Astronomy related to astrology

From comparison of various astronomical constants, such as the number of planetary revolutions including those of Moon's nodes in a mahayuga , dimensions of Epicycles of Apsis, dimensions of Epicycles of conduction Sighra Epicycles , Geocentric orbitals etc. However, these constants were changed in Khandakadhayaka Brahm gupta , by Varahmihira, and in the modem Surya siddhanta at the beginning of the sixteenth century after making Bija corrections.

Number of revolutions of various planets and other crucial points, in a Mahayuga of 4,, solar years, is- given in the table on the next page. Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 23 S. Planet No. Moon 57,, 57,, 57,, 57,, 2. Sun 4,, 4,, 4,, 4,, 3. Jupiter , , , , - 8 5. Venus 7,, 7,, 7,, - 12 7,, 8. The Bija corrections were made at about the beginning of the fifteenth century source Bentley. Number of total revolutions of the asterisms nakshatras in a mahayuga is: 1,,, Verse 34 of Chapter I of Surya Siddhanta. This gives us the 24 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology number of sidereal days in a mahayuga.

The mean time of one sidereal revolution of the various planets in mean solar days according to modern Surya Siddhanta and with Bija correction is given below: Planet Tima of Sidereal Revolution! The Ayanamsa was zero at the beginning of kaliyuga. Chapter , verses 9 - The Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 25 annual rate of precession mean rate works out to 54" of an arc per solar year. Total number of years that are estimated to have elapsed since the beginning of creation up to AD can be calculated as follows: No.

The circle of constellation was about to oscillate eastwards at AD Surya siddhanta was thus revealed 2,, years before Aryabhatta- 1. Most of the ancient Hindu scientific astronomy appears to be re-established in the era of Aryabhatta- I, as all calculations start from AD according to Aryabhatta- I and the modern Surya siddhanta. Aryabhatta is also taken to be the father of Indian Epicyclic astronomy. Now let us compare the times of revolutions for various planets as given in Indian classical works like Surya Siddhanta as corrected from time to time, which corrections are not very substantive with the periods as now known to western modem astronomers.

It is a wonder how the ancient astronomers could work out these time periods so accurately without even having the advantage of modern powerful astronomical instruments and facilities. Main points of difference between modern western astronomy and Indian classical astronomy 1. The Western astronomical calculations are heliocentric. Taking the Sun as stationary in the Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 27 solar system, all the planets are moving round it in somewhat Elliptic Orbits in time periods of their own.

Of course, now the Sun is also taken as moving along with the solar system in our Galaxy the milky way and this Galaxy is also moving in space and the space itself is expanding outwards. The Indian classical system, on the other hand, is Geocentric with the observer on the Earth as the centre and all net or compounded or resultant motions of the planets including the Sun, nodal and other points being measured relative to the Earth.

The planets as well as astronomical crucial points like Nodes, Equinox, the Apsis, and Mandochha, the Conjuction or the Shigrochha etc. The mean period of a revolution is fixed only by dividing this common time of a mahayuga by the number of revolutions for each. The time is reckoned from the beginning of the Universe. No such absolute motion from time of the commencement of the Universe is followed in the western astronomy.

Of course, the Universe is now stated to have originated in a split second, with a big bang out of nothingness , about 20 billion years ago.

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How the two ideas correlate to each other is a matter for modern research. The sidereal location of stars is fixed from zero degree of a fixed Aries Ashivini with a starry reference point at the end of Revati Nakshatra and the star Revati. The angular distance between first point of the fixed Aries and of the movable Aries, is called Ayanamsa. It is Lahiri Ephemeries or Chitra Paksha 23 0 45'51" on 1. The Western astronomy follows Eqatorial Longitudes of all the heavenly bodies, while Indian classical astronomy follows sidereal longitudes.

The Ayanamsa changes every year by about The system of measurement of time is different. Further, local time was followed in Indian system while standard zonal times are followed for countries or zones in a country in the modern Western system. This local noon is mid-day locally and local midnight is Ardharatri half point of ratri- man. Indian system followed observations by the naked eye and calculations were by structures like Sun-Dial, making use of geometric shapes and algebraic and trigonometric calculations.

The concepts of Devatas of Mandochha and Sighrochha the point of the slowest motion i. Apsis, and the point of the fastest motion etc. Later on, an epicyclic theory was adopted. Telescopic observations were taken. Photographic records of position of heavenly bodies and skies were made. Spectroscopes were used to analyse light spectra, and from the study of shift of the frequencies of lights emitted by stars, their motion was determined; from the study of their individual spectra, their composition was ascertained.

From parallax studies, the distance of various heavenly bodies of planets, stars, galaxies and supernova were estimated. With telescope of very high 30 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology resolution power, the double twins stars were discovered. In Indian, astronomy and astrology developed as a twin science. If former is the body of this science, the latter is its soul. Both were part and parcel of this divine knowledge and were linked to philosophy - cyclic origin of the Universe, its maintenance and destruction by the Almighty Brahma and its regeneration.

Jyotish was a Vedanga. But, whereas, Indian system concentrated on angular position and motion only, the western system also worked out linear distances and linear velocities. In Indian system, position and motions of certain astronomical points were studied in addition to those of physical bodies e.

Nodal points of the Moon and various planets, Motion of the Apsis of the orbit, motion of Conjunction points, and other astrologically important positions Mandi, upagrahas, yogas, Karanas, ascensional differences, right ascensions, meridian cusp etc. Examples of spherical surfaces are: ball, football, orange etc. The centre of a circle is equidistant from all the points on its circumference and the centre of the circle is the centre of the sphere and equidistant from all the points on its surface. Radius: Half the diameter of a circle or sphere is called radius. In other words, the distance between the centre of a circle or a sphere and any point on its circumference or surface is radius of the circle or the sphere.

In other words, celestial sphere is a sphere of infinite radius compared with any distance on the Earth, so that the Earth occupies the position in the 32 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology centre of this imaginary sphere.

