Chapter 22: Deconstructing Bradley and Einstein
If there were some sort of posthumous "Nobel prize" dedicated to the preservation of the heliocentric theory, the award would probably have to be conferred to James Bradley and Albert Einstein. The latter, of course, needs no introduction - although most people may not know that his initial claim to fame was that of having 'convincingly resolved the anomalous precession of Mercury's perihelion' (which threatened to falsify & invalidate the all-important Newtonian physics). In this chapter we shall see how these two 'science superstars' deluded themselves and the world - with their ill-conceived attempts to salvage the doomed, unphysical Copernican / Keplerian model.
I would firstly like to share with you this strange yet hilarious (or perhaps tragicomical) tale behind the concoction of a supposed phenomenon that every good astronomer knows as "stellar aberration". Sir James Bradley is widely celebrated as the man who provided definitive proof of Earth’s alleged motion around the Sun - as it supposedly hurtles at breakneck speeds (90X the speed of sound!) along a 300 Mkm-wide orbit.
“James Bradley’s discovery of stellar aberration, published 1729, eventually gave direct evidence excluding the possibility of all forms of geocentrism including Tycho’s [geoheliocentrism].”
Back in 1725, the soon-to-become Astronomer Royal James Bradley was looking at a star called "Gamma Draconis" with his state-of-the-art telescope crafted by George Graham, London's leading instrument maker. The telescope was fitted into his chimney, for this northern star he chose to observe happened to regularly transit just above London where he lived. At 33 years of age, Bradley was already an experienced astronomer and he had duly calculated just how his chosen star should move against the more distant stars. He looked and looked, for several weeks - but the star didn't seem to move much in relation to the background stars. However, after a month or so, he finally saw that the star had moved a tiddly weeny bit. As he checked his calculations however, he realized - to his great dismay - that the star had moved very strangely and in the very opposite direction that he had predicted! Together with his assistant Molyneux (a wealthy man who had financed their ambitious star-watching project), they feverishly checked and re-checked their equipment - but couldn't find anything wrong with it. The two inquisitive men were vexed and baffled. So they decided to undertake a massive survey of the skies, over several years. In all, they eventually looked at the motions of 200 other nearby stars and, to their growing consternation and distress, they found that ALL those stars were moving in the same strange manner as Gamma Draconis! Sadly, Molyneux soon passed away - stepping into his grave without an answer to the upsetting mystery. The task to resolve the pesky puzzle was thus left to Bradley. As the story goes, the solution to the riddle came to him during a boat trip on the river Thames.
Here's how the amateur astronomy historian Thony Christie (of the "Renaissance Mathematicus" blog) recounts Bradley's "Eureka Moment":
"Molyneux died in 1728 before Bradley solved the puzzle. The solution is said to have come to Bradley during a boat trip on the Thames. When the boat changed direction, he noticed that the windvane on the mast also changed direction. This appeared to Bradley to be irrational, as the direction of the wind had not changed. He discussed the phenomenon with one of the sailors, who confirmed that this was always the case. The explanation is that the direction of the wind vane is a combination of the prevailing wind and the headwind created by the movement of the boat, so when the direction of the headwind changes the direction of the windvane also changes."
To make a long saga short, Bradley (who was later promoted to Astronomer Royal) then came up with a fantastic theory which goes a bit like this: "The stars are seen to move in the 'wrong' direction(i.e. opposite to what one might expect if Earth revolved around the Sun) because the light particles they emit are just like raindrops slanting at an angle towards the face of a walking man". But let me quote again from Thony Christie's "Renaissance Mathematicus" blog:
"Bradley realised that the direction of the light coming from the stars was affected in the same way by the movement of the Earth orbiting the Sun. He and Molyneux had discovered stellar aberration and the first empirical evidence of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The more common phenomenon used to explain aberration uses rain. When one is standing still the rain appears to fall vertically but when one in walking the rain appears to slant into one’s face at an angle. The same happens to starlight falling onto the moving Earth." Renaissance Mathematicus-Thony Christie blog
It is rather funny to think that the grumpy, hyperactive astronomy historian Thony Christie (who often takes issue with his peers for writing silly things) actually believes in this fanciful tale - and even shares it with his readers as if it actually were solid, empirical evidence of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun!
Here's another succinct description of this arcane concept (the "Aberration of Light") that supposedly confirmed Earth's revolution around the Sun:
“The aberration of starlight was discovered in 1727 by the astronomer James Bradley while he was searching for evidence of stellar parallax, which in principle ought to be observable if the Copernican theory of the solar system is correct. He succeeded in detecting an annual variation in the apparent positions of stars, but the variation was not consistent with parallax. The observed displacement was greatest for stars in the direction perpendicular to the orbital plane of the Earth, and most puzzling was the fact that the displacement was exactly three months (i.e., 90 degrees) out of phase with the effect that would result from parallax due to the annual change in the Earth’s position in orbit around the Sun.”
