Periodical lunation

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Periodical lunation

In astronomythe new moon is the first lunar phasewhen the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. Daylight outshines the earthlight that dimly illuminates the new moon. The actual phase is usually a very thin crescent.

The original meaning of the term new moonwhich is still sometimes used in non-astronomical contexts, is the first visible crescent of the Moon after conjunction with the Sun. A lunationor synodic monthis the average time from one new moon to the next. In the J However, the length of any one synodic month can vary from Each lunar cycle can be assigned a unique lunation number to identify it.

The length of a lunation is about Its precise duration is linked to many phenomena in nature, such as the variation between spring and neap tides the most and least profound tidal variances respectively. An approximate formula to compute the mean moments of new moon conjunction between Sun and Moon for successive months is:. To obtain this moment expressed in Universal Time UTworld clock timeadd the result of following approximate correction to the result d obtained above:.

Periodic perturbations change the time of true conjunction from these mean values. For all new moons between andthe maximum difference is 0. The duration of a lunation i. See the article on the full moon cycle for a fairly simple method to compute the moment of new moon more accurately. The long-term error of the formula is approximately: 1 cy 2 seconds in TT, and 11 cy 2 seconds in UT cy is centuries since ; see section Explanation of the formulae for details.

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The moment of mean conjunction can easily be computed from an expression for the mean ecliptical longitude of the Moon minus the mean ecliptical longitude of the Sun Delauney parameter D.

Jean Meeus gave formulae to compute this in his Astronomical Formulae for Calculators based on the ephemerides of Brown and Newcomb ca. These are now outdated: Chapront et al. Also Meeus's formula uses a fractional variable to allow computation of the four main phases, and uses a second variable for the secular terms.

For the convenience of the reader, the formula given above is based on Chapront's latest parameters and expressed with a single integer variable, and the following additional terms have been added:. The error in the position of the Moon itself is only maybe 0.

The Lunation Number or Lunation Cycle is a number given to each lunation beginning from a certain one in history. Several conventions are in use. The most commonly used is the Brown Lunation Number BLNwhich defines lunation 1 as beginning at the first new moon ofthe year when Ernest William Brown's lunar theory was introduced in the major national astronomical almanacs.

Lunation 1 occurred at approximately UTCJanuary 17, In astronomythe new moon is the first lunar phasewhen the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. Daylight outshines the earthlight that dimly illuminates the new moon.

The actual phase is usually a very thin crescent. The original meaning of the term new moonwhich is still sometimes used in non-astronomical contexts, is the first visible crescent of the Moon after conjunction with the Sun.

A lunationor synodic monthis the average time from one new moon to the next. In the J However, the length of any one synodic month can vary from Each lunar cycle can be assigned a unique lunation number to identify it.

The length of a lunation is about Its precise duration is linked to many phenomena in nature, such as the variation between spring and neap tides the most and least profound tidal variances respectively.

An approximate formula to compute the mean moments of new moon conjunction between Sun and Moon for successive months is:. To obtain this moment expressed in Universal Time UTworld clock timeadd the result of following approximate correction to the result d obtained above:. Periodic perturbations change the time of true conjunction from these mean values. For all new moons between andthe maximum difference is 0. The duration of a lunation i. See the article on the full moon cycle for a fairly simple method to compute the moment of new moon more accurately.

The long-term error of the formula is approximately: 1 cy 2 seconds in TT, and 11 cy 2 seconds in UT cy is centuries since ; see section Explanation of the formulae for details. The moment of mean conjunction can easily be computed from an expression for the mean ecliptical longitude of the Moon minus the mean ecliptical longitude of the Sun Delauney parameter D. Jean Meeus gave formulae to compute this in his Astronomical Formulae for Calculators based on the ephemerides of Brown and Newcomb ca.

These are now outdated: Chapront et al. Also Meeus's formula uses a fractional variable to allow computation of the four main phases, and uses a second variable for the secular terms.

For the convenience of the reader, the formula given above is based on Chapront's latest parameters and expressed with a single integer variable, and the following additional terms have been added:.