If both the hemispherical surfaces are joined, a celestial figure of a sphere is obtained. The circle AEB is a great circle in figure 1. A great circle always divides the sphere in two hemispheres. Its diameter or radius is shorter than the diameter or radius of the sphere or great circle. Circle CFD is a small circle in figure 1. Now OO' is produced upwards and downwards to meet the sphere at P and Q. The points P and Q are the poles of circles on the parallel planes to these circles.

The properties of the pole are: Figure 2 1 The straight line joining the poles cuts the circles at right angles of which these are poles. The terrestrial Equator is a great circle drawn round the Earth but perpendicular to its axis. In the figure 2 P and Q are called the terrestrial poles. Terrestrial Meridians: Any great circle terminated by P and Q is a terrestrial meridian. In the figure 2 the curved lines joining the poles of the Earth P and Q are terrestrial meridians.

First Meridians: Principal Meridian: The meridian passing through Greenwich observatory near London in England has been regarded as the principal meridian by universal agreement. The angle subtended by these two meridians is called longitude i. If this meridian is in east of the prinipal meridian, the longitude will be east and if it is in west, the longitude will be west.

Spherical angle RPL between the two meridians one is the principal meridian at the pole also measures the terrestrial longitude of the meridian PLQ. The great circle arc ML is the latitude of the place. Angle ZMOL will also represent the same thing as the great circle arc will also be measured in angles. If the place is in North of Equator, it is called north and if it is in south, it is called south. All the places lying at one meridian will have the same longitude.

All the places lying at the sir all circle passing through, say, M, and parallel to the Equator will have the same latitudes. So, latitudes are also defined. The extension of the axis northwards will meet at the North Pole and extension of the axis southwards will meet at the South Pole. The great circle thus projected on the celestial sphere will be known 36 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology as the celestial Equator. Actually it is the Earth that is moving round the Sun. The following are the definitions which are explained in 2. It is also defined as angular distance of the heavenly body measured along the ecliptic from the reference zero point.

Note: The defini- tions of terrestrial latitude and longitude are totally different from those of celestial latitude and longitude. Each star rotates round the celestial pole on its parallel of declination. Secondaries to a great circle are the great circles which are perpendicular to it. Thus, meridian through a star will be a secondary through it on the celestial Equator. It is said to transit or culminate. It has been explained in figure 5 below.

P is the North Pole, and X a star. CX is altitude of the star. AXB small circle is called the parallel of altitude. Vertical circle through P and Z cuts the horizon at S and N. The point S is 40 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology the south point and N, the north point of the horizon. The arc NC expressed in the angle is called the Azimuth W as it is towards west. Thus, the position of a heavenly body can also be described completely with reference to the horizon. These are also called secondaries to the horizon. The declination increases every day as the Sun is moving on the ecliptic until it reaches the point C Figure 6 , the point of greatest declination i.

This point is called the summer solstice. It happens on or about 21st June. After that the declination of the Sun starts decreasing as the Sun starts moving southwards. It decreases and becomes zero on or about 23rd September when the Sun reaches at B another point of intersection of ecliptic and Equator. Now the Sun goes to south of the Equator and its declination becomes south. It reaches at point D on or about 21st December which is called the Winter Solstice. When the Sun starts moving northward from position D Figure 6 , it is said that the Sun has become' Uttrayan and it remains uttrayan from D to C i.

Every year on two days the Sun crosses the Equator and its diurnal path almost coincides with the Equator rising in the east and setting in the west. One-half of its diurnal path is above the horizon and the other half below. So the day and night are equal Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 43 on these two days.

These two points are called equinoxes. When the Sun is going from south to north of the Equator, the point of intersection with the ecliptic is called the first point of Sayan Aries and when it is going from north to south, it is entering Libra. The position of first point of Aries occurs on or about 21st March and that point is called spring Equinox or Vernal Equinox. When the Sun is on the other point i. The altitude of the star is greatest when it is on the meridian i. After that the altitude starts declining. The altitude of the celestial pole at any place is equal to the latitude of the place i.

Stars: Stars are self-luminous bodies which emit light and heat in the space. The Sun is a star. Stars are grouped into constellations. Planets: Besides the fixed stars, the Sun and the Moon, there are other heavenly bodies visible to the naked eye and moving around the Sun. As their motion is whimsical among the fixed stars, they are called planets or wandering stars. A fixed star appears twinkling while the planets shine with steady light. The planets which can be seen by the naked eye are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, while the other planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are seen only with the help of telescopes.

Satellite: Satellites are those heavenly bodies which move around the planets and in turn move around the Sun along with the planets and are normally called moons of the planets, like the Moon which is a satellite of the Earth. Solar System: The Solar System made up of the Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 45 Sun, planets, satellites, comets, minor planets, and interplanetary dust, gas etc.

It is a very small part of the Universe and seems important to us only because we happen to live inside it. As the Sun is also a star and is at one focus of the orbits of all the planets revolving around it, the system is called the Solar System. In this system, only the Sun is emitting light. Rest of the family members of the Solar System are revolving around it and are non-luminous. The other important members of this family viz. Our Solar System is centred round the Sun and the planets are moving in elliptical orbits around it.

There are nine planets in all i. Actually, both of these are not planets. While the Sun is a star, the Moon is a satellite. But the word Grahas is loosely understood as planets. With the invention of telescope, several other large planets and many small ones could also be seen.

The planets whose orbits are between the Sun and orbit of the Earth are called inner or interior or inferior planets i. Mercury and Venus are inner planets. While the planets whose orbits lie outside the orbit of the Earth are called outer or exterior or superior planets. Mars, the asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are the exterior, outer planets or superior planets.

Astronomy Relevant to Astrology by v.P. Jain

Sun: The Sun is the most important of all the heavenly bodied to the inhabitants of the Earth. Its rays supply light and heat etc. The Sun controls the motions of all its family members. Its influence on our day-to-day life is supreme and we cannot imagine our existence without it. Its diameter is , miles, its volume is 1.

It is producing energy by a nuclear reaction, converting hydrogen into helium and losing its mass at the rate of 4 million tons per second. It lies well away from the centre of the Galaxy, near the edge of a spiral arm. The distance Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 47 Pluto between the Sun and the galactic centre is about 30, light years.

