Monday, May 12, 2008

Nostradamus And The LHC

A detail from a watercolor in the Vaticinia Nostradami codex, 1629 AD, at the Central National Library, Rome. The current buzz on the internet is a prophecy by Nostradamus that seems to indicate a colossal disaster for Geneva caused by the LHC. It's so striking, I thought it worth a closer look. While searching for the original French quatrain, number 44 in Century 9, I came across this image from what's being called 'The Lost Book of Nostradamus' from the recent book with this title by Ottavio Cesare Ramotti.

An archer shoots two fish in opposite directions across a gap, within a section of pipe. If you're imagining the LHC proton beams shooting through a detector through a beryllium pipe, and you're from the Renaissance, knowning nothing of physics and little of machinery, how better to illustrate this event? Fish too, in opposite streams, quite remarkable when you recall the quatrain and the 'Raypoz'.

It's not certain that Nostradamus wrote and illustrated this codex of 80 watercolors, something like William Blake's much later books of illuminations. It was attributed to Nostradamus by the title added in about 1689, while Nostradamus lived from 1503-1566. It's possible the codex was produced by Nostradamus' son César, who is known to have been a painter of miniatures and was preparing a booklet as a gift for King Louis XIII of France.

The current codex was presented by a Brother Beroaldus to Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII who was in office from 1623-1644. The mystery deepens as the codex some how found its way into the Central National Library in Rome, only to be rediscovered by Italian journalists in 1982. After some study, parts of it were found to be derived from an earlier work, the 'Vaticinia de Summis Pontificibus' from the 13-14th century. The 'Marston MS 225' at Yale, is also similar, probably from Bavaria or Bohemia. These earlier works were considered books of prophecies, though whose is in doubt.

If not quite evidence to confirm the Nostradamus LHC prophecy, it set me off on another search through the other 700 or so quatrains where I found another striking one, from Century 4, number 67. Before we look at this one, here is the one that has internet buzzing.

Leave, leave Geneva every last one of you,
Saturn will be converted from gold to iron,
Raypoz will exterminate all who oppose him,(?)
Before the coming the sky will show signs.
Migrés, migrés de Geneue trestous,
Saturne d'or en fer se changera,
Le contre Raypoz exteriminera tous,
Auvant l'aruent le ciel signes fera.
You've got to be careful with translations from Old French. The popular English version is not totally correct. Spellings vary in old texts, words change meanings and some become obscure.
The third line in question is one of a mistake in syntax. The translator was guessing here at the meaning. 'Le contre' clearly means 'the opposite'. 'Raypoz' is not a term used anywhere else in French and has no definite meaning. The opposite Raypos will exteriminate all, is the actual statement. 'Ray' is not French, though evidently it's Nostradamus' abbreviation of 'rayon', meaning 'ray.' 'Poz' is curiously written with a Z, a rare letter like in English, which indicates at least the pronunciation. 'Pos' for 'positive' is current in English as an abbreviation, and 'positif' is 'positive', though neither pos or poz would have been used in the Renaisance. Though the Z makes it clear that it isn't the French 'pos' which if so spelt would be pronounced like 'poe'. So 'poz' definately suggests 'positif'. Note that Nostradamus is consistent, using abbreviations to make up Raypos, as we do today. To call Raypoz the PositiveRay is a sound derivation, though it wouldn't have been understood back then, with the only rays being 'rayons de soleil' or sun rays, sunlight.

What is the Opposite of Raypos? A negative ray. In the case of the LHC, since they're using proton rays, the exact counterpart is antiproton rays, antimatter. So a matter/antimatter explosion destroying Geneva? All of us Trekkies know that. CERN experiments have confirmed it. And the Geneva Airport is a stone's throw away from the giant Atlas Experiment.

Two disturbing bits of information, the detail from the watercolor and the quatrain above. Have a look at number 3, the C4Q67:

The year that Saturn and Mars are equal fiery,
The air is very dry, a long meteor.(?)
From hidden fires a great place burns with heat,
Little rain, a hot wind, wars and raids.
L'an que Saturne & Mars esgaux combuste,
L'air fort sieché longe trajection.
Par feux secrets, d'ardeur grand lieu adust,
Peu pluie, vent chault, guerres, incursions.
You have to think like an astrologer here to make sense of the time clues he left in his works and consider his experience of the world. Nostradamus was himself a famous astrologer, well known for his almanac and the patronage he received at the court of Henry II of France and his Queen Catherine di Medici. But far from being in what we might consider a dubious profession, he was well respected and honest. Having studied with Rabelais at the same school, he was a Doctor of Medicine, perhaps the first of his day to insist on hygiene. Known also as a Mathematician, he was involved in public works projects, like the irrigation of the vast Paine de la Crau, which he also partly financed, near his home at Salon-de-Provence.

Both quatrains have astrological time clues. But Saturn wasn't discovered until after Galileo and the telescope. Well, like the modern method for inferring the presence of a celestial object by its apparent effect on other objects, modern astronomers have made similar guesses. With Nostradamus it was the careful study of Astrology that made Saturn real for him.

In the first quatrain, 'Saturn converted from gold to iron' is a metaphor for a conjuction where Saturn is unfavored, possibly eclipsed. In the other quatrain, 'The year that Saturn and Mars are equally fiery' could mean both are exhaulted. An astrologrer today might be able to put a date on this disaster at the LHC.

'The air is very dry, a long meteor.' is a suspect translation. The literal French is 'The air very dried long distance.' The air is dried by something and there is no meteor. The 'longe trajection' could be 'a long distance' and the drying is clear in the next line, not 'from' but 'by secret (not hidden) fires'. So we have poetically: The air dried for a long way / By secret fires of ardent power, a great place burns.

As a real warning of the burning of the LHC and Geneva, I think that it should be considered seriously. Reconsidering 120 tonnes of helium under 15-20 atmospheres pressure, much of it in an odd superfluid state at critically low 1.9 K temperature, and exposed in the ring to an 8.2 Tesla magnetic field, and the 'Raypoz' and its opposite, what might happen if not a plasma fire, some altered state of helium combusts due to the enormous TeV energies, 5 per beam and a collision force of 10 TeV scheduled this summer. Even worse, some nuclear event, as in an earlier post, The Almost Thermonuclear LHC. If I were in Geneva, I'd pack my bags.

For the Hollywood History Channel version of Nostradamus: The Lost Book, the 5 minute video is the best look at the original watercolors.

For a brief Wikepedia history of the Lost Book and some images.

For more images from the Lost Book.

For an Old French dictionary, geared for Nostradamus.

Finally a big Nostradamus site, with the Centuries in French and English, searchable.


Fausto Intilla (fisico teorico) said...


The upcoming Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN could be dangerous. It could produce potentially dangerous particles such as mini black holes, strangelets, and monopoles.
A CERN study indicates no danger for earth, [Ref. 1] but its arguments are incomplete. The reasons why they are incomplete are discussed here.
This paper considers mainly micro black holes (MBHs) with low speeds. The fact that the speed of resultant MBHs would be low is unique to colliders. An important issue is the rate of accretion of matter subsequent to MBH creation.
This study explores processes that could cause accretion to be significant.
Other dangers of the LHC accelerator are also discussed.
I. Arguments for danger in LHC particle accelerator experiments
"In the 27-kilometer-long circular tunnel that held its predecessor, the LHC will be the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. It will smash fundamental particles into one another at energies like those of the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, when the temperature of the Universe was about ten thousand trillion degrees Centigrade." [Ref. 5]
1. There is a high probability that micro black holes (MBHs) will be produced in the LHC. A reasonable estimation of the probability that theories with (4+d) dimensions are valid could be more than 60%. The CERN study indicates in this case a copious production of MBHs at the LHC. [Ref. 1] One MBH could be produced every second. [Ref. 4 & Ref. 5]
2. The CERN study indicates that MBHs present no danger because they will evaporate with Hawking evaporation. [Ref. 1] However, Hawking evaporation has never been tested. In several surveys, physicists have estimated a non trivial probability that Hawking evaporation will not work. [Ref. 9] My estimate of its risk of Hawking evaporation failure is 20%, or perhaps as much as 30%.
The following points assume MBH production, and they assume that Hawking evaporation will fail.
3. The cosmic ray model is not valid for the LHC. It has been said that cosmic rays, which have more energy than the LHC, show that there is no danger. This may be true for accelerators that shoot high energy particles at a zero speed target. This is similar to cosmic ray shock on the moon's surface. In these cases the center of mass of interaction retains a high speed. This is different from the situation at the LHC, where particles with opposing speeds collide. With cosmic rays (mainly protons in cosmic rays) we need a speed of 0.9999995 c to create a micro black hole of 1 TeV and after the interaction the micro black hole center of mass will have a speed of 0.999 c. As MBHs are not very reactive with matter, calculations indicate that this is more than enough velocity to cross planets or stars without being caught and to escape into space.
4. Lower speed MBHs created in colliders could be captured by earth. Using Greg Landsberg's calculation [Ref. 3] of one black hole with velocity less than escape velocity from earth produced every 10^5 seconds at the LHC, we have 3.160 (US notation 3,160) MBHs captured by earth in ten years. More precise calculations show that we could have a distribution of MBHs at every range of speed from 0 m/sec to 4 m/sec. The probability of very low speed MBHs is not zero. We need to evaluate if low speed MBHs present more risks.
5. The speed of a MBH captured by earth will decrease and at the end MBHs will come to rest in the center of earth. The speed will decrease because of accretion and interaction with matter.
If we consider that:
a. The CERN study's calculus for accretion uses the "Schwarzschild radius" for the accretion cross section. [Ref. 1] In the case of low speeds, we must not use the Schwarzschild radius for the calculus of accretion. There are several reasons the capture radius extends beyond the Schwarzschild radius. For example, if the MBH speed were zero, gravitational attraction would be active at a distance greater than the Schwarzschild radius.
b. If a MBH accretes an electron, it will acquire a charge and then probably accrete a proton.
c. If a MBH accretes a quark it will then probably accrete a proton. When a quark is caught, the whole nucleon can be expected to be caught because otherwise the black hole would have acquired a charge which is not complete. (For example minus 1/3.) In a nucleus a fractional charge is unstable and is not allowed. This strongly suggests that the MBH will be required to accrete other divided charges to reach a completed integer number of charges. The same process can be expected in regard to quark color.
d. Gauge forces at short distances could also help to capture an atomic nucleus.
Our calculus indicates that a slow speed MBH can be expected to capture 8.400 (US notation 8,400) nucleons every hour, at the beginning of an exponential process.
6. In the center of earth new processes could occur: As stated above, it has been estimated that in ten years 3.160 (US notation 3,160) MBHs could be captured by earth. All MBHs will progressively lose speed because of numerous interactions. After a time (calculations have to be completed to estimate this time) all these MBHs will go toward the precise gravitational center of earth. (Kip Thorne [Ref. 7 p. 111]) After numerous interactions they will stop there at rest and then coalesce into a single MBH. To get an idea and for a first approach our calculus indicates that the mass of this MBH could be on the order of 0.02 g with a radius of 4 x 10^-17 m. At the center of earth, the pressure is 3.6 x 10^11 Pascals. [Ref. 8]. This pressure results from all the matter in Earth pushing on the electronic cloud of central atoms. The move of electrons is responsible of a pressure (called degenerescence pressure) that counterbalance the pressure of all the matter in Earth.
Around a black hole there is not an electronic cloud and there is no degenerescence pressure to counterbalance the pressure of all the Earth matter.To indicate the pressure we must use the surface If in an equation Pressure P = Force F / Surface S if we keep F= Constant and we reduce surface, we are obliged to notice that Pressure P will increase. Here F is the weight of all the matter of Earth and this do not change. As the surface of the MBH will be very small, calculus indicate on this surface an impressive increase of pressure in the range of : P = aprox 7 x 10 ^ 23 Pa .
The high pressure in this region push strongly all the matter in direction of the central point where the MBH is.
Electrons directly in contact with the Micro Black Hole will first be caught, then the nucleus will be caught.
It is sure that the atoms will be caught one after the other but the more the pressure will be important the more the caught will be quick. When a neutron star begins to collapse in a black hole (implosion), at the beginning the black hole is only a micro black hole as we see in [Ref. 7 Page 443]. At this very moment the high gravitational pressure in the center of the neutron star is there breaking the "strong force" which lays between the quarks located into the neutrons.
The MBH will grow there only because of the high pressure.
In center of Earth pressure is normally far to small for such a process, but if we create a slow speed MBH that does not evaporate and if this MBH comes at rest in the center of Earth, the pressure in the center of Earth could be sufficient for the growing of the MBH. We must remember that in the surrounding of the MBH the "strong force" is broken and this could mean that the same kind of pressure process than in neutron star could work there ( in a slow mode compared with a neutron star of course ). In the center of Earth, the high pressure, the high temperature, the increasing mass associated with electrical and gauge forces process could mean important increase of capture and a possible beginning of an exponential dangerous accretion process. Our calculus indicates as a first approximation with a MBH of 0.02 g at rest at the center of earth that the value for accretion of matter could be in the range of 1 g/sec to 5 g/sec.
7. Conclusion about MBHs : We estimate that for LHC the risk in the range of 7% to 10%.

II. Other Risk Factors

The CERN study indicates that strangelets and monopoles could be produced and present no danger for earth. [Ref. 1]
We will present arguments of possible danger.
1. Strangelets
Strangelets are only dangerous for earth if they are not moving rapidly through matter. If only one strangelet is at zero speed there would be danger. We have seen for MBHs that the cosmic ray model is very different from the LHC where particles with opposing speeds collide. We have seen that, given the impact of opposite speed particles, the distribution of speeds of resultant particles indicates the probability of very low speeds (0 m/sec < speed < 4 m/sec) and this could mean dangerous strangelets. We estimate a minimal risk for strangelets on the order of 2%. We might estimate as high as 10 % if we want to be wise because the danger is primary!
2. Monopoles
Monopoles could be produced in the LHC. [Ref. 1] .CERN's calculations indicate that one monopole produced in LHC could destroy 1.018 (US notation 1,018) nucleons but it will quickly traverse the earth and escape into space. However, we know that photons produced in the center of the sun need thousands of years to traverse the sun and escape into space because of the numerous interactions. If the speed given to the monopole after interaction is a speed in a random direction, we can imagine that the monopoles produced in the LHC could stay a very long time in earth and be dangerous. 3. Estimate of danger due to our ignorance of ultimate physical laws: We have not exhausted processes that might cause danger. There are other particles, black energy, black mass, quintessence, vacuum energy, and many non definitive theories. We estimate this danger ranging from a minimal 2% risk to 5%.


The CERN study [Ref. 1] is a remake of a similar study for the earlier Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven (RHIC) [Ref. 6] adapted to the LHC.
It is important to notice that: The study for the RHIC had concluded that no black holes will be created. For the LHC the conclusion is very different: "Black holes could be created!" !
The main danger could be now just behind our door with the possible death in blood of 6.500.000.000 (US notation 6,500,000,000) people and complete destruction of our beautiful planet. Such a danger shows the need of a far larger study before any experiment ! The CERN study presents risk as a choice between a 100% risk or a 0% risk. This is not a good evaluation of a risk percentage!
If we add all the risks for the LHC we could estimate an overall risk between 11% and 25%!.
We are far from the Adrian Kent's admonition that global risks that should not exceed 0.000001% a year to have a chance to be acceptable. [Ref. 3] .Even testing the LHC could be dangerous. Even an increase in the luminosity of the RHIC could be dangerous! It would be wise to consider that the more powerful the accelerator will be, the more unpredicted and dangerous the events that may occur! We cannot build accelerators always more powerful with interactions different from natural interactions, without risk. This is not a scientific problem. This is a wisdom problem!
Our desire of knowledge is important but our desire of wisdom is more important and must take precedence. The precautionary principle indicates not to experiment. The politicians must understand this evidence and stop these experiments before it is too late!

Fausto Intilla -

1.. Study of potentially dangerous events during heavy-ion collisions at the LHC: Report of the LHC Safety Study Group. CERN 2003-001. February 28, 2003.
2.. E-mail exchange between Greg Landsberg and James Blodgett, March 2003,
(No longer posted. Request a copy. Risk Evaluation Forum, BOX 2371, Albany, NY 12220 0371 USA.)
3.. A critical look at risk assessment for global catastrophes, Adrian Kent, CERN-TH 2000-029 DAMTP-2000-105. Revised April 2003. hep-ph/0009204. Available at: ...

4.. High energy colliders as black hole factories: the end of short distance physics, Steven B. Giddings, Scott Thomas. Phys Rev D65 (2002) 056010.
5.. CERN to spew black holes, Nature October 2, 2001.
6.. Review of speculative disaster scenarios at RHIC September 28, 1999 W.Busza, R.L. Jaffe, J.Sandweiss and F.Wilczek.
7.. Trous noirs et distorsions du temps, Kip S. Thorne, Flammarion 1997. ISBN 2-08-0811463-X. Original title: Black holes and times warps. 1994 Norton. New York.
8.. Centre de la Terre, Science & Vie N 1042. Gallate 2004.
9.. Results of several Delphi groups and physicist questionnaires, James Blodgett, Risk Evaluation Forum, forthcoming.

Speakeron said...

Saturn is easily visible to the naked eye and was well known to the ancients. It's untrue to say "Saturn wasn't discovered until after Galileo and the telescope". Galileo was the first to discover its rings, but no astrologer predicted that.

Alan Gillis said...

I'm familiar with the oft-repeated 'easily visble Saturn', found even on NASA sites, but as an amateur astronomer, I defy anyone to locate Saturn with the naked eye. Certainly some ancient cultures did identify a planet beyond Jupiter, but these observations were made by astologer-astronomers who didn't have telescopes or 200-20 vision.

Perhaps, speakeron, as a resident of Switzerland, you might tell us what the Swiss feel about the LHC. I get the impression from French media, there isn't much interest.

Valentina said...

"Mars and Saturn Get Together"

Could this article be somehow related to the prophecy about "Mars and Saturn are equally as fiery"?

Their next meeting is set for July 30, 2010.

Erik said...

If what you are saying is correct, then Nostro was clearly talking about the LEP, the Large Electron-Positron Collider, which existed in the tunnels now occupied by the LHC.

The LEP performed matter-antimatter collisions, colliding electrons and positrons with each other. The LHC does not, but collides protons with protons, and lead ions with lead ions.

Since the LEP program ended in 2000, I guess Geneva has been safe since then.

Alan Gillis said...

You're right about the old LEP collider, erik. Matter-antimatter collisions also release even more energy. At the LEP quite low energies were used, topping at 209 GeV according to Wikipedia, "Large Electron-Positron Collider". Geneva's still here.

Although no plans have been announced for proton-antiproton collisions at the LHC, they can be arranged. Fermilab's Tevatron has produced and collided them at way lower energies than the LHC's projected 14 TeV.

Even CERN has produced some antiprotons for study, as well as antihydrogen. See Wikipedia entry for "Antiproton"

CERN counts on at least 10 years of life for the LHC, and is already working on plans for a luminosity upgrade, which would make for much more powerful collisions in the future.

There are still worries. Looking back at my Nostradamus article, I see that there is another possible interpretation of "Le contre Raypoz". "The opposing positive ray", so then possibly positive rays travelling like the Fish in opposite streams, and colliding, as what else would "exterminera tous"? or "exterminate all"?

Anyway, whether Nostradamus is right or wrong, we are faced with some big unknowns at CERN.

The Truth Will Out said...

"To call Raypoz the PositiveRay is a sound derivation, though it wouldn't have been understood back then, with the only rays being 'rayons de soleil' or sun rays, sunlight.

What is the Opposite of Raypos? A negative ray."

This analysis I believe to be incorrrect based on an incorrect analysis of the French.

"Le contre Raypoz exteriminera tous"

"The opposing positive ray will exterminate all."

Is a better translation. More importantly it leads us to a simpler conclusion than needing to invent a negative ray from somewhere:

Nostradamus is merely pointing out that the opposing positive rays colliding in the LHC will exterminate all in Geneva.

Why? The LHC creates "contained" nuclear explosions by colliding two positively charged rays of particles. The explosions are contained in huge magnetic fields. The field strength needed for these magnets is calculated using current theoretical physics.

The problem is that the LHC experiment is testing the boundaries of the same theoretical physics that was used to calculate the magnetic field strength needed to contain these explosions.

They have probably got it wrong.

For me the greatest indicator in this is that Nostradamus should invent this word "Raypoz".

