How the Earth moves, and how do we know?

“Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not.” -Galileo Galilei

All of science is rooted in the idea that natural phenomena can be explained naturally, and that if we want to know how anything in the Universe works, all we need to do is ask the Universe the right questions, and the answers will appear.

So what about the question of the night sky, and why it appears to rotate the way it does?

Image credit: Peter Michaud (Gemini Observatory), AURA, NSF.

There are two straightforward explanations for this, and from this observation alone, they’re indistinguishable from one another.

  1. The entire sky — and all the stars in it — spins around the Earth with a period of 24 hours, causing the stars to change position as we observe it from Earth.
  2. The entire sky is — to the best of our observations — stationary, and appears to spin because the Earth is rotating beneath it.

These two scenarios, although they would both adequately explain this phenomenon, are vastly different from one another.

Images credit: Retrieved from the One Minute Astronomer, http://www.oneminuteastronomer.com/.

But the stars appearing to rotate about the celestial pole is not the only observation we have. By making other observations and interpreting them in the context of these two very different models, we can help determine whether one is superior to the other.

So what can we see that can give us a clue to whether it’s the Earth or the sky that’s moving? Although the stars always appear to make this rotational motion throughout the night, the stars that are visible in the night sky — as well as their locations — vary greatly throughout the year.

Images credit: NASA / JPL.

Given that we’ve got the entire sky to consider, this has to do with the position of the Sun. When the Sun appears during the day in the Summer, the winter constellations are obscured by the sunlight bathing our atmosphere, and when night falls, the summer constellations are visible. Conversely, the summer constellations are obscured by the Sun during days in Winter, while the winter constellations are visible at night.

Again, both models can accomodate this, but they look very different.

Image retrieved from http://astro.wsu.edu/worthey/astro/html/lec-celestial-sph.html.

If the Earth is truly stationary, then the Sun would have to move to different locations relative to the night sky throughout the year. In addition to its once-a-day orbit around the Earth, it would have to migrate in one additional circle relative to the background stars each year, in order to explain why the visible constellations vary throughout the seasons.

Image credit: Addison Wesley Longman.

On the other hand, if the Earth is allowed to move, then it can also move around the Sun, explaining why different constellations appear in the night sky at different times of the year.

We also need to explain what the Sun does.

Image credit: Justin Quinnell of http://www.pinholephotography.org/.

From the point-of-view of us here on Earth, particularly those of us who live away from equatorial latitudes (outside of the tropics), the Sun’s path through the sky varies significantly throughout the year.

Image credit: Fred Chance / http://www.fredchance.co.uk/.

The lowest the Sun ever appears — at zenith — above the horizon occurs during the winter solstice, while its highest point occurs during the summer solstice.

Image credit: retrieved (and possibly originated) from Robert Simpson at http://orbitingfrog.com/.

In the Earth-is-stationary model, the Sun needs to change its location in the sky significantly throughout the year: in addition to its once-a-day journey around the Earth, it needs to change its location relative to the celestial sphere by a whopping 47 degrees every six months. Why the Sun moves in this path so slowly relative to the celestial sphere but so quickly relative to Earth is not explained in this model.

Image credit: Rob from Orbiting Frog once again.

On the other hand, if the Earth is allowed to move, this would result simply from the Earth moving around the Sun while it rotates on its tilted axis. If the Earth is the moving thing, its rotation and its revolution are allowed to be separate quantities, which could explain the vastly different timescales for days (the period of Earth’s rotation) and years (the period of Earth’s revolution).

Again, both models are still allowed, but the complexity and power of each explanation is different. Let’s throw in just one more object: the Moon.

Image credit: Starry Night Education / Space.com, Inc.

Much like the Sun, the Moon follows a very similar path throughout the sky: it rises towards the East, sets in the West, and rises and sets once per day. It also appears to migrate relative to the stars, completing an extra circle about once every 29-to-30 days.

The big difference between the Moon and the Sun is noticeable when there’s a Full Moon.

Image credit and diagram: Gary Osborn.

While the Moon never varies by more than 5 degrees from the Sun in terms of its inclination to Earth, there’s a huge seasonal difference between the Full Moon and the Sun. When the Sun reaches its maximum height above the horizon, during the summer solstice, the Full Moon achieves its minimum height above the horizon. And when the Sun is at its minimum height during the winter solstice, the Full Moon reaches its maximum height above the horizon!

Image credit: TheSky6 Astronomy Software / Software Bisque, Inc.

If the Earth must remain completely stationary, we must again put the Moon’s orbit in, making an extra circle relative to the celestial sphere every lunar month, and inclined at nearly the same (but not quite) the same amount relative to the celestial sphere as the Sun.

Image credit: 1994 Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Inc.

We need this, of course, to explain the observed Lunar and Solar eclipses, which can easily be deduced to be to the interplay of shadows between the Sun, Moon and Earth.

Image and text: from http://astro.wsu.edu/worthey/astro/html/lec-celestial-sph.html.

But if you allow the Earth to move, you can not only explain the daily motion of the stars, Moon, and Sun relative to the Earth’s sky by the Earth’s rotation, you can explain the lunar and solar motions relative to the rest of the sky as revolutionary orbits due to the force of gravity.

Image credit: Royal Museums of Greenwich.

If you insist that the Earth remain stationary and the celestial sphere rotates, you can make a working model for the Earth, Sun, Moon and stars, but it requires you to put the motions of the Sun (an extra revolution tilted at 23 degrees relative to the celestial sphere per year) and the Moon (an extra revolution tilted at 5 degrees relative to the Sun per lunar month) by hand, with no physical explanation for these motions.

Image credit: Pearson Scott Foreman, donated to the WikiMedia Foundation.

That was exactly what the Ptolemaic Model did, which adequately described these motions without explaining them. This is why we needed the theory of gravity (and why we need scientific theories in general): to explain why the objects in the sky make the apparent motions that they do, and to explain why the path of the Full Moon nearest the Summer Solstice is — to within that 5 degree tolerance — is identical to the path of the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

The theory of gravitation, and the heliocentric model that goes along with it, is much more predictively powerful, scientifically, than the description that came before it, and the predictions that the theory make are backed up by both terrestrial and celestial experiments and observations. That’s why we not only conclude that the Earth moves, but that’s how it — and the other major objects in our day and night sky — determines what we see in the heavens above.

Comments

  1. #1 Joffan
    September 18, 2012

    And then there’s Foucault’s Pendulum. I haven’t heard any model of reality that accounts for that action – in all its variety at different latitudes – while allowing a non-rotating Earth.

    This perhaps is the “missing link” that makes a non-rotating Earth model initially attractive – we can’t “feel” the Earth rotating. But the pendulum can.

  2. #2 cay
    September 18, 2012

    I am reading “Pendulum” by Amir Aczel, and he writes that Galileo was in a cathedral with the windows open looking up at a swinging chandelier, when he timed its period with his pulse. If only he could’ve waited long enough to see its path change as the Earth rotated.

  3. #3 djlactin
    September 18, 2012

    Ethan, I think you should have mentioned that the reason that the sky appears to rotate annually is that Earth moves nearly a degree around its orbit during a day, so for an vertical vector at an arbitrary longitude to point to the sun at noon the earth must spin nearly 361 degrees from local noon to local noon. The extra near degree adds up to 180 in 6 months, so viewed from “above” a vector pointed at the sun also does so. This is why the big dipper turns upside down, then back rightside up over the course of a year. Oh yeah, and Earth actually rotates 366 (and a bit) times per year, not 365.

  4. #4 Chelle
    September 19, 2012

    There are two straightforward explanations for this, and from this observation alone, they’re indistinguishable from one another.

    • The entire sky — and all the stars in it — spins around the Earth with a period of 24 hours, causing the stars to change position as we observe it from Earth.
    • The entire sky is — to the best of our observations — stationary, and appears to spin because the Earth is rotating beneath it.

    We now have exactly the same issue for Red Shift, either we (Solar system/Milky Way) are Expanding in to space sending out light and gravity further in to Space, or the whoooole Universe is Expanding. Now recently we have discovered a complete locally dynamic, but globally static gravitational structure, but we still keep holding on to the old model, this is definitely a case of ‘anchoring bias’ and it turns out that it becomes even worse the smarter you are: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/06/why-smart-people-are-actually-dumb/

    Go figure.

  5. #5 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “either we (Solar system/Milky Way) are Expanding in to space sending out light and gravity further in to Space”

    Only you say this is happening.

    Nobody else is.

  6. #6 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “or the whoooole Universe is Expanding.”

    Again, you’re the only one saying this.

    Space is expanding.

  7. #7 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Now recently we have discovered a complete locally dynamic, but globally static gravitational structure”

    We’ve had one for thousands of years: the Sun.

  8. #8 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “this is definitely a case of ‘anchoring bias’”

    Scientists call this the square law, the result of gravity being mediated by a radiated virtual particle of zero rest mass.

    Newton knew all about this.

    F=GmM/r2

    If you’d been to school, you may have read of it.

  9. #9 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “why-smart-people-are-actually-dumb/

    Go figure.”

    Since you figure you’re smarter than EVERYONE ELSE, then you must realise you’re actually dumber than everyone else.

  10. #10 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “This perhaps is the “missing link” that makes a non-rotating Earth model initially attractive – we can’t “feel” the Earth rotating. But the pendulum can.”

    When standing, we continually readjust our balance. Standing we are unstable, but our balance is automatic and unheeding. We adjust without thinking and therefore knowing about it.

    A pencil balanced on the tip doesn’t adjust its balance, so it can feel the unbalanced force of a rotating earth. Just like a pendulum.

