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 the strange tale behind a supposed phenomenon that astronomers refer to as "stellar aberration" - a term coined by Sir James Bradley (the Royal Astronomer between 1742 and 1762). Bradley is universally 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].”

"Tycho Brahe" - by Wikipedians

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 oddly 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 amiss 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." "The emergence of modern astronomy – a complex mosaic: Part XLV" - by Thony Christie (2020)

To make a long saga short, Bradley 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."

It is rather amusing to think that the grumpy, hyperactive astronomy historian Thony Christie (who often takes issue with his peers for writing silly things) still buys into this extravagant and long-disproven theory - and even shares it with his readers as if it actually were solid, empirical evidence of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun! Here follows another succinct description of this arcane concept (a.k.a. the "aberration of starlight") 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).

"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 vigorously scratching their heads. As you read it, keep in mind what I just illustrated in the previous chapter (i.e. "A Man's Yearly Path"); Sir James Bradley was, of course, wholly unaware of our yearly trochoidal motion and had therefore no chance of comprehending why the many stars he observed over the years were moving in such peculiar 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. As discussed in the section on parallax, that might suggest that the distance to Polaris was 1/40 of a parsec or 0.1 light year. 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" / The Aberration of Starlight - by Dr. David P. Stern (2006)

That’s right: Bradley and his peers found, to their amazement, that the maximal annual elongation of Polaris 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!

My below graphic illustrates just why, under the TYCHOS model, our North star Polaris will in fact reach its maximal 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:

The almost comical “stellar aberration” thesis 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 - contrary to expectations - no variation of the 'aberration' could be observed (viz. "Airy's Failure"). In spite of this setback, Bradley's thesis has somehow (and quite inexplicably) survived - and is still widely held as valid in astronomy circles. In hindsight, it is ironic that Bradley’s laborious enterprises very nearly ended up demolishing heliocentrism "from within", so-to-speak, since his own empirical observations contradicted the 'Copernically-expected' motions of our stars.

Here are some interesting (and curious) 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" -

Huh?... If 'stellar aberration' does not vary with a star's distance, how could it possibly have any relationship with the speed of light? The logic of this, as you may agree, would seem to be flawed! At the end of the day, the only logical conclusion to draw from Bradley's 'unexpected' observations is that they revealed a local / terrestrial motion which affects all the stars equally; namely, the ever-looping frame of reference that we earthly observers are subjected to - as we revolve around our perpetual, trochoidal path (see Chapter 21).


Albert Einstein's Special Relativity Theory (SRT) proposed a different explanation for the 'stellar aberration phenomenon'. However - as pointed out in later years by various authors - when applying the SRT's tenets and algebraic formulae to stellar aberration, they simply fail to account for what is actually observed! In the abstract of his below-linked paper, Daniele Russo spells out the embarrassing problem right from the start:

"Abstract: The classical and relativistic explanations of the stellar aberration are compared, on the basis of the physical models implied by the two interpretations. Our analysis shows that the physical model required by the Special Relativity theory is inconsistent with the observed effect." "Stellar Aberration: the Contradiction between Einstein and Bradley" (2007)

In his conclusions, Russo justly highlights the SRT's "lack of adequate physical explanations" for the observed 'stellar aberration':

"In classical Physics, a mathematical description of a phenomenon always lays on a physical model. In the case of the SRT, in spite of the simple mathematical model involved, the contrary to experience consequences of the light postulate make it often difficult to conceive adequate physical models for the various relativistic effects. Probably because of this reason, most expositions of the SRT are based on algebraic demonstrations, but lack adequate “physical” explanations that should instead be the basis of every physical theory about the macrocosmic world, as well as an indispensable element to any possible analysis or confutation. The case of the stellar aberration is emblematic. The algebraic route, consisting in the application of the SRT transformation to the system of the star and to that of the observer, does not apparently lead to contradictions. But the underlying physical model, based on a radial light radiation (light clock model), turns out to be incompatible with the parallel starlight irradiation actually reaching the Earth."

So much for Einstein's Special Relativity Theory: as expounded by Russo in his paper (which I recommend to read in its entirety), SRT is "inconsistent with the observed (empirically-verifiable) effect" and "incompatible with the parallel starlight irradiation actually reaching the Earth". Therefore, I would bluntly state that the SRT doesn't merit much of our attention here in this book which, of course, focuses almost exclusively on empirically testable and repeatable observations. Yes, my mind is of the 'boringly rational' kind - and I do not suffer foolish, abstract and algebraically-based theories gladly. Let's now take a look at Einstein's famed General Relativity (GR) theory - and see how it fares within the TYCHOS paradigm:

Not everyone may know that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity 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 GR, as you may read in the Wikipedia entry titled "Tests of General Relativity" - Wikipedia”:

“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 the supposedly 'anomalous' advance of Mercury's perihelion.

“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 most (academic) 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 General 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.

