[This page was updated June 19, 2012.]
Why Does Sirius Move in the Opposite
Direction to Precession?
Why Does the Rate of Sirius Motion Almost Exactly Cancel Precession?
"We scientists would claim that in the
absence of precession,
the tropical year and the sidereal
year would be equal."
P. Hube, Dept. of Physics University of Alberta
here for a paper on this written by Karl-Heinz Homann's son,
The following graph
measured daily transit readings of Sirius (blue line) and
compares these readings to the precession rate (red line) of
the rest of the stars in the sky.
This clearly demonstrates that Sirius does not precess. The
question is—why does this happen?
Mr. Homann concludes below that:
"These observations clearly indicate that the so-called 'precession of the
earth' is NOT a scientific fact, and that the Sirius system
has a noticeable gravitational influence on our solar
Editor's Note: Though Mr. Homann uses
the term "Meridian" in his discussion below, in fact (and as
he explains) Sirius didn't pass directly overhead but rather
the telescope was pointed to the Southwest.
Also, the article below was prepared before this data was
digitized and so his text has been changed only in these
items: 1) his original graphs were hand drawn on graph paper
and we are able to provide clearer and more readable graphs
and 2) his original graphs were originally set up on ten-day
intervals and now they are presented on a simple date
oriented time line. Here are links to copies of Mr.
Homann's original hand-drawn graphs, which he labeled
Each of the 8 graphs below can be clicked to bring up
data file with the readings that it represents. These data files are comprised of Mr.
Homann's original data and the
adjacent columns show the Excel calculations for
the day length variations (y-axis) per day. This is the actual measured variation around the central value of
seconds, which is the difference between the length of the
sidereal day and the mean solar day.
Finally, the pdf data files show the term "Calculated Avg
=>" to show where we added interpolated points to provide
continuity in the lines of the graphs. This seems to
happen when Mr. Homann was re-adjusting the transit and its
tripod. These are mostly evident in his early years and the
later data, especially after 1994, has almost no omissions,
adjustments or re-calibrations. Further to this, we tried to
stay faithful to his hand drawn graphs which were put
together from notes that are in the original manuscript.
This was done to smooth the appearance of the graphs and
they are consistent with his originals (see above).
Explanation of the
of the Meridian Transit Periods of Sirius
By Karl-Heinz Homann
DESCRIPTION OF THE FUNCTIONS:
The x-axis is a linear measure of time for the years
mentioned. The axis represents 'mean sidereal time'
of 86164.0905382 seconds per day as a fundamental
time-constant. The vertical y-axis represents the daily
positive and negative time deviation in seconds from mean
sidereal time, as determined by the meridian transit period
of Sirius for the days indicated.
METHOD OF MEASUREMENT:
A basic transit instrument of 25x magnification is solidly
mounted. The optic is permanently aligned in a southwesterly
direction. This type of alignment offers an optimal period
of observation with respect to Sirius throughout the year.
The precise time reference signal used to measure the
transit intervals of Sirius is the UTC atomic-time radio
signal from WWV Fort Collins/Colorado.
The following errors of measurement were taken into
consideration: The so-called observer's "personal error" of
maximum ± 0.5 seconds between two successive meridian
transits of Sirius. In terms of overall accuracy this error
is of course drastically reduced by longer time intervals
between two successive transits, e.g. ten-day intervals. As
a matter of fact, a 6-year period between two successive
transits, in order to determine a mean sidereal day with
respect to Sirius makes such error almost negligible.
Furthermore, any periodic and non-periodic time
fluctuations, regardless of their cause, are naturally
included in the measurement. Hence, absolutely no time
corrections have been applied neither to the actual
measurement of the meridian transit periods, nor in
calculating the mean sidereal day with respect to Sirius.
Errors due to factors like optical refraction, aberration,
proper motion, geographical position, continental drift,
time-signal propagation delay, atmospheric conditions, etc
were found to be insignificant with respect to the above
method of measurement.
ANALYSIS OF THE DATA:
A thorough analysis of the data would require a comparison
with data obtained over the same time periods by the
International Earth Rotation Service, US Naval Observatory
or NASA, for example.
As the following graphs show, several major and
minor fluctuations in sidereal time have occurred over
certain periods throughout the years 1989 to 2000. For
instance, a significant deviation from mean sidereal time
occurred in the spring of 1989, when Sirius A, Sirius B and
the sun were in direct conjunction and earth was still in
the perihelion section of its orbit (see also diagram Solar
system - Sirius system). Interesting is the fact that also a
major time deviation from the negative into the positive
range occurred during this conjunction at the end of
February 1989. Furthermore, seemingly 'regular' fluctuations
appear around March of each year. Also, at the end of 1989
towards the beginning of 1990, as earth went through its
perihelion, significant positive deviations were observed.
In the following years, around the same period, only
positive deviations occurred, although diminishing in
On April 6, 1994 the transit instrument was aligned in a
more westerly direction in order to extend the observation
period into the month of June. This presented a challenge,
as the bright light of the sun made Sirius almost invisible
to the naked eye. However, I was able to detect Sirius on
the 21 of June as it went through the transit. This was only
possible due to an approximate pre-determination of its
position by computation, based on the previous measurements.
These particular observations have shown that over a period
from the beginning of May to June 21, a daily positive
deviation of Sirius from mean sidereal time occurred by
about 100ms per day on average.
Extended sidereal time-measurements from 6 April 1994 to 6
April 1996 revealed a total negative time deviation of 1.6
seconds from tropical-sidereal time. According to
'precession' this difference should be about 3.34 seconds
per year. Hence a total negative deviation of about 6.68
seconds was to be expected, but did not occur in reality.
