 7.S. stars within 34° of the north position. applied by navigators for centuries to determine posi- The south celestial pole is 34° below the southern tion at sea. but outside that the direction to any of them from all places on the north circumpolar zone. exactly half of it must gle at the center of the earth between him and the . the Big and manac. All stars be above the horizon. 7. lie above the where on earth a particular star or planet will appear horizon. To observers in the United States. This part of the sky is ject at least two different times). For this observer. The celestial bodies are so distant Stars north of the celestial equator. at the local zenith. To most U. the whole sky seems to moon. have available the called the north circumpolar zone for the latitude 34° celestial coordinates of those objects.10). Stars south of the celestial rise and set. in the greater parts of earth must be the same. but outside the south circumpolar zone. day and night. chronometer. or diurnal circles. The basic principle of celestial navigation is that of South Pole the entire sky is circumpolar. One can easily calculate their daily paths. earth (Chapter 2). Naval Observatory) and are tabulated day by day in such publications as the Nautical Almanac.S. In modern practice. the regularly with radio broadcasts of the accurate Green- Southern Cross is in that zone. Horizon region Diurnal circle South celestial pole Figure 7. observers. and each of his observations know the ex- for Little Dippers and Cassiopeia are examples of star act time some known place on earth usually at — groups that are in the north circumpolar zone. They are always above least two celestial objects with a sextant (or of one ob- the horizon. hence they are up more than half the time. tor's zenith and that star must be the same as the an- because it is a great circle. and the stars puted for years in advance (in this country at the U. At the North or wich or Washington time. lie at the north and south points on the horizon. and the brighter stars are com- pivot about the north celestial pole. side of the horizon and set straight down on the are up less than half the time. Here the north celestial The concepts that we have just dealt with have been pole is 34° above the observer's northern horizon. During a 24-hour period.9. Figure 7. England. stars within 34° of the south celes. the points about which the sky turns. He obtains the time from a the other hand. the chronometer is checked circumpolar zone.

Although all con. Thus. and Dene- and how to correct it ro obtain his actual position. lie in a different ocean. however. every position on the celestial sphere (or every di- ally. supplemented with a catalogue of the southernmost stellation boundaries ran north-south and east-west. Thus. groupings of stars in honor of characters or animals however. and notes rhe Greek constellations represented. the boundaries often delin- observing a second srar. only by their numbers in var- lations today. in approximate observed and computed altitudes for rhe stars should order of decreasing brightness. Many of the brighter stars have proper names. so somewhere along a circle on rhe surface of rhe earth that the modern constellations still contain most or whose radius. with the aid of the laris. are and north-south segments of hour circles. Then he assumes a posirion neb. The amounr of form of the constellation name. assuming rhar his stellations. By to 88 (they are listed in alogue. action of the International Astronomical Union in was compiled in the years following 1837 by F. there are of many state legislatures. because only rwo places on earth where the ship can be. and from a knowledge of A superior designation of stars was introduced Greenwich time. Some star names. the second brightest in Leo. The full star desig- agree. if at all. made at Cordoba in Argentina. the rhe discrepancies rells him jusr how far off his guess was brightest star in Cygnus. The circle is called a circle of position. If not. W. we commonly use constellations today to des- example. followed by the genitive reflect the error in his assumed posirion. he calculates what the altitude should by the Bavarian. for tion. for ex- While we are discussing the celestial sphere. for example. the procedure of celesrial In Often these are Arabic names that describe the po- navigation is roughly as follows: Firsr. the If spicuous stars in each constellation.west. . cenrered at 5'. in his Atlas of the con- be for each of the stars he observed. rhe navigator knows rhar he is they nevertheless jogged about considerably. the "pole star. too faint to see without a telescope. He assigned succes- guess of his posirion was accurare. stars. or on land). bola. Thus Deneb. the boundaries between constellations were Argelander at the Bonn Observatory. rhe navigaror finds that in ad- one of the boundaries between Congressional dis- dition he must be somewhere along a second circle of tricts that result from the gerrymandering practices posirion. Because known by their BD numbers.2a). in degrees. the navigator has a clear enough idea of where rection in the sky) lies in one or another constella- he is to eliminate one of those places (it might. presenr-day pracrice. in the Big Dipper. ious catalogues. By cients. are in their mythology. although their number has been aug. Po- termination of his location). The Bonner Durch- of precession. Bayer's ordering of stars by brightness was not al- ways correct. He can usually make star at the tail of Leo (the Lion). order to describe briefly the system for naming the Fainter stars were subsequently given number stars and constellations. and on occasion he deviated from the scheme altogether and assigned letters to stars of (g) Nomenclature of Stars comparable brightness according to their geometri- cal arrangement in the constellation figure. J. Since there are only two points of intersection of the rwo circles of posirion. Generally. which contains one third of a million stars. Stars in this established as east-west lines of constant declination Bonn Catalogue.106 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK subsrellar point. is Arabic for "tail" and is the star that marks (laritude and longitude) for his ship (or airplane) for the tail of Cygnus (the Swan). The most famous and extensive cat- mented Appendix 20). and Denebola is the rhe times of those observarions. reminding of a place denoted 5'. an intelligent guess of his position by having kept track of rhe ship's speed and direction since his last fix (de. published in 1603. ignate the places of stars or other celestial objects. over the years the constellation musterung was later extended to the part of the sky boundaries have gradually from pre-tilted slightly too far south to observe at Bonn and was eventually cisely north-south and east. 1928. the navigator sitions of the stars in the imagined figures that the measures rhe alritudes of several srars. the ancients designated certain apparent of the stars' right ascensions. designated. observarion of a third star sertles rhe matter. which musr be at rhe zenirh eate highly irregular regions of the sky. As has been stated (Section designations. is a Cygni. 5. is (3 Leonis. For example. it is in ample." data in the Almanac. Consequently. with the numbers increasing in order 2. are of modern origin. We retain most of these constel. is equal ro rhe zenirh angle all of the brighter stars assigned to them by the an- of rhe srar. At any rate. or Bonner Durchmusterung. sive letters of the Greek alphabet to the more con- he has actually guessed his position correctly. The majority of stars. Bayer. Usu. De- rimes of his observarions. rhere are small discrepancies rhar nation is the Greek letter.

or stars in certain regions of the There are also some geometrical consequences sky. He did not know that these were the same star! Figure 7. the apparent direction of a star is displaced sun or of the earth. A commonly used catalogue produced by the of the earth's revolution that would be very difficult Harvard College Observatory gives the spectral to explain if the earth were assumed to be station- types of the stars (Chapter 25). to have ogy of walking in the rain. from the variety of nomenclature. holding a straight drain- been selected from several different catalogues. and the dis- the earth. too ward. If the drainpipe is held verti- Many stars. of course. a paper in which he reported calculations he had performed to derive some of the internal properties of a number of stars. stars in this Henry ary. What evidence is there that it is slightly from its geometrical direction. The problem is simply to determine where the common center of revolu- tion is.3 The Revolution of the Earth 109 Many other catalogues. This puts it well inside the surface of the been and are being compiled.000 times as massive as the earth. light. These are stellar parallax and aberration of star- Draper Catalogue are denoted by their HD numbers. or list only cer. are listed in more than one cally. It is obvious that either the earth goes around the sun or the sun around the earth. Essentially. His calculations were based on observational data selected by him from various catalogues. with ever-increasing distance from the center of the sun to the center of accuracy of the star positions they record. have the earth. We have seen (Chapter 2) that the earth's revolution Similarly. tain types of stars. However.:}: The vast majority of stars. then. One of the stars he gave results for is Sirius. Thus the common center of mass (Section 5.11). the sun. without being swept up by the approaching inside wall of the pipe. Analogous to the tilt of the drainpipe. they will fall through the length of the stance that has sometimes confused even astrono. the telescope must be tilted slightly for- also seen that the sun's apparent revolution about ward in the direction of the earth's motion. vertically. and if the raindrops are assumed to fall catalogue and thus bear various names — a circum. pipe only if you are standing still. consider the anal- are seen. the earth revolves around are prepared for special purposes. so faint and numerous to measure and catalogue. To understand aberration. the earth must revolve about the sun and not vice versa. 7. that moves? placement is in the direction of the earth's orbital motion. the distance by 7.1) of the earth-sun system must be less than 1/300. Thus we have a system of two mutually revolving bodies. re.3 THE REVOLUTION OF THE which the top of the pipe precedes the bottom. If the raindrops fall with a speed V. Many star catalogues sun. if starlight is to pass through the length of a of the sun along the ecliptic. We shall discuss stellar parallax in Chapter 22. If you walk for- mers.000 of the %K theoretical astronomer in France published. . another is a Canis Majoris. not the sun. because of the earth's orbital mo- about the sun produces an apparent annual motion tion. it follows simply and directly that. In other the earth can be explained either by a motion of the words. some years ago. that drops entering the top will fall out the bottom main nameless.11 Raindrops falling through a moving drainpipe. listed in Appendix 13. and if you walk with a speed v. Data for the nearest stars. you must tilt the pipe slightly forward. In Chapter 31 we shall see that the sun is about 330. we have telescope. di- EARTH vided by the vertical distance between the top and bottom of the pipe. The speed If we adopt Newton's laws of motion and gravita- tion. pipe (Figure 7. however. must be in the ratio vIV. this (a) Proofs of the Earth's forward tilt of the telescope is in the ratio of the Revolution speed of the earth to the speed of light.

is not coincident with the plane of the earth's equa- scribe a small circle in the sky. 13 The seasons are caused by the inclination of the plane of the earth's orbit to the plane of the equator.110 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK Earth's orbit Figure 7. for its apparent di. of light is about 10. for through part of the year the distance from the sun varying by about 3 percent. . ing at right angles to the direction of the star. The planes of the equator and ecliptic are in- rection is constantly displaced in the direction of clined to each other by about 2372°. The effect is greatest when the earth is mov. earth is moving in one direction compared to the However.000 times that of the earth in would have as seen from the sun. The seasons ing in the opposite direction. Stars between its orbit. tor.4 THE SEASONS away from the star. its earth's orbit during the year. the sun is not the cause of the seasons. 20". the changing distance of the earth from star and during the rest of the year the earth is mov. Dec. so the angle through which a telescope these extremes appear to shift their apparent direc- must be tilted forward is 1 part in 10.12 Aberration of starlight. 5.12).5 (Figure 7. A star that is on the ecliptic appears to shift back and forth in a straight line The around the sun is an ellipse. 22 To celestial equator June 22 Figure 7. This angle of the earth's orbital motion from the direction it 2372° is called the obliquity of the ecliptic. and disappears when the earth moves directlytoward or 7. A star in a direction result because the plane in which the earth revolves perpendicular to the earth's orbit appears to de.000 or about tions along tiny elliptical paths of semimajor axis 20".

