Sidereal year

A sidereal year (from Latin sidus "asterism, star") is the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun once with respect to the fixed stars. Hence, it is also the time taken for the Sun to return to the same position with respect to the fixed stars after apparently travelling once around the ecliptic. It equals 365.256 363 004 SI days for the J2000.0 epoch.[1]

The sidereal year differs from the tropical year, "the period of time required for the ecliptic longitude of the sun to increase 360 degrees",[2] due to the precession of the equinoxes. The sidereal year is 20 min 24.5 s longer than the mean tropical year at J2000.0 (365.242 190 402 SI days).[1]

Before the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes by Hipparchus in the Hellenistic period, the difference between sidereal and tropical year was unknown. For naked-eye observation, the shift of the constellations relative to the equinoxes only becomes apparent over centuries or "ages", and pre-modern calendars such as Hesiod's Works and Days would give the times of the year for sowing, harvest, and so on by reference to the first visibility of stars, effectively using the sidereal year. The South and Southeast Asian solar New Year, based on Indic influences, is traditionally reckoned by the sun's entry into Aries and thus the sidereal year, but is also supposed to align with the spring equinox and have relevance to the harvesting and planting season and thus the tropical year. As these have grown apart, in some countries and cultures the date has been fixed according to the tropical year while in others the astronomical calculation and sidereal year is still used.

See also


  1. ^ a b IERS 2014.
  2. ^ AA 2016.

Works cited

  • "Glossary". Astronomical Almanac for the Year 2017. Washington DC and London: US Naval Observatory, HM Nautical Almanac Office. 2016. p. M19.
  • "Useful Constants". International Earth rotation and Reference systems Service (IERS). February 13, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
2002 AA29

2002 AA29 (also written 2002 AA29) is a small near-Earth asteroid that was discovered on January 9, 2002 by the LINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research) automatic sky survey. The diameter of the asteroid is only about 20–100 metres (70–300 ft). It revolves about the Sun on an almost circular orbit very similar to that of the Earth. This lies for the most part inside the Earth's orbit, which it crosses near the asteroid's furthest point from the Sun, the aphelion. Because of this orbit, the asteroid is classified as Aten type, named after the asteroid 2062 Aten.

A further characteristic is that its mean orbital period about the Sun is exactly one sidereal year. This means that it is locked into a relationship with the Earth, since such an orbit is only stable under particular conditions. As yet only a few asteroids of this sort are known, locked into a 1:1 resonance with the Earth. The first was 3753 Cruithne, discovered in 1986.

Asteroids that have a 1:1 orbital resonance with a planet are also called co-orbital objects, because they follow the orbit of the planet. The most numerous known co-orbital asteroids are the so-called trojans, which occupy the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points of the relevant planet. However, 2002 AA29 does not belong to these. Instead, it follows a so-called horseshoe orbit along the path of the Earth.


Aryabhatiya (IAST: Āryabhaṭīya) or Aryabhatiyam (Āryabhaṭīyaṃ), a Sanskrit astronomical treatise, is the magnum opus and only known surviving work of the 5th century Indian mathematician Aryabhata. Based on the parameters used in the text, the philosopher of astronomy Roger Billard estimated that the book was written around 510 AC.

Astrological sign

In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox (one of the intersections of the ecliptic with the celestial equator), also known as the First Point of Aries. The order of the astrological signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each sector is named for a constellation it passes through.

The concept of the zodiac originated in Babylonian astrology, and was later influenced by Hellenistic culture. According to astrology, celestial phenomena relate to human activity on the principle of "as above, so below", so that the signs are held to represent characteristic modes of expression. Modern discoveries about the true nature of celestial objects have undermined the theoretical basis for assigning meaning to astrological signs, and empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate. Astrology is generally regarded as pseudoscience.

