Talk:Syzygy (astronomy)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Astronomy (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon Syzygy (astronomy) is within the scope of WikiProject Astronomy, which collaborates on articles related to Astronomy on Wikipedia.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Eclipses (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is supported by the Eclipse WikiProject. This project provides a central approach to solar and lunar eclipse related subjects on Wikipedia. Please participate by editing the article(s), and help us improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the WikiProject page for more details.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.


An IPA transcription would be great for this, if anyone knows how to pronounce it! -- CowplopmorrisTalkContribs 14:45, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I added to the article a hatnote to the disambiguation page for syzygy which gives the IPA pronunciation. Do you think this is a good solution? --TimL (talk) 00:13, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Ya i think thats a good solution. Good work.MilkStraw532 (talk) 00:14, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Feel free to renominate when data is available that shows there is a primary topic. Actual read activity for this month shows maybe a majority which is not sufficient for showing we have a primary topic. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:36, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

– Syzygy in the astronomical sense is much more common than any other sense. You may do a Google search or use the "What links here" tool for the other senses for evidence. TimL (talk) 00:52, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. It might be a little tricky to sort out the edit histories; I apologize if I made a mess of things! Melchoir (talk) 05:25, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support sounds reasonable. (talk) 05:52, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose; way too many other uses, particularly in poetry, to assume that this one is primary. "What links here" can often be misleading. Powers T 17:57, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. The astronomy meaning is the only one given by Merriam-Webster and by Britannica. If you Google syzygy -wikipedia, the astronomy meaning is second. The other top referents are an ad agency, an Ohio band, and a restaurant in Aspen. We don't even have articles about any of them, and I am sure none of them would be approved for primary topic status anyway. Kauffner (talk) 09:20, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

partial rewrite[edit]

I tried to incorporate most of the points made above on this talk page.

  • Added an inline IPA pronunciation per TimL's addition to the disambig Syzygy page --it looked good to me: pretty much the way my Astronomy Prof pronounced it at the University of Buffalo (NY, USA)a few decades ago.
  • Astronomical usage --added text-source integrity citation to first paragraph -- the McGraw-Hill encyclopedia web page.
  • Added a section Effects that include two external citations and a link to Wikipedia article on ocean tides as affected by sun-moon-earth syzygy. The first 2 (external) citations are heavy on the negative side of the earthquake effect controversy; published papers do exist on the pro side, but I'm getting tired --it's after midnight. I will revisit the issue when I have more time. The issue is at least mentioned for the time being.
  • I didn't remove the Doomsday section, but it still has no text-source integrity citation. I'm not familiar with this angle. ;)

'Strategic context': I mostly was guided by the needs of Wikipedia:WikiProject Astronomy. To be honest, although the Wikipedia:WikiProject Eclipses seems to think this page is more important to their project than does the Astronomy project, I don't see that much can be added to it that the first paragraph doesn't already address.

ISSUE: The 'This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source...' notation is still at the top of the page. Being a new editor at WP, I didn't want to go messing around 'administratively'. Can someone who is qualifed please adjust that? SilverBear12 (talk) 05:04, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Lagrange Points[edit]

Would it be worth memtioning that the Lagrange Points L1, L2, L3 (but not L4, L5) are in permanent syzygy with the primary and secondary bodies? (talk) 22:22, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, indeed, the five Lagrange Points are intimately connected with the concept of syzygy. Furthermore, "syzygy" does not necessarily refer to three or more celestial bodies in a straight line. It refers also to other interesting configurations. For example, given a primary body, such as the sun, a smaller secondary body, such as Jupiter, and the much smaller objects at the L4 and L5 positions (the Trojan asteroids) always form a (very close to) equilateral/equiangular triangle. Five important Trojan asteroids include ones named Achilles, Hektor, Patroclus, Ajax, and Paris.
Other examples of syzygy occur when three bodies, such as the sun, the earth, and Mars form a right triangle. In the sciences, right angles are VERY important. See Euclidean vector for more. (talk) 10:23, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Gravitational Forces[edit]

"...and thus the gravitational force of the moon on the earth is trivial compared to the gravitational force of the earth on the moon." Two bodies in a gravitational system exhibit the same force on each other; the Moon pulls back on Earth as much as the Earth pulls on the Moon. The only difference being that there is more mass to the Earth, so the acceleration from the Moon is less. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

You are correct. I reworded that sentence. TimL • talk 15:06, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
The source material showing correlation between earthquakes and syzygy does not appear to be a good source ( Omerbashich, Mensur. "astronomical alignments as the cause of m6+ earthquakes". Retrieved 18 December 2012.). It is mostly referenced on UFO websites. Tealpanda (talk) 20:28, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
"Two bodies in a gravitational system exhibit the same force on each other." This also follows from Newton's Laws of Motion: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." This instantly calls into question the original statement (at the top of this section), and it should have been obvious. (talk) 10:38, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

Picture caption incorrect[edit]

As the article now stands, there is one picture at right, with caption: "Above the round domes of La Silla Observatory, three astronomical objects in the Solar System — Jupiter (top), Venus (lower left), and Mercury (lower right).[1]" Even tho the reference [1] talks about 3 objects, there are four objects lined up in the picture. The one not mentioned is the most visible. Just thought I would open a little discussion here about it before I changed it. Friendly Person (talk) 18:20, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

As we are all earthlings and the earth is always visible to us, I think the wording is fine as it stands. If the picture had been taken far away from the earth on the other hand, said planet might be worth mentioning.  — TimL • talk 20:23, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

A Small Question[edit]

This is a question about gravity and syzygy. Has anyone ever done a direct accurate measurement of the suns gravitational effect on the earth during the moment of a complete (lunar) eclipse? I am just curious about whether there is even a tiny shielding effect from a planetary scale body. (I really need the same thing where the obscuring body is a black hole but that's a little more difficult.. :) )
If it could be found it should be added to the article, the absence of an effect is just as useful to me and I am sure others. Thanks for any attention on this. Lucien86 (talk) 08:06, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

This question would be more appropriate for the reference desk. I have no idea why you think a lunar eclipse would affect the sun's gravity.  — TimL • talk 03:31, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
It is really about whether travelling through a substantial physical body with is own gravitational field would have any effect on another gravitational field - the change would obviously be very small. Even the slightest change could be used to measure the speed of gravity directly - my interest. BTW It would seem to be too specialized a question for the Reference Desk. Lucien86 (talk) 20:37, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Gravity travels at the speed of light, that is well established, so I really have no idea what you are getting on about. This has nothing to do with syzygy and should be discussed elsewhere.  — TimL • talk 06:08, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
You obviously don't understand the issue and yes it does have a great deal to do with syzygy. (the speed of gravity is in no way proven BTW except by faith in general relativity) Thanks for your help. Lucien86 (talk) 12:07, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
By both Newton's Law of Gravity and Einstein's Laws of General Relativity, the presence (or absence) of an intervening mass (object) has nothing to do with the gravitational forces that exist (and can be measured). Nothing! In more technical language, the Principle of Superposition applies exactly in gravitational fields and forces. This is very, very basic to the whole science, and it can also be measured in the laboratory (by using more sophisticated equipment than Henry Cavendish had long ago. (talk) 10:48, 24 December 2017 (UTC)