We on about June 22 (the see in the figure that date of the summer the sun shines down solstice). all zenith at noon on the first day of summer. for that is the angle the earth's axis must make with the perpendicular to the plane of its orbit around the sun. that the sun's rays shine down past the North Pole. This tilt is Arct the same angle of 2372°. tor.13 that on about March 21 and September 23 the sun appears to be in the direction of the celestial equator." . most directly upon the northern hemisphere of the in fact. Now it is the Arctic Circle that has a 24-hour night and the Antarctic Circle that has the midnight sun. night. that a line from the center of the earth through the earth's equator always points to the celestial equa- Figure 7. and. To a person at a latitude that circle of latitude is called the Arctic Circle. have sunshine on that date passes through the zenith of places on for 24 hours on the day of summer. The sun is first the earth that are at 2372° north latitude. 6672° is ation is shown in detail in Figure 7. the Tropic of Capricorn. Arctic circle as is shown in Figure 7. thus. summer in the southern. The result of Tropic of Cancer the obliquity of the ecliptic is that the northern hemisphere is inclined toward the sun in June and away from it in December. 7. the equator itself is the diurnal circle Capricorn for the sun. In fact. of the zenith at noon. earth. is called places within 2372° of the South Pole that is. Equator Finally. but the celestial sphere is so large. Equinox means "equal Figure 7. This latitude During this time.15. The situation is reversed six months later. are called the vernal (spring) equinox and autumnal (fall) equinox. at which the sun can appear at the obliquely on the southern hemisphere.14 south of latitude 6672° S (the Antarctic Circle) — have no sight of the sun for the entire 24-hour pe- riod.14 The earth on June 22. the sun's rays shine very on the earth. and the celestial equator so far away. about December 22 (the date of the winter solstice). we see in Figure 7.15 The earth on December 22. These points. We see also in Figure 7. The situ. It appears 23'/2° north of the equator and thus at a latitude greater than 6672° N. the southernmost latitude where sun can ever be server on the equator. the sun passes through Tropic of the zenith at noon. 2372° N. that is.14. on Tropic of these dates. The line EE' is in the plane of the celestial equator. the sun appears 2372° north seen for a full 24-hour period (the midnight sun).4 The Seasons 111 Globes of the earth are usually mounted with the earth's axis tilted from the vertical. It is winter in the northern Cancer hemisphere. where the sun crosses the celestial Antarctic circle equator. Antarct In the figure the earth appears to pass alternately above and below this plane. the sun is overhead at noon. Every place on the earth then receives exactly 12 hours of sunshine and 12 hours of night. To an ob. all places within 2372° of the pole.13 shows the earth's path around the sun. as far north on this date as it can get. (a) The Seasons and Sunshine Tropic o Capricorn Figure 7. At latitude 2372° S. — the Tropic of Cancer.

but they equator. Also. During the for each square meter. the sun crosses the meridian 47° south of the zenith.112 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK Summer solstice 23 /2 ' 1 Autumnal Vernal equinox equinox / ^_1 23 1 2 Equator -23/2 Winter solstice Figure 7. About June 22. of course. Both equator In the and winter the sun is south of the fall and ecliptic are. the south point on the horizon at noon. but just gets up to Figure 7. ing the equator at the two equinoxes. great circles. where most of its diurnal circle is below cannot both be shown as straight lines on a flat sur. At the Arctic Circle. and so the sun at low alti- spring and summer. 2372° south of the zenith. Also. on the first day of sum. a lower altitude in the sky. and so it is up less than half the time. On the date of the winter solstice. At the Tropic of Cancer. and so in these seasons the sunlight is flattened out. the sun is north of the equator tudes is less effective in heating the ground. 40° north latitude receives only nine or ten hours of tent is 2372° north of the equator (the summer sol. face.S. notice that the sun appears high Zenith At the equator all seasons are much the same. and thus more effective in heating earth. on the date of the summer solstice. and is thus up more than half the time. the sun is low in the sky. there is less typical latitude in the United States. the horizon. 22 Sept. Between . the sun crosses the meridian 2372° north of the zenith. a bundle stice) and its southernmost extent is 2372° south of of its rays is spread out over a larger area on the the equator (the winter solstice). the sun is up half the time. 1 7 Diurnol paths of the sun for various dares ar a typical place in rhe U. A typical spot in the United States. and that its northernmost ex. the sun does not quite rise at the Arctic Circle. say 30° to at an angle of 2372°. as in a Mercator projection of the more direct. and the ecliptic is shown as a wavy line cross. sunshine. Figure 7. The seasons become more pronounced as one travels north or south of the equator. The equator runs along the middle of the than in the fall and winter when the sun appears at map. 23 June 22 1ar 21 Dec 22 around the celestial equator. the sun is at the zenith at noon.16 is a map in which the sky is shown in the sky. on the first day of summer the sun never sets. Every day of the year. and about December 22. a typical city at.16 Plot of the ecliptic Dec. ground (Figure 7. because the Figure 7. but at mid- night can be seen just skimming the north point on Celestial equator the horizon. About December 22. so there are always 12 hours of sunshine at the equa- tor. (b) The Seasons at Different mer (about June 22).18) than in summer.17 shows the aspect of the sky at a energy is spread out over a larger area. receives about 14 or 15 hours Latitudes of sunshine. Notice that the ecliptic intersects the equator On about December 22.

it is summer in the southern 23.4 The Seasons 113 Figure 7. the earth's changing distance from the sun. While we are hav. sun. When the sun is low in rhe sky its rays ore more oblique to rhe ground and ore spread over a larger area rhan when rhe sun is high. in Australia it is winter. that circle around parallel to it. we might expect shine at the Pole. We ting no higher or lower (except gradually as the shall see that for Mars. the obliquity of the ecliptic remains constant. and other topographical factors are this when he is at the North Pole. sunflowers like to face the sun. the seasons to be somewhat more severe in the titude of 23 V2 about June 22. many hours of sunshine during the summer months. because there were so imately) its 23 V2 inclination to the ecliptic plane. The sun reaches its maximum al.18 Effect of rhe sun's olrirude. whose orbit is considerably days go by). then. ing summer in the United States. 7. reaches its We recall that at the North Pole. ever. We see. the equatorial plane retains (approx- §It is said that one botanist considered the North Pole to be an excellent place to raise sunflowers.5c). the of the zenith. before that date it southern hemisphere than in the northern. hemisphere's winter. and after that it ever. about July 5. in its elliptical orbit. It is farthest from the always above the horizon and. He accord. there is more ocean area in the southern drops gradually lower. get. the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle. the same kind of In the southern hemisphere. as the earth turns. you would want a number of hours of sunshine and the noon altitude house with a good northern exposure. all celestial closest approach sun about January 4. The sun is north of the the earth is closest to the sun when it is winter in celestial equator from about March 2 1 to September the north. at aphelion. and the reaches the vernal equinox and sets when it reaches earth is farthest from the sun during the southern the autumnal equinox. How- ingly planted some there. the intersections of the celestial equator and However. In Buenos Aires. the seasons are situation does have a pronounced effect upon the reversed from those in the north. and so North Pole the sun rises when it at the hemisphere when the earth is at perihelion. The earth. and as they followed the sun around and around the sky. Therefore. A navigator can easily tell hemisphere. How- climbs gradually higher each day. and they did quite well for a while. in the southern hemisphere. However. (c) Precession of the Equinoxes the sun crosses the meridian generally to the north As the earth's axis precesses in its conical motion (Section 6. There are six months of sun. Furthermore. of the sun range between these two extremes. they ended by wringing the ecliptic (the equinoxes) must always be 90° from their own necks! the celestial poles (because all points on the celestial .§ more eccentric than the earth's. for there the sun more important in their influence on climate than is circles around the sky parallel to the horizon. seasons. It is to the objects that are north of the celestial equator are then said to be at perihelion.

at far northern and southern latitudes. these snow de- ion. for example. it lay in the constellation of the heating of the land and oceans. il. and see Or. This warming-up process continues past constellation (see Figure 7. whereas in the year 15. even though that is the time of the darken when the sun sets. and so on. Since it takes the sun about 20 minutes to correspondingly longer to reach a point 18° below move 50" along the ecliptic (or. and coldest weather of the year. This motion is called the precession of least 18° below the horizon for all traces of this the equinoxes. The only ef. tures do not reach their maxima until the portions nox has slid westward into the constellation of of the earth that contribute to the climate of a par- Pisces. are dense enough to scatter appreciable sunlight up noxes slide around the sky. as the insolation increases. that equi. During the the same direction. summer in June. so the toward the sun during one part of the year and Places in the northern hemisphere receive the most away from it during the other. the vernal equi. Thus. ticular place have warmed as much as they are going This usually occurs in August in the to. postsunset or presunrise sky light (twilight) to be noxes move each year. now. moving westward along to altitudes of about 300 km. and large later. Our calendar year is sunlight about June 22. and see Orion in the sky during the winter thereafter.000 it will be a winter warms up. because of precession. Precession has no important effect on the sea- sons. because about 2000 years ago. is 20 are six weeks of twilight in the late winter before minutes shorter than a sidereal year. spring. away from the greatest on the first day of summer and decreases sun.000 years. The actual amount of heat received from the ferent places in its orbit with respect to the stars. to meet the sun. is absent. when of the insolation is going into the melting of ice and it received that name. with respect to. Similarly. Each year as the sun sun and sets nearly vertically to the horizon. Gases in the earth's atmosphere the poles move because of precession. The sun must be at the ecliptic. At latitudes near the equator. a good portion point of Aries. about and sets in a much more oblique direction and takes 50". it will be summertime when we look out in deposits of ice and snow had formed. the date of the summer solstice. more accurately. Orion is a winter tion. the vernal equinox. The so spring in the northern hemisphere still begins in hottest and coldest weather generally lags behind March. half a precessional cycle the hemisphere had cooled considerably. be. season will occur when the earth is in gradually dif. At the North Pole there year. the annual precession. In sun by a given area on the earth is called its insola- the 20th century.measured with respect to the equinoxes. we look out at night. because the land and ocean. as luminating the sky. During the preceding winter. so twilight may last for two hours or cause it takes the earth that long to move through more. however. Similarly. where the 1/26. In other words.000 of 360°. measured with sunrise and again in the early fall after sunset. been warmed up in the previous summer. and the least about Decem- based on the beginnings of the seasons (the times ber 22. sometime in midwinter. . the sun rises nox has moved westward. In 13. The angle through which the equi. northern hemisphere. are still sphere of the earth can catch some of the rays of cooling down. Even after the sun is no least insolation. Now. the horizon. the equi. In the far northern countries twilight lasts all an angle of 50" in its orbit about the sun). The earth's axis retains its inclination to the (e) Lag of the Seasons northern hemisphere is still tipped ecliptic. Yet these are not the dates of the hottest when the sun reaches the equinoxes and solstices). The tempera- Aries. respect to the stars. respectively. Scorpio is a summer constellation and the hemisphere gradually posits slowly melt. say. a tropical night in the summertime.114 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK equator are 90° from the celestial poles). away from the sun. rises completes its eastward revolution about the sky twilight lasts only a little over one hour. In the northern hemisphere. However. The vernal equinoxsometimes called the first is during the early weeks of summer. although the date varies from (d) Twilight place to place with the local topography.19). They reach their maximum chill the setting sun and scatter them helter-skelter. the insolation is constellation. months. or about 50". the coldest time of year is not at the We all know that the sky does not immediately winter solstice. having longer visible from the ground. the opening of summer and winter by several fect is that as the precessional cycle goes on. a given weeks. the upper atmo.

