NEW in 2018:

$100,000 AWARD






Encouraging DIO-Contradiction
With the Ultimate Aim of






  1. In 2018 Summer, DIO 22 [2018] announced on its cover (& p.82) $100,000 in prizes for finding eclipse-pairs that provide orthodox-accordant solution(s), alternate to DIO's, for 3 anciently-attested lunar-speed ratios: 6247u=6695v, 5458u=5923w, 3277u=3512v. (Where u=synodic months, v=anomalistic months, w=draconitic months. This may sound imposing to a novice or a historian-of-science, but be assured: the math here is just grade-school arithmetic, applied to eclipse-dates that are available not just on the internet, but are simply and consistently listed in long-standard books by Oppolzer, Ginzel, Liu&Fiala, Meeus&(DIO's friend)Mucke.)
    All three relations are astonishingly accurate, BECAUSE they were naturally based on lunar eclipse-pairs, by the obvious, then-most-accurate, and attested simple-arithmetic method explained at Almajest 4.2&6.9. However, until 2002&2003, no one had discovered which eclipse-pairs were involved, even though a clue to the latter member of the pair should have been obvious from each's indicated date of origin, respectively, System A, 263BC; Hipparchos favorite observed eclipse, 141BC; & Ptolemy's formal epoch, 137AD.
    (The 2nd date, 141BC, is still loyally disbelieved by a prominent robo-cult — a stubbornness which had formerly blocked its ability to solve the equation — now still today causing it to reject what is laughably obvious from DIO 11.1 [2002] ‡3 §C [pp.21-22].)
    All three are anciently attested and were never solved until DIO 11.1 [2002] & DIO 13.1 [2003]. No one knew their origin since no one had located eclipse-pairs whose elements proportionately fit the above 3 relations. That was simply because nobody who was looking for eclipse-data solutions had thought to go back anywhere near as far as the 13th Century BC! DIO's doing so not only solved the mystery of all 3 relations' data-sources but additionally the mystery of their accuracy, for: the longer the time base, the more accurate the result — obvious on its face, and noted even by Ptolemy: see discussions at DIO 11.1 [2002] ‡2 §A2 [p.11]; & DIO 22 [2018] ‡3 § [p.81] fn~119.
    DIO's challenge to prize-viers is to falsify the foregoing claim by finding alternate eclipse-pairs that proportionally solve the foregoing three attested relations, by the simple method of Almajest 4.2 cited above, but under orthodox-history-of-science's time-constraint (e.g., G.Toomer Almagest p.166 n.59) — meaning (to repeat for clarity): the early eclipse (of the pair) cannot be before 721BC. (And the later eclipse cannot differ by more than 50 years from the relations' 3 apparent ancient discovery-dates, below.
    Officially risking such serious coin is DR's way of unambiguously exposing the hopelessly slammedclosed-mindedness of the clubby history-of-science field, whose archons scoff at the pioneer DIO solutions and our claim that the 3 target relations CANNOT be solved by post-721BC eclipses. Yet, after 1 1/2 decades of failure to counter this claim by finding their own solutions, or detecting flaws in DIO's 2002-2003 analyses (such as our choosing invisible eclipses or applying faulty math) not one of the field's vaunted Experts will accept that classical-era astronomers even MIGHT have had access to 13th Century BC Babylonian eclipse data.
    Thus they — and all other comers — are hereby challenged to produce real umbral eclipse-pairs — within club-archons' very own post-721BC constraint — that directly solve (by the attested junior-high-math method of Almajest 4.2&6.9) the three anciently-attested lunar speed ratios (which DIO was 1st to solve, via pairing 1292BC-1190BC eclipses with ones from the classical-antiquity era, when these speeds were 1st discovered). Again: DIO's challenge allows that the latter eclipses can be 50 years on either side of the apparent respective dates of the relations' 1st appearances: 263BC, 140BC, 136AD.
    We claim it can't be done — but are openmindedly prepared to generously subsidize research that proves us wrong — even in part — in accordance with the foregoing rules.
    If the present politically-dominant club is right, then club-timelimit-accordant eclipse-pairs will be discovered, and the club will be much enriched. If wrong, that stimulating realization will demonstrate to onlookers that the club has (because corrupted by political warfare's side-taking) spitefully — and typically — denied our journal the credit deserved for an epochal discovery: classical ancients' use of such incredibly-early eclipse-records, preserved by Babylon's astrologer-priests for 1000 years — a denial carried on for more than 15 years 2002-2003.
    (As its publisher DR has gone from age 65-66 to getting-on 82.)
    And you can bet that some club members have by now (late 2018) already searched for our proposed eclipse-pair quarry. [1] To do otherwise would carry the burden of implicitly admitting (unbearable even privately) that it knows DIO 22's announcement of impossibility here is reliable. [2] Club members have previously sought and/or accepted DIO cash. [3] Clubbies' fiscal gain would be especially enhanced by the prospect of a club-scorned journal having its (ever-admitted) fallibility counter-cheekily demonstrated on the basis of unambiguous test. [4] DIO's several unheavyweight loathers realize that, if no alternate solutions are found by 2020/1/1, DIO will be justified in announcing it as a fact that astronomers two thousand years ago adopted three lunar speeds of 1-part-in-a-million accuracy, by resorting to use of records of eclipse observations made by Babylonians of the 13th Century BC.
    Of course there is a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation about the situation, in that if a club member goes through every club-limit-allowable eclipse-pair and finds no winner, does anyone familiar with the club expect him to announce a self-created enemy's vindication — merely for a triviality like the cause of advancing knowledge? Not if one knows the priorities of what is an extreme herdship-case.
    No — clubbies' silence alone is evidence enough, for those in the know. Regardless of which side wins this wager: either way — key new knowledge will emerge from the challenge, which is justification enough for posing it.