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It is sharing the general rotation of the Galaxy with velocity about miles per second and takes million years to complete one revolution. Ecliptic: Ecliptic is a great circle on the celestial sphere whose plane passes through the Earth which is at its centre. It is the apparent yearly path of the Sun round the Earth in that plane. Here we have assumed that the Sun is moving round the Earth. If Sun was to move in a circle round the Earth, the diameter of its disc would not have changed at different times during a year it goes through a regular cycle of changes throughout the year. Being 32'36",It is greatest in early January and it is least in early July, when it has a value 31'32" which shows that in early January it is nearest to Earth and in early July it is farthest from it.

The difference between the two values of the disc is not much and, therefore the path 48 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology is nearly, circular. Earth: The Earth is the planet on which we live. Though we claim that we know a lot about our planet but the fact is that our knowledge about the planet is very limited. It is the third planet in order of the distance from the Sun.

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The mean distance from the Sun and the Earth is 92,, miles. As the orbit of the Earth is not a perfect circle, it is an ellipse, and the Sun is at one of its foci. The minimum distance when the Earth is at perihelion is 91,, miles and the maximum distance at aphelion is 94,, miles.

Its mass is about 6 x 10 21 tons and its mean density is 5. Its atmosphere is made up of nitrogen Earth is not a perfect sphere but is called an oblate Spheroid. Its diameter is 7, miles when measured along with the Equator and 7, miles as measured through the poles. The Earth is rotating round its axis from west to east and it causes the formation of day and night and the daily revolution of the Sun and fixed stars from east to west.

The axis of the Earth is perpendicular to its Equator i. Change of Appearance of Sky Due to Change of Place of Observer on the Earth When the obser- ver is at the Equator, his horizon will be great circle passing through the poles see figure 8 and poles will be on the horizon. If a person on the Equator likes to see the Pole star, he can see just on the horizon in the North direction i. As the observer starts moving northwards, the Polar Star will appear to rise in latitude which can be seen in figure 9.

Let the observer be at O. His horizon will be a great circle AB and he will be seeing that the Polar Star has an angle equal to the latitude of the place of observer. The Polar Star will go on rising and will be seen above observer's head i. In this case, his horizon coincides with the celestial Equator. As the observer goes to the South of the Equator, the Polar Star will be below the horizon of the observer and he will not be in a position to see it. From the above diagrams it will be noticed that an observer can see only half the sky at a time while on the Earth and half the sky below the horizon is invisible to him.

In the figure 9A the Earth is revolving round the Sun. O is the centre of the Earth. In position 1, the Earth is at summer solstice right-side figure. In this case, the North Pole is bent towards the Sun. Where the South Pole remains in continuous darkness i. This happens on 21st June every year. Earth at the winter solstice lift-side figure in position 3. In the case the position Is 52 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology reverse of position 1 i. It is middle of 6 months long night at the North Pole and middle of 6 months long day on the South Pole. In the Southern hemisphere, the days are longer than nights and season is summer.

This happens on about 22nd December every year. On these times the Sun shines vertically on the Equator of the Earth and both the hemispheres and both the poles are equidistant angular from the Sun. It happens on about 21st March and 23rd September every year. The days and nights are of equal duration all over the world. In position 1, the Earth is at a greater distance form the Sun near aphelion point and Northern Pole is inclined towards the Sun while the Southern Pole is away from the Sun. In position 3, the situation is reversed. The seasons are not due to the distance of the Earth from the Sun but there are two reasons for it: 1 The Sun remains for a longer time above the horizon every day in summer than in winter.

With the similar cone SCD the rays are covering more area CD on the Earth which can be explained in the way that shorter surface AB is receiving the same amount of heat as CD which is greater surface is receiving. So, AB will be hotter than CD. Moon is the most important of all the heavenly bodies to us after the Sun. It is also having its diurnal motion from east to west like other heavenly bodies due to rotation of the Earth on its axis. Like the Sun and other planets, it is also moving among the fixed stars in opposite direction west to east making a complete revolution in about 27 days 7 hours and 43 minutes i.

The synodic month of the Moon is the period from one amavasya to another o mavasaya and is Its mean distance from the Earth is , 'les wh!

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Owing to these perturbations, the direction of its perigee is altering. The time taken by the Moon in moving around the Earth from perigee to perigee is known as animalistic month which is equal to A nodical month is the time taken between two successive passages of the Moon through ascending node which is equal to The albedo is low which is about 7 per cent only i.

The surface gravity is only one-sixth that of the Earth. The Moon is having a captured rotation i. We can see 59 per cent of the total surface of the Moon at one time or another. It shows that all the phases of Moon will occur again on the same days of the month as 19 years ago, the only difference being that they will occur about one hour earlier.

It is called metonic cycle. It gives a readymade method of predicting dates of puraima, amavasya etc. Study of ancient Hindu astronomy shows that Meton ic cycle was known to our rishis and they added m 7 adhik or extra lunar months in 19 solar years to produce an exact correspondence in solar years and lunar years year of 12 lunar months. Though there is no direction in the space, all directions are relative ones. Suppose you are standing in front of a pedestal fan which is moving in the clockwise direction.

If you stand behind it, you will see it moving in anticlockwise direction, which is our direction too round the Sun. For the inner planets, a planet will be called in inferior conjunction when it come between the Earth and the Sun and in superior conjunction when the Sun is between the Earth and the planet. Conjunction is actually due to the two being in the same line of our sight.

For superior or outer planets, a planet will be said to be in opposition when the Earth is in between the Sun and the planet. An outer planet can never come in between the Sun and the Earth and cannot have an inferior conjunction. It has superior conjunction when it is on the far side of the Sun. It was earlier believed that Mercury had captured rotation 88 Earth days , but now it is known that the real rotation period of Mercury is The interval between one sunrise to another will be days or two Mercurian years.

The orbit of Mercury is more eccentric than of other planets of the Sun except Pluto. The maximum distance of Mercury from the Sun is 43,, miles and the minimum disteance is 28,, miles which is due to the orbit being more eccentric. Its diameter is about miles. It is brighter than any other planet or star and casts its shadow many times. Its mean distance from the Sun is about 67 million miles and its diameter is about 7, miles.

