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Saturday 6 June 2020


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I'm an engineer in computing systems and astronomical instrumentation, with 20 years of experience in Astronomy outreach at the Science Museum of Barcelona. I consider myself a lucky man because I was fortunate to work for a few years in the ORM observatories, La Palma, where the sky and the earth melted.

My passion is design and built a variety of telescopes and astronomical accessories and I'm doig exactly what I want to do at Astropriorat Observatory in the Priorat, Catalonia, Spain.

Soy un ingeniero en sistemas informáticos e instrumentación astronómica, con 20 años de experiencia en actividades de divulgación Astronomía en el Museo de la Ciencia de Barcelona. Me considero un hombre afortunado porque tuve la suerte de trabajar durante algunos años en el ORM, La Palma, donde el cielo y la tierra se unen.

Mi pasión es diseñar y construir telescopios y accesorios astronómicos y estoy haciendo exactamente lo que quiero hacer en el Observatorio de Astropriorat en Catalunya, España.


  1. 1. The greatest reliable (not contaminated by known nebulae near the line of sight) interstellar absorption of starlight, in a late 20th century table of about 200 stars, was by 61 Leonis and Theta Crateris. These stars were, as I recall, the two that were closest to the (+) CMB dipole. Also, they were closer to each other than either was to any other star in the table. The latter fact alone, was statistically significant at traditional levels. A priori, the absorber might or might not be within our own solar system.
    2. (related to #1) Part of the Pioneer 10 or 11 mission was to integrate starlight from different areas of the sky. The area near Crater, was more impoverished in starlight than any other area except one of the galactic poles. Amazingly it was even darker than the other galactic pole. The unusual darkness of this area is obvious on any star map.
    3. This heretical argument isn't mine; it was posted on the internet by an unknown person a decade ago. We directly know of only one thing that is as large and symmetrical as the observed CMB. That thing, is the sun and its sphere of radiation. Therefore we must consider the hypothesis that the CMB is somehow an effect of the sun. The CMB might be utterly different near Sirius.
    4. (related to #3) Not only the CMB dipole, but also higher multipoles, show a significant correlation with the ecliptic. The CMB dipole might be caused by a major solar companion.
    5. There is a significant concentration near the (+) CMB dipole, of stars whose magnitudes, in the William Herschel and in the 1908 Harvard photographic catalogs, differ by more than 0.60 magnitude. Conveniently, the Harvard catalog tabulates differences between itself and the Herschel catalog. The stars are: 8 Sextans; 1, 19, 25 and 29 Hydrae; and 56 and 61 Leonis. A decade ago, I found the suggestion of a moving absorption here, by comparing online USNO-B R1 vs. R2 magnitudes (Palomar c. 1950 vs. Chile c. 1990). Lacking time to pursue the USNO-B approach (best done by computer) I switched to the 1908 Harvard approach when I discovered this catalog this autumn.
    6. (related to #5) If the (+) CMB dipole moves prograde parallel to the ecliptic, at an angular speed consistent with a circular period 4200 +/- 300 yr, i.e. 8.6 deg/cyr, the three stars in #5 whose Harvard magnitudes are dimmer than their Herschel magnitudes, lie on an ellipse centered on the (+) CMB dipole, at the epoch of the Harvard observations. Likewise three of the four stars dimmer in Herschel than in Harvard, lie on an ellipse centered on the dipole, at the epoch of Herschel; the fourth star lies within the ellipse but far from the center. These two ellipses are congruent and have the same orientation. The magnitude difference, far from the apses, is of almost the same value for all stars on both ellipses. The magnitude difference, near an apse, is likewise almost constant but significantly larger. It is as if we are looking through a moving ring, like Saturn's, but perhaps less planar.

  2. 7. (related to (#6) The size of the ring, implies that the mass of the unseen object, is roughly the same as, or even greater than, the mass of the sun, due to the classical mechanical theorem about the stability of an orbit in the three-body problem.
    8. (related to #6) I am just learning this minute, that from his controversial interpretation of ancient Semitic texts, Sitchin predicted a body with period 3600 yr, only two sigma different, from my estimate of the period.
    9. The so-called "long inequality" of Uranus and Neptune (analogous to the so-called "great inequality" of Jupiter and Saturn) is, using sidereal periods from the NASA Fact Sheets, 4279 +/- 2 yr rounding error. So, the body is in resonance with phenomena related to the near-resonance of Uranus and Neptune.

