Chapter 17 — Our Cosmic Clockwork and the “16 factor”

In 16 solar years (or 5844 days):

completes 16 orbits (1 solar revolution = 365.25 days)

completes 8 orbits (1 Mars revolution = 730.5 solar days)

completes 10 synodic periods (1 Venus synodic period = 584.4 solar days)

completes 50 synodic periods (1 Mercury synodic period = 116.88 solar days)

completes 200 orbits around Earth (1 Moon TMSP = 29.22 solar days)

The below schematic plots the relative revolution periods (over a 16-year time span) of the Sun, Mars, Mercury, Venus and our Moon. Note that the orbital periods of our system’s celestial bodies are all exact multiples of the Moon’s “True Mean Synodic Period” (The TMSP of 29.22 days) a most significant period which will be elucidated in more detail further on.

This diagram is, of course, not showing any actual planetary motions / trajectories; it is only a conceptual way of illustrating the relative orbital ratios of the celestial bodies composing our “cosmic clockwork”.

I have chosen this 16-year time span to illustrate our system’s relative motions for a reason: it would appear that the 16 factor is, for some reason, a pervasive feature of our system.

For instance, Mars completes a full “aphelion-to-perihelion” revolution around our system in 16 years (and in another 16 years, it returns almost exactly to its original position). Our Moon completes one Saros cycle every 16 full moon cycles as well.

The ubiquitous 16 factor extends as far as the very long time scales used in geology. Without going into geological considerations (which is beyond the present scope of this treatise), the peculiar time period of 405,000 (+/- 500y) years is being widely used in geochronology, as it is held to be a particularly steady and significant “geological metronome” of sorts. Note the following examples.

“Long term calculations of Earth’s orbital eccentricity show that the component averaging 405,000 years is very steady and can be used to date geological formations for the last 23 million years”.

— from a discussion on geological cycles at the forum

“Only a few modeled planetary motions are stable enough for use as a metronome, for example, the 405-kyr orbital eccentricity cycle arising from the interaction of the secular frequencies g2-g5. Model stability studies by Laskar et al. (2004) suggest that the uncertainty of the ATS using this term alone will be at most only 0.1% at 100 Ma, and 0.2% at 250 Ma.”

Precision and Accuracy of the ATS, Earth Time (2006)

“Milankovitch cycles identified in sedimentary successions are being used to formulate an ‘Astronomical Time Scale’ (ATS) for the geologic record, with efforts well underway for the Cenozoic and Mesozoic eras. Back through time, however, ATS resolving power declines due to uncertainties in the orbital solutions and Earth precession model. Prior to 50 Ma, only the modeled 405-kyr orbital eccentricity cycle retains high accuracy, leading to the idea for a ‘405-kyr metronome‘ to define the ATS for all geologic time. Radioisotope geochronology now offers a 2 sigma dating precision of 0.1%, which for Paleozoic time equates to an uncertainty on the order of 0.3 to 0.5 myr, i.e., comparable to the 405-kyr metronome resolution.”

A Survey of Paleozoic Cyclostratigraphy presentation by Linda A. Hinnov, George Mason University for The Geological Society of America (GSA) Conference 2017

Further reading on the 405,000 year geological cycle may be found in papers such as:

Time-calibrated Milankovitch cycles for the late Permian by Huaichun Wu, Shihong Zhang, Linda A. Hinnov, Ganqing Jiang, Qinglai Feng, Haiyan Li & Tianshui Yang (13 September 2013) for Nature Communications volume 4

Hunting for the 405-kyr eccentricity cycle phase at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in the Aïn Settara section (Kalaat Senan, central Tunisia) by Michel Hennebert (May 21, 2012)

In any case, if we divide 405,500 (the higher bound of that mean value) by the number of years in our TYCHOS Great Year we obtain:

405,500 / 25,344 ≈ 15.9998 (or practically 16!)

Here follows a conceptual graphic of the TYCHOS system I made while musing over the “mechanics” of our binary system:

Needless to say, the two cogs in my above graphic are just a figurative “thought exercise”. The big cog may represent, if you will, the combined magnetic fields of Sun and Mars exerting a “magnetic torque” on the smaller cog (Earth’s own magnetic field of opposed polarity), thus perhaps being responsible for Earth revolving in a clockwise/opposed direction to that of its companions. This is just a speculative electromagnetic musing of mine as to what may possibly go to explain Earth’s peculiar retrograde orbital motion.

In past decades, astronomers hunting for Earth-like exoplanets have discovered several planets nestled within binary systems featuring retrograde orbits – meaning that they revolve in the opposite direction of their host star.

“Astronomers have discovered nine new transiting exoplanets. Surprisingly, six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star — the exact reverse of what is seen in our own solar system. […’]The new results really challenge the conventional wisdom that planets should always orbit in the same direction as their stars spin,’ says Andrew Cameron of the University of St Andrews, who presented the new results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010) in Glasgow this week.”

Turning planetary theory upside down: Nine new exoplanets found, some with retrograde orbits by ESO (2010)

These discoveries led the science community to a massive rethink of their models of planetary formation:

“In just two decades, we have gone from knowing one planetary system (our own) to thousands, with 3268 exoplanets now known. This has driven a massive rethink of our models of planetary formation. […] Then came another set of shocking discoveries. Rather than moving in the same plane as their host star’s equator, some Hot Jupiters turned out to have highly tilted orbits. Some even move on retrograde orbits, in the opposite direction to their star’s rotation.”

Stars with planets on strange orbits: what’s going on? by Brett Addison and Jonti Horner (2016)

Thus, Earth’s “retrograde” clockwise orbital motion is not overly exceptional, since it has been empirically observed that several other binary systems feature bodies revolving in the opposed orbital direction of their host stars.

We shall now take a close look at what is generally known as the “precession of the equinoxes” and move on from there to illustrate Earth’s PVP (“Polaris-Vega-Polaris”) orbit, the name I have given to my proposed, snail-paced 25344-year orbit of planet Earth.

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter