Skip to comments.Geographers use GPS to mark Italy's prime meridian in Vatican Gardens
Posted on 02/25/2007 6:43:21 AM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although the Global Positioning System has made meridians obsolete in mapmaking, a group of geographers used the GPS to mark the exact spot where the old prime meridian of Italy passed through the Vatican.
Standing at the end of a technologically guaranteed straight line of flower pots, the geographers and Vatican officials dedicated a plaque marking the spot in the Vatican Gardens Feb. 23.
A prime meridian is an arbitrarily determined line running around the globe from north to south; it is used to determine longitude as well as time zones. Although an international agreement was reached in 1880 recognizing the meridian in Greenwich, England, as the prime meridian, Italian government maps continued to use the Italian prime until the 1940s.
In 2004, a group of Italian geographers and historians began a project to commemorate the Italian meridian by marking it in the Vatican Gardens and in several parks around Rome.
At the brief Vatican ceremony, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, head of the office governing Vatican City State, told the scholars, "Forgive me if I end by preaching, but I am just a priest and not a scientist."
The meridian may be obsolete, he said, but everyone needs a point of reference for his or her life's journey.
In Jesus, he said, "we have a star from which we can determine our meridian with certainty for a safe voyage."
Did they use differential GPS? That would imply an astronomically determined local reference. Standard GPS doesn't have enough percision to compete with an astronomically determined meridian.
Gives a new meaning to "the meridian of God".
(The "Meridian of God" passes through Washington D.C. It refers to a small swath of the Earth's surface from which it would be possible, in principal, to construct a calendar based on simple arithemetic rules such that the Vernal Equinox would occur on the same calendar date for the forseeable future. A calendar that inserted leap years arbitarily to keep the VE on the same date doesn't count.)
What the L are you talking about?
Very interesting! Sort of ironic that it passes through Washington, DC, though. Don't tell Al Gore.
The Gregorian Calendar approximates the solar year as 365.2425 days, when in fact it is closer to 365.2422 days. The Gregorian calender has a 400 year cycle over which the VE date is allowed to drift. An alternative is to use a calendar with a 8 leap years every 33 years, approximating the length of the solar year as 365.242424... days. Not only is this calendar more "accurate", it's shorter cycle keeps the VE better centered by closing its cycle once every 33 (vs. 400) years. If one choses as one's reference meridian a merdian close to 77 West, then the date of the Vernal Equinox will be on the same date for thousands of years into the future. For this reason, some people refer to 77 W as the "merdian of God".
This 77 W longitude "just happens" to pass through Washington D.C. Coincidence? I don't think so. Only the Free Masons know for sure.
Can the Antichrist be far behind?
Yes - right now she is trailing Rudy in most poll.
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