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Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Confirmed by Ancient Solar Eclipses
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Theoretical Astrophysics. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Observational Astronomy.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Cosmology, ISSN 2159-063X, Vol. 9, p. 2137-2146Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A correct identification of ancient solar eclipses is not only important for historical reasons but also gives the possibility to determine the acceleration of the longitude of the Moon to a high precision, and which can provide insights into Einstein's theory of relativity. The Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) of the distance to the Moon makes it possible to check if there is any significant deviation from Kepler’s third law of motion. In all modern calculations the value for the tidal lunar secular acceleration, -26 ±2 arcseconds/century2 ("/cy2), has been used, (determined by Morrison and Ward), from the transits of Mercury 1677-1973. Williams and Dickey reported an unexpected problem during their recent analysis of the LLR-data and they had to solve for an anomalous eccentricity rate equivalent to an additional 6 mm/year decrease in the perigee distance. This anomaly is caused by an underestimation of the tidal acceleration of the Moon due to the influence of the nontidal effect caused by the global warming since 1680. All well documented total solar eclipses from the Greek, Babylonian and Chinese texts back to 2500 BC fit very well with calculations based on a lunar secular acceleration of -29.68 ±0.04 "/cy2, determined by Schoch from an occultation of Spica by the Moon in 283 BC. After correction for non-tidal effects the lunar secular acceleration in longitude is -29.65 ±0.04 "/cy2. With this value there is a difference of only +0.68 ±1.92 mm/year from the value predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. This deviation is in good agreement with predictions from the string theory of Dvali et al., which can explain the enigmatic effect called Dark Energy. However, both theories predict a value within the error margins of ±1.92 mm/year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, MA: Center for Astrophysics, Harvard-Smithsonian , 2010. Vol. 9, p. 2137-2146
Keywords [en]
Solar Eclipse, Acceleration of the Moon, Precession of the Geodesic, General Relativity, Dark Energy
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Astrophysics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371771OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371771DiVA, id: diva2:1274315
Available from: 2018-12-29 Created: 2018-12-29 Last updated: 2019-05-20Bibliographically approved

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Henriksson, Göran

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