What's a secular timescale?

  • Thread starter Simfish
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  • #1
Simfish
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"act on any time scale from short term, commensurable with the orbit periods to secular (measured in 104 to 106 years)."

is a sentence with it.

I can't google up a good definition of "secular" in this context
 

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  • #2
mgb_phys
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Secular means non-periodic
Of course you have to look at an infinite lenght of data before you decide that it isn;t periodic on some longer timescale!

It's form the original latin secular=age, nothing to do with secular=not religous
 
  • #3
chemisttree
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I thought it meant "once in an age" or "extremely long period" rather than non-periodic. In this case I think it means "long term" considering it's usage in justaposition to 'short term' in the example sentence.

See http://www.springerlink.com/content/x7884617p417485h/".

Google "secular orbit" or "secular interaction".
 
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  • #4
mgb_phys
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In maths/finance secualr variation means a long term overall trend.
In astronomy I thought it meant a variation that is doesn't repeat or isn't predictable - like a chaotic orbit.
 

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