|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
The equinox moves westward along the celestial equator. This is called precession and is supposed to result from a wobble of earth's axis due to an applied torque. Spin a gyroscope. Apply a torque by pushing the tip of the axis. The gyroscope wobbles. The wobble is in the direction of spin. The earth rotates anti-clockwise (as seen from space above the north pole). The wobble should be in the same direction. When that wobble is translated to a path among the stars (as seen from earth's surface) the direction is reversed. It is clockwise. The pole should trace a path clockwise among the stars if that path results from a precessional wobble of the axis. Can anyone make a gyroscope precess in a direction opposite to its direction of spin? If so, there may be an explanation of how the earth's axis could follow such a path among the stars. If not, then the standard explanation of what causes precession of the equinox is wrong; there is no torque, no wobble, and why there is a gradual change in the pole star and of the place of the equinox remains a mystery.
Re: Can precession occur in the opposite direction?
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