The twelve sector division of the ecliptic constitutes astrology's primary frame of reference when considering the positions of celestial bodies, from a geocentric point of view, so that we may find, for instance, the Sun in 23° Aries (23° longitude), the Moon in 7° Scorpio (217° longitude), or Jupiter in 29° Pisces (359° longitude). Beyond the celestial bodies, other astrological points that are dependent on geographical location and time (namely, the Ascendant, the Midheaven, the Vertex and the houses' cusps) are also referenced within this ecliptic coordinate system.Various approaches to measuring and dividing the sky are currently used by differing systems of astrology, although the tradition of the Zodiac's names and symbols remain consistent. Western astrology measures from Equinox and Solstice points (points relating to equal, longest and shortest days of the tropical year), while Jyotiṣa or Vedic astrology measures along the equatorial plane (sidereal year). Precession results in Western astrology's zodiacal divisions not corresponding in the current era to the constellations that carry similar names, while Jyotiṣa measurements still correspond with the background constellations.In Western and Indian astrology, the emphasis is on space, and the movement of the Sun, Moon and planets in the sky through each of the zodiac signs. In Chinese astrology, by contrast, the emphasis is on time, with the zodiac operating on cycles of years, months, and hours of the day.


Ayanamsa (Sanskrit ayanāṃśa: ayana "movement" + aṃśa "component"), also ayanabhāga (Sk. bhāga "portion"), is the Sanskrit term in Indian astronomy for the amount of precession. In astrology, this is the longitudinal difference between the Tropical (Sāyana) and Sidereal (Nirayana) zodiacs. In astronomy too, this is the difference between the length of a tropical year (365.2422 rotations of the earth) and a sidereal year (365.2563 rotations) required to complete one orbit relative to the sun (tropical) or stars (sidereal).

Billion years

A billion years (109 years) is a unit of time on the petasecond scale, more precisely equal to 3.16×1016 seconds.

It is sometimes abbreviated Gy, Ga ("giga-annum"), Byr and variants. The abbreviations Gya or bya are for "billion years ago", i.e. billion years before present.

The terms are used in geology, paleontology, geophysics, astronomy and physical cosmology.

The prefix giga- is preferred over billion- to avoid confusion in the long and short scales over the meaning of billion; the postfix annum may be further qualified for precision as a sidereal year or Julian year:

1 Gaj=3.15576×1016 s,

1 Gas=3.15581×1016 s (epoch J2000.0).

1 Gas=1×109 yByr was formerly used in English-language geology and astronomy as a unit of one billion years. Subsequently, the term gigaannum (Ga) has increased in usage, with Gy or Gyr still sometimes used in English-language works (at the risk of confusion with Gy as abbreviation for the gray, a unit of radiation exposure). Astronomers use Gyr or Gy as an abbreviation for gigayear.

Buddhist calendar

The Buddhist calendar is a set of lunisolar calendars primarily used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka and Chinese populations of Malaysia and Singapore for religious or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they also have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar.

The Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the sidereal year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is not very accurate for sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is slowly drifting out of sync with the sidereal, approximately one day every 100 years. Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken.

Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used mainly for Theravada Buddhist festivals, and no longer has the official calendar status anywhere. The Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand.


Chronometry (from Greek χρόνος chronos, "time" and μέτρον metron, "measure") is the science of the measurement of time, or timekeeping. Chronometry applies to electronic devices, while horology refers to mechanical devices.

It should not to be confused with chronology, the science of locating events in time, which often relies upon it.

Earth's orbit

Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of 149.60 million km (92.96 million mi), and one complete orbit takes 365.256 days (1 sidereal year), during which time Earth has traveled 940 million km (584 million mi). Earth's orbit has an eccentricity of 0.0167. Since the Sun constitutes 99.76% of the mass of the Sun–Earth system, the center of the orbit is extremely close to the center of the Sun.

As seen from Earth, the planet's orbital prograde motion makes the Sun appear to move with respect to other stars at a rate of about 1° eastward per solar day (or a Sun or Moon diameter every 12 hours). Earth's orbital speed averages about 30 km/s (109044 km/h; 67756 mph), which is fast enough to cover the planet's diameter in 7 minutes and the distance to the Moon in 4 hours.From a vantage point above the north pole of either the Sun or Earth, Earth would appear to revolve in a counterclockwise direction around the Sun. From the same vantage point, both the Earth and the Sun would appear to rotate also in a counterclockwise direction about their respective axes.

