Experimental measurement of growth patterns on fossil corals: Secular variation in ancient Earth-Sun distances

Abstract

In recent years, much attention has been given to the increase in the Earth-Sun distance, with the modern rate reported as 5–15 m/cy on the basis of astronomical measurements. However, traditional methods cannot measure the ancient leaving rates, so a myriad of research attempting to provide explanations were met with unmatched magnitudes. In this paper we consider that the growth patterns on fossils could reflect the ancient Earth-Sun relationships. Through mechanical analysis of both the Earth-Sun and Earth-Moon systems, these patterns confirmed an increase in the Earth-Sun distance. With a large number of well-preserved specimens and new technology available, both the modern and ancient leaving rates could be measured with high precision, and it was found that the Earth has been leaving the Sun over the past 0.53 billion years. The Earth’s semi-major axis was 146 million kilometers at the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon, equating to 97.6% of its current value. Measured modern leaving rates are 5–14 m/cy, whereas the ancient rates were much higher. Experimental results indicate a special expansion with an average expansion coefficient of 0.57H 0 and deceleration in the form of Hubble drag. On the basis of experimental results, the Earth’s semi-major axis could be represented by a simple formula that matches fossil measurements.

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Correspondence to WeiJia Zhang.

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Zhang, W., Li, Z. & Lei, Y. Experimental measurement of growth patterns on fossil corals: Secular variation in ancient Earth-Sun distances. Chin. Sci. Bull. 55, 4010–4017 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11434-010-4197-x

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Keywords

  • growth pattern
  • Earth’s semi-major axis
  • planetary Hubble expansion