The error in the position of the Moon itself is only maybe 0. The Lunation Number or Lunation Cycle is a number given to each lunation beginning from a certain one in history.

Several conventions are in use. The most commonly used is the Brown Lunation Number BLNwhich defines lunation 1 as beginning at the first new moon ofthe year when Ernest William Brown's lunar theory was introduced in the major national astronomical almanacs. Lunation 1 occurred at approximately UTCJanuary 17, New moons occur on Julian Dates Another increasingly popular lunation number simply called the Lunation Numberintroduced by Jean Meeusdefines lunation 0 as beginning on the first new moon of this occurred at approximately UTCJanuary 6, The Islamic Lunation Number is the count of lunations in the Islamic calendar with lunation 1 as beginning on July 16, In calendric contexts, new moon refers to the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the Sun.Dane Rudhyar.

The Lunation Birthday. Modern astrology gives considerable importance to the birthday of the individual, the life and character of whom are being studied. Astrological magazines, which have to rely upon simplified and generalized data in order to reach a great number of people, have been partly responsible for this over-emphasis on what is called the "sun sign" of a person.

As a rule, everyone knows which day of the year he or she is born, and that day — the birthday — tells within a couple of degrees the position of the sun in the zodiac. Thus the habit has developed among people interested, even most superficially, in astrology of saying: "I am an Aries" or "I am a Virgo," etc.

Such an identification of the "I" with the zodiacal position of the sun has undoubtedly a very real validity; yet, even though the sun can be considered the most basic factor in a birth-chart, it is not the only factor of fundamental importance — and the sun's position in the zodiac is not the only way of characterizing its particular significance in the birth-chart of an individual person.

The zodiac, as I already said, is a cycle of positions recording the apparent yearly motion of the sun with reference to a supposed fixed starting point: the vernal equinox. However, the zodiac records the path of the sun as if nothing existed or moved around except this splendid and magnificent autocrat of the sky — the sun, our "king"!

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As most people consider their "I" also as such a type of kingly and grandiose figure which alone counts in their little universe, it is natural that they should seek to identify the essential character of their own self with the zodiacal position of the sun.

The sun is understood to be that which exists of itself alone and from which all vitality and power flows. It is said to refer to the basic "purpose" of the life, to the "will" of the "real" man.

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These solar factors are not inherently affected by any change or relationship; it is the earth-nature which, by orienting itself differently to them, makes them seem to be different. Yet in geocentric astrology the earth has no part in celestial relationships; It is only the recipient of celestial influences, the thing acted upon by celestial bodies.

Astrological relationships refer only to the motions of two or more celestial bodies, and the relationship of the moon to the sun is normally the first to be considered. It is indeed absolutely basic. The cyclic relationship of the moon to the sun produces the lunation cycle; and every moment of the month and the day can be characterized significantly by its position within this lunation cycle.

Thus, a person can say: "I am a first quarter phase," or "I am a full moon phase" with just as much reason as he says: "I am a Libra. But when this is done, the basic factor used as a foundation for the classification is not the sun alone, but the soli-lunar relationship; and the classification refers to an aspect or level of the total human being in which the element of relatedness is of paramount importance.

If man is described, and human types are classified, in terms of the archetypal purpose of his life i. But man is not only a unitarian entity in splendid isolation or transcendent aloofness from all relationships.I am introducing here what, to my knowledge, is a new approach to the use of the lunation cycle for the purpose of analyzing the weekly and monthly trends in the lives of individuals.

To do this successfully, I must, however, first of all define the proper and legitimate field in which such an analysis is valid.

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The lunation cycle extends from one New Moon to the next, reaching an apex or turning point at the Full Moon. It is the cycle of the constantly changing relationship between the solar and lunar forces which affect the earth and the "earthly" nature of every human being.