Venus and Mercury are inner planets which can be seen near the Sun either east or west. These are therefore called the morning or evening stars as they are visible either just after the sunset or before the sunrise. Its sidereal period of revolution is Its diameter from the Sun changes from ,, miles to ,, miles. Its diameter is 4, miles.

When the Mars is closest to us, it is within 35 million miles form the Earth and it occurs when the Mars is at the least distance from the Sun and the Earth is at the greatest distance from the Sun. In this case the planet outshines the other stars except Venus. But when it is the faintest, it sinks to the second magnitude and can be confused with a star. Near the quadrature, it appears strongly gibbous. Its sidereal period of revolution is dyas and synodic period is days.

There are two satellites of Mars, named Deimos and Phobos, which were discovered on 5 September, when the Mars was in opposition. It is more massive planet than all the other planets combined together. As it flattens on the poles, its Equatorial diameter is over 88, miles and polar diameter is less than 84, miles. Its mean distance from the Sun is Its sidereal period is Jupiter shows yellowish disc, crossed by famous cloud belts. There are sixteen satellites of which the most important are four, namely, lo, Europe, Ganymede and Callisto. Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 59 When seen through a telescope, a number of bright belts or bands are seen encircling the planet parallel to its equator which may be of clouds or vapours in its atmosphere.

Its mean distance from the Sun is million miles and diameter is about 74, miles. Its density is less than water. It is much larger and more massive than any other planet except Jupiter. It is surrounded by circular rings which do not touch the surface of the planet. Formerly, only nine satellites were known but now 20 of its satellites have been discovered. Its sidereal period of revolution is about Its synodic period with the Sun is only days. The planet is known as Herschel also after the name of its discoverer. Five satellites are known till now. It is very far.

Its distance is about million miles and its diameter is only about 32, miles. Hence, it is invisible to the naked eye. It is also very dim. Its distance is million miles and sidereal period Its brightness is even much less than that of Uranus, 60 Astronomy Relevant to Asttology and it is very faint. It was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in Its orbit is most eccentric of all the planets. For most of the years period, it is much further out than Neptune; but near, perihelion, it is closer to Sun than Neptune. Its mean distance from the Sun is million miles, and its diameter merely miles, and extremely low magnitude.

Comets are generally a brilliant nucleus surrounded by nebulous matter stretching out into an elongated tail. All the comets do not develop tails and many are nothing more than tiny patches of luminous haze in the sky. They appear shining due to the reflection of sunlight by them. The masses and density of comets are small and can easily be perturbed by planets.

They appear suddenly in the sky and can be seen for some days, weeks, or months and when they reach near the Sun and then recede from it and disappear. The comets whose motion can be calculated and the dates of their return predicted are called periodic comets. The motion of some comets is direct while that of others retrograde.

It is to be noted that the motion of all the planets around the Sun is in one direction i. It has a period of 76 years. Its next return is expected in At perihelion, it comes closer to the Sun than does Mercury and at aphelion, i. Non-periodic comets are much more numerous than periodic. These comets are seen only once and after that they are lost in the space and never come back.

Minor planets or asteroids. The diameter of the asteroids is small, and the largest of them has a diameter of miles. Their orbits are very eccentric. The number of asteroids is very great which is estimated to be 40, Due to their low masses, the escape velocities will be low. All of them have their individual orbits in an asteriod bolt between the orbits of Mars an Jupiter.

But, some of these, because their orbits, are very eccentric, come inside the orbit of the Earth or even that of inner planets. It is destroyed but during the process it 62 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology produces luminous effect. Due to their luminous effect meteors are also called the shooting stars. Meteorites: These are relatively larger bodies, big rocks etc. I Each planet moves in an elliptic orbit with the Sun in one of the oci.

II Equal areas are covered in equal times by the radius of the planet i. Ill The squares of periodic times of the planets are to one another as the cubes of their mean distance from the Sun. Though the three laws of Kepler have been stated, the use of the same is otside the scope of these lessons. One hora is equal to an hour. The names of the days are kept on the basis of the lord of the first hora of the day. The lords of the horas are according to the planets. Now see the following scheme. According to the shloka, the orbits of revolution around the earth of the various planets are in the order of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon.

Keep the planets in a circle in this order. This order is actually the order of the planets in their decreasing sidereal period or increasing angular motion, Saturn being the Figure 11 slowest and the Moon being the fastest. Now we start from Sunday the name kept after the lord of first hora , the second hora on Sunday will be of Venus counting anticlockwise , the third hora of Mercury, the fourth of Moon, the fifth of Saturn, the sixth of Jupiter, the seventh of Mars, the eighth of the Sun and so on the fifteenth of the Sun the twenty second of the Sun, twenty third of Venus, twenty fourth of Mercury, twenty fifth hora i.

Now we count from Moon. Tuesday, Similarly, of other week- days were named as given in the table below. Let it be Mercury. The Sun is in the centre around which all the planets, including the Earth, are moving. Mercury is nearer to the Sun and it completes one revolution in 88 days. The Earth is away from the Sun and completes one revolution in Vi days. So, the angular velocity of Mercury is faster than that of the Earth. The arrows in the figure are showing the direction in which Mercury and the Earth are moving. The arrow on zodiac indicates the direction in which the longitudes among the fixed 65 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology Figure 12 stars are increasing.

As the longitudes are geo -centric, suppose the observer on the Earth is stationary and Mercury is moving in the direction of arrow with a relative speed of the Earth i. As we are considering the observer and the Earth to be stationary and Mercury moving with a relative speed, let the Mercury be at A and it will be seen at A t ; in the zodiac, it moves further to B and seen at B t ; in zodiac, Dj are the corresponding positions of C and D. Here, longitudes are increasing.

When it comes to E, the longitude is increasing at Ej which is nearly the position of a tangent from the observer to the orbit of Mercury. At E, the planet will appear stationary as you will see that it is going to change its motion from direct to retrograde. It can be well understood by an example that a boy runs straight and touches a point and runs back.