It is a very strange term for a man of his time to invent.

To be clear I'm no woolly-hippy fearmonger in these matters. I studied Mathematics and Physics at University. These experiments are a danger - they are meddling with misunderstood matter/energy.


photosport said...

To clarify, Saturn was known to the ancients. I suspect you meant that its nature (e.g. it has rings) was not known until Galileo.

Alan Gillis said...

See my Comment of June 20, 2008 above, in answer to a similar question.

The ancients might have noted a hazy extremely faint elliptical body, if they knew where to look in the vast night sky. It would not have looked like a planet, as those who claim they have seen it with the naked eye or low power telescopes say today, seen at all thanks to modern exact plotting of Saturn's orbit and the Earth's position in relation to Saturn's at any given time.

At rare times when the rings are not observed, being edge on, the luminosity and size of Saturn would be far less, say a third of maximum. Anyone seen Saturn with the naked eye, either with or without rings not knowing where to look for Saturn? I doubt it.

Just because we have an ancient name of a Roman God doesn't mean that the Romans knew Saturnus as a planet. The Romans and other ancients had a large pantheon of gods, only some associated with heavenly bodies.

Galileo seems to be the first person in history who recorded seeing Saturn in 1610. But then he used the first telescope to find it. He didn't claim to discover it, but then who did if he didn't?

Back in 1865 Richard Anthony Proctor wrote a book, "Saturn and its System",you can find on Google Books,

In Chapter 1, on page 1, Proctor wrote "No account, historical or traditional, has been handed down to us of the discovery of the planet Saturn. . . .

Erik said...

Alan, you are very confused about the extent of ancient astronomy. The paths of the 5 visible planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, were known to extremely high precision to the ancients going back at least 5,000 years. Maybe you don't know where in the sky to look for Saturn, but every ancient Egyptian priest certainly knew.

As for how bright it is, it has a wide range of magnitude as you suggested. However, even at its absolute dimmest, it is much brighter than ANY of the stars in, for example, the little dipper, including the North Star aka Polaris.

A mechanical astronomical computer was discovered not too long ago in Greece. It was built some time around 80 B.C. Among predicting eclipses and other things, it accurately predicts exact track of Saturn across the sky, along with the other 4 known planets.

Alan Gillis said...

Sounds good, sounds great, but you aren't citing any sources either.

Ancient Egyptians is a lot of Egyptians. Of course Egyptian priests narrows it down a lot. Are you one of them? I'd consider that about as credible as some modern people finding Saturn in the night sky without a star map just squinting a naked eye. Possible, but the last star party I was at, most people had trouble finding JUPITER even when a professional astronomer pointed, hey it's over there.

If you need help getting back to your ancient Egyptians, sooner the better I'd say. CERN is going to fire up the LHC maybe firing up Geneva too as soon as this October as Nostradamus might be said to have said.

I wouldn't recommend using an LHC wormhole either. But if you can get to Geneva soon, there's a nifty Time Chamber [no foolin'] at the LHC that might work. After all I thought we were talking about the LHC in particular on The Science of Conundrums.

Of course if you're a modern person that's more likely. I'd also be happier to hear how you found Saturn. Where was it? Up there somewhere? How long did it take to find it? Are you sure it was Saturn? Or you never actually found Saturn yourself? Just heard about it? In any case do you think it's safe to ski on Saturn's rings if you had the best Rossinol equipment etc? I'm assuming you might be from the Saturn area, say from an igloo town on Titan. Space travellers are rather modest about things like that. A lot of UFO's but no radio chat. ET Code of Ethics probably. Do you have a copy?

I'm glad we got that straight as someone who has personally tried to find Saturn.

By the way, since we're talking loosely about Space Exploration, you might want to hear about NASA's latest plans:

NASA Embarks On Epic Delay

P.S. Forgot your astounding reference to the ancient smoking gun computer.

Rather unlikely and how can anyone find your discovery via a loose description? If you've got the whereabouts of this Greek astrolabe and your facts right you could become famous as the first person ever in history to pin down the first real record of Saturn's known existance in antiquity. [See my previous Comment].

As it happens I heard about a similar archeological find too, but apart from the rusty computer angle, I don't recall any mention of Saturn.

Found it. If you mean this one that fits your description more or less, it's the Antikythera Mechanism:

In the Wikipedia article there is no mention of Saturn on the dial.

Erik said...

The link you identified,, indicates that the device -- along with several other known devices -- is supposed to track the orbits of the 5 planets known to the ancient Greeks. If you think those planets do not include Saturn, maybe you could explain what they are. The five planets known from antiquity do in fact include Saturn. Saturn is often (including some of the many times I have found it in the sky and subsequently looked at it with telescopes) the brightest object in the sky. The idea that it is possible for any ancient civilization concerned with astronomy to have missed it is not only absurd in principle, but contrary to the recorded history of those civilizations. See

Alan Gillis said...

Erik, I think you Titans have a problem with English. You have obviously confused Time Masters with Time Wasters, an easy enough error even among Earthlings.

Please don't bother to deny this. Anyone who says "Saturn is often . . . the brightest object in the sky." can only be from Titan. Certainly you would be correct 50% of the time on average. Or are you still claiming you know these Egyptian Priests? Show me your wormhole then. We could go into business.

