Astronomical Cycles

Astronomical bodies normally travel in cyclical paths which are determined by magnetic and gravitational forces.

The rate of oscillation of an astronomical body depends upon the mass and density of the body, and the forces which influence it.

Galaxies orbit about a neighboring galaxy, or about the barycenter of a galactic cluster, at various rates.

The bulk substance comprising a spherical or elliptical galaxy tends to rotate about its axis, whereas irregularly shaped galaxies do not always rotate.

The Local Group of galaxies, of which our Milky Way galaxy is a member, is falling toward a supercluster of galaxies in the constellation Virgo at a rate of about 500 kilometers per second.

Our Milky Way galaxy orbits about a neighboring galaxy once every 250 million years.

Stars in a galaxy revolve about the galactic center in a circular or elliptical orbit, and spin about their own axes in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, at various rates.

The lifecycle of a star and its main sequence over time depends upon the size, mass, temperature, and luminosity of the star.

The rate of star formation in a galaxy is dependent on the composition of matter, galactic magnetic field strength, and so-called cosmic ray flux.

Our Sun travels in a circular orbit at a rate of 186 miles per second, completing a revolution about the galactic center about once every 200 million years.

The observed time rates of solar and galactic orbits vary among astronomers, depending on the method of observation.

The Sun rotates about its axis once within a period of about 25 days at the equator and 33 days near the poles.

A solar flare cycle on the Sun occurs at nearly regular intervals every 11 years. A large sunspot cycle occurs every 80 years.

Comets and asteroids travel in various orbits about the Sun within and outside the solar system at rates which vary from several months to many years.
Planets revolve about the Sun in elliptical orbits, and spin about their own axes, at various rates.

Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, has an orbital period of 88 days, while Pluto, the planet furthest away, orbits about the Sun once every 247.7 years.

Jupiter, the largest planet, has the fastest rotational speed, spinning about its axis once every 9 hours, 50 minutes, and 30 seconds, while Venus, a small planet, has the longest rotational period, spinning once every 243 days.

A conjunction occurs when astronomical bodies ‘line-up’ at periodic time intervals. A full planetary conjunction occurs every 1668 years. The Jupiter-Saturn pulse, a minor planetary conjunction, occurs every 556 years.

The Earth revolves about the Sun in an elliptical orbit once every year, traveling faster when it is nearer the Sun, and slower when it is farther away. The Earth orbits the Sun at a mean velocity of 66,641 miles per hour.

The Earth rotates about its axis once each day, spinning at a slightly irregular rate. The rotational velocity of the Earth at the equator is 1040 miles per hour.

Planetary satellites revolve about their host planet at different rates, ranging from several hours to many months.

Our Moon revolves about the Earth in an elliptical orbit once every 27.3 days. The Moon’s rotational period is equal to its period of revolution, which produces a view of only one side of the Moon from any position on the Earth.