This relationship is the foundation and the very substance of what we generally call "life".

periodical lunation

Life is an interplay between two polarities or forces. One releases energy light, heat and other less-known types of radiations ; it is the Sun. The other distributes this solar energy wherever it is needed to meet the demands of a living organism striving to maintain, reproduce and expand or transform itself in its earthly environment; it is the Moon. The Moon alters its countenance, symbolically speaking, because the needs of the organism constantly change.

The organism has not only to face ever-renewed challenges in its environment or outer life; it also must grow from within, unfold its powers and faculties, mature — and eventually decay. Decay is as much a part of the cycle of life experience as growth. We begin to die the moment we are born, as our organism is a field in which struggle the constructive anabolic and the destructive catabolic forces of life.

Out of destruction and death, new life is born. As the seed of the new life cycle is formed, the leaves of the seasonal organism begin to die. As these leaves fall and decay on the ground, humus is formed which will feed the future, growth of life. The source of life the Sun remains always active, but it is active in various ways at various times; and the signs of the zodiac represent basic types of solar activity.

There are twelve such basic types; each is released in a focal manner at the time of the New Moon, when the Moon stands between the Sun and the earth thus, inside the earth's orbit and is, as it were, impregnated by the solar rays. The Moon then receives a new "solar impulse" which it distributes gradually to the earth in order to meet the needs of all living organisms on earth.

Each lunation cycle is, thus, an attempt to release and make available to plants, beasts and men that power which they require to live more wholesomely.

The phases of the Moon are symbols of the basic steps in the cyclic process of distribution, by the Moon force, of the solar power received by the Moon when conjunct the Sun New Moon. They are not really expressions of changes in the Moon itself, but of changes in the relationship between the Sun and the Moon.

They are phases in the soli-lunar relationship, phases in the activities of bi-polar life. All that belongs to the field of "life" on earth is affected by these phases; and this field covers an infinite variety of activities, spreading from the biological realm to the psychological, from instincts to those psychological "drives" which are mostly compulsive and which, when frustrated, degenerate into "complexes" and the like.

The individual person can, in varying degrees — by acting as a thinking, rational and moral individual — reach beyond the mostly blind and irrational forces of "life". Human collectivities — i. They respond directly to the ebbs and flows of "life".Phases of the moon terminology. Understanding the moon phases. Moon Math: Periodic Phenomena.

periodical lunation

Teacher Page. Step 1: You will work in groups of Step 2: Before you can help the film producer, you first need to get familiar with some terminology. What is a new moon? What does the term waxing mean? What does the term waning mean? What is a waxing crescent? What is a waning gibbous? What is a lunation period? Explain any other useful terminol ogy. The movie shows the appearance of the moon over one lunation.

The Lunar Month

Briefly summarize what you read. Step 6: Based on your assigned month, use your graphing calculator to create a scatter plot of the data. Use the "Stat plot" feature to graph the data. Hint: Is your "Stat Plot" on? Step 9 : Using your equation or graph, answer the following questions:. When is the graph increasing? When is the graph decreasing? What is the maximum value of the curve? What does this value mean in context of this problem? What is the minimum value of the curve?

Are you able to tell from your graph any information about when the waxing, waning, etc.? If yes, what do you know? What is the period of your function?Analysis by Dr. Irv Bromberg, University of Toronto, Canada. This page examines the periodic variations in the length of the lunar cycle, and its long-term trend over a year period. Expressions will be presented for computing the moment of the mean lunar conjunction, the mean synodic month, and the rate of change of the mean synodic month.

All of the charts are in GIF format but can be viewed in more detail and higher resolution by clicking the chart, which will open the corresponding Adobe Acrobat PDF Portable Document Format file in a new window.

To obtain the freeware Acrobat Reader, click here. To obtain the accurate moments of the actual astronomical lunar conjunctions, as the basis for evaluating the lengths of the lunar cycle and how it changes over time, and to prepare the collection of charts offered below, I used numerical integrationwhich is arguably the "gold standard" for celestial mechanicsand which is easy to do using SOLEX version 9.

