The seven to eight years during which Uranus transits Aries, every eighty four years or so, seem to have an uncanny connection with the science of light, in particular with the speed of light. Here are some instances worthy reflecting upon (marked with a red asterisk *). Other important scientific breakthroughs are also included:
Uranus in Aries between 1675/76 and 1682
*In 1675 the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer, while observing variations in the timing of eclipses of the Jupiter’s Moon, measured the speed of light at 200.000 Km/sec, according to the then accepted value of Earth’s orbit.
Also in 1675 king Charles II of England commissioned the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London, to obtain more accurate data on longitudinal positions at sea, thus improving ship navigation as well as astronomical observation (Wiki page on the Greenwich history).
*In 1678 the Dutch scientist Christian Huygens (Wiki page on Huygens) published a seminal treatise on the nature of light, for the first time exposing the theory that light was made of ‘waves’, moving through space at an amazing speed.
Uranus in Aries between 1759/60 and 1767
The English chemist Henry Cavendish discovered the element Hydrogen in the chemical composition of water (Wiki page on Henry Cavendish).
Uranus in Aries between 1843/44 and 1850
In 1842 the British government paid Charles Babbage, inventor of the ‘Difference Machine’, to develop an advanced calculating machine, which they called ‘analytical engine’, a sort of mathematical computer (Wiki page on Charles Babbage).
In 1846, British and French astronomers ‘discovered’ a new planet in the solar system, Neptune, beyond Uranus’ boundaries.
*Also in 1846 Michael Faraday, English chemist and physicist, discovered the principle of the electric motor. In a lecture titled ‘Thoughts of Ray Vibration’ he described the magnetic and electrical forces which hold atoms together, also suggesting that the same might transmit light (Wiki page on Faraday).
*In 1847 Thomas Edison was born in the USA to become one of the most prolific and influential inventors of all times. 1.300 inventions have been attributed to him. One of his enduring legacies has been the invention of the electric light bulb. Edison died around his 84th birthday in 1931, during the next transit of Uranus in Aries that went from 1927/28 to 1934 (Wiki page on Thomas Edison).
*In 1849 the speed of light was calculated more accurately by Leon Foucault, a French physicist. Foucault kept researching and improving his method of calculation until he reached his final measurement of 299,796 Km/s in 1862 (Wiki page on Leon Foucault).
Uranus transits Aries between 1927/28 and 1934
In 1927 the German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg discovered that the path of an electron revolving around an atom’s nucleus cannot be predicted, calling this ‘the Uncertainty Principle’, a key discovery of Quantum Physics(Wiki page on Werner Heisenberg HERE and the Uncertainty Principle).
On September 28 1928 the Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered by a lucky accident the antibacterial properties of blue-green mould, calling it Penicillin. Mould grown on bread had been however used to heal infected wounds since the Middle Ages before its scientific properties were actually demonstrated by Fleming and others (Wiki page on the discovery of Penicillin).
In 1931 American Karl Janski, a radio engineer, discovered radio emissions from the constellation of Sagittarius in the Milky Way. His so called ‘Janski turn-table’ was the first rudimentary Radio Telescope ever to be constructed. Because his discovery occurred during the Great Depression a proper Radio Telescope wasn’t constructed until 1937 (Wiki page on Karl Janski).
In 1928 the English physicist John Cockroft and Irish Ernest Walton began working on the acceleration of protons. In 1932 they constructed a machine for accelerating elementary particles, the first popularly known ‘smashing of the atom’ (Wiki page on Cockroft and Walton).
Uranus transits Aries between 2010/11 and 2018
*Can the mysterious sub-atomic particles neutrinos exceed the speed of light, as some European physicists made public in Geneva on September 23 2011? If true this would challenge one of the fundamental tenets of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and probably, yet again, change our vision of the world. As Dennis Overbye puts it in his September 24 article:“Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with notions of cause and effect”. As with all Uranian maverick thinking and love of unexplored places, these results will be tested by time and perhaps found wanting. One way or the other this is exciting news.
On September 29 2011 China launched its first experimental module to form part of a future space station, aiming at becoming a major space power. This is an important development for China, with Uranus in Aries transiting in opposition, for the next few years, to China’s natal Sun, Mercury, Neptune and South Lunar Node.