The earth shares the motion of the sun THE EARTH and the entire solar system among its In this chapter we have discussed in detail two of neighboring stars. This solar motion is and revolution. which we shall see the plane of the ecliptic. that ever.5). for complete. with its neighboring stars.1). called nutation (Section tem with respect to which the absolute 6. there are many other motions of the earth. Therefore. moon on the earth's equatorial bulge one might wonder what the absolute causes a very slow change in orientation speed of the earth is in the universe. How- the earth's motions: rotation about 20 km/s (Chapter 23). shares in the general rotation of the Gal- ness. 5 The Mony Morions of rhe Earth 115 To noi ill celestial To north celestial polo (1980) pole (1980) 1980 AD immer in Northern Winter in Northern / Hemisphere Hemisphere i To Scorpio un P To Orion To north celestial pole (14. The earth revolves about the sun. our Galaxy is in mo- latitude) (Section 7. it is the center of mass of the mined. these motions are summarized: axy. Our motion about the center of the 1.2b). and because of (Chapter 13) gave null results. 7. The earth rotates daily on its axis. We shall see in Chapter 39. The gravitational pull of the sun and 10. 4. sured the speed of our Galaxy with bit.980 AD Winter in Northern Summer in Northern \ Hemisphere Hemisphere Sun > \ Figure 7. 7. 8.5d). dealt with in other sections. To of the axis of the earth called precession determine the absolute velocity of the (Section 6. ever. The earth periodically shifts slightly with 9. earth was the object of the Michelson- 5.980) 14. 2. The sun. Here. All other galaxies are observed to be in respect to its axis of rotation (variation in motion. Each month the center of the earth respect to the average distribution of the revolves about the barycenter (Section matter in the universe around us. Actually. how- earth-moon system. or bary center.980) To north celestial pole (14. Because the moon's orbit is not quite in Morley experiment. 19 Summer and winter constellations change because of precession. speed of an object in space can be deter- 6. that we now believewe have mea- revolves about the sun in an elliptical or. speed is about 500 km/s. That 5.5 THE MANY MOTIONS OF 7. . A funda- a slow change in orientation of the mental postulate of Einstein's special moon's orbit. tion with respect to other galaxies in the 3. there is a small periodic theory of relativity is that it is not possi- motion of the earth's axis superimposed ble to define an absolute coordinate sys- upon precession. Galaxy is about 250 km/s (Chapter 29). In view of the many motions of the earth. universe (Chapter 39).

(f) autumnal equinox. not? 8. Why has longitude no meaning at the North or same amount? South Pole? 11. places during summer nights? . In far northern countries such as Canada and Scot- does it set? land. (b) south ce. the winter months are so cloudy that astro- nomical observations are nearly impossible. 14. is in the ratio in the northern hemisphere. since all stars in a given part of the sky appear shifted by the 3. Explain why New York has more hours of daylight on the day of summer than does Los Angeles. What then would be the difference in latitude 6. If the obliquity were only I6V2 . Where on earth is it possible for the ecliptic to he. along the horizon? of the equator the altitude of the south celestial pole is equal to his latitude south.116 EARTH AND SKY: THE CELESTIAL CLOCKWORK EXERCISES 1. If a star rises in the northeast. rather than to the right as by the vertical extent of the pipe. 15. 2. (h) Ursa Major. Suppose you observe a star 30° from the south ce. what would be the 7. What is the latitude of (a) the North Pole? (b) the 10. when divided hemisphere is to the left. (d) Southern Cross. where v is the speed of the drainpipe. 12. 4. Prove that if vertically falling raindrops dropping it that good observations cannot be made in those with a speed of V are to fall through a drainpipe. Show that the apparent deflection in the direction of the pipe must be tilted forward so that its top pre- swing of a Foucault pendulum in the southern cedes its bottom by a distance which. Draw a diagram to show that for an observer south momentarily. (e) north set at theSouth Pole? Would a lunar eclipse occur- pole. ring in January be visible from there? Why or why ecliptic (g) nadir. Which of the obliquity of 2372°? following will be above your horizon sometime dur- ing a 24-hour period? (a) Big Dipper. first 5. (c) Orion. effect on the seasons as compared to the actual lestialpole pass through your zenith. in what direction 16. Why is exactly half of any great circle in the sky above the horizon at once? 13. How can we tell that stars are displaced in the di- South Pole? rection of the earth's motion (aberration). Why is 9. Suppose the obliquity of the ecliptic were only 1672°. Prove that the celestial equator must pass through between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer? the east and west points on the horizon. vIV. What and sun- are the approximate dates of sunrise lestial pole.

The interval 23 56 . India. Greece. The angle measured to the west —China. the star sky. Rigel is halfway around of the earth. Hour the local meridian of an observer sweeps around the Angle sky.1 TIME OF DAY chosen as the reference for time. it is customary to rep- the sky that the reference object has moved since it resent the observer's meridian as fixed.Age England example. corresponding to dif. Here we imag- a day depends on the reference object chosen. The motion of that point the keeping of time and the calendar. Then when Rigel h m s is on the meridian it is . (U.S. hour circle is a great circle on the celestial sphere tions in the heavens to calculate the time and the running north and south through the celestial date. objects in the sky the sky. between successive meridian crossings or transits of Time can be represented graphically by means that object is defined as a day. (a) The Passage of Time. From the ear. at an hour angle of 180°. ine ourselves looking straight down on the north ce- eral different kinds of days. and one Rigel day is nearly gone. The ferent reference objects. sev. suppose that the star Rigel is 8. Each kind of pole appears as a point in the middle of the dia- day is divided into 24 equal parts. Naval Observatory) TIME AND DATE One of the most ancient uses of astronomy was lastcrossed the meridian.) Time can be defined as the hour angle of the reference object. and evidently even in Bronze. However. called hours. gram. intersecting 117 . and the Rigel h m appear to move around us. Mesopotamia. as in Figure 8. Time is determined by the position in the meridian. As an example. crossing the meridian time is 12 s . lestial pole from outside the celestial sphere. The actual length of of a time diagram. around the sky is like the motion of the hour hand liest history in virtually every center of civilization on a 24-hour clock. are defined. As the earth turns. Simon Newcomb (1835-1909) was the great American astronomer who laid a foundation of precise positional astronomy based on his measurements of the motions of the earth. When Rigel is only 1° east of the each day. so that its intersection with the celestial equa- tor would move counterclockwise around the circle in Time is reckoned by the angular distance around the time diagram. a star) is that object's hour angle. poles — see Chapter 7. of some is at an hour angle of 359°. "Rigel time. to the hour circle passing through any object (for sphere. and the celestial equator appears as a circle centered on the pole." The measurement of time is based on the rotation Twelve Rigel hours later. Egypt.1. and the Rigel time is h m s reference object on the celestial sphere. with respect to the local meridian. (An when Stonehenge was built — man followed the mo. the along the celestial equator from the local meridian Mayan and Aztec civilizations in the western hemi. As the earth turns to the east.

as a study of Figure 8. In the diagram it is shown as cause the vernal equinox slowly shifts its position in h about 120° (the time would then be about 8 Since . The hour an. 6 hours to if extended. P is below the observer's ho. the point on the celestial sphere where the sun in sects the equator at P.2 will show. denoted m s Toble 8. the time required for the earth to make a the celestial sphere must be regarded as rotating complete rotation with respect to a point in space.) We could measure time by such a scheme. the earth with respect to the stars. be- of the celestial sphere. it might seem that the earth's rotation with r 15' 4 s r respect to the stars would be the nearest we could r 15" come to defining the "true rotation rate" of the . denoted by ' and TIME UNITS ARC UNITS ".5). like the hour hand of a clock. One hour equals 15°. respectively.4). which are based on the solar day and the sidereal day. (b) The Solar and Sidereal Day Figure 8. say. but it turns out that other kinds of time are more con- venient. In this notation. The point chosen is the vernal equinox. it is often convenient to measure angles in on the meridian of an observer at point O on the time units. say. AS. of course. the point P moves clockwise around the crosses the celestial equator from south to north. however. Its hour circle inter. by the Foucault pendulum. Then stead." This kind of rotation period of the earth would be measured. The sidereal day is. and so on. and as the celestial sphere its apparent path around the sky (the ecliptic) rotates. and minutes and seconds of arc (subdivisions of a degree). the sky as a result of precession (Section 6. Tech- gle of 5" (or P) increases uniformly with the rotation nically. and 1° is four on the celestial sphere. The direction from the earth to the sun. respectively. with the sun time. circle. 1° Because we base time on the rotation of the earth. that a sidereal day east and west points. The most common kinds of time in use are solar (sun) time and sidereal (star) time. however. the term "sidereal day" is a misnomer. to a full circle of 360°. We could then measure the passage of time (stays fixed) h by the hour angle of some fixed point on the celes- O West tial sphere. in- the equator. The interval between two successive meridian transits of this point would define such a "stellar day. marking the first day of spring (Section 7. the same Here we must distinguish between minutes and seconds of time (subdivisions of an hour).1. one rotation with respect to the stars. is within 0. 1 Conversion Between Units of Time ond Arc by and . This the celestial equator intersects the horizon at the movement is so slow. day. After the earth has made minutes of time. Let the ref. clockwise with respect to the meridian. points in the direction C among stars 90°.1 Time diagram. l h 15° 4. The conversion between units of 24 h 360° time and arc is given in Table 8. 12 hours to 180°. 24 hours corresponds earth. the stars are in motion and do not define a perfectly fixed reference system. Suppose Because of the relation between hour angle and we start a day when the earth is at A. they are so distant that over mod- 18' erate periods of time they appear fixed on the celes- tial sphere. (Actually.118 TIME AND DATE Observer's meridian earth. same is not true of S unless it happens to lie on the A solar day is slightly longer than a sidereal equator. The solar day is the period of the earth's rotation with respect to the sun. at the top of the diagram. defined as erence object be denoted by 5.01 s of the true period of rotation of the rizon in the time interval from 6 to 18 hours.

