In a little under a decade beginning in 1749 and ending in 1757, the secular acceleration of the moon had gone from being a postulated and fairly widely accepted but still unquantified phenomenon to a proven fact, whose size had been estimated three times with differing but not completely incompatible results. Dunthorne’s determination of the size of the coefficient of the moon’s secular equation as 10″ per century2 was effectively confirmed by Lalande and became the accepted figure in later eighteenth-century theoretical investigations of the secular acceleration, especially after the publication of Mayer’s revised and not-too-discordant value of 9″ per century2 in his final lunar tables edited by Maskelyne in 1770.


Solar Eclipse Secular Equation Secular Acceleration Prize Competition Ancient Observation 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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