— Stellar Aberration from Reflections on Relativity by Kevin Brown (2017)
An here’s an extract from a book titled "The Sky at Einstein’s Feet" (2006).
p. 13, The Sky at Einstein’s Feet by William C. Keel (2006)
The below excerpt of another article neatly sums up Bradley’s puzzling observations, which had astronomers scratching their heads. As you read it, keep in mind what I illustrated in the previous chapter (i.e. "A Man's Yearly Path"). Sir James Bradley was, of course, wholly unaware of our annual trochoidal motion and had therefore no chance of comprehending why the many stars he observed over the years were moving in such peculiar - and wholly unexpected - manner.
Quoting the above paper:
“For instance Polaris, the pole star, seemed to travel annually around an ellipse whose width was 40”, 40 seconds of arc. […] However, the shifts in position did not occur at the times they were expected. The greatest shift of Polaris in any given direction occurred not when the Earth’s was at the opposite end of its orbit, as it should have been, but 3 months later. For instance, in the drawing above, the apparent position of Polaris should have been shifted the furthest in the direction of ‘December’ when Earth was in its ‘June’ position, which is far as it can go in the opposite direction. Instead, it happened in September, when the Earth had moved 90° from its position in June.”
— From Stargazers to Starships — 22a. The Aberration of Starlight by Dr. David P. Stern (2006) for NASA
That’s right! Bradley and his peers found that, to their amazement, the maximum annual elongation of a circumpolar star from an earthly observer does not occur over the expected six-month time period but will, in fact, occur three months later. i.e.; nine months after the start of a year-long observation.
I will now illustrate exactly how — under the TYCHOS model — our North star Polaris will in fact reach its maximum elongation (from an earthly observer) over a 9-month (rather than a 6-month) period - and why Polaris is observed to travel annually around a 40”-wide ellipse.
As indicated in my above graphic, please note that the lengths A and B (representing two of the most well-known, empirically-verifiable measurements in astronomy) are perfectly consistent, proportionally speaking. I recommend you verify this for yourself - with a simple school ruler - that length B is 1.25 X larger than length A (since 50.3” is 1.25 X larger than 40”).
Since these commensurate values rely on the core principles of the TYCHOS model (what with Earth’s annual 14036-km-motion & the trochoidal path of earthly observers), the odds for all this to be entirely coincidental are, objectively speaking, beyond rational consideration.
The almost comical “stellar aberration” theory which Bradley concocted (in his urge to justify otherwise inexplicable observations) has to be among the most contorted attempts at rescuing the Copernican model from its inevitable demise. As a matter of fact, Bradley's theory was subsequently falsified by his illustrious colleague George Airy, who filled a telescope with water and showed that no variation of the 'aberration' could be observed (see "Airy's Failure"). In hindsight, it is ironic that Bradley’s painstaking efforts very nearly ended up demolishing heliocentrism, so-to-speak, "from within", since his (otherwise quite accurate) observations were in stark contradiction with the Copernically-expected stellar motions.
“It is important to notice that the early attempts were at measuring what today would be called absolute parallax, rather than relative parallax, which is the parallax of a nearer star with respect to that of a distant star”.
—p. 222, The Historical Search for Stellar Parallax (Continued) by J. D. Fernie, from Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 69, pp.222-239
Keep in mind the above quote by J.D Fernie, as we shall soon get to the question of relative stellar parallax and its geoptical implications, which, as I shall thoroughly demonstrate, can only find a rational explanation within the TYCHOS model. As for "stellar aberration", here are some interesting statements we may read at the 'Explaining Science' website:
"In trying to explain his observations Bradley discovered an entirely different effect which came to be known as stellar aberration. His discovery not only confirmed the heliocentric theory but allowed an accurate measurement of the speed of light. (...) The shift in position of a nearby star caused by parallax proved to be very much smaller than the position shift due to stellar aberration, which unlike parallax does not vary with a star’s distance." "Stellar aberration" - explainingscience.org
By Jove! So if stellar aberration does not vary with distance(!?), how then could it possibly have anything to do with the speed of light? Once more, the obvious answer to this question is that what Bradley called "stellar aberration" was nothing but a local / terrestrial phenomenon which affects all the stars EQUALLY. That is, the annual trochoidal oscillation that all earthly observers are subjected to - as proposed by the TYCHOS model (see Chapter 21).
