Chapter 3: About our Sun-Mars binary system
The first objection people will have to the idea that Mars is the Sun's binary companion usually goes like this: "Nonsense! Mars isn't even considered to be a star - but a planet!" Yes, today's astronomers do indeed refer to Mars as a 'planet' (even though, as we shall see, Kepler himself called Mars a 'star', i.e. "STELLAE MARTIS" in Latin). In any case, the distinction between a "planet" and a "star" is not as clear-cut as it may seem. Many of the latter don't even appear to shine with their own light: for instance, countless red and brown dwarfs are so dim that they remain completely invisible even to our largest telescopes. In fact, red dwarfs are the most common 'stars' in our skies:
"Red dwarfs are by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way, at least in the neighborhood of the Sun, but because of their low luminosity, individual red dwarfs cannot be easily observed. From Earth, not one star that fits the stricter definitions of a red dwarf is visible to the naked eye."
Now, no one can deny that Mars is the only reddish-orange body in our Solar System - even though our naked eyes see Mars shining much like a star as it reflects sunlight. Yet, as any amateur astronomer will know, Mars is a reddish-orange sphere (unlike any of the other planets in our Solar System).
You may now ask:"how do we even know about the existence of invisible 'dwarf stars'?" (i.e. those invisible even to our largest telescopes). We know this thanks to sophisticated apparels called spectroscopes which are routinely used to detect invisible companions of larger stars. The below book extract (by Cecil G. Dolmage) succintly describes the basic workings of the spectroscope:
"There are certain stars which always appear single even in the largest telescopes, but when the spectroscope is directed to them a spectrum with two sets of lines is seen. Such stars must, therefore, be double. Further, if the shiftings of the lines, in a spectrum like this, tell us that the component stars are making small movements to and from us which go on continuously, we are therefore justified in concluding that these are the orbital revolutions of a binary system greatly compressed by distance. Such connected pairs of stars, since they cannot be seen separately by means of any telescope, no matter how large, are known as "spectroscopic binaries."
However, it should be noted that even spectroscopes will fail to determine whether star companions detected in such manner shine with their own light:
"In observations of spectroscopic binaries we do not always get a double spectrum. Indeed, if one of the components be below a certain magnitude, its spectrum will not appear at all; and so we are left in the strange uncertainty as to whether this component is merely faint or actually dark. It is, however, from the shiftings of the lines in the spectrum of the other component that we see that an orbital movement is going on, and are thus enabled to conclude that two bodies are here connected into a system, although one of these bodies resolutely refuses directly to reveal itself even to the all-conquering spectroscope."
Today, we know that the vast majority of our visible stars have one (or more) faint or invisible companions - and astronomers are incessantly discovering new binary systems at an ever-increasing rate. Surely, this has to be the most significant, paradigm-changing astronomical epiphany of our modern age? One can only wonder why such persistent findings haven’t yet sparked a major debate questioning the 'implicit exceptionalism' of the Copernican heliocentric theory - what with its unique, companionless 'non-binary' star (the Sun) and its gigantic 240-million-year orbit!
Having said that, there does appear to be some growing realization (within select astronomy circles) concerning the improbable notion that the Sun would be such an exceptional, solitary star. Here's, for instance, a short extract from a recent article published at the Science Alert website (November 2018):
“Our Sun is a solitary star, all on its ownsome, which makes it something of an oddball. But there’s evidence to suggest that it did have a binary twin, once upon a time. Recent research suggests that most, if not all, stars are born with a binary twin. (We already knew the Solar System is a total weirdo. The placement of the planets appears out of whack compared to other systems, and it’s missing the most common planet in the galaxy, the super-Earth.)" -Science Alert (Nov 20, 2018)
Another article published in June 2017 at the PhysOrg website carries this most interesting title: "New evidence that all stars are born in pairs".
"Astronomers have speculated about the origins of binary and multiple star systems for hundreds of years, and in recent years have created computer simulations of collapsing masses of gas to understand how they condense under gravity into stars. They have also simulated the interaction of many young stars recently freed from their gas clouds. Several years ago, one such computer simulation by Pavel Kroupa of the University of Bonn led him to conclude that all stars are born as binaries.(...) We now believe that most stars, which are quite similar to our own sun, form as binaries. I think we have the strongest evidence to date for such an assertion."