Version 9. OUT" text file. For those charts that are in terms of mean solar days, I assumed steady tidal slowing of the Earth rotation rate such that mean solar days get longer by 1. Of course the actual Earth rotation rate does not slow down at such a perfectly steady rate, but goes through short-term fluctuations and long-term periodic cycles, many of which are unpredictable with our present state of knowledge.

periodical lunation

Tidal slowing was probably greater in the past when the polar ice caps were more massive with lower sea levels and axial tilt was greater than in the present era, and tidal slowing will probably diminish over the coming several millennia due to global warming reduction of polar ice mass, rising sea levels and due to declining axial tilt.

Herein, when I mention Jean Meeus without further qualification, it refers to what he wrote in that chapter. In the present era the median length of the lunar cycle is about 29d 12h 30m, the average MSM is slightly more than 29d 12h 44m, the shortest lunations are about 29d 6h 30m, and the longest are about 29d 20h.

Thus the length of the synodic month varies over a range spanning about 13h 30m. These variations were greater in the past and will diminish in the future:. I will explain later why I chose the "magic" number for averaging the lengths of lunar cycles. The chart above happens to be in terms of Terrestrial Time TTbut there would not be any discernible difference if the data had been calculated in terms of Universal Time UTbecause of the very wide range of the Y -axis scale.

The following chart shows the variations obtained when the actual length of each lunar cycle is subtracted from the actual length of the mean synodic month, as calculated by SOLEX in terms of Terrestrial Time. Each plotted point is a lunar conjunction, with more than plotted in total:. A variety of arithmetic lunar calendars are in use that are based on a repeating fixed lunar cycle duration. Some examples, sorted in descending order of the assumed lunar cycle length, are listed below, along with a good contemporary estimate of the mean synodic month:.

Those that are listed above the year AD mean synodic month have assumed lunar cycle lengths that are too long and are drifting late, and those that appear below it are too short and are drifting early, relative to the present era mean lunar cycle. For optimizing the long-term drift of a fixed interval lunar calendar, however, it is better to choose a mean month that is slightly too short, because the mean lunar cycle is getting progressively shorter in terms of the mean solar days that are relevant to calendars.

Regardless of the assumed length of the lunar cycle, the short-term periodic variations of actual lunar conjunction relative to mean lunar conjunctions calculated using any of the above fixed intervals will be about double the periodic variations of the length of the actual lunar cycleas will be shown next.

Phases of the Moon Explanation for kids -Animation Lesson Unit

The actual lunar conjunction was at TT, according to SOLEX, but our estimate is intended to relate to mean lunar conjunction moments. The choice of J To compute the fixed day number of the New Moon estimate, relative to J When this value is added to J as above it represents the epoch mean lunar conjunction moment on January 6, at TT.

Fractional Lunation values of 0, 0. The following chart shows the variations obtained when the constant interval New Moon estimates are subtracted from the corresponding the actual lunar conjunctions, as calculated by SOLEX in terms of Terrestrial Time.It has become customary among people interested in astrology to say: "I am a Leo," "I am a Sagittarius.

Zodiacal signs — which must be clearly differentiated from zodiacal constellations groups of actual stars — are simply degree sections of the path which the Sun describes in its apparent yearly motion from one spring equinox to the next — more precisely, from two successive northward crossings by the Sun of the celestial equator.

It is in Taurus when it has traveled from 30 to 60 degrees from this same starting point of the yearly solar cycle. To say, "I am a Taurus native," means, thus, that one chooses to characterize one's own nature or human type by using as a "frame of reference" the apparent motion of the Sun every year from one vernal point to the next.

The position of the natal Sun within this zodiacal frame of reference defines what we call the "birthday" of the person — at least, within the limits of accuracy of our modern calendar.

The birthday is, thus, exclusively a "solar" factor and has meaning solely in terms of the significance of the Sun. It should be clear that any other important natal factor which has a regular cycle, for which a precise and logical starting point can be easily ascertained, might also be used in the same way as we normally use the Sun in order to determine a different kind of "birthday".

