Correcting for the Idealizations: The Remaining Inequalities

  • Curtis Wilson
Part of the Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (SHMP)


We recall once more that solution of “the main problem” invoked two idealizations: the center of gravity of the Earth and Moon was to move in a perfect ellipse about the Sun; and the Sun, Earth, and Moon were to be point-masses or, equivalently, spherical bodies with mass-distributions symmetrical about their centers. To correct for these idealizations meant determining the direct and indirect actions of the planets on the Moon (the indirect actions are effects of the planetary perturbations of the Earth’s motion, transmitted from the Earth to the Moon), and the effects of the nonspherical shapes of the Earth and Moon on the Moon’s motions.


Orbital Element Solar Eclipse Periodic Term Cosine Term Empirical Term 
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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. John’s CollegeAnnapolisUSA

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