Interesting, isn’t it? If all stars are born in pairs, how and why did our Sun separate from its original companion? Did our Sun get a divorce on the grounds of its partner’s infidelity? Was it a consensual separation? Or did they part ways due to assorted cosmic 'turbulences and perturbations' that somehow ruined their primordial, magnetic relationship? Oh, well, it happens all the time between human beings, doesn’t it? Jokes aside, if it were eventually found that all the stars in our universe have a binary companion, this would have profound implications for the entire realm of astrophysics - and this isn't just my personal opinion: it was none other than Jacobus Kapteyn (arguably the world's all-time top expert in stellar distributions) that famously stated at the end of his illustrious career that...
“If all stars were binaries there would be no need to invoke ‘dark matter’ in the Universe.”
We have all heard of “dark matter” - but what exactly is it meant to be? Apparently, it is some elusive and invisible (i.e. entirely postulated) “stuff” that our modern astrophysicists and cosmologists are desperately trying to detect in our universe (yet, so far, with no luck). They currently contend that about 80% of our universe is made of “dark matter” ― or, if you will, “missing matter” - because the observed, highly scattered distributions and incongruous motions of our universe’s celestial bodies appear to violate both Kepler’s and Newton’s hallowed laws (as well as the infamous “Big Bang” theory). Here are a couple of extracts from a Wikipedia page titled “Galaxy rotation curve” (my bolds):
“Since observations of galaxy rotation do not match the distribution expected from application of Kepler's laws, they do not match the distribution of luminous matter. This implies that spiral galaxies contain large amounts of dark matter or, in alternative, the existence of exotic physics in action on galactic scales."
[...] These results suggested that either Newtonian gravity does not apply universally or that, conservatively, upwards of 50% of the mass of galaxies was contained in the relatively dark galactic halo.”
Evidently, both Kepler's and Newton's "long-established laws" (on which much of our modern science is based upon) have some serious problems nowadays. Yet, the world's scientific community doesn't seem to worry too much about it!
To see how the basic configuration of a Sun-Mars binary system would look like, let us begin with a classic binary star system - as illustrated in the astronomy literature:
Notice that, if we substitute the above “high mass star” and “low mass star” with the SUN and MARS respectively (as I have done in the below adaptation) we obtain a neatly-balanced binary system that incorporates the two moons of the Sun (Mercury and Venus) and the two moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos).
In addition, please separately observe the additional “plot twist” of paramount interest to us Earthlings:
In the TYCHOS, Earth is positioned near (or at) the center of mass of the Sun-Mars binary system.
We can see just how harmonious such a binary system would be: Earth embraced by the Sun-Mars binary duo, each of the two binary companions hosting a pair of lunar satellites.
You may now wonder: "why Mars? Why wouldn't Jupiter, for instance, be the Sun's binary companion - since it's the largest planet in our system? This is when you will have to ask yourselves the following questions: Isn’t Jupiter supposed to be a “gas planet”? And isn’t Mars, on the other hand, supposed to be mostly composed of iron and rock? Has anyone ever put Mars and Jupiter on a bathroom scale and compared their weights? Of course not. Now, I trust we can all agree that the density (and hence, relative weight) of iron and rock are several orders of magnitude greater than that of any known gas existing in nature.
Furthermore, aren’t we told that the Sun itself is mostly composed of hydrogen (70%) and helium (28%) plus a negligible 2% of other, denser elements? In this light, how hard would it be to imagine that Mars might, perhaps, have a similar mass to the Sun (in spite of their “David-and-Goliath” difference in diameter) and would thus nicely accommodate Newton’s sacrosanct gravitational laws? Having said that, I will hasten to make it clear that, since day one, my research for the Tychos model has intentionally “left Newtonian and Einsteinian physics at the door”, so to speak, focusing instead on the empirically testable and verifiable aspects (e.g. optical and geometric) of astronomy - as rigorously documented by some of our world’s foremost observational astronomers.
Mars is the only body of our Solar System that can transit on both sides of Earth (in relation to the Sun) AND whose farthest-to-closest transits from Earth exhibit a whopping 7:1 ratio (with a mean apogee of 400 million km and a mean perigee of 56.6 million km). This is a strong indication that Mars - and no other body in our Solar System - is the Sun’s binary companion. The below screenshot from the Tychosium 3D simulator should make this clear:
As we shall see in the following chapters, there are innumerable reasons to conclude that Mars - and no other body of our system - is the Sun's 'special' binary companion. Perhaps the best evidence we have that Mars is indeed unique among the components of our system is the fact that Kepler formulated his entire set of “laws” exclusively around the motions of Mars. As astronomy historians have thoroughly documented, Kepler, who was recruited by Brahe for the sole purpose of helping figure out Mars’ “incomprehensible behavior”, spent over half a decade in what he called his “War on Mars”, obsessively trying to solve the befuddling Martian riddle. That's right: Mars was the N°1 problem posed by Tycho Brahe's exceptionally accurate observational tables.