    NOTE: if you bounce the pencil up and down at a certain frequency, it WILL balance automatically.

  11. #11 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    dj, you have your causal link incorrect.

    It is true that the earth has to rotate 361 degrees to make a complete face-to-face rotation. This is the cause for the day to be 24 hours long as opposed to the rotation period of about 23 hours and 56 minutes.

    The change in rise times of the stars are due to the earth’s annual rotation around the sun.

    And when it comes to the number of earth days in a year, that’s given as 365 because we count the number of days in a year. Occasionally we have 366.

    We NEVER have 365.25…

    Just like the average number of legs is never seen. 2, 1 or 0 we see.

  12. #12 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    Wow,

    “we (Solar system/Milky Way) are Expanding in to space sending out light and gravity further in to Space”

    Only you say this is happening.

    Nobody else is.

    lol , indeed Nobody else, but everybody knows.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUfS8LyeUyM

    … or does the light and gravity we send out into space simply vaporizes at some point and stops moving deeper into space, but than please explain me why we see other stars and clusters in the night-sky, and how is that giant canal structure formed?

  13. #13 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “or does the light and gravity we send out into space simply vaporizes at some point and stops moving deeper into space”

    No, the bit nobody else says or thinks is the “we (Solar system/Milky Way) are Expanding in to space”

    You whine about having bits cut out, you whine about bits left in.

  14. #14 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    This is the entire reason I only put one thing in at a time, for which you whine incessantly about and completely ignore unless you think you have “won” a point over it.

    Tell me, do you only ignore questions you have to answer?

  15. #15 Alan L.
    September 19, 2012

    What a nasty little scientific blog this has become in the last couple of months.

    Is it chelle? It can’t be. A little bit of white noise never hurt anyone.

    I believe it must be something or someone else. Some troll.

    The real turd in the punchbowl.

    Wow! What an insight!

    Who can it be?

    Wow!

  16. #16 david
    September 19, 2012

    Thanks, Ethan. A nice post.

    Here are some other reasons to say “epur si muove” -

    Hurricanes
    The moons of jupiter orbit around Jupiter (this is what convinced Galileo)
    Other stars have planets orbiting around them

  17. #17 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “A little bit of white noise never hurt anyone”

    chelle isn’t by ANY stretch of the imagination “a little bit of white noise”.

    It’s a deafening cacophony of jangling memes thrown together to pretend perspicacity.

    YOURS is the “little white noise”. Which leads to the question: why did you bother?

  18. #18 Sean T
    September 19, 2012

    Chelle,

    Or, we observe the cosmic microwave background, the redshifting of light from distant galaxies, and a whole host of other observations that are consistent with an expanding universe and we can believe either:

    1. The universe is actually expanding OR
    2. The universe really isn’t expanding, there’s an aether that has no possible measurable properties and is completely undetectable and that leads to the redshift, and some as-yet-to-be-explained-by-Chelle-type mechanism that accounts for the cosmic microwave background.

    While both might be massaged to account for observations, which is the simpler, more powerful explanation?

  19. #19 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    Heck, which one is actually an explanation rather than special pleading on the lines “Oh, but it COULD be, couldn’t it?”

  20. #20 Cleon Teunissen
    September 19, 2012

    @ cay (September 18, 9:03 pm)

    “Amir Aczel writes that Galileo was in a cathedral with the windows open looking up at a swinging chandelier, when he timed its period with his pulse. If only he could’ve waited long enough to see its path change as the Earth rotated.”

    It’s extremely unlikely that another pendulum had it before, only to go unnoticed. For sure the first setup to show the Foucault effect was the pendulum that was constructed by Foucault. The Foucault effect is very weak indeed, and in any casual setup other effects will drown it.

    To illustrate how demanding the setup is: the physics team of Millersville university was disappointed to see a five meter Foucault pendulum that they constructed lock into a preferred direction. Despite their efforts they were unable to get the Foucault effect to show consistently with this particular build.
    http://www.millersville.edu/physics/experiments/099/index.php

  21. #21 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    Sean T,

    “While both might be massaged to account for observations, which is the simpler, more powerful explanation?

    The latter (2.) because it is very hard to massage that Giant Canal Structure that is constructed out of Gravity into the Expansion skeem (1.). Perhaps Ethan could show us in a blog-post how it is possible that it could keep its shape, or evolve into that shape, in a rapidly expanding Universe. I bet you that it’s going to be a Woonderful post.

  22. #22 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “because it is very hard to massage that Giant Canal Structure that is constructed out of Gravity into the Expansion skeem”

    It’s EXTREMELY EASY to show that complex structures form naturally out of random density fluctuations in the matter of the universe when only gravitational attraction exists between them.

    A very simple program with just points in xyz space given a mass and the appropriate level of gravitational field produced from that mass will form myriad condensed structures.

