Chapter 16: Our Cosmic Clockwork and the “16 factor”
The Antikythera mechanism
This first section of Chapter 16 is, admittedly, fairly speculative. It may however have its merits - and may appeal to horologists - insofar as it goes to highlight what one may call the 'clockwork nature' of our Solar System's workings. Those familiar with the wondrous Antikythera orrery should find it interesting to consider that it may have required (under the TYCHOS paradigm) far less gears and cogs than currently believed. To be sure, one of the principal 'mysteries' surrounding the Antikythera mechanism is how so many gears (that are reckoned to have originally existed) could possibly have been fitted into such a thin casing. As it is, the question of the Antikythera's "missing gears" is still a hotly debated topic among the various research groups studying the mechanism; but what if there were no missing parts? What if the Antikythera mechamism (which was retrieved - in one lump - from a shipwreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901) actually contains all the gears and cogs needed to 'do its job'?
"The Antikythera mechanism is remarkable for the level of miniaturisation and the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of fourteenth-century astronomical clocks.(...) There is much debate as to whether the mechanism had indicators for all five of the planets known to the ancient Greeks. No gearing for such a planetary display survives." "The Antikythera mechanism" - Wikipedia (opens in a new tab)
Researchers of the Antikythera mechanism may wish to review the TYCHOS model and put to the test the notion that our Moon is the 'central driveshaft' of our Solar System - and that all our planets' orbital periods are integer multiples of the Moon's TMSP (of 29.22 days). I suggest that Archimedes (or whoever engineered the ingenious Antikythera orrery) may have been aware of these orbital resonances and that the mechanism was perhaps considerably less complex than currently believed - something which would go to explain the supposed "missing gears" of the mechanism. In any event, it would appear that controversy still rages as to some key aspects of the Antikythera. Most notably, it has been suggested in later years that the mechanism is based on a lunar calendar (of 354 days) - rather than a solar calendar (of 365 days).
In fact, a recent study (2020) published by the British Horological Institute has determined what follows:
"The physical evidence does not support the mechanism having a 365-division calendar ring. Therefore, we must set aside the notion that the front dial calendar ring of the Antikythera mechanism is a representation of the so-called 365-day Egyptian civil calendar.(...) Based on the significant finding for 354 holes matching the extant inter-hole distance, the confirmation of others’ measurements, and our own measurements of the calendar and Zodiac rings’ markings, we interpret 354 divisions as the most likely of these two division candidates and propose that the front dial calendar ring of the Antikythera Mechanism is a 354 day lunar calendar."
In fact, I have spent a little time to personally verify this finding - simply by using my image-editing program; I just selected a 59-hole section of the Antikythera's largest and all-important "Fragment C" - and then 'stitched together' 6 copies of the same into a 360° ring featuring (59X6) 354 holes. Here's another relevant extract from the above-linked study:
"In Part 1 of this article, we presented the finding that data we recorded from high resolution computed tomography (CT) images of Fragment C of the Antikythera Mechanism do not support the mechanism having a 365-division front dial calendar ring, and instead the evidence suggests the most likely number of divisions of this feature is 354."
For what it's worth, my above graphic 'reconstruction' of Fragment C would seem to confirm the 354 division-count of the front dial calendar ring, thus supporting the notion that the Antikythera mechanism was indeed based on a lunar calendar rather than a solar one. This is of course of great interest to the TYCHOS model since it submits that our Moon can be viewed upon as the 'central driveshaft' of our Solar System (as illustrated at the beginning of Chapter 13). Could it be that the 35 surviving gears and seven displays of the mechanism were sufficient to replicate the motions of all our Solar System's bodies?
I recommend this fine video by Chris Ramsay, a co-author of the above-cited study and the builder of a modern replica of the wondrous Antikythera mechanism: "The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 10 - Evidence Of A Lunar Calendar" - by Chris Ramsay (opens in a new tab)
Another 'horological aspect' of our Solar System that I find fascinating is how some sort of "16 factor" appears to pervade the empirically-observed and recorded orbital periodicities of our Solar System. So let us take a look at this "16 factor" that seems to be crying out for our attention. Firstly though, a brief recap of what I illustrated in Chapter 13 (regarding our Moon's obvious central role in our Solar System) is in order:
The SUN completes 16 orbits (1 solar revolution = 365.25 days)
MARS completes 8 orbits (1 Mars revolution = 730.5 solar days)
VENUS completes 10 synodic periods (1 Venus synodic period = 584.4 solar days)
MERCURY completes 50 synodic periods (1 Mercury synodic period = 116.88 solar days)
Our MOON completes 200 orbits around Earth (1 Moon TMSP = 29.22 solar days)
Now, please give this a very good thought: IF the Earth would truly be revolving around the Sun at hypersonic speed - along with all the other planets and moons - then how plausible would it be that each of the latter all exhibit exact multiples of our own Moon's synodic period - as viewed and computed from Earth? On the other hand, if the Earth-Moon system were located at the centre of our Solar System (as posited by the TYCHOS model), this all becomes a considerably less mysterious affair - as you will hopefully appreciate and envision. The below schematic plots the relative revolution periods (over a 16-year time span) of the Sun, Mars, Mercury, Venus and our Moon. Note once more that the orbital periods of our system’s celestial bodies are all near-exact multiples of the Moon’s “True Mean Synodic Period” (The TMSP of 29.22 days).