Gaussian year

A Gaussian year is defined as 365.2568983 days. It was adopted by Carl Friedrich Gauss as the length of the sidereal year in his studies of the dynamics of the solar system. A slightly different value is now accepted as the length of the sidereal year, and the value accepted by Gauss is given a special name.

A particle of negligible mass, that orbits a body of 1 solar mass in this period, has a mean axis for its orbit of 1 astronomical unit by definition. The value is derived from Kepler's third law as


k is the Gaussian gravitational constant.

HAT-P-8b is an extrasolar planet located approximately 720 light years away in the constellation of Pegasus, orbiting the 10th magnitude star GSC 02757-01152. This planet was discovered by transit on December 5, 2008. Despite the designation as HAT-P-8b, it is the 11th planet discovered by the HATNet Project. The mass of the planet is 50% more than Jupiter while the radius is also 50% more than Jupiter. The mass of this planet is exact since the inclination of the orbit is known, typical for transiting planets. This is a so-called “hot Jupiter” because this Jupiter-like gas giant planet orbits in a really close torch orbit around the star, making this planet extremely hot (in the order of a thousand kelvins). The distance from the star is roughly 20 times smaller than that of Earth from the Sun, which places the planet roughly 8 times closer to its star than Mercury is from the Sun. The “year” on this planet lasts only 3 days, 1 hour, 49 minutes, and 54 seconds, compared with Earth's 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 10 seconds in a sidereal year.


HD2IOA is the callsign of a time signal radio station operated by the Navy of Ecuador. The station is located at Guayaquil, Ecuador and transmits in the HF band on 3.81 and 7.6 MHz.The transmission is in AM mode with only the lower sideband (part of the time H3E and the rest H2B/H2D) and consists of 780 Hz tone pulses repeated every ten seconds and voice announcements in Spanish.

While sometimes this station is described as defunct, reception reports of this station on 3.81 MHz appear regularly at the Utility DX Forum.

Lunisolar calendar

A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar year. If the solar year is defined as a tropical year, then a lunisolar calendar will give an indication of the season;if it is taken as a sidereal year, then the calendar will predict the constellation near which the full moon may occur.As with all calendars which divide the year into months there is an additional requirement that the year have a whole number of months. In this case ordinary years consist of twelve months but every second or third year is an embolismic year, which adds a thirteenth intercalary, embolismic, or leap month.

Orbit of Mars

Mars has an orbit with a semimajor axis of 1.524 astronomical units (228 million kilometers), and an eccentricity of 0.0934. The planet orbits the Sun in 687 days and travels 9.55 AU in doing so, making the average orbital speed 24 km/s.

The eccentricity is greater than that of every other planet except Mercury, and this causes a large difference between the aphelion and perihelion distances—they are 1.6660 and 1.3814 AU.

Orbit of Venus

Venus has an orbit with a semi-major axis of 0.723 au (108,200,000 km; 67,200,000 mi), and an eccentricity of 0.007. The low eccentricity and comparatively small size of its orbit give Venus the least range in distance between perihelion and aphelion of the planets: 1.46 Gm. The planet orbits the Sun once every 225 days and travels 4.54 au (679,000,000 km; 422,000,000 mi) in doing so, giving an average orbital speed of 35 km/s (78,000 mph).


Sidereal may refer to:

Sidereal time

Sidereal day

Sidereal month

Sidereal year

Sidereal period of an object orbiting a star

Sidereal and tropical astrology

South and Southeast Asian solar New Year

The traditional New Year in many South and Southeast Asian cultures is based on the sun's entry into the constellation Aries. In modern times, it is usually reckoned around the 14th of April.

Tropical year

A tropical year (also known as a solar year) is the time that the Sun takes to return to the same position in the cycle of seasons, as seen from Earth; for example, the time from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, or from summer solstice to summer solstice. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the seasonal cycle does not remain exactly synchronized with the position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. As a consequence, the tropical year is about 20 minutes shorter than the time it takes Earth to complete one full orbit around the Sun as measured with respect to the fixed stars (the sidereal year).