    That you find it hard is only evidence of your inability to reason.

    “how it is possible that it could keep its shape”

    It isn’t. That is a picture, not a movie. Might as well ask of a still photo of a bird flying how it manages to stay in the air without flapping its wings.

  23. #23 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    “because it is very hard to massage that Giant Canal Structure that is constructed out of Gravity into the Expansion skeem”

    It’s EXTREMELY EASY to show that complex structures form naturally out of random density fluctuations in the matter of the universe when only gravitational attraction exists between them.

    Now please do try to embed the Expansion of Space into that program.

  24. #24 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Now please do try to embed the Expansion of Space into that program.”

    Easy peasy. It’s just numbers. You add the effect of space expanding at whatever m/s per megaparsec and done.

    You don’t know much about computer modelling.

    Now, where is your use of the aether to prove redshift?

  25. #25 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    PS next time, if you want do explain stuff, don’t, when shown you’re an idiot, change what you asked for.

    m’kay, moron?

    “because it is very hard to massage that Giant Canal Structure that is constructed out of Gravity into the Expansion skeem”

    Remember?

    Oh, no, you don’t. Because you’re a retard.

  26. #26 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Dark energy, believed to be causing the acceleration of the expansion of the universe, provides a constant outward force that does not dilute as the universe expands. Pitted against this relentless push is the gravitational pull from the rest of the matter and energy in the universe. Early on, the universe was much denser than it is today, and the attractive force of gravity was winning the battle, on scales both large and small. Clouds of gas condensed to form stars and galaxies, and galaxies drew together to form clusters. If there had been more matter around, the universe might have started to recollapse before it ever had the chance to accelerate. But matter and energy do dilute as the volume of the universe increases, so dark energy slowly came to dominate. Since about six billion years ago (about a billion years before Earth formed), the expansion has, on average, been accelerating.”

    From:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-can-galaxies-collide

  27. #27 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    “Now please do try to embed the Expansion of Space into that program.”

    Easy peasy. It’s just numbers. You add the effect of space expanding at whatever m/s per megaparsec and done.

    Matter is contracting into this structure due to gravity, and holding it together, but at the same time you say it is all moving away from each other in ALL directions (x,y,z). Perhaps you could show me such a simulation, when it is all ‘easy peasy’.

    I thought that there was (almost) no Expansion on a local scale (within a galaxy) because gravity overruled the expansion, now I’m looking forward to see how you manage to do it on the scale of that Giant Canal Structure.

    You finally might have convinced me, now show me that simulation :mrgreen:

  28. #28 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    Try a little back of the envelope calculation, chelle.

    Two galaxies a million light years apart. Weighing a million suns each. The acceleration between them about 10^-16m/s/s.

    Hubble constant at 1 million light years ~30kps.

    How long would it take that gravitational attraction to accelerate up to 30kps.

    v=1/2 at^2 (start at rest)

    t~sqrt(60×10^3/10^-16) ~ 2.5 x10^10 seconds Or about 1000 years.

    Over a thousand years, the gravitational acceleration has reduced by a factor proportional to about twice the fractional difference between 1 million light years and one million and on hundredth of a light year.

    Pretty ignorable.

    This means areas with less than average mass density increase their size and reduce their mass quickly, whilst areas with high density maintain a density more readily along lines where the attraction of more distant galaxies are countered by galaxies on the other side of the “chain”, leaving mostly expansion of the universe to move galaxies around.

  29. #29 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Matter is contracting into this structure due to gravity, and holding it together, but at the same time you say it is all moving away from each other in ALL directions”

    Yes.

    And where’s the problem?

    Who said the rates were identical?

  30. #30 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Perhaps you could show me such a simulation, when it is all ‘easy peasy’.”

    Time step 0: Random location of masses.
    Time step 1: For a short interval:
    Move them by gravity, considering the total resulting forces.
    Calculate the new positions.
    Increase the size of the scale of the x, y and z units according to the rate of expansion equally.
    Convert the locations of each point calculated earlier to the new x, y, z coordinate system
    Time step 2: Repeat

  31. #31 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    Now, where’s your proof of aether.

  32. #32 David L
    September 19, 2012

    Chelle, the very illustration you use to show the canal structure
    is not a photograph of the universe It is the output of the Millenium-II simulation!

  33. #33 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    Maybe chelle doesn’t go on trains because if she walks to the back of the train she’d be walking AWAY from her destination, therefore she’s CONVINCED she’d never get there!

  34. #34 CB
    September 19, 2012

    Like a black hole, a vacuous troll can be innocuous and largely unnoticed if left on its own. But when fed, suddenly it lights up across the spectrum and can wash out nearby sources of illumination.

    Don’t feed the black hole.

  35. #35 CB
    September 19, 2012

    Oh and Davaid L, don’t use the word “canal”, since it by definition is a man-made structure. The mistranslation of the Italian word for “channel” as “canal” is what directly led to generations worth of baseless speculation of advanced life on Mars.

