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Session 2 - Applied History of Astronomy II.
Oral session, Sunday, January 14
Salon del Rey Central, Hilton

[2.01] Earth's rotation from 700 B.C. to A.D. 1600

F. R. Stephenson (Durham U., England)

Numerous pre-telescopic observations of both solar and lunar eclipses prove of value in the study of Earth's past rotation. These records mainly originate from Babylon, China, Europe and the Arab lands and they effectively extend as far back as about 700 B.C. Many of the observations were carefully timed. In other cases the record clearly states that a certain solar eclipse was total at a given location or that the Sun or Moon rose or set whilst eclipsed. Using both timed and untimed data, significant non-tidal variations in the length of the day on the millennial time-scale may be traced. These results are of importance in both geophysics and historical studies.

Program listing for Sunday