More Astronomy Notes – end of April

April 27, 2008 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

Precision in Ancient Architecture
The Site of Teotihuacan, “The Pyramid of the Sun,” as it has been dubbed, demonstrates advanced math. The pyramid’s base has a perimeter of 2932.8 feet, while the pyramid has a height of about 233.5 feet. If we take the ratio of base to height, we get about 12.56, or rather, 4p. Although to some this is thought to be a coincidence, the pyramid’s actual ratio is less than 0.05 per cent off of the true value for 4p.
The ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza exemplifies the culture’s celestial orientation. The huge step pyramid (the pyramid of Kukulcan) that is the focus of the site has 91 steps on each of its sides, which add up to 364 steps. Adding the platform on top, there are 365 steps in total — the number of days in a year. Also, on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes (the first day of spring and fall, when day and night are the same length of time), the sunlight works to create a shadow of a giant serpent on the staircase that faces north.
A building called the Caracol, believed to have served as an observatory, is also found at the site of Chichen Itza. The windows are set up to align with certain points of interest. Although the top is damaged, remaining windows point to the northern- and southern-most positions of Venus, the position of sunset on the Equinoxes, and the corners of the building itself point to the sunrises and sets of the solstices.
http://ancientx.com/nm/anmviewer.asp?a=77

Is Venus a Model for Earth’s Future Climate?
April 7 — The atmosphere of Venus is much thicker than Earth’s. Nevertheless, current climate models can reproduce its present temperature structure well. Now planetary scientists want to turn the clock back to understand why and how Venus changed from its former Earth-like conditions into the inferno of today.
They believe that the planet experienced a runaway greenhouse effect as the Sun gradually heated up. Astronomers believe that the young Sun was dimmer than the present-day Sun by 30 percent. Over the last 4 thousand million years, it has gradually brightened. During this increase, Venus’s surface water evaporated and entered the atmosphere. “Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas and it caused the planet to heat-up even more. This is turn caused more water to evaporate and led to a powerful positive feedback response known as the runaway greenhouse effect,” says Grinspoon.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/04/is-venus-a-mode.html

New Rocky Exoplanet Discovered in Constellation Leo
Most of the 280 or so planets discovered to date are gas giants similar to Jupiter, although some with masses below 10 times that of the Earth have already been found. Planets with masses of between one and 10 times the Earth are often dubbed super-Earths. In this case, current models predict that the new planet is a rocky type and has a radius some 50 per cent larger than the Earth.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/04/300-counting–n.html

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Your Milky Way Horoscope – April 27-May 3 Your Milky Way Horoscope May 4-10

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