Chapter 29: EROS and TYCHOS: love at first sight
"In Greek mythology, Eros is the Greek god of love and sex. His Roman counterpart was Cupid (‘desire’)."
Source: Eros - Wikipedia
What follows is the tale of my most cherished encounter during the course of my ardent Tychos research adventure: that with the tiny planet (or, if you will, near-earth asteroid/NEA), Eros. As we shall see, not only does Eros strenghten the Tychos model’s tenets; it also provides the strongest disproval of the heliocentric theory's 'explanation' for the periodic retrograde motions of our planets. Firstly though, a brief summary of yesterday’s astronomers’ feverish quest to measure the Earth-Sun distance is in order.
There was enormous excitement among the late 19th-century astronomers as Eros was discovered on 13 August 1898. In the previous decades, humongous efforts had been invested in determining the all-important Earth-Sun distance. For example, only for the sake of observing Venus’ 1874 transit across the solar disk, France, England and the US had organized as many as 19 official expeditions around the world, some of which cost the lives of several sailors and astronomers.
Why all these frantic and titanic efforts, you may ask? Well, since Venus is the (largest) celestial body that transits closest to Earth, the idea was to measure its parallax vis-à-vis the Sun, and thus to finally determine the exact Earth>Sun distance. In fact, both the close-passing Mars and Venus had been used for this purpose, yet there were ongoing controversies as to the accuracy of these observations. This is described in an essay by Edmund Ledger titled “The New Planet Eros”, published in 1900:
"“It was at one time hoped that this (the Earth-Sun distance) might be accurately determined in the case of Venus by observations made on those rare occasions when it passes in transit across the sun’s disk. But the glare of the sun’s light, the ill-defined edge of the sun’s disk, and the atmosphere of Venus itself, combine to deprive such observations of the necessary accuracy. Apart from some other methods, involving long periods of time and highly complicated theoretical investigations in their use, attention was therefore next given to an attempt to obtain the distance of the planet Mars when it makes its nearest approaches to the earth. It was, however, found to be difficult to measure the exact position of the centre of its disk.”
Enter Eros - "the first Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) that was found"(quoting the Wikipedia). When Eros was discovered by German astronomer Carl Gustav Witt at the Berlin Observatory on 13 August 1898, it was soon realized that it would pass much closer to Earth than either Mars or Venus. Two years after its discovery, Edmund Ledger wrote:
“But in the case of Eros we meet with something utterly different and unexpected. A new planet has been discovered whose average distance from the sun is less than that of Mars; a planet which at times comes within a distance from the earth not much more than one third of the nearest distance within which Mars ever approaches it.” Essays in Astronomy - by Edmund Ledger
Today, Eros’ closest passages to Earth (~0.17 AU) are estimated to be roughly 2 and 3 times closer than the closest passages of Venus (~0.3 AU) and Mars (~0.45 AU), respectively. Eros is the largest member of a group of NEAs referred to as ‘the Amor asteroids’. In Latin, ‘amor’ means ‘love’, and ‘Eros’ was the Greek God of love. Why this peculiar nomenclature is interesting will soon become clear.
As I studied the available data of Eros so as to integrate it into the Tychosium simulator, I noticed that Eros’ closest near-Earth passages occur almost precisely every 81 years (around 31 January) at virtually the same place in our sky (note that this is somewhat reminiscent of Mars’ 79-year cycle). Having gathered the known parameters of Eros (i.e. orbital size, speed, ephemerides, closest passages to Earth), I activated the Tychosium simulator's ‘Trace’ function for Eros and pushed ‘Play’. That’s when my jaw dropped. I think you can imagine me gasping in utter fascination at the shape traced by Eros’ ‘spirographic’ orbit around our Solar System...
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Eros - named after the Greek God of LOVE - traces a heart around Earth!
I then proceeded to adjust (within the Tychosium simulator) some of Eros’ closest Earth passages by perusing the data at the JPL/NASA website. Within a few hours of toggling, I was pleased to see that ‘my TYCHOS Eros’ was in excellent agreement with the JPL/NASA ephemeride tables for Eros! Here’s a back-to-back comparison between the JPL and the Tychosium ephemerides of five super-close passages of Eros (1850, 1931, 2012, 2093, 2174). They make for a most spectacular match.
Eros’ closest Earth passages (in ‘opposition’) at intervals of ~81 years.
At this point, you will probably be curious as to how this extraordinary agreement between the JPL and the TYCHOS ephemerides of Eros will look like, as viewed in the respective JPL/NASA and Tychosium solar system simulators. My below diagram compares the latest super-close passage of Eros (January 31, 2012) - as depicted in the two simulators:
As you can see, the two simulators are in excellent agreement as to the relative spatial positions of all the celestial bodies of our Solar System. Yet, in the Tychosium, it is the Sun that revolves around the Earth - and not vice versa. I would now like to encourage the inquisitive readers to verify this for themselves: go to the Tychosium 3D simulator and activate Eros' orbit (by checking the Eros box in the 'Planets' menu). You may then open the orbit viewer for Eros at the JPL/NASA website - and start comparing the orbital motions of Eros in the two simulators.
We shall now look at the most peculiar aspect of Eros’ observed behavior in the skies: it is a true 'mystery of astronomy' that Eros is hardly ever observed to retrograde (i.e. to reverse direction), unlike all the other planets of our Solar System.
“Unlike most objects in the solar system, Eros never appears to be retrograde (back-track across the sky).”