Since antiquity, astronomers have progressively refined the definition of the tropical year. The entry for "year, tropical" in the Astronomical Almanac Online Glossary (2015) states:

the period of time for the ecliptic longitude of the Sun to increase 360 degrees. Since the Sun's ecliptic longitude is measured with respect to the equinox, the tropical year comprises a complete cycle of seasons, and its length is approximated in the long term by the civil (Gregorian) calendar. The mean tropical year is approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds.

An equivalent, more descriptive, definition is "The natural basis for computing passing tropical years is the mean longitude of the Sun reckoned from the precessionally moving equinox (the dynamical equinox or equinox of date). Whenever the longitude reaches a multiple of 360 degrees the mean Sun crosses the vernal equinox and a new tropical year begins" (Borkowski 1991, p. 122).

The mean tropical year in 2000 was 365.24219 ephemeris days; each ephemeris day lasting 86,400 SI seconds. This is 365.24217 mean solar days (Richards 2013, p. 587).


A year is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the hours of daylight, and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility.

In temperate and subpolar regions around the planet, four seasons are generally recognized: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. In tropical and subtropical regions, several geographical sectors do not present defined seasons; but in the seasonal tropics, the annual wet and dry seasons are recognized and tracked.

A calendar year is an approximation of the number of days of the Earth's orbital period as counted in a given calendar. The Gregorian calendar, or modern calendar, presents its calendar year to be either a common year of 365 days or a leap year of 366 days, as do the Julian calendars; see below. For the Gregorian calendar, the average length of the calendar year (the mean year) across the complete leap cycle of 400 years is 365.2425 days. The ISO standard ISO 80000-3, Annex C, supports the symbol a (for Latin annus) to represent a year of either 365 or 366 days. In English, the abbreviations y and yr are commonly used.

In astronomy, the Julian year is a unit of time; it is defined as 365.25 days of exactly 86,400 seconds (SI base unit), totalling exactly 31,557,600 seconds in the Julian astronomical year.The word year is also used for periods loosely associated with, but not identical to, the calendar or astronomical year, such as the seasonal year, the fiscal year, the academic year, etc. Similarly, year can mean the orbital period of any planet; for example, a Martian year and a Venusian year are examples of the time a planet takes to transit one complete orbit. The term can also be used in reference to any long period or cycle, such as the Great Year.

Zij-i Sultani

Zīj-i Sulṭānī (Persian: زیجِ سلطانی‎) is a Zij astronomical table and star catalogue that was published by Ulugh Beg in 1438-1439. It was the joint product of the work of a group of Muslim astronomers working under the patronage of Ulugh Beg at Samarkand's Ulugh Beg Observatory. These astronomers included Jamshīd al-Kāshī and Ali Qushji, among others.

The Zij-i-Sultani is generally considered the most accurate and extensive star catalogue up to its time, surpassing its predecessors, including Ptolemy's work, Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars, and the Maragheh observatory's Zij-i Ilkhani. It was not surpassed until the work of Taqi al-Din and Tycho Brahe in the 16th century.

The serious errors which Ulugh Beg found in previous Zij star catalogues (many of the earlier ones were simply updates on Ptolemy's work, adding the effect of precession to the longitudes) induced him to redetermine the positions of 992 fixed stars, to which he added 27 stars from al-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars (964), which were too far south for observation from Samarkand. This catalogue, one of the most original of the Middle Ages, was edited by Thomas Hyde at Oxford in 1665 under the title Tabulae longitudinis et latitudinis stellarum fixarum ex observatione Ulugbeighi, by G. Sharpe in 1767, and in 1843 by Francis Baily in vol. xiii. of the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In 1437, Ulugh Beg determined the length of the sidereal year as 365.2570370...d = 365d 6h 10m 8s (an error +58s). In his measurements over many years he used a 50 m high gnomon. This value was improved by 28s, 88 years later in 1525 by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), who appealed to the estimation of Thabit ibn Qurra (826-901), which was accurate to +2s. However, Ulugh Beg later measured another more precise value as 365d 5h 49m 15s, which has an error of +25s, making it more accurate than Copernicus' estimate which had an error of +30s. Ulugh Beg also determined the Earth's axial tilt as 23;30,17 degrees in sexagesimal notation, which in decimal notation converts to 23.5047 degrees.

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