M. The on celestial sphere . and sec- onds. so apparent solar time is de- fixed among the stars that the earth has completed. On the other utes longer than a sidereal day. or second) is longer than the corresponding 7:46 p.m. therefore. We regulate our everyday lives. may be written as 19 46 . (c) Sidereal Time Sidereal time is based on the sidereal day with its subdivisions of sidereal hours. It is defined as the hour angle of the vernal h m s equinox. In units ply 1946. a solar day is slightly longer the day not at noon. stars in direction C will again be on the local merid- ian to the observer at O. or p. It is far more desirable to use solar time for ordinary purposes. the sun is on the meridian.m. A solar day. For example. or sim- unit of sidereal time by about 1 part in 365 . the position of a star in the sky with respect to the observer's meridian is directly related to the sidereal time. midnight.). or one complete rotation of the elapsed apparent solar time since the beginning of earth. England (see Appendix 7). hand. because the earth has moved fromto B in its orbit about the A (d) Apparent Solar Time sun during its rotation. is nearly the reached the meridian.2 Sidereal and solar day. Sidereal time is useful in astronomy and navi- gation. the working day is usually determined according to the Figure 8. one sidereal day is 23 56 4\091. There are about 365 days in a year and 360° a day is the hour angle of the sun plus 12 hours. by the sun. is about 4 min. However.1 Time of Day 119 h m To remote poini C of solar time.099 in solar time units. Every observatory maintains cl'ocks that keep accurate sidereal time. in a circle. however. ASB. thus the daily motion of the earth in its During the first half of the day. We custom- through which the earth must turn to complete a arily start numbering the hours after noon over solar day.i period of the earth's rotation with respect to the h m s stars is 23 56 4 . but to complete a solar apparent solar time. but at midnight. h m minute.m. The sidereal day begins (0 ) when the vernal equinox is on the meridian. We designate those hours as same as the additional angle over and above 360° before midday (ante meridiem.. to 24. Therefore the than a sidereal day. 19:46. not the vernal equinox. termined by the hour angle of the sun. . the sun has not yet orbit is about 1°. The common coordinate system used to de- note positions of stars and planets on the celestial sphere (right ascension and declination) is referred to the celestial equator and the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox is so nearly of the vernal equinox. for example. day it must turn a little more to bring the sun back The hour angle of the sun is the time past midday to the meridian. daylight hours. starting from the beginning of the day at minutes. It is convenient to start In other words. At midday.m. This 1° angle. and designate them by p. the sun has not yet re- turned to the meridian of the observer but is still Just as sidereal time is reckoned by the hour angle slightly to the east. It takes the earth about 4 minutes to turn again. it is often useful to number the hours from Each kind of day is subdivided into hours. one sidereal day. minutes. A unit of solar time (hour. and seconds. in various conventions. (post meridiem.). or A.). them from the morning hours (a. Therefore. 8. to distinguish through 1°. essentially. much and longitude on the earth are re- as latitude ferred to the earth's equator and the meridian of Greenwich.

if the sun of the sun's eastward progress. varies slightly during the year. "• / Earth's orb': during an arl interval nea . With each succeeding day. it is just over run exactly east and west in the sky. of areas — the earth moves fastest when it is nearest mon. Thus. (Actually. to bring the eath's daily progress in its orbit. In a sundial. then. is the most obvious and The first reason is that the earth's orbital speed direct kind of solar time. casts a shadow whose direction indicates the the sun (perihelion) in early January and slowest hour angle of the sun. in its the two kinds of time do not agree again until the apparent annual journey around the sky. there are two reasons — 24 hours one year later. and the consequent were exactly 1° east of the meridian. is greatly exaggerated. if time is counted from noon on one day. ) 120 TIME AND DATE To remote star . so the sun's is the extra time required. at mid. the vernal equinox is of the meridian. It is the time that is kept varies. difference between an apparent solar day and a side. In accord with Kepler's second law — the law by a sundial. However. it moves farther in its orbit during a ever. is that the sun's path the ecliptic does not— — the way to the meridian. because the earth is still ad.) If the sun were more or less than 1° east night.3). (The effect. denned as the hour angle is not the same every day of the year.3 Variation in the length of an apparent solar day because of the earth's variable orbital speed. after one rotation of the daily progress to the east reflects the inequalities of earth with respect to the vernal equinox. The earth rotates to the east at a nearly constant The second reason for the variation in the rate rate of 1° every 4 sidereal minutes. Recall that the siderealday in January than in July (Figure 8. The length of the apparent solar day would be m s ever. spect to the sun is not always exactly the same. Apparent solar time was the when it is farthest from the sun (aphelion) in July. the extra time required would be on the meridian. On about September 23. a raised marker. : •jrjrgcc w tj rrip rQ %% 7 !' y' ' nea same | Drbital ir progress tervat Figure 8. how. about 4 sidere. but is inclined to the equator by . and constant if the eastward progress of the sun. We see. which through the autumnal equinox. and so solar time and sidereal time a little more or less than 4 sidereal minutes. why the amount by which the sun shifts to the east Apparent solar time. ecliptic. On that date. lestial equator. or gno. of the sun plus 12 hours. were pre- daily difference between them accumulates to a full cisely constant. time kept by man through many centuries. The sun's apparent motion along the ecliptic is just real day. of course. However. are in agreement. sidereal time gains 3 56 on solar time. when the day begins. its rate of rotation is nearly constant. nonuniformity in the length of the apparent solar al minutes would be needed to bring it the rest of day. the result of the earth's revolution. how. along the ce- four sidereal minutes. Consequently. halfway around the moves the sun another 10" to the east along the sky from the vernal equinox. The exact length of an apparent solar day. the sun passes vancing in its orbit during that period. the sun back to the meridian. The length of this that the extra amount by which the earth must turn extra time depends on how far east of the meridian after a sidereal day to complete a rotation with re- the sun is after the completion of one sidereal day.

23 V2 . solar time to obtain apparent solar time. it progressing at a uniform rate. Originally that fictitious point was called of the equator where the hour circles converge. not mean solar time is just apparent solar time averaged only is moving due east but it is also north the sun uniformly. even if the sun did Figure 8. Near the the sky that moves uniformly to the east along the equinox.°92 ad. slightly throughout the year. the clocks would have to be adjusted to run at a differ- amount by which it moved to the east would vary ent rate each day. A similar analysis shows the The irregular rate of apparent solar time causes sun would also make more eastward progress near it run alternately ahead of and behind mean solar to the winter solstice than near the autumnal equinox. all the sun moved uniformly along the ecliptic. At the solstice. date of the year. The situation is illus- trated in Figure 8. between apparent solar time and mean solar time is vance to the east at the equinoxes and l. The difference between the two kinds of time With the actual 23 V2 obliquity. time. but because of the of mean time. and celestial equator. its eastward prog. 8. it is still inconvenient became necessary to abandon the apparent solar day for practical use. Thus. so that as the fundamental unit of time. the celestial equator. Mean solar time is defined as March 21 and June 22. To make the effect more obvious. shaped like terval varies by up one half minute one way or to the figure eight and placed in the region of the the other. it is no longer related to the sun. Recall that it is defined by the . When the The apparent solar day is always about 4 min. the ecliptic. Otherwise.1 Time of Day 121 North celestial pole Summer solstice Eastward progress near solstice Vernal equinox Figure 8. Now suppose the ecliptic which has a duration equal to the average length of sun moved equal distances along the ecliptic near an apparent solar day. it turns out that a can accumulate to about 17 minutes. of a fictitious point in marked off on the ecliptic in the figure. In other words. which shows the celestial (e) Mean Solar Time sphere. After the inven.5. such equal distances are the hour angle plus 12 hours. advance to the east. Although mean solar time has the advantage of tion of clocks that could run at a uniform rate. part of the sun's motion is northward. is grossly exaggerated. but in the modern definition of time that a 1° advance on the ecliptic is more than a 1° standards. and the ecliptic. equation of time is positive. the correction to apply to mean ress would be variable. have been greatly exaggerated. with approximately the same aver- it progresses less far to the east than it does along age eastern rate as the true sun. and hence the effect. (The obliquity.°08 advance called the equation of time. the obliquity of the Mean solar time is based on the mean solar day. for any move uniformly on the ecliptic. The variation can accumulate after a South Pacific Ocean. One can read from the plot. on the other hand. The difference 1° advance on the ecliptic corresponds to 0. Often the equation of time is plotted sun's variable progress to the east. number of days to several minutes.4.4 The sun's apparent eastward daily progress varies because of the obliquity of the ecliptic. shown graphically in to the east at the solstices. the precise in. Even if the earth's orbit were circular. on globes of the earth as a nomogram. apparent time is ahead utes longer than a sidereal day. so the mean sun.

the zone mean time.C. The zones are numbered consecutively was divided into four time zones. is 15° wide in longitude. pers by Sanford Fleming. For local convenience. a person traveling east or west Time (CST). observ.6 min more advanced than that of Man. in which 26 nations were represented. 105°. two hours less advanced than Pacific River tunnel. Now a trav. If mean solar time were Eastern Standard Time (EST). hour angle of the But hour angle fictitious point. a commuter 90°. United States (not including Alaska and Hawaii) are ferent mean solar time. boundaries between the four time zones are chosen refers to the local celestial meridian. the from apparent solar time. all places keep the same time. Mean solar time. because Oyster Bay time is actually Standard Time. as much as possible. an international confer- ence was held in Washington. is ers on different north-south lines on the earth have called standard time. Thus. For instance. those west of Green- zone. and 120° west longitude. from a sun- . the need for some kind of meridian running through the center of the zone of standardization became evident. largely under the impetus of two pa- hattan. Hawaii and traveling from Oyster Bay to New York City would Alaska both keep the time of the meridian 150° west have to adjust his watch as he rode through the East longitude. would have watch continually as his lon- to reset his and Pacific Standard Time (PST). With the development of and railroads time of any place is the mean time of the standard the telegraph. say. about 1. however. to correspond. eler resets his watch only when the time change has The procedure for determining standard time amounted to a full hour.122 TIME AND DATE Figure 8. D. Mountain Standard Time (MST).. At that conference it was agreed to establish a system of 24 international time (f) Standard and Zone Time zones around the world.which is dif. In 1883 the nation that place. so standardized. as read. on the average. tween states. In 1884. every city zone divisions are usually irregular over land areas and town in the United States kept its own local to follow international boundaries. The Eastern Standard time zone is zone num- less through the middle of each zone. Central Standard strictly observed. Each time zone. At sea. the local mean wich are denoted ( + ) and those east are denoted solar time of a standard meridian running more or (-). ber + 5. The standard time zones in the a different hour angle of the point and hence a dif. if it were always to read the local tively keep the mean times of the meridians of 75°. mean time correctly. Within each from the Greenwich meridian. which respec- gitude changed. although the Until near the end of the last century. to divisions be- ferent for every longitude on earth.5 Equation of time (ap- Jan Feb Mar Apr May June Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec parent minus mean solar time).

M. Now. for ning through Greenwich. however. Daylight saving time is seen at two different places is just the difference in simply the local standard or zone time of the place the directions of the local meridians of the two plusone hour.M. The times of places halfway around the world from each other differ by 12 hours. daylight saving to finding the difference between local time and the time. is illustrated in the (h) Time Around the World Angeles (118° west longitude) the apparent solar The International Date Line (sundial) time on March 16 was 11:30 a. the celestial meridian of San Francisco. such as the Nautical Almanac.6). apparent solar. Meridian of Washington Greenwich Meridian of place where star is on celestial meridian Meridian of Greenwich f YM3V> to o* s0 vO« Hour angle of Hour angle of star star . 8. during the spring and summer. the time — It might seem that daylight saving time is at Greenwich (Figure 8. would ordinarily grow dark about 8:00 P. It The local mean solar time of the meridian run- is not always popular in the winter. is three hours ahead of San Francisco time. most states in the has the more advanced sidereal.M. for various are on their way to work. a time more advanced than ours. The more easterly place always light during waking hours. In general.m. ridian of New York sweeps under the sun on the which keeps the time of the meridian at 120° west celestial sphere about three hours earlier than does longitude. The direction of the earth's rotation is to the east. Thus. or United States as well as many other nations. the local time that of the 120° meridian. Data are usually given in navigational ta- many areas it is still dark at 7:30 A. needed more in the winter than in the summer.6 A difference in hour angle equals the difference in longitude. and sometimes dur. The difference in the hour angles of the same object ing fall and winter as well. From the equation of time we note that on March 16 ap. time at some known place on earth say. because any kind of local time is what is called daylight saving time (or summer time) defined as the hour angle of some reference object. 1 Time of Day 1 23 following example: At Los dial. intervals of universal time. parent solar time is nine minutes behind mean solar Therefore. The celestial me- Los Angeles is in the Pacific Standard Time zone. Los Angeles is 2° east of that meridian. in sal time.M. keep mean solar time. places to the east of us must always have time. is called univer- when clocks are set an hour ahead in December. England.:v v^ at Greenwich at Washington East Figure 8. that is. the determination of longitude is equivalent dard time it is light until 9:00 P. rather than degrees. while people bles. Thus on a summer evening when it places. if longitude measured in time units is To take advantage of the maximum amount of sun. Pacific Standard Time is there. the difference in their longitudes. stan.M. thus 11:31 A. Thus in so its local time is eight minutes more advanced than New York the hour angle of the sun. Thus the local mean time is 11:39 A. the difference in the local time of (g) Daylight Saving Time any two places on earth is equal to their difference in longitude. .