He will have to stop for a moment for reversing the speed. Similarly, here the planet will appear 66 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology stationalry at E. Consider its further positions F, G, H and I. It will be seen that the corresponding background at the zodiac will be seen backward at F , G. It is seen in retrograde motion as its geo-centric longitudes are decreasing. Afterwards it goes to K etc. It will be further seen that the longitudes have started increasing i. Similarly for the outer planets we can justify the retrograde motion by making the observer move and planet being stationary as the outer planets move slower than the Earth.

Note: See Table of Planetary Movement on page no. Later on, the same phenomenon was noticed by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus BC. They considered two possible explanations for this: 1 The stars are moving but the movements of all the stars were mostly identical which was impossible. So they discarded it. They also observed that there was no appreciable change in the latitudes of the stars.

So, they came to the conclusion that the ecliptic was a fixed plane. Accordingly, it was necessary to assume that celestial equator and the first point of Aries were moving in such a way that the longitudes of the stars were increasing. It clarifies that the vernal equinox is moving backwards. The precession of equinoxes is mainly due to the attraction of the Sun and the Moon on the protuberant portions of the Earth at the Equator.

This 68 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology results also in change in the identity of the polar star from one era to another. It can be well compared with the wobbling of the axis of rotation of a spinning- top, which has been disturbed to create wobbling from its steady spin state, when its axis gets out of the vertical. The weight of the top which, acting vertically downwards at G, tends to pull the axis of rotation AB away from CA the vertical , but, due to the fast speed of spinning, it will not fall down and the axis AB will describe a cone round AC such that the angle CAB remains constant.

As a result of this, the Equator plane is also changing and cutting ecliptic plane at shifting point. The slow backward motion of the first point of Aries is called the precession of equinox. When the attracting body reaches its greatest north or south declination, the disturbance is greatest and it is zero when they are on the celestial Equator.

The luni-solar precession is in the ratio of i. The total of the two affects amounts to about 50". As the distances of the attracting bodies i. Its effect is important. Due to shifting of poles, the celestial Equator also moves and, in turn, the position of vernal equinox, that is the first point of Aries, also changes. Moon is sometimes above and sometimes below the ecliptic and therefore its pull on the equatorial bulge of the Earth is not always in the same direction as that of the Sun which results in the nodding of the celestial pole to and from the pole of the ecliptic.

This nodding is called nutation. The fixed zodiac is one in which the first point of 70 Astronomy Relevant to Aetrology Aries is always fixed in the nakshatras i. The longitudes measured with reference to this fixed first point of Aries which has a permanent position on the ecliptic fixed among the stars are called Nirayana longitudes. They are divided into twelve rashis such as Mesh, Vrish etc. This fixed zodiac is also divided into 27 nakshatras.

In this the first point of Aries is the vernal equinox i. Due to attraction of the Sun and the Moon on the protuberant portions of the Earth on the Equator, the first point of Aries moves slowly in the direction opposite to that of the yearly motion of the Sun. The longitudes measured in this system are called tropical or Sayana longitudes.

Under this system, the star composition of zodiac signs goes on changing with the passage of time. The angular distance between the first point of fixed Aries and the movable Aries i. In other words, it is the angular distance by which the vernal equinox has moved backwards from the time the two zodiac systems coincided. The year in which the two first points of Aries coincided is taken as A. It is based on the recommendation of the Calendar Reform Committee appointed by the Government of India which adopted this system of Ayanamsa in Under this Ayanamsa system both first point Aries were deemed to have coincided on Sunday the 22nd March of AD and hence Ayanamsa on that day was zero.

In Indian astrology, we use Nirayana longitudes.

These nakshatras and rashis are in the order as given above. Corresponding longitudes of nakshatras starting from the first point of Nirayana Aries are as shown below. Each nakshatra has a prominent identifying star after whose name the nakshatra is called. These stars are called Yogataras. So, the eclipse cannot take place on every amavasya and pumimo. It will be explained in the next chapter. The Earth is in the centre with O as its centre and there are eight positions of the Moon shown around the Earth see figure 14 on the next page.

The sunrays are coming from the left. L is the centre of the Moon and O that of the Earth. Join OL and draw a perpendicular to it. Name it AB which bisects the sphere of the Moon in two hemispheres. The hemisphere towards the Earth will be visible from the Earth. We can easily assume the rays to be parallel. Draw CD perpendicular to the rays of the Sun on the Moon. The side opposite to the direction from which the sunrays are reaching the Moon will be dark as no sunrays are falling on that portion of the Moon.

It has been shown as shaded. The other position on which the sunrays are falling Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 75 Figure 14 is left blank and this hemispherical portion is reflecting light in the space and seen by the observer on the Earth as bright portion of the Moon. When the Moon is in the position 1 with respect to the Earth and the Sun i,e. This is the position on purnima. In positions 2 and 8, about three- quarters of the disc of the Moon is seen as the portion visible are BLC and DLA which is more than half of the hemisphere of the Moon receiving light from the Sun.

In positions 3 and 7, the CD is perpendicular to AB. So, only half of the illuminated hemisphere of 76 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology the Moon can be seen and as such half of the disc i. The remaining half of the hemisphere towards the Earth is not receiving any light of the Sun; so, it does not reflect any light, and, as such, is invisible to us. The only difference is that the half disc that is bright on shukla ashtami is dark on krishna osJttarni and vice versa. When the Moon is in positions 4 and 6, less than half of the disc is visible as less than half the illuminated hemisphere is BLC, ALD being towards the Earth.

So, the Moon cannot be seen and it happens on amavasya. The shape of the Moon seen on a particular position is also shown near each position. Here, the hemisphere of the Moon towards the Earth is shown as a circle with bright half as blank and the dark portion as black. During the course of its movement i. When the Moon or the respective planet crosses the ecliptic while going from north to south, the crossing point is called descending node. In the former case, the latitude of the Moon or the said planet is zero while changing from the positive to the Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 77 Orbit of Figure 15 negative.

The line joining these two nodal points is said to be the line of nodes or the axis of the nodes. When the Moon crosses the ecliptic while going from south to north of the ecliptic, it is the ascending node of the Moon which is called Rahu. The latitude of the Moon at Rahu is zero and is on the increase from the negative south to the positive north. While crossing the ecliptic going from the north to the south i.

