Talk abstract details

A new test of Einstein’s theory of relativity by ancient solar eclipses
Göran Henriksson


A correct identification of ancient solar eclipses is not only important for historical reasons but gives also the possibility to determine the acceleration of the longitude of the Moon with high precision. The Lunar Laser Range-measurements (LLR) of the distance to the Moon makes it possible to check if there exists any significant deviation from Kepler’s third law of motion. In all modern calculations the value –26 “/cy2, determined from transits of Mercury, 1677-1973, by Morrison and Ward, have been used. Williams and Dickey reported an unexpected problem during their recent analysis of the LLR-measurements 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 in my opinion caused by an underestimation of the tidal acceleration of the Moon by the strong influence of the non-tidal effect caused by the global warming since 1680. Stephenson et al. have also used –26 “/cy2 in their calculations of ancient solar eclipses and this may explain their inability to calculate correctly the total solar eclipse after sunrise in Athens in 484 AD and many other well defined total solar eclipses such as that predicted by Thales from Miletos in 585 BC.
In my paper I will show that all well documented total solar eclipses from the Greek, Babylonian and Chinese texts back to 2500 BC fit perfectly with my calculations based on a lunar secular acceleration of –29.68 “/cy2, determined by Schoch from an occultation of Spica by the Moon in 283 BC. After correction of Schoch's value for non-tidal effects I got –29.65 “/cy2. With this value there is a difference of only +0.68 ±1.92 mm/year from the value predicted by Einstein’s theory. This deviation from the theory by Einstein is in good agreement with +0.76 mm/year predicted from the string theory by Dvali et al. (The theory by Dvali presents an explaination for the dark energy.) For the moment one can only say that both theories predict a value within the margins of errors, ±1.92 mm/year.