CELESTIAL MECHANICS – A DEVOTIONAL INQUIRY:
Celestial mechanics is the study of the motions of astronomical bodies as they move under the influence of their mutual gravitation. This article will explore the event named ‘AUTUMNAL EQUINOX’ that will occur in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10.29 P.M.
The calculation of celestial motions is complicated because many separate forces are acting at once and all bodies are moving simultaneously. Issac Newton’s Laws of Motion and Theory of Universal Gravitation provided a physical, dynamic basis for the merely descriptive Laws of Kepler that explain the elliptical orbits of planets.
The term ‘Equinox’ is used to describe the time when the Sun crosses the celestial equator making day and night of equal length in all parts of the Earth. Equinoctial point is either of the two points on the celestial sphere where the Sun’s path crosses the celestial equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the autumnal equinox occurs around September 22-23 when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south.
Astronomical Coordinate Systems are used to indicate the positions of celestial bodies on the celestial sphere. Celestial sphere is an imaginary sphere that has the observer at its center and all other celestial bodies imagined as on its inside surface. The celestial equator is the projection of the Earth’s equator on the celestial sphere. It is simply an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator from west to east. The Ecliptic describes the apparent path taken by the Sun in the celestial sphere.
Astronomy is the branch of Science that studies the motions and nature of celestial bodies such as planets, stars, and galaxies. It is perhaps the oldest of the pure sciences. Astronomical observations provided a basis for the Calendar by determining the Units of Month and Year. It helps as a tool in timekeeping. Modern Astronomy has indeed made a great progress in the understanding of the Universe in which man finds his existence.
The Sun’s period of revolution about the Milky Way galactic center takes about 230 million years. How should we interpret this celestial motion??? It appears like a random, purposeless, unguided motion that is entirely governed by the mechanistic principles of the Laws of Physics.
I am asking my readers to interpret information about celestial dynamics in the context of human existence. To establish life on planet Earth and to account for the existence of life, we need a Universal System that is operated by a Universal Order.
I am inviting my readers to use the valid, scientific principle of Inquiry called ‘Devotion’ to account for celestial dynamics. Celestial Mechanics need the principle of ‘Devotion’ to account for purposive, guided, and goal-oriented actions. For the subjective, and the objective experience of life, man needs the guidance from the apparent motions of astronomical bodies such as the Sun and the Moon across the sky. A devotional inquiry would lead man to interpret Celestial Mechanics in terms of his own individualistic experience of his life-span.