On Earth we often say "don't be an idiot". Titans aren't expressly targeted in case you think we are prejudiced. The phrase is used when a normal person is wrong and stubborn. But if you are indicative of Titans in general, you may be starting something of a trend.

To avoid such a calamity, it is best not to insist on a point when you have absolutely no proof of a point. The other half of the equation is not to insist there is proof without providing it. But in Titan fashion you say here is the proof when the proof isn't there at all.

Is this too abstract on Titan? Is this splitting methane ice, I believe your expression has it? Or is being sloppy or cheating at cards considered a virtue and art form on Titan?

You first pointed to an ancient nebulous something "computer" as proof which I identified for you and found on Wikipedia as the Antikythera Mechanism and you continue to say it says things it doesn't say. This is twice already, but let me remind you again to make it perfectly clear as it seems you Titans need water in your galoshes before you believe you've been out in the snow. Please email yourself a memo on this. If it came from you, you would probably believe it.

Here is all the Wikipedia article does say:

". . .There is some SPECULATION that the mechanism may have had indicators for all the five planets known to the Greeks. None of the gearing for such planetary mechanisms survives, except for one gear otherwise unaccounted for."

Then no doubt you will jump avidly to" . . . five planets known to the Greeks." This is no proof of five planets known to the Greeks. It is a common modern assumption by some modern guy about what the Greeks knew, like all the other chestnuts roasting on web pages that have no proofs. Repeating an assumption doesn't make it true.

Nowhere is there a record in Greek of a planet called Kronos, only a Greek God. Same thing for the Roman God Saturnus identified with Kronos later.

Where are all these "several other known devices"? They are NOT mentioned in this Wikipedia article either. Where then are your personal Saturn proofs on ancient astrolabes or ancient computers? How many are there in existence? Is there even one? Which one has Saturn on it? Where is this little bugger?

ZERO have been found. But to make it clear for you non-natives, ZERO is not a particular astrolabe or computer or grouping of them in case our complex use of nouns is obscure in Titan lexicography. ZERO is a negative group like a vacuum referring back in this case to your positive (non-existent) group.

Then to prove everything you said, you say in typical dogged Titan fashion, that ancient civilizations have records of Saturn: it's all in this Wikipedia article on the wiki/Classical_planets. No it's not. There is no such article or web page. Your records are imaginary and so are theirs. This we can agree on if this is a part of your Titan norms of civilization. (Continued below)

Alan Gillis said...

Now finally Erik you say instead of saying it right from the beginning, that you can locate Saturn with your eye, from Earth presumably. OK, did you go to a Planetarium lately? Was it some little pink pills? Why wait to say so? Having stretched your credibility so far, it can only mean you've tripped on it again, I say kindly.

Next time use Windex on your car windshield or whatever celestial observatory you're using. Besides, ancients are ancients. That's the issue.

Is there an ancient stone or some other ancient written record of ancients spotting this planet? NONE have been found. See ZERO above.

Anyway in case you have another 2 worn-out Kronen to put in, like I've got 2 nice pictures of Saturn in my wallet, our Time Masters say you've run out of space and time.

Erik said...

"Please don't bother to deny this. Anyone who says "Saturn is often . . . the brightest object in the sky." can only be from Titan."

I can't believe I'm actually still entertaining this "conversation"...

The maximum brightness of Saturn is -0.40
It's typical brightness is closer to -0.2. Its minimum brightness is around -0.1.

THERE ARE ONLY TWO stars brighter than even the MINIMUM brightness of Saturn, Sirius (-1.47) and Canopus (-0.70).

EVERY TIME the Sun is not visible (colloquially known as "nighttime"), Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury are not visible, Moon is not visible, and Sirius and Canopus are not visible, and Saturn IS visible, SATURN IS -- ALWAYS -- THE BRIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE SKY.

It is brightest than the perhaps most anciently celebrated of all stars, Arcturus (-0.04). It is brighter than our closest neighbor Alpha Centuri (-0.01). It is brighter than the brightest of the pole stars, Vega (0.03), known to the ancient Babylonians as the messenger of light. It is brighter Rigel (0.11), the brightest star in Orion, and the one of the most important stars in ancient navigation.

The end. Enjoy your evening, and please remember to only attempt to locate stars (and especially planets) during the nighttime hours.

Alan Gillis said...

More Titan iced-pong bullshit.

"EVERY TIME the Sun is not visible (colloquially known as "nighttime"), Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury are not visible, Moon is not visible, and Sirius and Canopus are not visible, and Saturn IS visible, SATURN IS -- ALWAYS -- THE BRIGHTEST OBJECT IN THE SKY."

?????????What? Sounds like retinal hemiplagia, a chronic condition on Titan it seems. See a doctor. You've got me worried, Erik.

When you're better, have a look at the night sky. Don't you see a thousand stars brighter than Saturn and some planets too?

The Irreverent Buddhist said...

... nighttime the moon is not visible??? I'm lost !

And someone better warn the moon it's cover is blown.

Erik said...

Again, no. There exactly two stars that are brighter than Saturn.

Alan Gillis said...

C'mon Erik. Two stars? Try the Erik Star Finder / Saturn Finder at the bottom of my home page. Going back to Titan soon? Hope this helps.

