Saturday, March 19, 2011

Supermoon Tonight


The view from my lanai. Everyone look at the Moon tonight! As with the planets, the Moon orbits in an ellipse. Tonight's full Moon coincides with perigee in the lunar orbit, leading to a "supermoon." The Moon will appear larger than ever before.

One moon ago February 21 this paper appeared from Lorenzo Lorio:

On the anomalous secular increase of the eccentricity of the orbit
of the Moon


The eccentricity of an ellipse measures its departure from a circle. According to Lorio, the Moon's eccentricity has increased at an anomalous rate. He is generous enough to examine a variety of possible causes, from General Relativity's Lense-Thirring effect to an undiscovered planet. If this effect is confirmed, it adds to a number of anomalies in solar system orbits.

Anomalies in orbits can have great significance. Mercury's elliptical orbit precesses at 5600 arcseconds per century, but a discrepancy of only 43 arcsec/century was enough to prove General Relativity. Readers of this blog know that the Moon is receding from Earth 1/3 faster than geology says. The anomaly may be predicted even more precisely than Mercury's precession! If you are in Dallas, Texas for the American Physical Society meeting next week, you might enjoy this talk:

Lunar Orbit Anomaly and GM=tc^3 Cosmology

ABSTRACT: Studies of the Moon at Johnson Space Center have confirmed a large anomaly in lunar orbital distance, with possible applications to Relativity. Our Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment has reported the Moon's semimajor axis increasing at 3.82 ± .07 cm/yr, anomalously high. If the Moon were gaining angular momentum at this rate, it would have coincided with Earth less than 2 Gyr ago. The Mansfield sediment (Bills, Ray 2000) measures lunar recession at 2.9 ± 0.6 cm/yr. Additional observations independently measure a recession rate of 2.82 ± .08 cm/yr. LLRE differs from independent experiments by 10 sigma. A cosmology where speed of light c is related to time t by GM=tc^3 has been suggested to predict the redshifts of Type Ia supernovae, and a 4.507034% proportion of baryonic matter (Riofrio 2004). If c were changing in the amount predicted, lunar orbital distance would appear to increase by an additional 0.935 cm/yr. An anomaly in the lunar orbit may be precisely accounted for, shedding light on puzzles of "dark energy.'' In Planck units this may be summarised as M=R=t.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Chango said...

Is there any way you could post a video of this talk?

5:26 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Nice idea! I give many talks, so must work on video of one.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Logan Weiler III said...

Fascinating! Is there any indication the eccentricity is slowing or reversing, or does it continue to increase?

4:09 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

For Logan: As I understand the Lorio paper, eccentricity would increase by his calculation. The data I have used indicates that the semimajor axis of the Moon's ellipse is increasing at an anomalously high rate.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Danielle said...

Such a great article it was which The eccentricity of an ellipse measures its departure from a circle.In which Mercury's elliptical orbit precesses at 5600 arcseconds per century, but a discrepancy of only 43 arcsec/century was enough to prove General Relativity.Thanks for sharing this article.

4:40 AM  

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