The above 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”.
Here follows a shortlist (by no means exhaustive) of diverse occurrences of the "16 factor" in our Solar System:
• Mars completes a full apogee-to-perigee cycle in about 16 years.
• As Mars completes one of its orbits, it processes by about 1/16th of a solar year (≈22.828 days).
• Venus and Mars regularly re-conjunct roughly every 16 years - on either side of Earth.
• Mercury retrogrades for an average period of 1/16th of a solar year (≈22.828 days).
• The Moon's famous Saros cycle of 6585.3211 days is nearly equal to 16 Full Moon cycles of 411.78433 days.
• The Sun’s orbital speed (107226 km/h) is approximately 16 X its equatorial rotational speed (6675 km/h).
• The Sun has a distinct, 'partial' 11-year cycle which 'comes full circle' in 176 years - or 11 X 16.
• The peculiar "405 kyr cycle" (see below) adds up to about 16 TGY's (i.e. the Tychos Great Year of 25344 solar years).
The question thus becomes: why can we find so many indications suggesting a harmoniously resonant and interconnected Solar System? To be sure, the TYCHOS model has no pretense to formulate any 'TOE' (Theory Of Everything) nor to define the root causes of the celestial mechanics governing our cosmos; yet, it should hopefully stimulate further study into what electromagnetic (rather than 'gravitational') forces may be at play - thus accounting for the seemingly holistically-connected motions of our solar system. One thing we know about magnetism is that opposed poles attract each other, whereas identical poles repel each other. Interestingly, these same phenomena also occur in water vortexes spinning in opposed or identical directions - as demonstrated experimentally in a video to be found on Youtube titled "What is magnetism?" - by Fractal Woman (2020) (opens in a new tab)
Below is a conceptual graphic of the TYCHOS system I composed several years ago while musing over the possible electromagnetic nature of the same. Needless to say, the two black cogs (or gears) are merely figurative elements of the diagram - yet let's keep in mind that the wondrous Antikythera mechanism was, after all, put together with cogs and gears!
The big cog may represent, if you will, the combined magnetic fields of Sun and Mars exerting a 'counter-torque' on the barycentric cog (Earth’s own magnetic field of opposed polarity), thus causing our entire Solar System to slowly rotate 'clockwise' around itself once every 25344 years. In the early days of my TYCHOS research, this clockwise motion of our planet caused me much perplexity. At the time, I thought that no such 'retrograde' orbits had ever been observed in our cosmos. In recent decades however, astronomers hunting for Earth-like exoplanets have discovered numerous orbs nestled within binary systems exhibiting 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) (opens in a new tab)
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) (opens in a new tab)
Thus, Earth’s "retrograde" / clockwise orbital motion (as posited by the TYCHOS) is neither improbable nor exceptional, since it has been empirically observed that several other systems feature bodies revolving in the opposed orbital direction of their host stars.
According to scientists specializing in the study of the Sun, our star is observed to exhibit a distinct short period of solar activity of 11 years - and a longer one of 176 years. The latter is a well-known cycle mentioned in numerous academic papers published within this vital field of research which monitors our Sun’s 'cyclic behavior' and its effects on our earthly lives.
Interestingly, we see that 176 years amounts to 16 X 11 years. Once more, that “16 factor” pops up - and this time in relation to the long-term solar activities. We may also note that 176 years is exactly 1/12th of 2112 years - and that 2112 years is exactly 1/12th of the TYCHOS' proposed duration of the Great Year (25344 years). But there's more: if we multiply 25344 by 16 we obtain 405504. Why is this significant? Read on.
We shall now see how the TYCHOS (or rather, the Tychosium simulator) can account for the existence of the peculiar 405 kyr cycle (which most people will never have heard of).
"The 405,000-year cycle is the most regular astronomical pattern linked to the Earth's annual turn around the sun." - Dennis V. Kent
The so-called "405 kyr"(kiloyear) period is a well-known period by those scientists who study the Earth's secular cycles - be they astronomers, geologists or dendochronologists. It is today widely considered as a most significant 'yardstick' of sorts which appears to regulate a number of distinct, long-term patterns in various fields of geoscience - including climatology:
"The climate cycles are directly related to how the Earth orbits the sun and slight variations in sunlight reaching Earth lead to climate and ecological changes," said Kent, who studies Earth's magnetic field. "The Earth's orbit changes from close to perfectly circular to about 5 percent elongated especially every 405,000 years.(...) The results showed that the 405,000-year cycle is the most regular astronomical pattern linked to the Earth's annual turn around the sun, he said." "Earth's orbital changes have influenced climate" - Science Daily (2018) (opens in a new tab)
This 'mysterious' cycle of approximately 405000 (± 500y) years is a hotly discussed topic within geochronology circles, as it is held to be a particularly accurate and reliable “geologic metronome” of sorts - although the reasons for its very existence are still unclear. Various hypotheses have been put forth, yet no firm consensus has been reached as to the actual causes of this long cycle.
