In 1878, Hill found numerically, in his limiting case of the restricted three-body problem, the so-called Hill’s lunar problem, a planar direct periodic orbit with a period of one synodic month. By virtue of the spatial system’s invariance under a symplectic involution, whose fixed point set corresponds to the planar problem, we can assign to Hill’s orbit planar and spatial Floquet multipliers and planar and spatial Conley–Zehnder indices. We show that these have deep astronomical significance because, on the one hand, we relate the anomalistic month to the planar Floquet multipliers and the planar Conley–Zehnder index. On the other hand, we relate the draconitic month to the spatial Floquet multipliers and the spatial Conley–Zehnder index. Knowledge of this lunar month dates back to the Babylonians, who lived until around 500 BCE. In order to determine the indices, we analyze analytically the bifurcation procedure of the fundamental families of planar direct and retrograde periodic orbits (traditionally known as families g and f) from the rotating Kepler problem for very low energies.

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