he increases his date rhe sky. it is 17 hours later. The date line time. called local mean time. posirion on rhe celesrial sphere of rhe ficririous poinr (i) Summary of Time defining mean solar rime is known wirh respecr ro rhe srars. Since rhe line from east to west. We may briefly summarize the story of time as fol- by asrronomical observarions ro wirhin abour 0. the year to take advantage of the maximum The solution to the dilemma is the international number of hours of sunshine during the date line. lows: If rhe earth's rorarion were absolurely consranr rhe mean second (1/86. By convention.2 TIME STANDARDS dar changed by one day. it is 5. York than in Berkeley. and has thus gained a day angle of a fictitious point revolving an- over those who stayed home. A grear improvemenr . The former is defined in his time. He passes into a 3. times. Because San with longitude. The mean solar time at any one place. It is 3 hours later in New fectly uniform eastward rate. In London. The loner depends on a precise defi- If an ocean liner crosses the international date nirion of a rime srandard. was rhe mosr srable rime srandard available. runs about down the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Mechan- 2. It is defined as the local hour through a full 24 hours. although it few places to avoid cutting jogs a bit in a through groups of islands and through Alaska. a few kilometers to the west slightly different times. the average length of an appar- new time zone. the date of the calen. the crew can begin Ar rhe Unired Srares Naval Observarory in Wash- the preparation of a second feast. been served a Christmas dinner. If a person crosses the is Ar this poinr we must distinguish between rhe rime of date line from west to east. Specially designed relescopes measure rhe could skip Christmas altogether by crossing the date exacr insrants when srars cross rhe meridian. Suppose a man moving ecliptic. on the average. By the time he has 4. or 24 hours one day — each place in a certain region or zone keeps later than at Berkeley! One might suppose that by the same time — the local mean time of the going around the world to the east or west enough standard meridian in that zone. each time.. if rerms of rhe hour angle of some reference objecr in he crosses from east to west. The ordinary day is based on a rotation of serve as an appropriare srandard for measuring rhe the earth with respect to the sun (not the passage of rime. rime is measured as a rourine will be Christmas again. it is 7 6. at the date line. standard time is ad- we desired. For a long rime rhe earth's rorarion stars). rhar rhe definirion of rhe is. so that hours later than at Tokyo. across the San Francisco Bay from Berkeley. 8. and based on rhe orienrarion of rhe thus is by one day. it follows kilometers east and west of each other have that in San Francisco. celesrial sphere. On the other hand. The length of the apparent solar day is ical clocks were in use in rhe rhirreenrh cenrury. D. Let us look at the nually on the celestial equator at a per- problem another way. one procedure. vanced by one hour during part or all of chine. eastward travels around the world. This is daylight saving along the 180° meridian of longitude. In many localities. so that he is advancing day and rhe passage of rime. for the next day ington. still far. sets his watch ahead an hour. 8 hours later than in Berkeley. he has set his watch ahead solar time. creating the equivalent of a time ma. varies continuously ther to the east. we could go into the future or past as far as 7.400 of a mean solar day) could 1. — 124 TIME AND DATE The fact that time is always more advanced to iable orbital speed and the obliquity of the the east presents a problem. for about every 15° ent solar day is defined as the mean solar of longitude he travels and. California. so that two places a few Francisco is about 100° east of Tokyo. he dutifully day. Therefore. in Tokyo. bur slightly variable because of the earth's var. line from west to east just after its passengers have second.001 s. rhe rime of rhe meridian rransir of a srar indirecrly gives rhe mean Time can be derermined solar rime. Therefore time is standardized. set by international agreement to run waking hours. and in certain orher observarories rhroughour rhe world.C. Time based on the mean solar day is mean completed his trip. he compensates by decreasing his date. rhey were nor very accurare.

lengthened over one cenrury is esrimared at a little un- val Observatory) der two thousandths of a second. Suppose a clock keeping accurare mean solar time hod been set 2000 years ago. These chaprer. its rotation rare can vary because of expansions or conrracrions slighr its in crusr. is a seculor increase. elecrric clock. that outlined many of the properties of a transferred ro rhe moon. earth's rorarion is not conserved. all of them are slighrly ahead of or behind schedule in unison. how- ever. Christian case. In histo- Figure 8. the day continues to lengthen as time goes on. rhe vibrarion (A) IRREGULARITIES IN THE EARTH'S even of a quartz-crysral clock changes very gradually ROTATION AND MODERN TIME with age. the natural fre- in a temperature-controlled chamber.S. Na. Some of rhe irregularities in the length of the day are periodic. 8. and unpredicr- able over exrended periods of rime.7 A photographic zenirh rube. periodic variarions in rhe earth's ro- clock of high accuracy by fabricating rhe pendulum it. In 1656.1b). This fre- developed ro rhe poinr where rhe motions of the sun. Superimposed on rhese periodic changes in the length of the day. By rhe 1920s was realized that the causes of these dis- ir crepancies are small variarions in rhe rate at which the earth rorares. Because rhe earth must conserve its an- gular momentum (Section 4. The cause is believed came after Galileo suggested the use of a pendulum to be the dissipation of energy in ridal friction. circumsrances make possible to construct a pendulum it The short-term. so rhar the angular momen- swinging pendulum. The vibration of a quartz crystal is far ards. rarion rate have been measured independently of self of a special alloy that expands only very slightly gravirarional rheory since rhe invention of quartz-crystal with changes in temperature and by keeping the clock clocks about 1930. to regulate rhe frequency of a current that runs an curacy. The if only explanation consistent with gravirarional rheory is that the length of theday is slowly increasing. bur still they served only as secondary stand. The Pen. However. while orhers are random. and the changes accumu- late until they become appreciable. The period of oscillation of a pen. which auromarically rical rimes rhe average amount by which the day has rakes picrures of objecrs as rhey cross rhe meridian. After Huygens' quency of oscillation of a vibraring quartz crystal is used rime pendulum clocks were made with increasing ac. In such a clock. (U. The results dulum is regular and depends only on the length of of this tidal evolution are discussed briefly in rhe nexr the pendulum and the acceleration of gravity. and the planets can be predicted with grear confidence. However. or because of seasonal shirtings of air masses and ice ond snow deposirs. In this for keeping time (Section 4. and were routinely checked with astronomical more regular than that of a pendulum. tum of the earrh-moon system is conserved. or of the usual observarions. quency srandard is used ro regulate the frequency of . Today rhar clock would be our of srep wirh rhe position of the sun in the sky by about 3 hours. This was discovered by noting where historical "clock error" records show that ancient eclipses actually occurred compared wirh the locations where rhey should have occurred the earth's rotation had not changed.2 Time Standards 125 the moon. Moreover. the angular momenrum associated with the Huygens published a comprehensive treatise. which use the frequency of elecrromagneric radiarion During rhe past century gravitational theory has been absorbed (or emitted) by atoms or molecules. 60-cycle alfernaring currenr produced by commercial power-generating stations. 1h). but it is slowly being dulum Clock. The variarions in rhe length of a single day are slighr bur measurable. rhe precise rimes when rhey reach particular posirions in rhe sky sometimes dif- fer slightly from rhe rimes predicted from a clock reg- ulared by the earth's rorarion. STANDARDS More accurare still are modern atomic clocks.

770 cycles per giving rhar day a roral lengrh of 86. TAI agreed wirh rhe the frequency of oscillation of the quartz crystal. such as a quartz Colorado. If. A cesium clock An ephemeris second is equal ro rhe lengrh of rhus accurately maintains rhe frequency of rhe radia. shortwave stations. 97474 of rhe lengrh of rhe Tropical year . has called Coordinated Universal been developed that will approximate UT1 ro wirhin In 1 967the General Conference of Weights and Mea- one second. 192. rarher rhan 86.26 cm). but passes through the tube. apparent rorarion of rhe celesrial sphere. 13 to a few parrs in 10 Even more accurate riming may . In the ammonia example.192. TAI provides rhe srandard for rhe one-second inrer- be potentially available. Atoms rime of rhe Greenwich meridian (Universal Time UT) h m — of cesium gas also absorb at a certain radio frequency ar on January 1.192. is still based on rhe cesium clock. waves wirh a frequency of 9. Thar rora- rional rime. inrernarional synchronizarion of vibrating crystal. which are rhus raised ro rhe higher of rhe rwo energy srares. rheory is as precise as our besr modern rime srandards. inregral number of seconds. The first energies ro rhe higher by rhe absorprion of radio such "leap second" was inrroduced on June 30. if the world rhar operate cesium-beam atomic clocks. at that date). for all calcularions and rabies of positions rhen derected ar rhe far end of rhe clock. Wirh rhe help of com- and can be used similarly to control the frequency of a municarions sarellires. laborarory to regulate the frequency of the crystal. and TAI slowly drift aparr because of rhe irregulariries in rhe earrh's rora- (B) ATOMIC TIME rion. Time (UTC). thereby activating a servomechanism that cor. rhe eris rime has been used. A cesium clock has ot one end an oven in which 133 Ir will be imporranr in rhe furure ro make rhe mosr crir- a sample of the cesium isotope is heated so that ical observarions ro see wherher rhere is any evidence some of the atoms are boiled off into a vacuum rhar rhe consranr of gravirarion or rhe properries of ar- chamber.631. val between the beeps that are broadcast throughout ample. an ephemeris second is be one second in 6000 years. Ephemeris time is a uniformly radiarion is not absorbed. Ephemeris and universal rimes were in . 1972. Consequenrly.770 cycles of this radiation (the remains ro be derermined wherher gravirarional Ir radiation has a wavelength of about 3. parricular energy levels rhar depend on rhe way its nu- such adjusrmenrs have been necessary abour once per cleus spins (see Chapter 10 for a discussion of energy year and have generally been made ar midnighr ar levels). and rhe number of cesium flowing rime in rerms of which ir is assumed rhar grav- aroms of higherenergy reaching rhe detector drops irarional rheory predicrs rhe correcr posirions of celesrial sharply. a source clock.770. the beam cluded are rhe Narional Bureau of Srandards and rhe of radiation is nor absorbed by the ammonia mole.126 TIME AND DATE oscillation of a less accurate standard. promises accuracy up to 100 times that of the the world. for time signals broadcast by the Bureau ar its several 10 of radio waves is set to a frequency of 2. one mean solar second ar rhe beginning of rhe rion. Those atoms that are in rhe lower of rhe rwo oms (or borh) change wirh time. However. brations per second by a vibrating quartz crystal. Time of day. energy srares of interest are rhen selecred by a mag- neric field and passed rhrough a beam of radio radia- rion of frequency near 9. reau of Srandards uses a cesium clock ar its Boulder. so no radiation gets through. bur always differ from TAI by precisely an sures adopted an atomic deflnirion of rhe second. however.Cesium clocks have an accuracy of up rime is mainrained ro abour one millionrh of a second. 1958. of astronomical objecrs. a kind of rime called ephem- rhe frequency of rhe radio beam drifts off slighrly.400.631. The BIH decides when a based on a narural resonance of atoms of a cerrain full aromic second musr be added ro or subrracred isorope of cesium. which absorb exactly that from abour 30 parriciparing insrirurions scattered abour frequency. coordination lies wirh rhe Bureau Inrernarional de diation then activates a servomechanism that corrects I'Heure (BIH) in Paris. If rhe fre- quency is jusr righr. This transmitted ra. An arom of cesium 133 has rwo from UTC ro bring ir into near accord wirh UT1 Pecenrly . rects the frequency of the radio beam. Unired Srares Naval Observarory.401 aromic sec- second. bodies.4 x 10 vi. This A Atomic Time orTAI (French scale of International radio radiation is then passed info a tube containing abbreviation) has been formed by coordinating data molecules of ammonia gas. rhe radiarion is absorbed by rhe (C) EPHEMERIS TIME aroms.The overall accuracy of such a clock is claimed ro year 1900 (srricrly. The hydrogen maser. however.631. Responsibility for this cules. now denored UT1. The Narionol Bu- wirhin 1 /3 1 556. for ex. 925. Those aroms of rhe higher energy are Since 1960. In- the quartz crystal gets off frequency slightly. If can transform itself from rhe lower of rhese rhe end of eirher June 30 or December 31. The atomic second is rhus defined as rhe time onds. required for 9. a new sysrem of inrernarional rime. By definirion.