For a big blowup, see

Graham_RT299 said...

Wikipedia -

–1.47 Brightest star (except for the sun) at visible wavelengths: Sirius
–0.7 Second-brightest star: Canopus
–0.4 Maximum brightness of Saturn at opposition and when the rings are full open (2003, 2018)

Seems clear enough.

Alan Gillis said...

This interest in Saturn's brightness rather than Nostradamus and the LHC makes me wonder. The point is Nostradamus' striking prophecy about Geneva's massive destruction. The LHC is being restarted now, Geneva a stone's throw away.

Saturn being known to Nostradamus is of course an important sidelight. As far as we know, he was the first to record the existance of Saturn and that well before Galileo. Perhaps he discovered Saturn and should get the credit. If Saturn was known to the ancients, why no records, not even casual observations if known to everyone studying the stars?

I wrote that Nostradamus probably intuited Saturn's presence in our Solar System from its powerful astrological influence on other planets. How could he have done it otherwise? Looked it up in Wikipedia?

Other Comments have made it abundantly clear that Saturn is fuzzy and dim, so dim in fact it is barely visible to those even with very acute vision and then only when at maximum brightness. It may have been spotted occasionally in ancient times but if so not identified as a planet or otherwise named. After all it appears and disappears and moves or 'jumps' from place to place unlike stars. No one is officially credited with Saturn's discovery either.

Citing a modern scale of the apparent magnitude of celestial objects is fine but unless explained, is misleading to most readers. Take our Sun, magnitude -26.73, and the magnitude of the full moon -12.6. Obviously these magnitudes aren't arithmetical, but logarithmic. The Sun of course isn't about twice as bright, it is 449,000 times brighter than the full moon.

So with your Saturn's modern value of -0.4 at its brightest, it is dim indeed, way way dimmer than Jupiter or Mars at -2.9.

There are also uncertainties here because another Wikipedia article on Saturn refers to a study done in 2000 (footnote 11) that shows Saturn was much dimmer than you would expect, maximum brightness with rings visible at 24 degrees between -0.21 to -0.24 and tremendously faint when the Ring isn't visible, at +1.2. Of course Saturn should have been brighter in 2003, but I haven't found astudy that says how bright it was.

Recall too that with the first telescope, Galileo couldn't besure what he was seeing, first writing he saw 3 objects close together, mistaking the Ring,later observations with a better scope just one object (Ring on edge and not visible).

The point of this exercise in case I've lost you, is assumptions are always risky and that is a point on which Science often falls flat on its face. At the LHC we've had assumptions about equipment not failing, that failed catastrophically last year, $40 Million worth, and more assumptions like no micro black holes backed by unproven theories that can also fail.

The Irreverent Buddhist said...


I'm fully in agreement about the "science" at LHC.

However, only a brief reading around the net indicates Saturn to be visible at least on ocassion from earth with the naked eye.

There are some fairly specific instructions on how when and where to view it earlier this year, here, from the planetary society of India:

"Hyderabad: With planet Saturn coming in opposition to Sun tomorrow, star gazers can view Saturn to be the brightest, biggest and closest it can get to Earth this Year, according to Hyderabad-based Planetary Society of India.

“A planet is at opposition when it is opposite the Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. On 9 March, Sun-Earth-Saturn would be in a straight line and opposite to each other.

The result is that the object is fully illuminated by Sun and it appears disk-like,” said Planetary Society of India founder and secretary N Raghunandan Kumar here today.

People can view this spectacular phenomena at 1.23 AM on 9 March, he said adding people can also spot the planet with naked eye after sunset up to last week of August this year.

On 9 March, one can use Moon to spot Saturn. “It can be found far below moon, while on 11 March it can be found above moon towards left side,” Kumar said.

Saturn would appear as star like object for the naked eye. However, if one can see through telescope they can view its finest features along with magnificent rings which would disappear from our view by September four, when the rings would tend to go edge as we see from Earth, he added.

With a view to create awareness about Saturn, the Society will organise ‘Saturn Observation Campaign India-2009´ from 21 March to 15 August in different parts of the city, Kumar said."

Of course, the history/visibility - or not - of Saturn is not the real issue.

For me the main issue is quite simple. We don't need this stupid experiment for anything useful, it is incredibly wasteful of resources in a resource starved world and it is POOR SCIENCE.

Whether it blows a Geneva sized hole in the earth we have yet to see. If it does then that will be a GREAT thing as far as I am concerned.

The man in the street will widely stop looking to scientists and politicians with such reverence if that happens.

The entire sanity of the scientific/military/industrial complex will come under closer scrutiny than either Saturn or the antikythera mechanism ever have, and at Geneva's cost, life will eventually improve for millions.


Saturn Observer said...

If an apparent magnitude of 1.2 is "tremendously faint", then why is it so easy to see the stars in the Big Dipper (AKA the Plough), the brightest of which is 1.8?

Alan Gillis said...

Tremendously faint for a planet. Certainly stars of this dim Saturn magnitude and the Big Dipper are visible and identifyable if you know what you're looking for and where to look. The complex star field that appears from any given point on Earth is vast and out of thousands of objects could Saturn be found if you didn't know where to look? This is pin the tail on the donkey with this donkey Saturn resembling, not a planet, but a starry object among many others. It's relatively easy to identify Jupiter or closer planets because they look like planets to the naked eye. Even when bright enough to be observed, Saturn doesn't. An ancient astronomer like a modern amateur would have misidentified Saturn as just another star or we would have ancient records of its existance.