  36. #36 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    I’m having some success on getting chelle to post only SHORT DIGESTIBLE segments of crap on the blog.

    If it posts a long winded screed each point gets answered or challenged and it can’t defend the obviously bad premises exposed, but it gets no visiblity either so there is no point putting 20 crap statements in a dense and unreadable wordsalad because it disappears with 20 lights shone on the crap placed on individual shelves for perisal.

  37. #37 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    DavidL,

    Chelle, the very illustration you use to show the canal structure
    is not a photograph of the universe It is the output of the Millenium-II simulation!

    Thanks, didn’t know that :mrgreen:

    Now let’s take a look what Ethan wrote when he posted that Giant Canal Structure image in the ‘Say Something Smart’ blog-post (August 27, 2012):

    I’ve always thought that the Universe is absolutely amazing; that everything from the tiniest indivisible particles all the way up to the largest structures and superstructures making up the Universe has an amazing story to tell, if only we can figure out its secrets.

    Now if you look at the images at the bottom of those Millenium-II simulations:
    http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/millennium-II/

    Than you end up with all kind of different structures with Red Shift 6, 2, 1, and 0.

    Now it’s interesting that Ethan used the image with Red Shift ‘zero’ when he talked about superstructures making up the Universe. Perhaps you could explain me how this Redshift factor ‘z’ works when according to Hubble’s law the expansion rate = 72.6 (km/s)/Mpc. And what would be ‘z’ be right now anno 2012 and what ‘Superstructures’ would there be in our Universe right now?

  38. #38 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    Wow,

    I’m having some success …

    Absolute genius!

  39. #39 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    CB,

    “Oh and Davaid L, don’t use the word “canal”, since it by definition is a man-made structure. ”

    CB are you a creationist?

    canal : a tubular duct in a plant or animal, serving to convey or contain food, liquid, or air : the ear canal.

    So who the f*** made that ‘ear canal’ in my head?

  40. #40 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    chelle, where the f*** is a canal in space?

  41. #41 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Absolute genius!”

    Yes, I am, aren’t I. Particularly compared to you, idiot.

  42. #42 James Phillips
    September 19, 2012

    Censorship so often tries to mask itself behind humor.

  43. #43 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    ” when he talked about superstructures making up the Universe”

    And yet again showing that you pick up a meme and run it ALL THE WAY out of the park…

    Moreover proving CB’s assertion that you insist on creating intelligent design on things that have none.

  44. #44 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “Perhaps you could explain me how this Redshift factor ‘z’ works when according to Hubble’s law the expansion rate = 72.6 (km/s)/Mpc.”

    Yes, this is where the red shift is zero.

    Since this is given as an integer scale, this is a rounding.

    You DO know how to round a floating point number to an integer, don’t you?

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/doppler.htm

    lambda(observed)
    1+z = —————-
    lambda(emitted)

    You seem to have been completely clueless about astronomy despite your assertions of eminence.

    I guess you were lying.

  45. #45 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    ” “Chelle, the very illustration you use to show the canal structure is not a photograph of the universe It is the output of the Millenium-II simulation!”

    Thanks, didn’t know that”

    So you agree that these structures CAN be easily created by the current forces of gravity in an expanding space.

    Or did you think that there was no consequence to your error?

  46. #46 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “And what would be ‘z’ be right now anno 2012″

    Your brain just broke.

    z is the speed of an object distant from us in space. So you can’t ask what value of z there is right now. You have to ask what value of z right now some distant object you specify has.

  47. #47 CB
    September 19, 2012

    The only success I see is increasing the amount of nonsense argument clutter on the blog. A long screed unanswered is better than a never-ending progression of less-lengthy screeds invited by the engagement of the previous ones.

    It’s the oldest rule of the internet cosmos:

    Don’t feed the holes.

  48. #48 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “and what ‘Superstructures’ would there be in our Universe right now?”

    Superclusters formed into filaments that you see illustrated in that graphic you’ve been peddling around recently.

  49. #49 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “The only success I see is increasing the amount of nonsense argument clutter on the blog.”

    TBH chelle’s free rein on here causes that whether she’s slagged off for her idiocy or not.

    You’ve never had some attention seeking four year old trying to catch your attention. Ignoring them only makes them louder.

  50. #50 chelle
    September 19, 2012

    Wow,

    “z is the speed of an object distant from us in space. So you can’t ask what value of z there is right now. You have to ask what value of z right now some distant object you specify has.

    Interesting, so you have a simulation in a Cubic volume and you give them all the same speed at which they are moving away from us, it’s all static. And next you do a new simulation again in a Cubic volume but this time time they are moving faster away, but again static. So each time it is ALL static and there is NO object distant from us in space like you suggest, all the stars have the same distance from us, it’s static, so what IS moving away from us??