Not everyone may know that Einstein’s “General Relativity” theory got 'kick-started' by his acclaimed “resolution” of the purportedly anomalous advance of Mercury’s perihelion. It was, in fact, long considered as one of the most compelling proofs of the GR theory, as you may read in this Wikipedia article titled “Tests of General Relativity”:
“Einstein showed that general relativity agrees closely with the observed amount of (Mercury’s) perihelion shift. This was a powerful factor motivating the adoption of general relativity.”
However, numerous authors have since then pointed out innumerable problems with Einstein’s equations and computational methods, as well as with his highly questionable determinations of Mercury’s supposedly anomalous apsidal precession. As it is, Einstein himself eventually distanced his subsequent GR research from the dubious argumentations surrounding Mercury’s perihelion advance.
“Einstein’s paper devoted to the GR prediction of Mercury’s perihelion advance, is the only one among his publications that contains the explanation of the GR effect. (...) Since then, to our knowledge, he never returned to the methodology of the GR perihelion advance problem. […] As a matter of fact, the GR foundational premises have been subjected to changes and reinterpretations (optional, alternative, or claimed ‘correct’ ones) by Einstein himself, his advocates as well as today’s GR specialists and self-proclaimed ‘experts’.”
— Einstein Paper on the Perihelion Motion of Mercury from GRT by A.A. Vankov (2011)
“It is thus proven that Einstein’s Mercury correction is completely false, and fails for planets as well as black holes! (...) The only possible conclusion to be made is that the Einstein GR correction is completely false. Thus, one of the only proofs that GR is valid has been shown to be incorrect, and invites GR to be discarded as a valid theory!”
— The Incorrect Theory of Mercury’s Anomalous Precession by Roger Rydin (2010)
I will hereby do my best to summarize in simple layman’s terms and maths this historically crucial, worldwide scientific debate, namely “the mystery of the anomalous precession of Mercury’s perihelion”. In this raging debate, no less than Newton’s sacrosanct laws were at stake since Mercury was observed to disobey the same. Eventually, the “victory” went to Mr. Albert Einstein, thus rocketing the little-known patent clerk (and proven plagiarist) to universal stardom literally overnight. By all accounts, Einstein’s fledgling Theory of General Relativity was then gloriously confirmed by his dreadfully convoluted “explanation” of Mercury’s seemingly anomalous behavior. The whole issue revolved around a small 43″ (arcseconds) discrepancy in Mercury’s precessional motion around the Sun: Mercury had been observed by Urbain Le Verrier to precess by an excess of 38″ per century (later re-estimated at 43″ by Simon Newcomb in 1882), a fact which contradicted Newton’s laws.
At the time of the vivid debate set off by Le Verrier, the equinoctial precession was observed to be about 5026” (arcsecsonds) per century. Since Mercury’s perihelion was observed to precess by 5600” per century (of which 531” were deemed to be caused by the “gravitational tugs” of the other planets) the whole controversy revolved around the supposedly anomalous 43 extra arcseconds-per-century attributed to Mercury’s precession.
I will spare you the account of the two 1919 expeditions (to Africa and South America) led by Sir Arthur Eddington to photograph a solar eclipse which purportedly provided "undeniable proof" of Einstein's theory of relativity. If you are interested, here's a link to the Royal Society's website where you may read how they still defend this ludicrous fable: Royal Society
Now, let's see how the TYCHOS model can account for this alleged "anomaly" - in the simplest imaginable manner:
- The COPERNICAN model has Earth revolving around Mercury once every year.
- The TYCHOS model has Mercury revolving around Earth once every year.
Hence, since Copernicans assume that Earth laps Mercury each year, thus "subtracting" one synodic period (of 116.88 days) from Mercury's gyrations, they will expect Mercury to return to its perihelion 116.88 days EARLIER than what it does in reality. Therefore, their expected duration of Mercury's annual precession will erroneously include ONE extra synodic period of Mercury. And this amounts to just about 0.43" of Mercury's yearly precession! In fact:
0.43" X 116.88 = 50.2584 (or almost precisely the annual 50.26" rate of equinoctial precession that was observed back in those days!)
Thus, Mercury will appear (to Copernican astronomers) to precess each year by an extra 0.43" per year - or by an extra 43" per century!
The allegedly 'anomalous' precession of Mercury was 43” per century.*
The allegedly 'anomalous' precession of Venus was 8.6” per century.* (Yes, even Venus was thought to precess in anomalous fashion).
* Source: Anomalous Precessions from Reflections on Relativity by Kevin Brown (2017)
As mentioned above, the observed equinoctial precession was, at the time, 5026” per century.
Now - and once again - if we divide 5026" by Mercury’s synodic period we obtain Mercury's specific precession rate:
5026” / 116.88 days ≈ 43”
And if we divide 5026" by Venus’ synodic period we obtain Venus's specific precession rate:
5026” / 584.4 days ≈ 8.6”
In other words, what they called "ANOMALIES" were nothing but the NATURAL precession rates of Mercury and Venus!