    Good hunting!

  2. DIO has for decades offered two other prizes, $1000 each. These are awarded at opportunity instead of rigidly per year. (I.e., their pace will be up to judges.) Two international panels of highly qualified judges, will decide future recipients. See below.

  3. Dennis Rawlins, DIO's Publisher, has already awarded the initial (2004) ones, but will not even have a vote in future DIO-prize-judging.

    1. The first E. Myles Standish Award for Scientific Principle goes to Myles Standish himself. E. Myles Standish's eminence in celestial mechanics is already internationally recognized. A leading pioneer in the establishment of numerical integration as the basis of national ephemerides, his orbits — computed by him and his colleagues at Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory — have for decades reliably guided the world's ships & airplanes to their terrestrial ports, and NASA's craft to their celestial targets. The Standish Award reflects DIO's gratitude for Myles' lifetime of insisting on high standards of science and truth, and for his opposition to pretense in academe.

    2. The first R. R. Newton Award for Scientific History goes to nonhistorian Charles T. Kowal (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab), long a legendary living-immortal in astronomy, as discoverer of (among other objects) Chiron and two satellites of Jupiter. The specific historical discovery recognized by this Award is his recovery of Galileo's 1613 drawing of Neptune near Jupiter: perhaps the most shockingly outré discovery in the entire enterprise of astronomical history.

  4. The DIO Awards are established as follows:

    1. The E. Myles Standish Award for Scientific Principle.
      Presented to a scholar who has excelled in the area of scientific principle by example, creativity, and-or analysis. Judges:

      Stephen Brush, University of Maryland; President Emeritus, History of Science Society.
      E. Myles Standish, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.
      Christopher Walker, Department of West Asian Antiquities, British Museum.

    2. The R. R. Newton Award for Scientific History.
      Presented for a discovery in which history is advanced by use of scientific analysis. Judges:
      Rob't M. Bryce, Editor DIO, author of Cook&Peary: the Polar Controversy Resolved 1997.
      Keith Pickering, author of biography of 1st North Pole-attainer by surface, Ralph Plaisted.
      F. Richard Stephenson, Physics, University of Durham; International Astronomical Union, longtime #1 world expert on Earth's rotational acceleration.

  5. The awarding of these DIO prizes will henceforth be strictly up to the appointed panels, in order that evaluation of merit will be entirely out of DR's hands. The panels are also encouraged to consider & suggest improvements of the definitions of standards & principles, by which potential recipients will be judged.

    Notice 2008-2009:
    By majority vote of the R. R. Newton Award committee:
    the R. R. Newton Award for Scientific History has been granted to Steve Albers and to Gerd Graßhoff: $1000 each.

    Steve Albers proposed the fruitful idea of consulting historical satellite-search ms records of then-known planets when near geocentric conjunction with then-unknown planets, to find unwitting observations of the latter — an idea that led to Charles Kowal's world-famous 1980 find of Galileo's 1613 Neptune sightings. Kowal's first-ever first-person story behind this forever-unique discovery is a DIO exclusive: DIO 15.

    Overturning universal obliviousness (shared by RRN & DR), Gerd Graßhoff created (University of Hamburg 1986 thesis, English translation 1990, Springer) the completely original, successful, and key-controversy-resolving project of demonstrating undeniable mass-statistical correlations of star-position errors in Hipparchos' Commentary & Ptolemy's Almajest . (This study's instant conversion of Syntaxis editor Gerald Toomer [to realization that Ptolemy had appropriated Hipparchos' star catalog] is a credit both to Graßhoff and to Toomer.) Graßhoff is also co-editor (with A.Stückelberger) of the first complete modern-language critical edition (2006) of Ptolemy's Geography; our admiration of and appreciation for this monumental work may be consulted in the preface to DIO 14 [2008] ‡3 [p.33].

    [a] Due to recent deaths among the above-listed judges, a positive verdict will henceforth require unanimous assent.
    [b] The $100,000 DIO offers, until 2020/1/1, for eclipse-pair discoveries, fortunately requires no experienced judges, since the math is grade-school: a proposed pair, within the time-bounds specified at DIO 22 [2018] ‡3 §I38 [p.82], is either umbral and proportional — or it isn't.

  6. Anyone is free to propose nominees or achievements, by simply sending specifics to the appropriate panel of judges.
    And anyone in the world is eligible for the awards. With one exception: DR.