    If I want to see a simulation of Expansion and stuff further away is expanding at a faster speed generating a different structure than there should be a gradual change. So please show me a simulation in which the expansion IS embedded.

  51. #51 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “you give them all the same speed at which they are moving away from us”

    “it’s all static.”

    You don’t know what static means.

    Or you don’t know what speed means.

  52. #52 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “all the stars have the same distance from us, it’s static”

    No, the stars are moving.

  53. #53 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “so what IS moving away from us??”

    The rest of the universe.

  54. #54 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “So please show me a simulation in which the expansion IS embedded.”

    You’ve been peddling the results of that for the last few weeks.

  55. #55 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    “If I want to see a simulation of Expansion and stuff further away is expanding at a faster speed generating a different structure than there should be a gradual change.”

    It doesn’t matter if you want to see that simulation or not.

  56. #56 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    ” “z is the speed of an object distant from us in space. So you can’t ask what value of z there is right now. You have to ask what value of z right now some distant object you specify has.”

    Interesting”

    Not interesting enough for you to say what object you wish to know the z value of.

  57. #57 Wow
    September 19, 2012

    I bet chelle thinks that when she sees a chicken in the shape of a cloud, she thinks that a real chicken is up there…

  58. #58 Chelle
    September 19, 2012

    Wow,

    “so what IS moving away from us??”

    The rest of the universe.

    That is strange because when I look at the animation of a flying trip through the animation, there is nothing moving, at least clouds move through the air from a high pressure area, to a low pressure area, chickens included. In the animation it is all static. It seems that they are just dimming the lights like I dim the spots at my place, in the evening to make things cosy, and when I do so, there is nothing expanding it’s just me who’s giving a twist to the dimmer. Now show me a simulation where those spots are moving away from me without artificially increasing the distance, and subdividing a meter into hundred meter by simply adding more marks instead of stretching it a hundred times.

  59. #59 Aquanerd
    September 19, 2012

    Keeler, Curtis, Shapley, Slipher, Hubble, Chelle

    Wait… One of these names seems out of place…

  60. #60 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “That is strange because when I look at the animation of a flying trip through the animation, there is nothing moving”

    How can you have an amination of a flying trip through an animation?

  61. #61 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “at least clouds move through the air from a high pressure area, to a low pressure area”

    You don’t know how clouds form or what they are, do you.

  62. #62 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “In the animation it is all static.”

    That’s called a picture, not an animation.

  63. #63 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “It seems that they are just dimming the lights”

    That’s called “fade to black”, usually an indication that the scene has ended.

    Are you going anywhere with this?

  64. #64 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “Now show me a simulation where those spots are moving away from me without artificially increasing the distance”

    Since it is an animation, there is no actual distance. It’s an image. A 2D picture on a flat plane.

  65. #65 chelle
    September 20, 2012

    “Keeler, Curtis, Shapley, Slipher, Hubble, Chelle

    Wait… One of these names seems out of place…

    Perhaps there is no need to wait, I might fit in quite nicely; they were: “each correct on major point, incorrect on major point.” Regarding the latter you all already agree, perhaps the future might have a surprise in store regarding the former, who knows :mrgreen:

    http://atropos.as.arizona.edu/aiz/teaching/a250/shapley_curtis.html

    … and Shapley and Curtis were “incorrect that interstellar absorption of starlight by dust was unimportant.”

    Now we have been talking a lot in that other topic ‘If it comes back to you, it’s yours!’ about the importance of Stardust and Gravity, but it doesn’t seem to be embedded into the ‘Millennium-II simulation’ I guess they also believe that it is ‘unimportant’, it might be incorrect.

  66. #66 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “each correct on major point, incorrect on major point”

    You’ve not yet managed to be correct on any substantive point.

  67. #67 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “Regarding the latter you all already agree, perhaps the future might have a surprise in store regarding the former, who know”

    I’ve already won the bet about your “hopes” for a paper on the screwing universe.

    I know the answer to this one too: You are still wrong.

  68. #68 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “Now we have been talking a lot in that other topic ‘If it comes back to you, it’s yours!’ about the importance of Stardust and Gravity”

    You’ve finally admitted you don’t know what the hell you were talking about.

  69. #69 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    “but it doesn’t seem to be embedded into the ‘Millennium-II simulation’”

    You didn’t even know it was a simulation.

    What makes you think anyone considers you to be correct on this?

  70. #70 Sinisa Lazarek
    September 20, 2012

    “You’ve not yet managed to be correct on any substantive point.”

    so true.

  71. #71 Delozanne
    Texas
    September 20, 2012

    Wow wow, you make several 4+ multiposts and think that chelle is the foolish one?

    CB has the right idea.

  72. #72 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    Yes, I do.

    Do you think she’s sensible????