The above statement from Wikipedia is not quite true. As Eros passes closest to Earth, it will indeed back-track a tiny bit (by a mere ~20 min of RA on average - and sometimes as little as 5min of RA). Now, remember: the Copernican model’s proposed explanation for the periodic retrograde motions of our planets is that, as Earth overtakes Mars (or as Venus overtakes Earth), the planets will appear to back-track (i.e. reverse direction) for several weeks due to a supposed optical parallax illusion caused by the shifting viewing angle of the planet in relation to the starry background.
Well, the observed celestial motions of Eros highlight the glaring problem with this explanation: as we saw earlier, Eros transits almost twice closer to Earth than Venus does. Thus, if our planets’ retrograde motions were caused by such angular shifts, this would violate the basic laws of parallax and perspective: if the Copernican explanation for these retrograde motions were true, then the near-Earth asteroid Eros should be observed to retrograde against the starry background by a much larger amount than Venus!
As always, a picture speaks more than a thousand words:
Note that the orbital speed differential between Earth (~30 km/s as of the Copernican model) and Venus (~35km/s) is virtually identical to the speed differential between Earth (~30 km/s as of the Copernican model) and Eros (~25 km/s). In both cases, the speed differential is 5 km/s. Hence, the fact that Eros hardly retrogrades at all remains a total mystery - that is, as viewed under the Copernican model.
You may now be curious to know exactly how Eros is empirically observed as it transits closest to Earth. Once more, Wikipedia provides us with a handy illustration showing how astronomers recorded the super-close transit of Eros in the early months of 2012:`
You will hopefully admit that, when viewed in the Copernican model, Eros’ trajectory, with its abrupt, V-shaped retrograde pattern, is extremely bizarre. How can this possibly be reconciled with what would be a simple, linear ‘overtaking maneuvre’ on the part of Earth? Surely, something else is going on?
Once again, the Tychosium simulator can show us precisely why Eros is observed to behave in such a manner as it passes closest to Earth:
In conclusion, it is the heart-shaped orbital trajectory of Eros (as of the Tychos model) that causes this peculiar, minuscule, V-shaped 'retrograde' of Eros. All of the planets, comets (and the so-called Near-Earth Asteroids) revolving around the Sun are clearly attached to it by some magnetic force - as if attached by a yo-yo string to our star. It is the length and speed of this string that determines the variable shapes of our planets' orbital, spirographic paths - and their variable retrogrades. After all, there's really nothing magical or otherworldly about this apparent 'action-at-a-distance': here on Earth, we can all make small magnets levitate and rotate (just by a little finger push) around a large 'Mother Magnet' - as if attached by invisible strings. Of course, what remains to be understood is just what sort of ethereal forces (i.e. that 'little finger push') have set all of our universe's celestial bodies in motion - and how they are kept rotating in such constant and clockwork-like manner, century after century.
As an anecdotal aside, I'd like to share this lame tale concocted by the ever-so-imaginative NASA scriptwriters. You see, NASA claims to have landed a probe upon Eros back in February 2001, as it found itself at 2AU (i.e. twice the distance to the Sun). As their story goes, their remote-contolled probe would have landed just around Valentine's Day, February 14. Apparently, this saucy NASA fairytale wasn't deemed to be complete without an even sillier claim that the probe had captured some pretty sharp photographs of Eros from a distance of 2590km (i.e. roughly the distance between Stockholm and Rome!). Now, and here's the kicker: these alleged photographs would have revealed a distinct HEART-SHAPED depression on the very tip of the dildo-shaped Eros. Yup - you've gotta love it.
The worldwide NASA fan-club will probably dislike the TYCHOS - much like we all disliked the moment when we realized that Santa Claus was just a fable - i.e. a deceptive tale sold to us by our own, trusted parents. Evidently, one of the hardest things for most people to overcome is their emotional attachment to enticing, childhood fairy tales. Undeniably, our current generations grew up under the spell of NASA's storytellers - and it's going to take a long time before this planet's population realizes just how deeply they have been deceived.
Yet, the 'art of deception' isn't only about people fooling other people. In the next chapter, we shall see how even Nature itself can sometimes deceive this entire planet's population - including our most eminent observational astronomers. As will be revealed and meticulously demonstrated, their (specious) determination of the 'cigar-shaped' orbital paths of comets was a case of mistaken identity (asteroid Eros was mistaken for 'the first sighting' of "the Great Comet of 1680"). This fateful trickery of Mother Nature prompted Sir Isaac Newton to formulate what has to be the most bizarre conclusion of his entire career; namely, that comets would move around extremely elongated, cigar-shaped ellipses (or even parabolic / hyperbolic trajectories). This is, of course, in stark contrast to the quite circular orbits of NEA's (Near-Earth-Asteroids) such as Eros. Keep in mind that asteroids and comets - e.g. Eros and Halley's - can be very similar in size and can approach Earth at very similar distances: for instance, asteroid Eros (size: ca. 16km) and comet Halley (size: ca. 15km) can both pass as close as 0.1AU (or less) to planet Earth. So the question becomes: WHY then would asteroids and comets have wildly different orbital shapes? Wasn't Newton's 'law of Universal Gravitation' precisely meant to equally apply to the entire universe? The term 'universal' clearly doesn't apply if two types of "Earth-grazing" celestial objects of similar dimensions would behave in wholly different manners!
Indeed, any rational thinkers should pause right here and ask themselves this logical and fun-da-mental question: "why would the "Universal Laws of Gravity" affect the orbital paths of asteroids and comets in totally different ways?" I will bet my life that you won't be able to answer this question (which should cause many sleepless nights to our world's astrophysicists). That is, unless you now proceed to Chapter 30 - which should readily relieve you from your misery... Chapter 30 will be - by necessity - the most long-winded of this book, but I trust that the readers will appreciate its crucial importance - as it will provide definitive and, I dare say, incontrovertible proof of the TYCHOS model's correctness.