Let's verify this once more - from another 'mathematical perspective': the Sun revolves once around Earth in ca. 365.25 days. One century thus contains 36525 days. The DAILY equinoctial precession (back in the early 1900’s) would thus have amounted to:
5026” / 36525 ≈ 0.1376”
Since Mercury, a moon of the Sun, revolves 3.125 X around the Sun every year (116.88 X 3.125 = 365.25), we see that:
3.125 X 0.1376” = 0.43”
1/100th of the alleged 43” per century “anomaly”
Similarly, since Venus is a moon of the Sun and revolves 0.625 X around the Sun every year (584.4 X 0.625 = 365.25), we see that:
0.625 X 0.1376” = 0.086”
1/100th of the alleged 8.6” per century “anomaly”
In what must be the funniest, paradoxical twist of this 'cosmic puzzle' (the so-called "anomalous precession of Mercury's perihelion"), it can be rightly remarked that the whole affair actually proved that the Sun and its two moons (Mercury & Venus) all revolve around Earth, and not the other way round!
Please note that I am by no means the first person on this planet to have concluded that the alleged "anomalous" precession of Mercury's perihelion is spurious (i.e. non-existent) and that, consequently, Einstein's very first "proof" of his nebulous theory of General Relativity was based on thin air... For instance, here is what the eminent professor Roger A. Rydin wrote about the subject:
“There are significant arguments that General Relativity has not been proven experimentally, and that it contains mathematical errors that invalidate its predictions. Vankov has analyzed Einstein’s 1915 derivation and concludes that when an inconsistency is corrected, there is no perihelion shift at all!”
— The Theory of Mercury’s Anomalous Precession
by Roger A. Rydin (2011) from Proceedings of the NPA 8 501-506
This concludes my deconstruction of James Bradley's and Albert Einstein's fanciful theories which astronomy literature hails, still today, as being the "definitive proofs of Earth's motion around the Sun". I hope that this 'demolition job' of mine hasn't been too lengthy - and that I may have achieved my aim to expound it in a clear and concise manner.
As an appropriate addendum / epilogue to round off this chapter, I would like to highlight a most important fact that, to my knowledge, has never been noticed to this day. Namely, that the long-term periods of Mercury (the Sun's "1st" moon) and our Moon (Earth's only moon) are practically identical. Again, I will do my best to simplify this matter - so as to avoid overwhelming the readers with too much data and research material. In any case, anyone armed with a little patience and investigative skills can verify for themselves (perusing official astronomy tables) what I'm about to illustrate.
Mercury will return to perigee (i.e. its closest approach to Earth) in about 32316 days(+/-7 days)
Our Moon will also return to perigee (i.e. its closest approach to Earth) in about 32316 days (+/-7 days)
Mercury will return to apogee (i.e. its furthest passage to Earth) in about 32325 days(+/-7 days)
Our Moon will also return to apogee (i.e. its furthest passage to Earth) in about 32325 days (+/-7 days)
Needless to say, this would constitute - under the Copernican model - a most bizarre 'coincidence': why would Mercury and the Moon have near-identical perigee / apogee periods if the Earth-Moon system were revolving around the Sun? But in the TYCHOS model, these long-term periods commonly shared by Mercury and our Moon are to be expected, since these two celestial bodies are, respectively, the lunar satellites of the Sun and Earth. In our magnetically-locked binary system of interrelated bodies, the regularly-spaced recurrences of Mercury’s and our Moon's perigee and apogee transits are to be expected. Mercury and the Sun both revolve around Earth (and so does our Moon). They all “work in unison” in a very systematic, orderly fashion. Mercury and our Moon are both lunar bodies exhibiting virtually identical long-term orbital cycles.
And to corroborate my TMSP (the 29.22-day True Mean Synodic Period of our Moon as expounded in chapter 13), here's a brief set of calculations:
MOON : 32316 + 32325 = 64641 / 2212 = 29.222 days
MERCURY: 32316 + 32325 = 64641 / 553 = 116.89 days
2212 / 553 = 4
Hence, Mercury and our Moon are demonstrably 'locked' in a 4:1 ratio - just as stipulated by the TYCHOS.
In conclusion, there never was any anomaly in Mercury's (or Venus's) precession. Likewise, there never was any aberration of starlight. Both theories were fundamentally flawed and cannot therefore be held as proof (as officially claimed) of Einstein's GR theory - nor of Earth's purported motion around the Sun (as of Bradley's "starlight aberration" theory). In the next chapter, we shall see why the stars may well be considerably closer to us than currently believed.