Royal Society Publishing

Two Uses of Ancient Astronomy

R. R. Newton


Observations from ancient astronomy are useful in studying the non-gravitational accelerations of the Earth and Moon, and recent developments in this study are reviewed. Such a study necessarily involves astronomical chronology and simultaneously shows some limitations in its use. Limitations include lack of veracity in many records, errors in dating events, and uncertainty in calculating the circumstances of ancient eclipses of the Sun. These limitations are studied both quantitatively and by example.