Let us now take a closer look at the two pairs of moons hosted by the Sun and Mars.
In the TYCHOS model, Mercury and Venus are the Sun’s two moons. Similarly, Mars also has two lesser-known (tidally-locked) moons: Phobos and Deimos, which were only discovered as recently as 1877 by Asaph Hall (Tycho Brahe never observed them).
A closer look at the moons of Mars brings up some interesting interrelationships with their bigger sisters Mercury and Venus. Under the Copernican model (where Mars is just another planet orbiting around the Sun) there would be no conceivable motive for these four celestial bodies to exhibit any sort of 'sympathy' with each other. In the TYCHOS model, on the other hand, this is just one of many 'harmonious resonances' that seem to pervade our Solar System - as will be thoroughly expounded further on.
Consider these comparative facts about the moons of the Sun (Mercury and Venus) and the moons of Mars (Phobos and Deimos).
Mercury’s diameter is 2.5X smaller than Venus’ diameter.
Phobos’ orbital diameter is 2.5X smaller than Deimos’ orbital diameter.
Deimos’ diameter is 1.8X smaller than Phobos’ diameter.
Mercury’s orbital diameter is 1.8X smaller than Venus’ orbital diameter.
Curious, isn't it? To my knowledge, you won't find any mention of these remarkable 'reciprocities' in astronomy literature. Furthermore:
Each year, Mercury revolves ca. 3.13 times around the Sun; whereas each day, Phobos revolves 3.13 times around Mars. As a way of comparison, think of the Sun that revolves once every year around Earth, whereas Earth rotates once every day around its axis. This may sound like a bizarre comparison (between a revolution period and a rotational period), unless you know that our Moon revolves around Earth in the same time as the Sun rotates around its axis (approx 27.3 days - the so-called "Carrington number"). Moreover, Mercury's synodic period (116.88 days) is 5X shorter than Venus' synodic period (584.4 days), while Phobos orbits Mars near-precisely 4X faster than Deimos.
All this appears to indicate some sort of 'kinship' between these two pairs of moons (of the Sun & Mars) which, under the Copernican model, would have to be attributed to some sort of random, “accidental happenstance”. Conversely, under the TYCHOS model, all this can be interpreted as a natural consequence (i.e. as what is known in astronomical jargon as 'orbital resonances') of Mercury and Venus & Phobos and Deimos being, respectively, the moons of the Sun and the moons of Mars.
You might now rightly ask yourself: “Why are Mercury and Venus the only ‘planets’ of our solar system with no moons of their own?”
As a matter of fact, this is one of astronomy’s longstanding (and still unsolved) mysteries. The truth of the matter is: no one actually knows why Venus and Mercury are “moonless” - and no compelling theses on this spiny subject have been forthcoming to this day! Here are, for instance, NASA’s (timid and tentative) explanations of this major cosmic enigma.
“Most likely because they are too close to the Sun. Any moon with too great a distance from these planets would be in an unstable orbit and be captured by the Sun. If they were too close to these planets they would be destroyed by tidal gravitational forces. The zones where moons around these planets could be stable over billions of years is probably so narrow that no body was ever captured into orbit, or created in situ when the planets were first being accreted.”
— Why don’t Mercury and Venus have moons?_ by NASA for Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) Education Center
Here’s another (perhaps more intellectually honest) quote from another nasa.gov website:
“Why Venus doesn’t have a moon is a mystery for scientists to solve.”
How many moons?_ by Kristen Erickson (2017) for NASA Space Place
As it is, the TYCHOS model has a short answer to this “mystery”: Venus and Mercury have no moons due to the simple fact that they are moons. Moreover, they are the two moons of the Sun much like Mars, its binary companion, also has two moons. In fact, the notion that Venus and Mercury are moons (rather than planets) can be deduced and backed up in multiple ways. What follows should make a compelling case for the notion that Mercury and Venus are moons - rather than planets.
A most astonishing realization that the TYCHOS model unveils is that the rotational rates of our Moon, Mercury & Venus (the Sun's two moons) are locked in a seemingly perfect 1:2:4 ROTATIONAL RESONANCE.
our Moon employs 29.22 days to rotate around its axis.