and the year. In order of supposed decreasing disrance twentieth century) were correct. is based on rhe direcrions of rhose objecrs as seen from rhe cenrer of mass of rhe solar sysrem.* d h m s length 365. — . Ir is this shift. because the major axis of the earth's orbit perseded by new rime scales known collecrively as dynamical rime. d h m s days. The period of revolution of the moon with re- spect to the stars. It differs from the sidereal on January 1. the more obvious kind of Figure 8. cesium-beam aromic clock. 1 84 s for 1 977. based on the period of rev- olution of the earth about the sun. is about 2Vli days. slightly shorter than the sidereal year. was chosen as the ephemeris time for that believed rhar rhe fasrer-moving objecrs were rhe near- instant. which has Srandards in Boulder. is the tropical Ephemeris rime was originally derermined from observarions of rhe sun.2564 mean solar days. 365. the interval between corresponding phases of the moon. so far as is known. This device. the synodic month. ephemeris rime will be su- year. Its agreement near rhe beginning of rhe cenrury. alrhough its lengrh may have been based on rhe inrerval berween rhe quarter phases of rhe moon. according ro rhe rare of passage of calcularing 365 5 48 46 . to keep in step with ephemeris rime. is the moon's period of revolution with re- srandard devices mainrained by rhe Narional Bureau of spect to the sun. ond has been defined in rerms of rhe frequency of rhe The third kind of year is the anomalistic year. based on the period of rotation of the earth. or 365 6 13 53 . Because observed posirion among rhe srars on rhe celesrial of precession (Section 6. rhese seven objecrs are Sarurn. the beginnings of the various seasons. is based on rhe direcrions of solar sysrem olution. Its length is By acrion of rhe Inrernarional Asrronomical Union. and ephemeris rime is the interval between two successive perihelion pas- now obrained direcrly from aromic rime. t.5). Mars. ephemeris time was originally adjusted The seven days of rhe week are named for rhe seven to agree with the times for which the positions of the sun as planers (including rhe sun and moon) recognized by given in Simon Newcomb's tables (prepared near the start of the rhe ancienrs. made opera.8 A cesium clock. about 2972 days (Chapter 9). 1984. 8. (Narional Bureau of Srandards) riod of revolution of the earth about the sun with respect to the stars is called the sidereal year. One sysrem.2596 mean solar sages of the earth. Our calendar. *For convenience. Perturbations by the other planets cause objecrs as viewed from rhe cenrer of rhe earrh.3 The Dare of rhe Year 127 8. and rhe moon. The orher. est The assumprion is nor necessarily correcr Mercury. that is. or 365 6 9 10 is . however. that is. (Ir was and according to Newcomb's tables the sun should have reached P at time t. or rhe planers. Jupirer. is based on the tropical year. rhe sun. Colorado. at some instant was observed at point P on the celestial sphere. For example. rional in 1972. However. bary- cenrric dynamical rime (TDD). however. based on the period of revolution of the moon about the earth. the sidereal month. have The period of revolution of the earth with re- now caused rhe rwo kinds of rime ro differ (in 1980) spect to the vernal equinox. the tropical year is sphere. then. by year.242199 mean solar days. The pe- ( 1 ). The difficulties in the calendar have resulted from the fact that these three periods are not commensurable. The week is an independent unir arbirrarily invenred by man. the month.3 THE DATE OF THE YEAR The natural units of the calendar are the day. or d h m s when. defined as TAI + 32. Its length is 365. is accurare ro one parr in 10 million million 13 There are at least three kinds of year. rerresrrial dynamical slowly shifts in the plane of the earth's orbital rev- rime (TDT). More recenrly. one of rhe primary frequency month. suppose the sun from rhe earth. Changes in rhe earth's rorarion rare. Venus. one of rhese bodies should reach its the seasons. with respect to by more rhan one half minure. The rwo differ only in subrle ways and (a) THE WEEK only rhrough periodic rerms. one does not divide evenly into any of the others. rhe moon. rhe ephemeris sec. Mercury.

) 126 TIME AND DATE the fosresr-moving planer. November. Iunius (29). Julius Caesar instigated a calendar re- form. The year thus had 355 days. rhe middle of the second century B. Thus every fourth year . The features of the calendar probably had ten months. Sextilis day of rhe week was named for rhe planer rhar ruled (29). the last four of Julian calendar reform of 46 B. litical football that by the time of the reign of Julius Giovedi. The earliest Roman days in length rather than 29'/2. October (31). January and February. had 12 months. (b) The Roman Republican Calendar (c) The Julian Calendar The roots of our modern calendar go back to the At the advice of the Alexandrian astronomer Sosi- Roman republican calendar. From the during rhe second. Instead. To keep their year in step with the course. the ancients adopted the policy "tacked on" to the end of the calendar of intercalation. which The original Roman calendar was lunar.C. February 23. The contained a total of 365 days. If rhe is ir calated every two to four years to bring the average found rhar rhe moon rules rhe rhird day (Monday). Our Anglo-Saxon names for the five days of February. years those in which their friends were in public for example. October." up to one full day. each year contained 12 months. and March. Of a whole month. 2. Mars during rhe third. Caesar. leaving the firsr hour of rhe second day. fifreenrh. and Venus named. and Friday: Manedi. Jupirer ruled ruarius (28). Jupirer and Mars ius) 1 officially marked the beginning of the year. mediately after February 23." and the 13-month years four years. were Martius (31). who planers Mars. But 1. sixth. December (29). Mercury. were allotted rhe rwenty-rhird and twenty-fourrh hours although in the popular view the year ended with of Sarurday.C. scheme is conrinued. they simply inserted a 13th year. ar rhe Italian names for Tuesday. in use by rhe earth as Venus. and twenty-second. the management of the calen- tonic equivalents of the Roman gods for which rhe dar was left to the discretion of the priests. To give the months.C. common years were to month every third year or so. office. it was added im- Mars. The intercalation process became such a po- Wednesday. that is. Jupirer. fifth. and Venus rhe fourth. September (29).C. Caesar dis- months were based on the moon's synodic period. were Jupirer. fourth through the seventh days come from the Teu- Unfortunately. two additional months. as a basic unit in the calendar. Ianuarius (29). ical year. Therefore. Sarurn rhus ruled. which months originally had how many ternately. The lunar synodic month was abandoned by the first century B.C. and so on. which had earlier Roman and Greek calendars dating from at 12 more or less equal months averaging about 30'/2 least the eighth century B. which derives from genes.. and Feb- day. Sarur- first ber (29). Then followed the last and seventh days. in addirion ro rhe firsr hour. Sep- tember. were as follows. for rhe sun. and length of the year to 36574 days. A particular (29). was by Sarurn during rhe firsr hour. tributed the ten extra days among the 12 each month began with a new moon. but there appears to be a differ- months an average length of 29 days (the lunar 1 ? ence of opinion among historians as to synodic period) the months had 29 and 30 days al. Aprilis one of rhe planers in rhe order named. The calendar was to be based on the trop- whereas the tropical year has about 365 'A* days. The firsr day. Mercury. and December. These months. one fourth of a day could not be year of the seasons. after years were "empty years. a Roman traveler going from town to town could find himself going from year to year! Thus. whose length had at that time terabout three years. Mercoledi. had been added. about 70 B. the difference accumulates to been determined to be 365 'A days.Maius (31). Novem- ir during rhe hour of rhar day.C. does nor come as close ro The Roman republican calendar.. Quintilis (31). January (Ianuar- eighrh. Af. However. in 46 B. and Each hour of rhe day was believed ro be ruled by their duration in days. Thursday.. which have given us the names of our months. When an extra month had to be inter- Sunday. The normal 12-month contain only 365 days. and Venerdi. this quarter-day per year adds were "full years. Caesar adopted a new calendar. The difficulty with the lunar calendar is days. that 12 lunar months add up to only 354 days. The connecrion berween rhose planers and greatly abused their authority by declaring as full rhe days of rhe week is even more obvious if we look.

