New Frontiers in Science is an online journal that examines unexplained and controversial scientific phenomena. NFS publishes research and theories outside currently accepted scientific paradigms.

In this issue, NFS presents two alternative models to explain the precession of the equinox. The first by Cruttenden and Dayes (published previously by NFS in 2003) is based on a binary-star model, in which the sun's rotation around a twin star (yet to be found) causes an apparent shift in the vernal equinox point (precession). The second model proposed by Carlo Santagata is motivated by a re-examination of Newton's equations. Paraphrasing Galileo, in Eppur si muove , it is the Sun that moves. According to Santagata's model, the Sun and planets rotate slowly around the center of mass of the solar system at a rate that is roughly the same order of precession (about 25,000 years). Access to articles in previous issues is provided through the NFS Archive.

Vol. 4, No. 1 (Fall 2004): Precession of the Equinox


Eppur si muove (Nevertheless, it does move)

Carlo Santagata

A careful study of Newton's PRINCIPIA reveals that, contrary to Galilei's findings, a heavy body falls more quickly than a light body. The difference in speed is so small that, even today, it cannot be detected in the terrestrial laboratory. For a planet rotating about the Sun, we show that the effect of this speed difference accumulates over time to produce a forward shift in the planet's orbit with respect to the Sun (i.e., to a heliocentric observer). It is shown that the residual forward shift of Mercury's perihelion can be explained in this way. With respect to the fixed stars, the effect of the orbiting mass of a planets is to induce a slow rotation of the Sun around the baricenter (center of mass) of the solar system, towards the vernal equinox direction. The period of this rotation is 24,900 years, close to the current estimate of the period of the precessional cycle (25,770 years).

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Understanding Precession of the Equinox

Evidence our Sun may be part of a long cycle binary system

Walter Cruttenden and Vince Dayes

A recent study of the phenomenon known as “Precession of the Equinox” has led researchers to question the extent of lunisolar causation and to propose an alternative solar system model that better fits observed data, and solves a number of current solar system anomalies.

The current (standard) model was theorized before there was any knowledge of the life cycle of stars, or awareness that some stars are non-visible and could thereby exert unseen gravitational influence. The standard model was developed before knowledge of binary prevalence or any understanding of binary star motions. Indeed the idea of a single sun with lunisolar wobble causing precession was originally developed at a time when the Sun had only recently replaced the Earth as the center of the solar system and the Sun was thought to be fixed in space. Consequently, any theory to explain the observed phenomenon of precession of the equinox had to be based solely on movement of the Earth. Although, it has stood for almost 500 years with only minor changes, it fails to answer a number of well-documented solar system anomalies:

  • Angular Momentum: Why is there an anomalous distribution of angular momentum in the solar system -- why do the Jovian planets have most of the angular momentum when the Sun has most of the mass?
  • Sheer Edge: Why, just beyond the Kuiper Belt, does our solar system seem to have an unusual sheer edge to it? This is surprising for a single sun system.
  • Sidereal vs. Solar Time: Why is the delta (time difference) between a sidereal and solar day attributed to the curvature of the Earth's orbit (around the Sun), but the delta between a sidereal "year" and solar year attributed to precession?
  • Comet Paths: Why are many comet paths concentrated in a non-random pattern?
  • Acceleration of Rate of Precession: Why has the annual precession rate increased over the last 100 years? What would cause it to slow down or speed up?
  • Equinoctial Slippage: Lunisolar precession theory would cause the seasons to shift were it not for a concurrent slippage of the equinoctial point around the Earth's orbit path (ecliptic). Lunar cycle equations contradict this motion. Why can't it be explained with the current theory?

    All of these questions have been answered in different ways; e.g., angular momentum may have disappeared due to an early solar magnetic force which has also disappeared, the sheer edge may be due to a rogue planet that swept by our solar system in fairly recent times but is now gone, etc. We would like to propose a new model, based on a binary system, which provides a single and greatly simplified solution to all these questions.

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