Well, the TYCHOS model readily accounts for these allegedly 'anomalous' 43" of Mercury's precession. Here is how:

  • 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 revolves once every year around the Sun (and its junior moon Mercury), they will expect Mercury to return to its perihelion EARLIER than it does in reality; this, because if the Earth truly revolved around the Sun, it would be "subtracting" from Mercury an amount corresponding to ONE solar day (or, if you will, 'one earthly revolution'). In the TYCHOS, of course, no such subtraction occurs. Now, if we assume that Mercury precesses daily by 0.43" - and since we know that Mercury's synodic period is 116.88 days (which is the interval between two Sun-Mercury conjunctions or, if you will, a "Mercurian year") - we see that:

0.43" X 116.88 days = 50.2584" (or just about the annual General Precession rate of 50.26" that was observed back in those days)

Evidently, Mercury's own rate of 'annual' precession is commensurate to the annual General Precession of our Solar System. Yet, Copernican astronomers will be baffled by what they'll interpret as an 'anomalous, extra 0.43" annual motion of Mercury' (i.e. 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).

As already mentioned, the observed equinoctial precession was, at the time of Einstein's ruminations, 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, the purported "ANOMALIES" were nothing but the natural, specific 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 twist of this whole affair (i.e. the so-called "anomalous precession of Mercury's perihelion"), it can be rightly remarked that these purported 'anomalies' of the precessional rates of Mercury and Venus actually proved that the Sun, Mercury and Venus all revolve around the Earth, and not the other way round. Once you realize and recognize that the Sun and its two moons orbit the Earth (and not vice versa), these 'anomalies' simply disappear!

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 was 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)

I will spare you the full account of the two 1919 expeditions (to Africa and South America) led by Sir Arthur Eddington to photograph a solar eclipse which purportedly provided the "ultimate proof" of Einstein's GR theory. Suffice to say that, as incredible as it may sound, this proclaimed "victory" of the Theory of General Relativity was founded upon only two out of three data sets (one of which was discarded as 'defective'). In any case, the observational data collected by Eddington's 1919 expeditions have been shown to be anything but conclusive by numerous subsequent analytical reviews.

"Einstein became world famous on 7 November 1919, following press publication of a meeting held in London on 6 November 1919 where the results were announced of two British expeditions led by Eddington, Dyson and Davidson to measure how much background starlight is bent as it passes the Sun. Three data sets were obtained: two showed the measured deflection matched the theoretical prediction of Einstein's 1915 Theory of General Relativity, and became the official result; the third was discarded as defective. At the time, the experimental result was accepted by the expert astronomical community. However, in 1980 a study by philosophers of science Earman and Glymour claimed that the data selection in the 1919 analysis was flawed and that the discarded data set was fully valid and was not consistent with the Einstein prediction, and that, therefore, the overall result did not verify General Relativity." "The 1919 eclipse results that verified general relativity and their later detractors: a story re-told" - by Gerard Gilmore and Gudrun Tausch-Pebody (2021)

All the same, these dubious experimental results established (in the eyes of the public) Albert Einstein as the N°1 scientist of our times.

In conclusion, there never were any anomalies in either Mercury's or Venus's precessional motions: these perceived "anomalies" were simply a by-product of the erroneous belief that the Earth revolves around the Sun - and not vice versa. Likewise, there never was any 'aberration of starlight'; Bradley's and Einstein proposed explanations thereof were not only contradictory: they were both flawed at the core - and must be definitively abandoned.

MERCURY AND OUR MOON : a synchronized pair

As an appropriate addendum or 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 have done my best to simplify this matter so as to avoid overwhelming the readers with too much data and research material. In any case, any inquiring minds may readily verify for themselves what I am about to illustrate - by perusing official astronomy tables.

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)

More illustrations and details about our Moon's and Mercury's apogee & perigee periods can be found in Chapter 28 of the 1st Edition (2018) of the TYCHOS book: "The Moon-Mercury Synchronicity"

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.

Lastly, let's put to the test the Moon's TMSP - the 29.22-day True Mean Synodic Period of our Moon - and the notion that the Moon and Mercury are 'locked' in a 1:4 orbital resonance (as expounded in chapter 13). We see that the sum total of their common, long-term perigee & apogee periods adds up to:

32316 days + 32325 days = 64641 days

Assuming that the Moon completes 2212 TMSP's in 64641 days, we see that: 64641/ 2212 = 29.222 days

And assuming that Mercury completes 553 synodic periods in 64641 days, we see that 64641 / 553 = 116.89 days

2212 / 553 = 4

Hence, our Moon and Mercury are demonstrably 'locked' in a 1:4 orbital resonance - just as posited by the TYCHOS.

In the next chapter, we shall see why and how the stars may well be considerably closer to us than currently believed, just as Tycho Brahe steadfastly maintained throughout his lifetime - and with very good reason.