Mercury employs 58.44 days to rotate around its axis, i.e. exactly twice as long as our Moon. source: "MERCURY" Mercury revolves around the Sun in 87.66 days. For every two of its solar revolutions (175.32 days), it rotates three times around its axis (175.32 / 58.44 = 3). In the same period, our Moon will rotate six times around its axis (175.32 / 29.22 = 6).
Venus employs 116.88 days to rotate around its axis, i.e. exactly four times as long as our Moon. As Venus returns to perigee (closest to Earth) every 584.4 days (i.e. every 10 mercurial rotations / or every 20 lunar revolutions), it always shows the same face to earthly observers (a fact which is still today considered as a 'mystery' by mainstream astronomers!). During this period, Venus rotates five times around its own axis (584.4 / 116.88 = 5) - as pointed out in this Italian "Book of Physics":
"Tra un avvicinamento alla distanza minima dalla terra e il successivo, Venere compie esattamente cinque rotazioni (retrograde) sul suo asse; in tal modo ci mostra sempre la stessa faccia quando si trova nella posizione a noi più vicina." source: IL LIBRO DI FISICA
Hence, we see that the three moons (our Moon, Mercury and Venus) are locked in a 1:2:4 rotational resonance (29.22 : 58.44 : 116.88).
Needless to say, since the Earth-Moon system is believed to revolve around the Sun - and thus, around Mercury and Venus - (whereas, in the TYCHOS, the three moons all revolve around the Earth), most current / official reckonings of the rotational rates of Mercury and Venus are flawed and, consequently, these rotational resonances are - so-to-speak - "lost in translation". Let us now compute the respective rotational speeds of these three moons:
The Moon rotates around its axis in 29.22 days (or 701.28 hours). The Moon's circumference is 10920.8 km. Hence, a distance of 10920.8 km covered in 701.28 hours computes to a (equatorial) rotational speed of 10920.8 km / 701.28 hours = 15.57 km/h
Mercury rotates around its axis in 58.44 days (or 1402.56 hours). Mercury’s circumference is 15329 km. Hence, a distance of 15329 km covered in 1402.56 hours computes to a (equatorial) rotational speed of: 15329 km / 1402.56 hours = 10.93 km/h
Venus rotates around its axis in 116.88 days (or 2805.12 hours). Venus’ circumference is 38024.5 km. Hence, a distance of 38024.5 km covered in 2805.12 hours computes to a (equatorial) rotational speed of: 38024.5 km / 2805.12 hours = 13.55 km/h
These are all, of course, exceptionally slow rotational speeds - as compared to all the other bodies in our Solar System: they are all, in fact, in the rotational speed range of a children’s merry-go-round! In any event, these 'snail-paced' speeds are certainly in stark contrast with the formidable rotational velocities that we have all been accustomed to (ever since our school days) in the context of astronomy & cosmology in general.
You may now ask yourselves: “Are any other celestial bodies in our system reckoned to have such extremely slow rotational speeds as our Moon, Mercury or Venus?” The answer is no. For instance, Jupiter is said to rotate around its axis at a brisk 43000 km/h and Saturn at about 35000 km/h. These are, of course, hypersonic speeds completely unlike the tranquil lunar rotational speeds. And what about Mars's axial rotational rate? Well, we shall see about that later (at the end of Chapter 20), as Mars’s axial spin turns out to be synchronous with the Earth’s axial rotation (i.e. just about 24 hours).
Incidentally, if our three nearmost moons (our Moon, Mercury and Venus) are "locked" in a 1:2:4 rotational resonance, this is reminiscent of the well-known 1:2:4 orbital resonance of the three largest moons of Jupiter (Io, Europa and Ganymede):
DEFINITION OF A "MOON" (or "lunar body")
In view of all the above considerations, we may thus formulate a set of peculiar properties which distinguish a 'moon' from a 'planet':
1. No moons have satellites of their own, since they are moons themselves.
2. Moons rotate exceptionally slowly around their own axes – compared with all other known celestial bodies.
3. Groups of moons revolving in a given system (i.e. around a common barycenter) may / or will exhibit rotational resonances with each other.
For those interested, here's a pdf article that focuses on Mercury's rotation period - and its historical controversies: The rotation of Mercury from Schiaparelli to Colombo
In the next chapter, I will illustrate the basic configuration of the TYCHOS model - and introduce you to the interactive TYCHOSIUM 3D simulator; although it may seem somewhat premature to unveil it at this early stage of the book, I believe it is necessary in order for the reader to get a general overview of the TYCHOS' general configuration before tackling the successive chapters.