“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.” — "A Survey of Paleozoic Cyclostratigraphy presentation" - by Linda A. Hinnov and George Mason (2017) (opens in a new tab)
“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) (opens in a new tab)
"The 405-kyr period cycle is related to the gravitational interaction of Jupiter and Venus (g2–g5 cycle) and is the prominent and most stable term in the approximation of eccentricity of Earth’s orbital variations on geologic timescales despite chaotic behavior of the Solar System." "Empirical evidence for stability of the 405-kiloyear Jupiter–Venus eccentricity cycle over hundreds of millions of years" (opens in a new tab)
As you can see, one may find numerous papers regarding this particularly stable 405000(±500)-year cycle in all sorts of scientific literature. Intrigued by this peculiar long cycle, I decided to put it to the test within the "TYCHOS paradigm". With the ubiquitous "16-factor" in mind, I used the higher bound of that 405000(±500)-year cycle - i.e. 405500 years - and divided it by 25344 (i.e. the Tychos Great Year):
405500y / 25344y ≈ 16
Amazingly enough, as I proceeded to put this 405500-year interval to the test in the Tychosium simulator I found that, at both ends of this long cycle, Mars, Venus and Mercury return to virtually the same place in our skies - whereas our Moon returns at the opposite side of the Earth (probably because, as you may recall, the Sun-Moon revolution ratio - as of the TYCHOS - is 1:12.5).
Below is a double screenshot from the Tychosium 3D simulator depicting an interval of 405500 years (June 21, 2000 > June 21, 407500):
My mind then wandered back to this book's Chapter 6 where I speculated that the Sirius binary system may be our Solar System's "double-double" binary companion. In that chapter, we saw that Sirius A and B revolve around each other in about 50 (solar) years.
In 405500 years, Sirius A & B would thus revolve around each other 8110 times (405500 / 50 = 8110).
This is most interesting, because - as shown by the Tychosium simulator, after an interval of 811000 years (i.e. 8110 X 100 - or 2 X 405500), Mars, Venus and Mercury will again return to the same place in our skies, but this time around, even our Moon will return to virtually the same place. You may verify this remarkable 811000-year cycle for yourself by opening the Tychosium simulator on your laptop - and proceed as follows:
Set the date of the Tychosium at 1962-02-05 (at 00:00:00 UTC). You will immediately see that February 5, 1962 featured a most spectacular and (extremely rare) multiple planetary conjunction: Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, the Sun and our Moon were all aligned at around 21h15m of RA and, consequently, a solar eclipse was taking place (somewhere east of Indonesia, in the Pacific ocean). Additionally, Mars and Saturn were conjuncting at around 20h20m of RA. To verify this, open the "Positions" scroll-down menu and compare the ephemerides ("RA and DEC") of each of the bodies of our 'inner' Solar System.
Next, toggle the date to 812962-02-05 (i.e. 811000 years later) and compare the positions of Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Sun and our Moon with those of February 5, 1962. You will see that the ephemerides of these bodies are virtually identical - and that the Moon will again eclipse the Sun (just a few hours earlier), again somewhere in Indonesia! (As an extra 'bonus', you might also wish to compare the celestial positions of asteroid Eros on the above two dates. Yes, they are also near-identical).
To view the extraordinary 811000-year cycle on the internet, go to: tinyurl.com/811000-year-cycle (opens in a new tab)
In fact, you may test out this 811000-year interval in the Tychosium simulator starting from any date of your choice. Note that 811000 years equals 2 X 405500 years - and adds up to just about 32 (2 X 16) "TYCHOS Great Years" of 25344 solar years (or 16 "Great Years of Mars" of 50688 solar years). Our Solar System is a truly astounding clockwork and, if the Tychosium will stand the test of time, it may be considered as "the Antikythera of our modern era". As we shall see in Chapter 20, the 'Mega Cycle' of 811000 years turns out to be the time employed by our Solar System and the Sirius system to revolve around each other - but more about this later. Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the Earth's last 'total' geomagnetic reversal is reckoned to have occurred just about 800000 years ago (meaning that a compass would have been pointing to our South pole instead of our North pole):
-"The most recent reversal occurred nearly 800,000 years ago at the start of the middle Pleistocene Chibanian Age. It is called the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal after the first scientists to identify and propose an age for Earth’s most recent magnetic reversal." "Earth's Flipping Poles" - Earth Date.org (opens in a new tab)
Unfortunately, none of us will live long enough to personally verify whether or not the Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury the Sun and our Moon will all return to the same place in our skies 811000 years from now - or if our magnetic poles will be reversed... Yet, if this should be the case, one can only hope that this book will survive until that date - in whatever shape or form - and be recognized by those distant future generations as a pioneering work in its own right. I, for one, will be popping a fine bottle of bubbly up in the Heavens!
In the next chapter, we shall keep our feet firmly anchored on Earth and see if we can resolve the puzzling and purportedly 'chaotic' behavior of Jupiter and Saturn, a pesky issue of astronomy known as "the Great Inequality".