For instance, a planet like Jupiter crosses the equatorial plane northward at regular intervals; these crossings could be considered and are so considered in mundane astrology as the beginning of a Jupiter "year", lasting nearly twelve solar years. Then, the position of Jupiter at birth could be defined with reference to this Jupiter "year"; when Jupiter returns to its natal place, a person could then be said to have his "Jupiterian birthday".

Such a procedure would be followed in any civilization which would consider the Jupiter factor as being more basic than the Sun factor and which would base its calendar upon the cycle of Jupiter instead of upon that of the Sun.

This would be logical and feasible, whether or not it has ever been done. Actually, because astrology and the use of a calendar began in societies mainly concerned with agriculture and the need to establish as clearly as possible the rhythm of seasonal changes, the position of the Sun — the one basic source of heat and light — has always been featured in the making of a calendar.

It has not, however, always been featured as exclusively as it is in our present "solar calendar". There have been so-called "lunar" calendars, and the Islamic calendar still belongs to this category.

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It is incorrect, however, to call "lunar" any calendar or time pattern which is established by considering as the basic unit of time the period from one New Moon to the next-that is the "lunation cycle". Such a lunation cycle is soli-lunarnot really lunar, for it refers to the recurring period of the successive conjunctions of the Sun and the Moon.

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New Moons and Full Moons are not, strictly Speaking, "lunar" factors; they are phases in the relationship of the Moon to the Sun, as it is seen from the point of view of the Earth. The Lunation Cycle is a cycle by the related motions of the Moon and the Sun.

It belongs, therefore, to a different type of cycle than the yearly cycle of the Sun from vernal equinox to vernal equinox. The former is a "cycle of relationship" — the latter, a "cycle of positions". The distinction between these two categories of cycles is basic and must be made if astrology is to have solid and logically consistent foundations. This distinction is that between the "sidereal" and the "synodic" periods of the planets. The former refers to the regular motion of a planet to a theoretically, at least fixed starting point.

The vernal equinox point, a characteristic star which is supposed to be "fixed", constitutes the beginnings of such cycles. The year, the sidereal day, the transits of a planet from its natal position to this same position years later are, all "cycles of positions"; they refer to the distances of a moving factor Sun, earth meridian, planet from one set point to this same point again. Only one basic factor and its motion are considered. On the other hand, where "cycles of relationship" are studied, two moving factors are considered.

The cycle begins at the time of their conjunction, climaxes at the time of their opposition, begins again at the next conjunction. Not only the lunation cycle belongs to this category, but all usually called "cycles of planetary conjunctions" — such as the well-known cycle of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, which lasts about twenty years.

The soli-lunar cycle extending from New Moon to New Moon is, in my opinion, just as important in practical astrology as the cycle of the solar year; but while it has a most fundamental and recognized place in mundane astrology and in all agricultural and climacteric approaches to the study of astrology, it is not given sufficient meaning in natal astrology, in psychological-astrological studies and also in the type of personal guidance featured in astrological magazines.

We consider as basic the twelve-sign zodiacal cycle of the Sun the year and the twelve-house pattern derived from the daily motion of the horizon and meridian of the Earth, both of which are "cycles of positions". But just as basic are all "cycles of relationships" between planets, the prototype and model of which is the soli-lunar cycle — the measure of the true monthly periods of time.

This period, the month, is necessary as a vital intermediary between the year and the day — just as, philosophically speaking, "mind" is the necessary intermediary between the realm of "spirit" the Sun and its yearly rhythm and that of "material body" the Earth and its daily rotation.

There is but one Latin word for "mind" and "month", mensfrom which also is derived the word for "measure". Mind — and also in a certain sense, soul — belongs to the middle realm in all trinities of principles of being.

Mind is the "formative principle"; this principle, which is the controlling factor in all actual manifestations of life i. To study only the Moon and its sidereal real "cycle of positions" is to ignore the meaning of mind and soul, for these elements of our most vital nature are expressions not of a lunar factor, but of a constantly evolving soli-lunar relationship.


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