The continuous measurement of 6 April 1994 to 5 April 2000
confirmed this fact conclusively. In that period the total
negative deviation of 'Sirius time' from the total mean
sidereal time accumulated to 4.1 seconds. This means about
negative 0.68 s per year (!). Again, according to
'precession' a negative time difference of 6 × 3.34 s or
about 20 seconds should have occurred, but did NOT occur
with respect to Sirius!
As a matter of fact, the mean rotation period of the earth
relative to Sirius is nearly identical to the time interval
of the mean sidereal day of 86164.09054 seconds.
Noteworthy is also the fact that very significant time
fluctuation occurred each year during the period of April
through October over the years 1994 to 2000. Depending on
the cloudy conditions the observation period lasted usually
around 195 to 200 days, with the exception of 1997 and 2000.
The overall result was that only negative time deviations in
the range of 7.08 to 10.34 seconds were observed in those
periods, as the following calculations show:
Meridian Transits of Sirius for the periods of April to
October - 1994 to 2006 *
Note: The actual time difference between the mean solar day
of 86400 seconds and the mean sidereal day of 86164.0905382
seconds is exactly 235.9094618 seconds per complete
rotation. Due to earth's orbital motion this difference
accumulates in a complete revolution of the earth to the
time period of one complete solar day. Hence, the total
number of earth's rotations in one complete 360° period of
revolution around the sun is expressed by the following two
86400 s ÷ 235.9094618 s = 366.24219878
365.24219878 × 86400 s = 366.24219878 × 86164.0905382 s
t1: the accumulated solar day/sidereal day time difference,
as measured per period of observation
n: the total number of Sirius transits that occurred per
period of observation
t2: the actual yearly mean solar day/sidereal day time
difference of 235.90946 s multiplied by n
t3: [t1 - t2] total sidereal time difference per period of
INTERPRETATION OF THE DATA:
Significant time deviations in earth's period of rotation,
as measured with respect to Sirius have occurred over
certain months (e.g. in the spring of 1989, when Sirius A,
Sirius B and the sun were in direct conjunction). Some
minor, but nevertheless distinct deviations appear at
regular yearly intervals (usually around March). Since these
deviations occur annually, the gravitational influence of
the moon or perturbations caused by other planets in the
solar system can be excluded. Since such deviations from
mean sidereal time CANNOT be caused by an increase or
decrease in the speed of earth's rotation, I suspect a
combined 'gravitational' effect of the sun and the Sirius
system on the earth's axis of rotation. In my article "Some
more thoughts on gravitation" I have tried to describe how
the Sirius system might be responsible for a 'curvature in
space' that can reach as far as to our solar system. As we
know, the revolution of Sirius B and Sirius A around their
common center of gravity over a period of about 49 years
proceeds in an almost vertical plane relative to the
planetary plane of our solar system. This motion could cause
a periodic fluctuation in the curvature of space, similar to
an ocean where a calm wind would create long-stretched
waves. If a ship were to sail on such waves, its mast will
gently swing back and forth. Likewise, during the earth's
orbit around the sun the axis of the earth would 'oscillate'
due to these periodic fluctuations of the space-curvature
between sun and Sirius. Although the speed of earth's
rotation remains unchanged (!), a positive or negative
time-deviation from mean sidereal time can be measured,
depending on the magnitude and direction of the oscillation
of the axis, the sidereal point of reference and the
latitude on earth from which the measurements are taken. As
a matter of fact, the International Earth Rotation Service
observes significant daily variations in earth's sidereal
It is also very important to remember that despite some
major variations in earth's period of rotation, the mean
time interval of the sidereal year or earth's complete orbit
period basically remains constant.
Even more surprising is the observation that the mean time
interval of the sidereal year, as measured with respect to
Sirius is nearly identical (by less than one second) to the
time interval of the tropical year. According to the theory
of 'precession', a yearly time difference of about 1223 s is
supposed to occur between a sidereal year and the tropical
The meridian transit measurements of Sirius have shown that
neither a time difference of 6 × 1223 s, nor a difference of
6 × 3.34 s has occurred over the 6-year observation period
from April 1994 to April 2000.
These observations clearly indicate that the so-called
'precession of the earth' is NOT a scientific fact, and that
the Sirius system has a noticeable gravitational influence
on our solar system. Obviously, Newton's laws of gravitation
cannot explain Einstein's universe. In that respect, it
requires further study to see if the 49 year cycle of the
Sirius system can provide us with an explanation of the
large fluctuations and annual irregularities in earth's rate
of rotation that have also been observed around 1941 by
experts at the US Naval Observatory.
Two other phenomena should be mentioned that took place
during the conjunction of Sirius A, Sirius B and the sun
around the beginning of February to the end of March 1989,
as the function of the time deviation entered from the
negative into the positive range (see Graph 1). During this
time our outermost planet Pluto, whose revolution period of
248.421 years is exactly 5.0004 to 1 in relation to the
Sirius B - Sirius A's orbit period of 49.68 years, went
through the perihelion of its very eccentric orbit. On 23
March 1989 an 800 m long 'rock' came in strikingly close
proximity to our earth at a speed of about 70.000 km/h.
Missing our earth by only a few hours - thereby sparing us a
gigantic catastrophe - it also went through its perihelion
between sun and Sirius. Thanks to astronomers, who
discovered it as it already disappeared again into the
vastness of space, a major widespread panic was avoided.
These celestial phenomena are not subject to plain
coincidence, but are lawful celestial mechanical events. In
fact, the Sirius system determines the second (empty) focus
point, which is essential for the elliptic orbits of these
and other celestial bodies in our solar system. Keep in mind
that even our earth has its perihelion around January 2, as
it passes through the conjunction of sun and Sirius each