Looking ahead

Since launching the Binary Research Institute website a few years ago, we have continued to research the possibility that our Sun might be part of a binary or multiple star system. This includes investigating a number of issues related to the Sun’s motion, and the methodology of finding other celestial objects. To that end: • In late 2002 we traveled to the outback of Australia to view a total eclipse of the Sun and discussed the Sun’s motion and related topics with Tom Van Flandern, former head of U.S. Naval Observatory. Conclusion: eclipse cycles indicate the earth moves 360 degrees around the sun in a tropical year, inconsistent with current lunisolar precession theory. • In mid 2003 we went to the Big Island of Hawaii and The Keck Observatory and spent a good bit of the night with Geoff Marcy, Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkley, as he searched for extra-solar planets (he and his team have found more than 100 so far!). Conclusion: we know less than 1% of the universe and it is likely there will be a number of discoveries over the next few decades that require us to remodel local space. • We have also met personally, or most often through conferences and the Internet, with a number of astrophysicists and astronomers around the world and discussed the topic of precession and its nuances. Conclusion: precession mechanics is one of the least understood topics in science today! • The 26th Annual IAU General Assembly determined: 1. the need for a precession theory consistent with dynamical theory, 2. that, while the precession portion of the IAU 2000A precession-nutation model, recom-mended for use beginning on 1 January 2003 by resolution B1.6 of the XXIVth IAU General Assembly, is based on improved precession rates with respect to the IAU 1976 precession, it is not consistent with dynamical theory, and 3. that resolution B1.6 of the XXIVth General Assembly also encourages the development of new expressions for precession consistent with the IAU 2000A precession-nutation model. The only way we have found to solve the IAU’s concern, is to replace the precession part of the precession-nutation model with a precession theory based on a moving solar system (the binary model). Such a model is consistent with dynamical theory, as it allows local dynamics to determine short period motions such as nutation, and it provides a more accurate way to predict changes in the rate of precession without the complexity of the 2000A precession-nutation model.