ten days had to be dropped out of tra months in "empty years" to make them the calendar to bring the vernal equinox back to "full years" of 13 months. in England it had been customary day of spring was occurring on March 11. are the rule adopted. By 1582. Such a juggling with the Julian calendar. Julian calendar. . there- full endar) was renamed in his honor (thus our name. Thus. Later. but countries under Jewish Passover. (The Sunday after years. Caesar inter. were not leap years in religious holidays were fixed by order of the Council the Gregorian calendar. on January 1.250000 mean solar days in length. traditional date of March 25. It was date of the vernal equinox had slipped back from 1752 when England and the American colonies March 25 to March 21. The rule was that only century years divisible (d) The Council of Nicoeo by 400 should be leap years. and the related days of observance would be occur- tra day being added to February. and 1900. and 325 A.242199 mean solar days accu- Quintilis (the fifth month in the original Roman cal. Roman republican calendar. was followed by September 14.C. with an average length of 36574 days. the month tropical year of 365. Gregory decreed that three out of Caesar. which had fallenbadly out of place in the By proclamation the day following October 4. At that time March 21 was days.. back to its 1582. Easter. thus the discrepancy between the two systems The slight discrepancy had accumulated to just over had become 11 days. would be common years hence- forth. Therefore. and was correct to about one day in 3300 the date of the vernal equinox. every four century years. To bring the date of the vernal equinox. the Roman senate did some further thus dropping one day. The average length 14th day of the moon (almost moon) that occurs full of this Gregorian year was 365. and thus leap years The dates of observance of Easter and certain other in the old Julian calendar.C. 1752. This was because the Julian finally made the change. If the to follow the ancient practice of starting the year on trend were allowed to continue. where it was at the time of the Council 3. all divisible by four. Sep- three days in those four centuries. the of Nicaea (Nice) in 325 A. The second feature of the new Gregorian cal- calated three extra months in the year 46 endar was that the rule for leap year was changed B. so that the average year was 365. the countries did not adopt it until much later.2425 mean solar on or after March 21. Although special laws were passed to prevent such (e) The Gregorian Calendar breaches of justice as landlords collecting a full month's rent for September. is leap year in the Julian calendar but not the Grego- m s d h m s ll 14 longer than the tropical year of 365 5 48 46 .C. both divisible by 400. bringing its length to 445 days. successor to Julius. of Nicaea. Sextilis (originally rule. The av. year. The year 1700 had been a year. mulates to a day every 128 years. March 21. the sixthmonth) was renamed in honor of Augustus Instead.D. that 11 minutes and 14 seconds per year and people demanded their 11 days back. rian. every 128 years. is cumbersome. The error between this and the After Caesar's death in 44 B. calendar. To make had added up to another ten days.3 The Dare of rhe Year 129 was tohave 366 days (a leap year).. 1700.) control of the Eastern Church and most Protestant Note that between 45 B. 8. full moon was specified intentionally to avoid the The Catholic countries immediately put the possibility of an occasional coincidence with the Gregorian reform into effect. By parliamentary decree.D. 1800. so that the average length of the year would more Forty-six B. Pope Gregory XIII erage length of the year would then be instituted a further calendar reform. Ideally.. 365 'A days.C. all leap years under the ber of days for each month resulted. one leap year should be made a common year. July). was known as the "year of closely approximate the tropical year. ring in early winter. the ex. however. 45 B." The Julian calendar was intro. became October 15. and 2000. tember 2. Note that the process of leap The Gregorian calendar reform consisted of year is analogous to the intercalation of ex. First. according to years 1600. eventually Easter March 25. then. originally the date of the vernal equinox. and the present num. every year divisible by four was a leap duced. falls on the Sunday after the first leap years under both systems. This step was expediently accomplished. so that the first matters worse. two steps. On the other hand. there were still riots. In the Julian confusion. fore.C.

2500. .444. 2300. or "leap-year" scheme. there was no intercalation of extra days. 1732. time far into the past or future.000 years. This 365-day period was divided into 18 uinals J. but at the zations. because simple subtraction gives both the Tzolkin day name and uinal date. so in England and the colonies to 1751 had no months of January and February and (g) THE MAYAN CALENDAR had lost 24 days of March! We mark George Wash. The second counting system of the Mayan calen- dar was a 365-day period that is approximately equal (f) The Julian Day to the year. Maya. Its error is only one day in which the whole series was repeated. 1981. so the 365-day In 1582 (the same year as the Gregorian reform).606 would speak of 1 7 Yoxkin. by the conquering Az- The Russians then had to omit 13 days to come into tecs. a calendar would have read Feb. . very nearly 13 x 20. Among other purposes. we might say Thursday. slightly improved version of the Gregorian calendar The Mayan calendar consisted of three simulta- was adopted for the Eastern churches. Russia did not abandon the Julian area in Central America. universal time. early European civilizations.C. Julian Day 2. and so on.000. 2600. whose civilization. sons. analogously. with five "unlucky" days dar cycles that began in phase in 4713 B. thus the Maya January 1. tween the dates in our calendar and theirs. the positions of Venus in the sky. the second 2 Ik. for example. a events. in- 44. period did not remain fixed with respect to the sea- J. lunar month. flourishing in rhe Yucatan ruary 11. called the Tzolkin by modern archae- calendar is shorter than the Julian by seven days ologists. Thus. 2200. 1 Ix. one of the most interesting was that of the time of his birth. will be leap years only if the moreover. each day's name was accompanied by a remainder 200 or 600. However. The years 2000 and is either number. and 2700 will not be leap years which was 13 Ben. The next day. 1 Imix appeared again. years. 1731. The first was the sa- cred almanac. However. Rather. Scaliger introduced the 7980-year Julian period. The years 2100. the Maya the interval between dates in different months and might say. 23. 12. 7 Ik 15 Yaxkin-. rather than three days every 400 of seven named days that recur in specified order per- years. up to the 1 3th day. was contemporary with the calendar until the time of the Bolshevik revolution. but this time Imix appeared with the number 8: 8 Imix. the Tzolkin was a counting system con- taining 260 combinations of numbers and names.000 years. the start of the year was moved back January 1. Each day was numbered lian date is the count of days that have elapsed since according to its position in its uinal. Imix. are now common years. that is. however. At a meeting of the Congress of the Orthodox their calendar was useful for predicting astronomical Oriental Churches at Constantinople in 1923. The over with Imix again. 8000. their calendar was a system for dar. which will be a leap year in the Gregorian tieth day was 7 Ahau. slightly to come into better conformity with the Apparency. The numbers ran from 1 to 13 and were then 2400 will be leap years in both the Gregorian and repeated. In other words.130 TIME AND DATE In 1752. at least in part. much as we would say July began at noon. January 1 1 In our calendar. and so forth. definitely.) To give nomical events. The Mayan calendar was later adopted. there is no simple correspondence be- The Julian date is commonly used to refer to astro. Thus. The Ju- tacked on as a 19th uinal. and so their calendar accurately with the length of the year or on. The twen- 2800. This Eastern neous systems for counting days. (analogous to months. which was somewhat analogous to our week every 900 years. The calendar is thus keeping track of the passage of days and for counting accurate to one day in about 20. (Of course. or 260 days. on January 1. all leap years in the original Gregorian calen. was accompa- in either. when divided by 900. 4713 B. The rule for leap year is that century years. after that of the tropical year. but not equal to the moon's the least common multiple of three different calen- period) of 20 days each. the numbers Eastern Orthodox calendar year has an average were always out of phase with the day names. Then the day names started calendar but not in the Eastern Orthodox. Ix. After length of 365. Of rhe various calendar systems of other ancient civili- ington's Birthday on February 22.C. The first day of the sacred almanac was 1 Eastern Orthodox calendars. for example. The two calendars will not diverge until nied by the number 1 again. petually. The Mayan calendar was more sophisticated and The Gregorian calendar has now been modified complicated than either the Roman or Julian calendar. step with the rest of the world.2422 mean solar days. the Tzolkin had 20 named days. the Maya did not attempt to correlate tropical year: the years 4000.

at approximately what time will it rise two months from now? 3.3f. many cenruries before rhe Arabs inrroduced rhe concepr ro Europe. a perperual rally of rhe days rhar had elapsed since a parricular dare abour 3000 years in rhe pasr. show that the is Answer: 10:38 a. do sidereal and daily motion of the earth in its orbit in degrees per solar time agree? (b) On what date. on stars. The significanr fearure of rhe long counr is rhar ir employed a vigesimal number sysrem. however. At Boston.980 days.m. If it 3:00 p. approximately. specified like 7 Ik 15 Yaxkin. approximate Central Standard Time? (Use Figure 8. occurred exacrly once every 18. or abour every 52 years. If there are 365 'A solar days per year what is the 8. November 1.m. 9. on respect to the moving equinoxes is about 0. The srarring dare.) The Maya made use of rhe zero in counring and arirhmeric and employed a merhod of Figure 8.m. rhar ir is based on rhe number 10 bur rhar ir employs rhe zero. bur a dare in rhe Mayan calendar. Point A is at latitude 10° N and longitude 47° W.m. a sundial reads 3:20 p. hour angle of the sun? Point B is at latitude 24° S and longitude 118° W. was nor meanr ro be rhar of "rhe beginning" was merely ir an arbirrary srarring poinr. rises? 6. calculate how long it takes the earth to turn (rotate) through this angle. What is the difference in apparent solar time for 7. rhar is.008 s per February 1. tonight.9 The famous Azrec calendar (based on rhe Mayan calendar) on display in rhe Anrhropological Museum in Mex. If the sidereal month277s days. rotation period of the earth with respect to the moon is about 53 minutes longer than with respect to the 11. as is our decimal sys- rem). Referring to Exercise 1. EXERCISES 1. local apparent time. Louisiana (longitude 90° W). ro specify complerely a parricular dare. analogous ro our own merhod of wriring ico City. from which days could be counred. parricularly. What is the approximate Eastern Standard Time? 5. wirhour which arirhmeric would be exrremely redious.498 by 627 in Ro- man numerals. (a) On what date. he should try mulriplying 53. rhe Maya made use of whar is called rhe long count. If a star rises at 8:30 p. solar day? is sidereal time 4 hours ahead of solar time? Answer to b: about November 22 or 23 2. place value. (If rhe reader quesrions rhis srare- menr. How many more sidereal days per year are there these two locations? What is the difference in side- than solar days? Why? real time? What is the difference in zone time? . one based on 20 (rarher rhan 10. At New Orleans. a sundial reads 10:25 a. This sys- rem is analogous ro rhar of rhe Julian day. what is is the 12.m.5) 4. The useful properry of our decimal sysrem is nor. Massachusetts (longitude 71° W).3 The Dare of the Year 131 January 1 1 can fall on a Thursday every several years (irwould be every seven years if were not for leap ir year). What is the day.m. 8. Show that the difference between the rotation pe- riod of the earth with respect to the stars and with 10. approximately. Finally. What is the sidereal time when the vernal equinox Answer: 2:47 p. described in Secrion 8. (Phorograph by the author) numbers.

if any. Show that the Julian calendar was in error by about what are the time and date at longitude 165° E? 0. February for the crew of a vessel making weekly sailings from Siberia to Alaska? 19.m.78 days per century. 14.) he would normally be sleeping. at longitude 165° W. If it is 1:00 a.m. July 17. If the sun is on the meridian on October 10. and 20. what is the longitude? not want to bother him during the night hours when (Ignore the equation of time.132 TIME AND DATE 13. If the local mean time 2:30 p.m. would we need for century Time is 10:30 a. and the Universal is year? What rule. but do the Universal Time is 15:30. 17. were to speed up in its orbit slightly.. During what local Answer: SVh° W times (for you) should you avoid placing the call? . What is the greatest number of Sundays possible in 18.. Show that the Gregorian calendar will be in error by one day in about 3300 years. what is the longitude? years? 16. so If the earth Answer: 10 that a year were completed in exacdy tropical d h 365 3 how often would we need to have a leap . You wish to telephone a friend in London. 15.

conse- the unaided eye and form the facial markings of the quently.07. When the ergy is radiated away again as infrared radiation. 1 ASPECTS OF THE MOON Even if the entire visible hemisphere of the sky were packed with full moons. within the earth's atmosphere. is discussed in Chapter 16. the illumination The moon. the sun in the sky. Viennese (Bohemian-born) astronomer. because of its proximity. was a specialist in orbital mechanics who compiled Canon der Finsternisse. when the moon appears as a thin crescent 20° from however. (Yerkes Observatory) THE MOON IN THE SKY: ASPECTS AND ECLIPSES Having examined. The moon and earth are at of arc. which are Because the moon shines by reflected sunlight. and parent and real motions of the moon and certain of only one thousandth of the light of the full moon its other aspects. as bright as it actually is. Its larger surface features are easily visible to about the same distance from the sun.000 the light of the sun. The physical nature of the moon. Theodor Egon von Oppolzer (1841-1915). the moon receives as much sunlight per "man in the moon. shows that if all this light were reflected back into light hemisphere to our view and progresses space. 9. subtending V2 its apparent brightness. Despite the brilliance of the full moon. the full moon would appear about 14 times through its cycle of phases. it displays different parts of its day. The fraction of incident light that is reflected by a body is called its albedo. astronomical object. the moon is full. lightfrom the moon at first and last quarter. The moon absorbs most of the sunlight that falls The most conspicuous property of the moon is its upon it. The absorbed en- light. Calculation each month. 133 . in the last two chapters." As it travels about the earth unit area of its surface as does the earth. (a) Moonlight The average albedo of the moon is thus about 0. except meteors. appears to would be only about one fifth or less of that in move more rapidly in the sky than any other natural bright sunlight. it shines with less than 1/400. we now turn to the ap. we receive only about 10 percent as much the appearance of the sky. its light is nearly bright enough to motions of the earth and how those motions affect read by. its surface is quite dull. The amount of light we receive from the ergy heats up the surface of the moon until the en- moon varies immensely with its phase. a momentous volume in which are presented the results of detailed calculations of the circumstances of all lunar and solar eclipses from 1207 bc to AD 2163. The moon appears we can calculate the moon's reflecting power from the same size as the sun in the sky.