  73. #73 chelle
    September 20, 2012

    Delozanne,

    “Wow, wow you make several 4+ multiposts … “

    FYI

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying

  74. #74 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    Still linking rather than learning, chelle?

  75. #75 Wow
    September 20, 2012

    PS A hint for you “white knights” out there:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive%E2%80%93aggressive_behavior

  76. #76 Rick DeLano
    September 22, 2012

    I think all of the reported problems with the geocentric model can be resolved rather easily here, Ethan.

    1. Consider the Earth at rest
    2. The Moon orbits the Earth.
    3. The planets and their moons orbit the Sun.
    4. The Sun and stars orbit the Earth along the cosmological plane referred to locally as “the ecliptic”.

    I believe this resolves all reported difficulties for the geocentric model, and it seems to me it does more than this.

    You correctly report the astonishing power and scientific fruitfulness of Newton’s theory of gravity.

    It was this astonishing power which persuaded the Republic of letters to adopt the heliocentric model in the first place.

    But this theory is wrong- catastrophically wrong- at cosmological scales.

    Also, only the geocentric model predicts a cosmological significance to what is locally referred to as the ecliptic.

    We now know that the so-called “Axis of Evil” aligns, on a cosmological scale, with this ecliptic.

    Score one for Tycho Brahe.

    If we suppose two things; a firmament or substance of space which rotates and carries bodies along with it, and a spherically propagating force of gravity, it appears to me we have the basis for explaining both the consistency of gravitational laws at local scales, and the inconsistency of gravitational laws at cosmological scales.

  77. #77 Wow
    September 22, 2012

    “I believe this resolves all reported difficulties for the geocentric model”

    Except for all the problems of special pleading for how they get their energy and forces to move in these complicated fashions.

    I.e. not at all.

    “But this theory is wrong- catastrophically wrong- at cosmological scales.”

    This is correct. The earth is not at the centre of the universe, nor is it at the centre of the solar system.

    The sun is the centre of our solar system.

    But our solar system does not include other solar systems, galaxies or other extrasolar objects.

    “a firmament or substance of space which rotates and carries bodies along with it”

    And how is this firmament anchored to the bodies it carries along? And what causes the binding?

    “and a spherically propagating force of gravity”

    Actually, that’s the only one we need.

    And it gives us why the sun is the centre of our solar system and not the earth.

    PS did Mr Snuffleupagus bring you good things?

  78. #78 Rick DeLano
    September 22, 2012

    W: “This is correct. The earth is not at the centre of the universe, nor is it at the centre of the solar system.”

    >> You cannot demonstrate this, however much you assert it. Your catastrophic failure to do so based on parallax is available for review on the other thread.

    W: “The sun is the centre of our solar system.”

    >> Here you are wrong as a matter of basic science. Even in the heliocentric model, the Sun is not the center, but itself revolves around a barycenter.

    “But our solar system does not include other solar systems, galaxies or other extrasolar objects.”

    >> Which is exactly your problem, as Einstein, Mach, and Thirring showed you over a century ago.

    Relativity requires that all physics be derivable indifferently, whether the Earth is rotating on its axis in a fixed cosmos, or whether the cosmos is rotating about a fixed Earth.

    The reason?

    Exactly all those other planets, solar systems, and galaxies out there.

    “And how is this firmament anchored to the bodies it carries along? And what causes the binding?”

    >> Good question, just as good as this one:

    How does nothing expand, and why is gravity stupendously inadequate to account for the rotation curves of spiral galaxies?

    Rick earlier: “and a spherically propagating force of gravity”

    W: “Actually, that’s the only one we need.”

    >> Actually, it isn’t. The “only one we need” is stupendously wrong at any scale larger than a stellar cluster.

    W: “And it gives us why the sun is the centre of our solar system and not the earth.”

    >> Wrong.

  79. #79 Jon
    September 22, 2012

    Nice post. Good description of the two once-competing explanations. One small correction to make:

    “The lowest the Sun ever appears — at zenith — above the horizon occurs during the winter solstice, while its highest point occurs during the summer solstice.”

    Think you mean “at meridian” instead of zenith. For observers located north of the Tropic of Cancer or south of the Tropic of Capricorn the sun never appears at the zenith.

  80. #80 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “You cannot demonstrate this, however much you assert it.”

    And to the same degree you cannot demonstrate that a solid brick has a centre. I can make up all sorts of special pleading about how the effort and energy taken up to break the brick in half CREATED the surface.

    Parallax proves the earth is not the centre of the solar system.

    As basic science, the sun is at the foci of the elipses the planets follow, the source of the force of attraction that gives them their orbit. It is, therefore, for any appliccable definition of the term, at the centre of our solar system.

    ““But our solar system does not include other solar systems, galaxies or other extrasolar objects.”

    >> Which is exactly your problem”

    OK, what problem? Or are you just talking crap as usual?

    ““And how is this firmament anchored to the bodies it carries along? And what causes the binding?”