In figure 15, while there appear four points of inter- section, in space 3 dimensions there will be only two, i. So, Rahu and Ketu are actually not any physical planets but are the points on the plane of ecliptic where the Moon crosses it. This is the reason for calling these two as chhaya grahas, i. At these points, the Moon and the Sun get eclipsed on poomima or amavasya respectively, if on these tithis they are on or near these chhaya grahas.

These points are not stationary but take about 18 years days i. This motion is non-uniform like that of all planets. Given here is the average period of motion. Their motion is in reverse direction than that of other planets. In other words, they move in the zodiac in reverse direction. So, they are said to be having a retrograde motion at an average or mean rate of about They have true or mean longitudes according to whether we have used mean motion or calculated actual position.

In the case of the Moon it is 27 days 7 hours and 43 minutes. This is the minimum sidereal period among nava grahas. The maximum sidereal period is that of Saturn which is After considering the extra Saturnine planets, the maximum sidereal period is that of Pluto i. Sidereal day is the time elapsed since the precedding transit of Sayana first point of Aries to the next transit of the meridian of a place. In other words, one sidereal day is the time taken by the Earth in completing one rotation with respect to a fixed star which is equal to 23 hours 56 minutes and a few seconds.

This sidereal day is expressed in sidereal hours Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 79 and minutes. One sidereal day is equal to 24 sidereal hours. One such hour comprises of 60 minutes etc. It can be observed that a fixed star which is rising along the Sun will rise about 4 minutes earlier than the sunrise next day i. If an observer continues to observe the sky for one month, he will notice that the Sun has risen 1 rashi after the fixed star.

After one year, he will notice that the same star is rising again with the Sun. As the Earth is moving round the Sun and the Sun is fixed, the earth completes one revolution around the Sun in one year. The Earth rotates around its axis once in a day. In case of inner-planets it is the time between two conjuntions of the same type whether they are both inferior or superior. It can be explained as under: The Sun is stationary.

The planets including the Earth are revolving around it. The earth completes 80 Astronomy Relevant to Astrology one revolu- tion in ap- proximately days while Merc- For inner planets Figure 16 ury com- pletes it in 88 days. EMS is the inferior conjunction of Mercury. Now the Earth and Mercury start moving. The Mercury completes one revolution in 88 days and when it comes at M, the Earth is not at E but it has moved ahead and the next conjunction takes place when Mercury comes at Mj and Earth at E t. So in moving from M and completing one revolution and after that coming to M : is its synodic period or the time taken by the Earth in moving from E to E, is Synodic period of Mercury.

Similarly, for supe- rior conjunction SM 2 E 2 and SM3E3, the time taken by Mercury in moving from M 2 and completing one revolu- tion and coming to M 3 is its Synodic period or the time taken by the Earth in moving from E 2 to E 3 is the synodic period of Mercury. Earth completes one revolution in 1 year and Jupiter does it approximately in 12 years. The time taken by Jupiter in moving from J to J, or by the Earth moving from E and completing one revolution and then coming to Ej is the synodic period of Jupiter.

All the planets are revolving around the Sun as already explained in chapter 3. The Earth is moving around the Sun under the gravitational pull of the Sun. The Moon is moving around the Earth and along with the Earth, it goes around the Sun also, under the gravitational pull of the Earth. The Moon! This will only occur when all the three i.

So the Moon may or may not be on or very near the ecliptic when the Earth is in between the Sun and the Moon i. When the Moon is on the ecliptic or near to it and the Earth is Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 83 Figure 1 8 in between them, such a position will occur when the Moon is either on Rahu or Ketu or nearby because Rahu and Ketu are the nodes of the Moon i. In the figure, S is the centre of the Sun and C of the Earth. The cone ABD is not receiving any light from the Sun because the rays from all areas up to either extreme of the disc of the Sun i.

The dark-shaded portion i. When the Moon goes from penumbra to umbra, its brightness decreases till it vanishes when it is fully in the umbra. This is the case of total lunar eclipse. So, when the Moon is at position M, or M 2 as in the figure it receives light from the one end of the Sun and hence its brightness is diminished. This diminution is smaller when the Moon is at the edge of the penumbral cone. Moon loses heat and cools down more during an eclipse. During the totality period, the Moon is travelling through the width of the Earth.

The Sun moves about 2 Vz' per hour. The reasons for a solar eclipse are the same as for lunar eclipse i. It can happen only when the Moon comes in the line of the Sun and the Earth and in between them so that the rays can be stopped. The Earth and the Sun are on the ecliptic; so, the Moon should be either on the ecliptic or very near to it i. Astronomy Relevant to Astrology 85 In the case of lunar eclipse, the Moon loses light when it enters umbra and the eclipse is visible alike to the whole part of the Earth which is facing the Moon.

Solar eclipse is of three kinds: 1 total eclipse, 2 partial eclipse and 3 annular eclipse. Almagest as a guide, Arab astronomers and astrologers created observatories and refined tables of naked-eye star observations and charts with a high degree of precision and accuracy.

Ulugh Beg's — observatory was built in Samarkland in central Asia, and his work there lead to the creation of a table of 1, stars. The Toledan Star Tables, prepared by Moorish astronomer al-Zarqali — , became the model for the Alfonsine Tables, which were translated and prepared under the sponsorship of Spanish King Alfonso X — and became the standard charts for astrologers and astronomers.

Jewish medieval thinkers such as the twelfth-century polymath Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra — also combined cabbalistic studies with astronomical knowledge to produce treatises of astrology. Ibn Ezra's works reveal an attitude towards astrology in Judaism that was more liberal than it was in Christianity. Many early thinkers asserted that astrology and religion did not conflict.

With the recovery of the works of ancient Greek philosophers and the creation of medieval universities in the twelfth century, the study of astronomy and astrology experienced a revival in Western Europe. Theologians were especially careful to condemn forms of astrology that were incompatible with the Catholic Church's doctrines—especially the tenet that people are free to choose the Christian life. Rather, from the twelfth century onwards, theologians accepted the Ptolemaic form of astrology in which astrological influences were only probable, as well as subject to the inscrutable will of God.