    Please, investigate this area of sky! The opportune time of year, is just now arriving. My best estimate of its current position would be 2.3 deg eastward, along a curve parallel to the ecliptic, of the (+) CMB dipole position that is based on the (approximate mean epoch 1992.0) COBE data.

    Joseph C. Keller, M. D.
    16201 620th Ave, Roland, Iowa 50236 U.S.A.

  3. Dear scientists in Spain and elsewhere:

    I've now finished comparing the Flamsteed stars in the Hipparcos catalog to the 1908 Harvard photometric catalog in this area, just as I compared the 1908 Harvard catalog to the William Herschel catalog of Flamsteed stars. I did find one outlier, a star in Leo dimmed by 0.3 magnitude in Hipparcos vs. Harvard (0.4 magnitude if the systematic difference between the catalogs is considered).

    This star lies perfectly where it should be, if there is the moving ellipse of partial opacity (partial occultation by a tilted ring around an orbiting distant planet?) that I estimated from the Herschel vs. Harvard comparison. Because the epoch of Hipparcos observations is about 1991.5 (midrange of the 1990-1993 data collection) I can extrapolate to the present.

    The present position where stellar magnitudes would be expected to be dimmer, is near (in decreasing order of nearness) 89, tau and upsilon Leonis. Last night I started calibrating my own magnitude estimation technique using stellar comparisons with binoculars. But your expertise, facilities and location are far better.

  4. Dear scientists:

    Please confirm that upsilon Leonis now is abnormally dim, by 0.33 magnitudes, as I observed this morning with binoculars. There might also be spectroscopic abnormalities. Apparently it now is occulted by a ring surrounding a planet that is not easily visible.

    To explain it another way:

    There is a concentration of Flamsteed stars in this region, for which the William Herschel, 1908 Harvard, and Hipparcos magnitudes are especially inconsistent. In general, for any given center, three points will lie on either an ellipse or an hyperbola. What is surprising, is that the stars (3 of 4) in this region which are very dim in the Wm. Herschel catalog vis a vis Harvard, and the stars (3 of 3) which are very dim in the 1908 Harvard catalog vis a vis Herschel, lie on congruent ellipses with the same orientation, if the center is taken to be a hypothetical unseen mass now at the (+) CMB dipole location, and moving parallel to the ecliptic with period equal to the "long inequality" of Uranus and Neptune.

    The stars involved, are the most extreme outliers in catalog difference, in the region (the differences between Herschel and Harvard follow a Laplace distribution). The differences for the involved stars, are all about the same and are consistently greater near the apse of the ellipse.

    To be continued because of length limits...

    - Joseph C. Keller

  5. (continued)

    There is only one outlier Flamsteed star in the region that is very dim in Hipparcos vis a vis 1908 Harvard (the difference is about 0.4 magnitude, corrected for the small systematic difference between the catalogs throughout this region). Luckily this star, 83 Leonis, is located near the point which would be the translation, to the Hipparcos epoch from the Harvard epoch, of the point where 56 Leonis (dimmed at the Harvard epoch) is located. So I can make a small linear extrapolation to the present, to get a point where present dimming can be especially reliably predicted. This extrapolation through 56 and 83 Leonis gives the point:

    (J1900.0) 11h 30.2m, +2deg 40'

    89, Tau, and Upsilon Leonis are one, two, and three degrees from this point, resp. But 89 and Upsilon Leonis are separated from the point in directions parallel to the arc of the nearby ellipse (defined by the points such as 56 Leonis, which are very dim in Harvard vis a vis Herschel).

    With binoculars this morning, using comparisons to nearby stars, I found no magnitude abnormality for 89 or Tau Leonis, but I found that Upsilon Leonis is too dim by about 0.33 mag.

    Please investigate!

    - Joseph C. Keller

  6. Hi Joseph,
    Thank you for your interesting comments! I'm moving from La Palma in Canary Islands to the main land in Spain. The sky is reasonably dark at night and the weather conditions are very pleasant but with temperatures more severe than those of La Palma.

    As soon as the new dome from Sirius (Aus) been installed I will try to investigate.

    Joan Genebriera