SECULAR VARIATION OF EARTH'S ROTATION: INFERRED FROM THE CHINESE ANCIENT SHOUSHI CALENDAR (AD 1281)


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Abstract

The Shoushi calendar (epoch of AD 1281, Yuan dynasty)) is famous and very accurate in ancient China. It has evolved perfect and complete theoretical models of solar system objects, such as solar and lunar motions during that period. Almost every part of this work corresponds to the modern astronomical yearbooks. Compiled by native Chinese astronomers, it sums up through their studies many real observing results. The mathematical methods were adopted in this calendar before the foundation of Newton's mechanical system. It is presented in this paper that the indirect system is also very useful to recover the real observing historical material. By selecting these calculating results, we may sum up the integral data of the secular variation of the Earth's rotation from 1000 BC to AD 1500.

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