The Aristotelian teaching that the processes of earthly change depended upon the stellar spheres, however, was accepted by church scholars like Thomas Aquinas c. The division between fatalistic judicial astrology and probable natural astrology continued in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century texts. Astrology as a set of beliefs about physical influences in the cosmos was permissible, but astrology as the art of casting horoscopes or determining propitious moments continued to be a source of controversy. The most influential text attacking astrology was Italian philosopher Pico della Mirandola's — Disputations against Divinatory Astrology, published in , which condemned the denial of free will that Mirandola saw in current astrological practice.

Despite these growing attacks on judicial astrology, astrology continued to be practiced. Medieval and early modern physicians had to be proficient in astrology to bleed and make diagnoses. Court astronomers were also astrologers, predicting the course of events for their rulers and publishing them in official almanacs. The invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century saw the widespread publication of ephemeris tables, which were tables of data that delineated planetary positions necessary for astrological prediction. The great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in a conjunction is two or more planets situated closely together, generally within an orb of eight degrees was widely publicized, and some continental scholars saw it and other conjunctions as explanations for universal historical events.

Popular astrological works consisted largely of phlebotomy advice, or leechdoms under which astrological sign to undergo a course of bloodletting via leeches or trepanning drilling a hole in the skull to expel bad humors—as well as weather predictions. Often these texts contained interrogations and elections derived from Arabic astrology. Interrogations were rules guiding astrologers, which answered certain questions, such as those concerning the discovery of a thief, a lost treasure, or the wealth of a prospective bride. Elections determined the propitious moment for undertaking any act of daily life, such as the start of a journey, or the commencing of a business deal.

Beginning in the sixteenth century, particularly in Protestant universities, some scholars believed astrology should be a major scholarly discipline. Scholars tried to establish astrology as a science and as a means of connecting nature and religion. Rigorous study of the astronomy and astrology was thought to provide insight into God's will.

Though this more extreme connection between providence and the stars was unique to Germany, the idea that astrology could reveal universal laws, whether divine or scientific, would persevere into the seventeenth century. It was also in Germany where doubts about astrology's legitimacy were leading to its separation from astronomy.

The Beginnings of Astrology

Kepler found himself in sympathy with most of Mirandola's arguments against astrology. Kepler agreed with Mirandola's assertion that the zodiac signs were human inventions, eclipses portended nothing, and that most of astrology was worthless. Kepler's attitude about aspects was also one he shared with his contemporary John Dee — , astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I of England — In Dee's work Propaedumata Aphoristica, he was devoted to the use of giant lenses to focus planetary aspects for good or for ill.

What accounted for Kepler's mixed attitude towards astrology? First, Kepler was an avowed Copernican; in Copernicus published his Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, which postulated a sun-centered universe, in direct opposition to Aristotle and Ptolemy's geocentricism. In the Aristotelian system upon which astrology was based, Earth was still because it was made of the heavy earth element, and the planets revolved around Earth because they were thought to be made of a substance called ether, whose natural motion was said to be circular.

Kepler's discovery of the three planetary laws demonstrated planetary orbits were elliptical, not circular. Since most astrology was based on Ptolemy's geocentrism, Kepler's discoveries, which contradicted Ptolemy's views, led to Kepler's doubts about their legitimacy. In addition, if Earth moved with the other planets around the sun, then all of the planets would seem to be made of the same substances as Earth, not of an ether that propelled circular motion.

So, what indeed made the planets move? This was a question that Kepler tried to answer with an appeal to astrology, proposing that planets had some sort of souls or intelligences or that there was a single moving soul in the sun that impelled all the planetary bodies. He subsequently rejected the idea of a soul for one of physical force, speculating that magnetism might be the source of planetary motion. Kepler concluded that while physical forces operated in astronomy, souls operated in astrology.

Although astrology and astronomy were clearly separated in Kepler's mind, he did not reject astrology wholesale. Kepler's growing skepticism about astrology influenced that of natural philosophers an early modern term that includes philosophers and scientists in the seventeenth century. Most natural philosophers thought that there. However, judicial astrology was considered fraudulent. In particular, telescopic discoveries in by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei — revealed unseen celestial bodies, such as Jupiter's moons, that had not previously figured into astrological predictions, which led to questions about judicial astrology's validity.

Astrology, particularly natural astrology, was subjected to scientific testing in the seventeenth century, a process made easier by the formation of the first scientific societies, such as the Royal Society in London. Francis Bacon — , the English politician and philosophical founder of the Royal Society , was interested in testing the effects of solar and lunar planetary emanations because of their influence on Earth's seasons and tides.

Most of Bacon's assumptions about solar and lunar effects were similar to the principles outlined by Ptolemy in the Tetrabiblos. Robert Boyle — , the discoverer of Boyle's law, which related air volume and pressure, was also keenly interested in atmospheric composition. In his treatises, Boyle posited that the atmosphere was full of planetary emanations that may have had effects on chemical reactions, plant growth, or weather.

Systematic empirical investigation of natural astrology, however, failed to reveal any lasting results. Judicial astrology was also more politicized and popularized in the seventeenth century, a process which led to its downfall. In England, astrological almanacs predicting weather, health, and political events increased in popularity due to cheaper printing costs and increasing literacy. By London astrologer William Lilly's — political almanacs alone were selling nearly 30, a year. The readers of these almanacs could also cast their own charts by using the astrological tables they provided.

The seventeenth century, sometimes known as the Age of Iron, was a time of often brutal warfare in which post-Reformation religious and political motivations were intertwined. Almanacs thus became a means of understanding or accepting these calamitous events for the general public. With the increasing popularity of almanacs, astrologers' erroneous predictions also became more public.

If an astrologer gave a false horoscope to anticipate what his readers wanted and his prediction was wrong, the entire profession was affected. The use of the self-fulfilling prophecy was also exposed in popular publications. If an astrologer predicted a famine in the almanacs, farmers would hoard crops that led to the scarcity predicted, exposing the astrologers to more public criticism. Censorship of the press in England may also have played a role in astrology's decline, allowing astrologers to take credit for unpublished predictions prior to the end of government censorship in Astrologers would often assert that they had predicted events such as the Great Fire of London but were censored.