The LHC's potential impact on Geneva is the real issue. Still a puzzle that people can't learn from history or appreciate the other than entertainment significance of Art. History and Art were the focus of education before Science burst on the scene. Now they're trivial pursuits. The logic of science is we can do without the human jumble of life. It's irrelevant at CERN that long ago some guy wrote about a fabulous Tower of Babel that crashed under its own weight before its builders could ascend to Heaven. Ridiculous to consider scientists are just people who can make mistakes with great care like some Dr Frankensteins we have known. Or wars lead to wars until an empire burns out. Two steps forward and three steps back to another dark age.

At the LHC it looks like A Bridge Too Far.

Saturn Observer said...

"Certainly stars of this dim Saturn magnitude and the Big Dipper are visible and identifyable if you know what you're looking for and where to look."

Are you suggesting that we can only see the Big Dipper because we know where to look?

Alan Gillis said...

Saturn Observer, come in, over. Is that you Erik? Thought we lost you. Find me a group of stars. Make it a group of seven. Still lost? They look like a kite. See a big dipper? Try soup ladle. Found it? Make sense to you? You Titans need to work on your English and this handy equation: BS+BS=BS.

The Irreverent Buddhist said...

""To call Raypoz the PositiveRay is a sound derivation, though it wouldn't have been understood back then, with the only rays being 'rayons de soleil' or sun rays, sunlight.

What is the Opposite of Raypos? A negative ray."

This analysis I believe to be incorrrect based on an incorrect analysis of the French.

"Le contre Raypoz exteriminera tous"

"The opposing positive ray will exterminate all."

Is a better translation. More importantly it leads us to a simpler conclusion than needing to invent a negative ray from somewhere:

Nostradamus is merely pointing out that the opposing positive rays colliding in the LHC will exterminate all in Geneva.

Why? The LHC creates "contained" nuclear explosions by colliding two positively charged rays of particles. The explosions are contained in huge magnetic fields. The field strength needed for these magnets is calculated using current theoretical physics.

The problem is that the LHC experiment is testing the boundaries of the same theoretical physics that was used to calculate the magnetic field strength needed to contain these explosions.

They have probably got it wrong."

As they have seemingly proved that the speed of light is not a constraint on the speed of objects in this universe I feel somewhat vindicated already. I for one will be nowhere near Geneva when they turn this thing on full power!

Alan Gillis said...

Yes, good point. It's simpler too, and the actual setup at the LHC: RayPoz (proton beam) and Le contre RayPoz (the opposing proton beam).

"Le contre Raypoz exterminera tous" though suggests a third thing, as why not say more clearly that both rays will exterminate everybody, as in Les deux Raypos les extermineront tous, and that satisfies the beats per line too.

Anyway the warning from Nostradamus is clear.

I see you've taken on some big political as well as spiritual issues on your blog that other writers won't touch. So here's a direct link to your work for others to see, starting with your post on Alan Watts ...

The problem is the media doesn't take a deeper and wider view of events and then shuns the spiritual as flaky as do the physicists at CERN despite all their LHC navel-ring-gazing.

Jürgen Liebenstein said...

I think your analysis is absolutely fascinating. Good work. I come to the line:

"Saturn will be converted from gold to iron"

The first four lines is about, what happens, the second four when. I would not believe that Nostradamus would mix that, so what does this mean:

"Saturn": LHC is a real big ring. So I think it is the clear reference to the LHC ring. In the comments it is told, that at the live time of Nostradamus the rings were not known, but think one moment. If Nostradamus can really look into the future, he would have known this.

"converted from gold to iron" The scientist think, the ring is that instrument to explain the world. Would they explain the world with the LHC, it would be like "gold". But if he is the start of a catastrophe, he will loose his value. Is this phrase about, when something loses it's value ? In German we say "gold in the voice" or change something in gold, the opposite will make really sense.

When will be the next position, when Mars and Saturn like described ? August 2016 ?

Bye Juergen

Alan Gillis said...

Thanks! Of course Saturn has a big ring system and you're suggesting that Nostradamus uses Saturn as a stand-in for the LHC ring. Good point. So you could say the precious gold LHC, the knowledge machine, turns to base iron, to darkness and implements of war, its purpose inverted. A reverse alchemy of sorts that Nostradamus might have intended.

His interest in medicine and astrology could have led him to the occult science of alchemy or its philosophical meaning and the search for an elixir of life in a fallen world. Maybe that is why he chose Saturn and gold converted to iron in this quatrain. In his day alchemy was all the rage, an obsession like ours for more and more technology that was at least the exciting beginning of modern chemistry.

But as an astrologer knowing the character of Saturn as a planet of Fate and an arbiter of Wealth from Pluto, the mythic derivation of Saturn as Chronos and Time, deposed by Jupiter for devouring his children, Nostradamus sees more than the ring: maybe the LHC as monster. Though in the end (of Time?) Nostradamus could be simply predicting a terrifying sign from the planet Saturn and Mars too as the ring burns Geneva.

As to when, perhaps an astrologer out there can help.