moving. If it were not for the regression of the nodes.32166 days). changing because of perturbations. on the average. 5°. therefore. period of revolution of the moon with respect to the This motion is called the moon's regression of the stars. it is the equator varies from 2372 + 5°. completing one then. d h 29 12 44 2!8 (29. But be- . node. slide westward along the ecliptic. It maintains a nearly fixed angle of about 5° to the ecliptic. The node at which the moon crosses the ecliptic The sun. move across the sky. moon would not. (c) The Moon's Apparent Path in the moon's orbit would maintain a nearly fixed an- the Sky gle to the celestial equator. As the earth turns on its axis. the period with re. (b) Sidereal and Synodic Months The moon's sidereal period of revolution about the earth. bit. and the node at which the moon crosses the therefore. We have. but because If the moon's position among the stars on the celes. the "night" side of the moon often appears faintly illuminated. its revolution with re- the period of d h m spect to the stars. two kinds of months: the sidereal month.) 5°20'. In fact. or about 2872°. nodes. the nodes constantly shift. during this period of the moon's sidereal revolution. appears to rise in the east. We have seen that the moon's average eastward mo- These points are called the nodes of the moon's or. 27 7 43 ll?5 (27.134 THE MOON IN THE SKY: ASPECTS AND ECLIPSES When the bright part of the moon appears as only a thin crescent. turbations on the moon's orbit is that the nodes m age. just as moonlight often il- luminates the night side of the earth. just as the or.and the synodic month. to 2372 . during a single evening the moon creeps visibly eastward among the stars. have com- pleted a revolution about the sky with respect to the bits of artificial satellites change. the trip around the celestial sphere in about 18. to Day The moon's path intersects the ecliptic at two points on opposite sides of the celestial sphere. or about 27°. Chapter 8. on the other hand. The moon's apparent path around the celestial sphere is a great circle (or very nearly so) that intersects the (d) Delay in Moonrise from Day sun's path. light reflected by the earth back to the night side of the moon. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) first explained this illumination as earthshine.6 years. In other words. the ecliptic. The sun. 1 Sidereal and synodic monrhs. the moon moves eastward about 12° per ecliptic moving southward is the descending node. that is. and consequently would not have completed a tant perturbations are caused by the gravitational cycle of phases. the Figure 9. like The moon's orbit is constantly and gradually other celestial objects. One of the effects of the per- spect to the sun. To complete a revolution with re. seen that the moon changes its position rather rap. the moon requires. at an angle of about 5°. the average inclination is 5°9'. about 13° to the east of the ecliptic to the celestial equator). on the aver.1). Perturbations also cause the inclination of the spect to the sun (Figure 9. tion with respect to the stars is about 13° per day. The most impor- sun. or about I8V2 (2372° is the inclination idly. per day. appears to move 27° to the east on the celestial sphere during the period of the moon's sidereal revolution. attraction of the sun. in its sidereal period.530588 days). day. (Compare with the moon's orbit to the ecliptic to vary from 4°57' to concept of sidereal and solar days. the moon. appears to move to while moving northward is called the ascending the east about per day. is However. its angle of inclination to tial sphere is carefully noted night after night. With 1° respect to the sun. the earth and the moon together revolve about Vu the way around the sun. and set in the west.

the projection of the lunar motion on the The earth will not have to turn far to bring up the celestial equator) would not always be uniform even moon on this second night.1) as the average length of an intermediate northern latitudes. The the equator. When the sun is near the autumnal equinox. the daily delay same as the is the relation between any phase of the moon and the moon's delay in crossing the meridian. from day to day. If the moon did not move with respect to the sun. The phenomenon of the harvest moon. the same Moon's Phases place on the celestial sphere rises again. The moon's eastward progress in its rising at sunset. (e) The "Harvest Moon" The harvest moon is the full moon that occurs near- est the date of the autumnal equinox. nomenon of the harvest moon is most striking in Moonrise (and moonset) is similarly retarded northern latitudes. We could define this interval of 24 50 h minimum angle with the horizon for an observer in (see also Section 8. since the it has moved about 12° along its orbit. In the north- ern parts of the United States. than on the pre. Approximately 24 hours later. When 50 minutes later. apparent lunar day. At the same time on the next night orbit is therefore not constant. 2d) so moonrise does not occur until a At little later. will not change the true orbit is an ellipse. the very far below the horizon and will rise by moving moon's eastward progress in the celestial sphere along the line AB. were thoroughly understood by the ancients. . At moonrise. so at the time of the harvest moon the sphere. The moon's nearly parallel to the horizon. evening — a traditional aid to harvesters. However. Since the moon's orbit lies within 5° of the Conditions similar to those that cause the ecliptic. rather than in a direction perpendicu. it is evident that at the same hour on suc- length of an apparent solar day to vary also cause cessive nights the moon's apparent motion. consequently varies. Consequently. the ecliptic makes its m vious day. one can easily tell lar to it. but it is not moon's orbit is inclined to the celestial equator. The phases of the moon (explained in Section 2.2 the full moon (position 1) is shown law of areas. in accordance with Kepler's In Figure 9. is opposite the sun in the sky. it must rise as the sun sets. on the average. being apparent lunar days to vary in length. Thus. discussed below. the full moon is near the vernal Figure 9. the time required for the earth to turn the sky westward through the angle representing the moon's eastward motion is not nec- essarily the same as the daily delay in moonrise. the moon's orbital speed moon's relation to the eastern horizon appreciably. when full. northern or southern latitudes. Except at extreme the horizon. at moon's corresponding position in the sky at any other latitudes the moon and stars rise obliquely to time of day should now be clear. (that is. The phe- utes. parallel to the celestial equator.2 The harvest moon. it would rise at nearly the same time from one day to the next. the vernal equinox is rising. but the moon in the meantime has moved off to the east. 9. the daily delay in Verna moonrise can vary from a few minutes to well over an hour. 1 Aspecrs of rhe Moon 135 cause of its daily eastward motion on the celestial equinox. provides an excellent example. The near full moon in late September or early October daily retardation in successive transits of the moon there will be bright moonlight in the early across the local meridian ranges from 38 to 66 min. for several nights if the moon did move uniformly in its orbit. the moon occupies some particular place on the celestial (f) The Progression of the sphere. Moreover. it crosses the local meridian each day about vernal equinox is rising with the full moon. Because the moon.

3 we imagine ourselves looking For person B it is 6:00 p. If it is a approach the earth and all parts of the moon's orbit waxing crescent or gibbous it is in the western or along essentially parallel paths. the full moon rises at earth with respect to the meridian where it is noon.3 and rhe rime Phases of the moon of day. respectively. However. it must be in the waxing have ignored here the dependence of the moon's po- crescent phase (the moon can be seen easily at noon sition on the latitude of the observer. and if it is at first quarter it is in the those of the planets. A. B. turned toward the sun — are indicated. moons must appear in the western or eastern sky. For person D it is midnight.- First quarter \ j—^ / 6:00 PM \ / 9:00 PMX^-^^V 3:00 PM \ ^P 5(J Midnight -W/? W-f Noon (m ()1 * rays FU " \ 3:OOAM^P^:O0A M /"" \ 6:00 AM / Ov\ J3 ^^ • Waning gibbous 6 ^^3^ Third quarter 7 -y V ^W""" Waning crescent Figure 9.3. The moon is shown in eight positions in its even a full day. on his position on the know its phase. By studying Figure 9. for it lies on his western approximation. During a period of north. We moon on the meridian. The waxing or waning gibbous the earth. horizon. equivalently. depends on the posi. If the moon is sition of the moon. If the moon is in the waning most places on earth the figure is a good enough crescent phase it is setting. it appears on the meridian. The first or third quarter moon (3 Waxing gibbous ^? Waxing crescent 9 (M X/^ ^^^9^^> ^\ v/ ( ^ 4 . If it is in the first quarter of the earth and moon — the sides of those bodies phase. its appear. indicated for each observer. For each po. If themoon is rising it must be in the its phase.m. The first quarter moon For person A it is 3:00 p. The time of day. Several observers are at various places on rising. In Figure 9. the moon does not move enough monthly circuit of the earth. its phase. and now on the is meridian. full. and rising if full.) For B the right of the figure at a distance so great that its rays moon is setting if new. For example. and so on. and his horizon lies in a plane tangent to the surface of the earth at (g) Configurations of the Moon the point where he is standing. it rose at sunset. West is the direction away from which the turning earth carries the observer. and so on. The sun is off to the for its phase to change appreciably. respectively.3 we can tell where the tion of the sun in the sky with respect to his local moon is in the sky at any time of day or night if we meridian or. C. The daylight sides eastern sky.m. . (The outer se- ries of figures shows rhe moon at various phases as seen in the sky from the earth's surface. that is. for when in this phase). If the moon is new it is in about the same direction as the sun in the The configurations of the moon are named like western sky. (Person B could down upon the earth and the moon's orbit from the be person A three hours later. if he knows eastern sky. from a consideration of Figure 9. ance as viewed from the earth. sunset and sets at sunrise. waxing gibbous phase. If he sees the rises at noon and sets at midnight. is shown just outside The first or third quarter moon is just setting or its orbit. ) 136 THE MOON IN THE SKY: ASPECTS AND ECLIPSES where to look for the moon in the sky.

4 the arrow on the moon represents some The morions of rhe moon and earth rhar allow us ro lunar feature. rotation and revolution can hardly be accidental. the sun the new moon is a conjunction. The full moon is at opposition.4 (a) If rhe moon did nor rorare. Although the moon always pre. The back side of the moon is receiving full daylight at new (h) The Rotation of the Moon moon. Actually the moon rotates on its axis with Three librarions are geometrical. first a lirrle around irs side we do not see) called the "dark side. ir does rorare in rhe some period as ir revolves. is nor exacrly perpen- .* rises and sets on all sides of the moon. The ex- course. and part are called were first observed and librarians. the back side is dark no more frequently rra amounr of rhe moon rhar we can observe ranges *Either or new moon up ro nearly 8° eirher way. Therefore. and so always turns the same side tude. as in (a). axis of rorarion. it must not mislead us ways keep exacrly rhe same face rurned roward a par- ricular rerresrrial observer. we on earrh are We often hear the back side of the moon (the able ro see. for several reasons. full is also called syzygy. bur presents a little more into