Without this excuse, their inability to predict future events was revealed. By the end of the seventeenth century, astrology had largely ceased to be reputable among the educated, though almanacs still survived. Some of the decline of astrology had to do with the sheer power of discoveries in astronomy and physics. After the publication of English physicist Sir Isaac Newton 's — Principia in , it was clear that the planets acted in accordance with the same physical laws as Earth and their emanations were gravitational, not astrological.

The demonstration by English astronomer Edmund Halley — that comets were higher than the moon and could return in a predictable cycle undermined comets' roles as astrological harbingers of doom. For a variety of scientific and socio-cultural factors, astrology became a pseudoscience. The planets were now studied by astronomers and astronomy emerged as a mature scientific discipline.

Astrology today is predominantly a socio-cultural phenomenon that scantly resembles the astronomy-astrology of the past. Some critics claim that astrology is merely for entertainment, and the vague—and often universally applicable—messages in a horoscope are harmless. Others, such as British evolutionary biologist and science writer Richard Dawkins — , assert that modern astrological pseudoscience is an enemy of science because popular astrology preys upon and promotes ignorance of scientific principles.

In the ancient world, while the emphasis on the supernatural qualities of astrology continued to develop and influence the affairs of society on the lowest and highest strata, there evolved a fusion with astronomical precision that resulted in a scientific astrology wherein the accurate measurement of celestial spheres was seen as a requisite of accurate prediction.

Following the death of Alexander the Great — BC , who spread the Greek philosophical tradition and intellectual culture across much of the known world, astrology began to take on an emphasis in Greek society that soon overshadowed pure astronomical observation. Influenced by Eastern traditions, a more mundane form of everyday astrology became commonplace in Greek society, and later in Roman civilization.

No longer regulated to the prediction of grand affairs of state or religion, astrology became used by Stoics as a practical medicinal art. Good evidence of this everyday application of astrology is found in surviving Greek poems and plays that provide evidence that the positions of the planets was used as a guide to ordinary affairs. Although there was often an emphasis on the influence of the supernatural upon ancient societies, this masks real achievements that resulted from an increased emphasis upon astronomical observations.

Notable among such observations and calculations are Aristotle's observations of eclipses that argued for a spherical Earth; Aristarchus of Samos ' heliocentric model, which proposed that the Earth rotated around the sun; and Eratosthenes of Cyrene 's — BC accurate measure of the circumference of Earth. Stimulated by astrological mythology, in BC, Euxodus of Cnidus c.

Moreover, these advances in astronomy laid a foundational base for the scientific development of astronomy. Hipparchus's classifications of magnitude of brightness, for example, are still a part of the modern astronomical lexicon. The Algamest, written in the second century AD by Ptolemy, was the most long-lasting and influential work of the scientific astrology produced in the ancient classical world.

Ptolemy's errant models of an Earth-centered universe composed of concentric crystalline spheres were destined to dominate the Western intellectual tradition for more than a millennium. Yet astrology continues to thrive. Many of the world's religions and cultures continue to incorporate aspects of astrology. Horoscopes appear in newspapers and popular publications worldwide. Far removed from astrology, astronomy has flourished as a scientific discipline. Modern astronomers continue to study the planets and stars, but as researchers seeking to understand the structures and mechanisms of the universe.

Although astrology is clearly a pseudoscience, it still exerts influence—and has followers—in the modern world.

Astrology vs Astronomy

In , a book penned by a former staff member claimed that U. President Ronald Reagan —; U. President, — and his wife, Nancy, consulted the advice of astrologers when planning various White House events. The White House press office later confirmed that the Reagans casually followed astrology. The following New York Times article covers the reaction to those revelations, but also provides a look at some media and popular attitudes towards astrology. President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, are both deeply interested in astrology, the White House spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, said today, and two former White House officials said Mrs.

Reagan's concerns had influenced the scheduling of important events. A California astrologer said she had been consulted by the Reagans regarding key White House decisions, but Mr. Reagan said astrology had not influenced policy. Followers of astrology believe the alignment of stars and planets influences human affairs.

Such people consult charts, based on their birth dates, for clues concerning many decisions. Fitzwater said Mrs. Reagan is particularly worried about the impact astrological portents can have on her husband's safety. But he declined to say exactly how Mrs. Reagan had used astrological information. The issue was stirred up by reports, first published in Newsweek, that Donald T. Regan, the former White House chief of staff, discusses the role of astrology in his memoirs. The memoirs are being published later this month by Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, and excerpts are scheduled to appear in the May 16 issue of Time Magazine.

Another former official said the President timed his announcement that he would run for re-election after he and his wife consulted astrological signs. Early in his political career, Mr. Reagan scheduled his inauguration as Governor of California in January to take place at an odd time, A. News reports at the time said the decision was made to take advantage of favorable astrological portents.

In answer to a barrage of questions today, Mr. Reagan has an interest in astrology. She has for some time, particularly following the assassination attempt in March of She was very concerned for her husband's welfare, and astrology has been part of her concern in terms of his activities.

The spokesman said the Reagans were distressed at the disclosures concerning their interest in astrology. Reagan's influence on the President's schedule is well known, but generally she has argued that Mr. Friends of Mrs. Reagan say she has long had an interest in astrology, but only a few of her aides apparently knew that she had an emotional concern. Reagan that something bad would happen that day.

In an interview after the show, Mr. Koppel said a woman astrologer had told Mrs. Koppel would not identify the source of his information. A leading Republican strategist, with close ties to the White House, said the reports would not be damaging to the President. But others said the disclosures revealed a character trait in the President and his wife that had remained largely hidden to the public. Marcello Truzzi, a professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University, said he has collected evidence over many years documenting the Reagans' interest in astrology. Truzzi, who also heads an independent institute, the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research.

The disclosures were fodder for humor in Washington today. I'm glad he consults somebody. At his briefing, Mr. Fitzwater acknowledged that the President has a superstitious streak.