    >> Good question”

    Which, until you answer renders your hypothesis merely sophistry and opinion.

    “How does nothing expand,”

    By getting bigger.

    ” and why is gravity stupendously inadequate to account for the rotation curves of spiral galaxies?”

    Since your braindead opinion of what is going on doesn’t do this either, but brings in yet more questions you cannot answer, what the hell does this have to do with standard cosmology?

    GR explains the rotation just fine. It merely requires that not all the matter we see is the matter that is there.

    Other alternatives are that there’s a constant but very small term that you can’t tell until you get to billions of solar masses.

    But making up a firmament based on some fictional old text that doesn’t explain how it happens either isn’t going to do anything.

    Your desire is to place the Bible as the One True Truth when in fact its complete bollocks.

  81. #81 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “How does nothing expand,”

    And how does firmament expand? Remember, it can’t wrinkle or dissipate.

  82. #82 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Wow:

    “Parallax proves the earth is not the centre of the solar system.”

    >> This has already been completely refuted. The mere fact that you, either out of willful obtuseness, or simple ignorance, have not been able to recognize this, is irrelevant.

    There exists no difference whatsoever between parallax attributed to Earth revolving around a fixed sun and stars, or parallax attributed to sun and stars revolving around a fixed Earth.

    This is the very essence of Relativity.

    Try and figure it out at some point, because until you do, further progress were impossible.

  83. #83 Chelle
    September 23, 2012

    Dear Rick,

    This is the very essence of Relativity.

    Motus inter corpora relativus tantum est.
    (Movement between objects is relative in all aspects.)

    This is something Christiaan Huygens said more than 350 years ago. Einstein added something to this statement about 100 years ago when he said that only the speed of light is not relative, it is a constant. Thus you have two essential points. I hope this helps.

  84. #84 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    chelle:

    Thank you, your point is correct, and if this debate ever ascends beyond the first premise, the second will become highly relevant.

  85. #85 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    @Wow 3:22am:

    Rick earlier: “How does nothing expand,”

    W: “And how does firmament expand? Remember, it can’t wrinkle or dissipate.”

    >> As Clifton, et al, 2008 have shown, dark energy becomes superfluous- that is, the Type1a supernovae observations can be explained without having recourse to the dark energy epicycle- provided, of course, that Earth is considered to be at the center of the our Hubble bubble.

    Since geocentrism proposes a rotating firmament, expansion is not a necessary consequence of observed redshifts.

  86. #86 Chelle
    September 23, 2012

    Dear Rick,

    It says on the wiki-page:

    ” If, on the other hand, Earth were at or near the center of a very low-density region…”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Bubble_(astronomy)

    This could mean that Earth is part of the center of that bubble. Most likely as when you take the Milky Way as the center, and our Solar System as a part of that.

    btw as you can only rotate around something, there is only one possible conclusion and that is that we are rotating around the Sun, thus we are not the center. Just like you as a person are now rotating around the center axis of the world. Sure you can roll around on the ground like a dog thinking that everything is rotating around you, but still you are rotating along with the Earth around its axis. I hope this helps.

  87. #87 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “>> This has already been completely refuted.”

    Nope, parralax proves the earth is not the centre of the solar system.

    Why else does EVERY star have a wiggle against their background that waves at PRECISELY one year’s period?

    Are they all just joining in to a celestial rumba???

  88. #88 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “>> As Clifton, et al, 2008 have shown”

    Who? Bernie Cliffton, the children’s entertainer? We need more solid information than that to decide that every other cosmologist is wrong.

  89. #89 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “There exists no difference whatsoever between parallax attributed to Earth revolving around a fixed sun and stars, or parallax attributed to sun and stars revolving around a fixed Earth”

    There is a MASSIVE difference.

    The multiplication of factors to produce such a vision require only one factor for natural cosmology: Gravity.

    Whereas for your firmament, each product requires its own extra circle to wind upon.

    And in no ways can the proper motions of the stars be accepted by your imposition of your christian belief sourced firmament.

  90. #90 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    Lastly you have not yet found a reason for any such firmament to have the required attributes to attain your needs.

    All you’ve said is “Good question”.

    Until you can answer, your opinion is only that. Your. Opinion.

    You need to promote a hell of a lot more than “Oh there’s a firmament that does stuff”. Especially ironic is your pretend whine that Dark Matter is “just another epicycle” when yours is the mother of all nested epicycles.

    Until you have defined what the hell you’re proposing, your opinion is, in the words of Wolfgang Pauli (a good friend of Albert Einstein), “Not Even Wrong”.

  91. #91 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Rick: “>> As Clifton, et al, 2008 have shown”

    W: “Who? Bernie Cliffton, the children’s entertainer? We need more solid information than that to decide that every other cosmologist is wrong.”

    >> Sigh. You really ought to try and keep up with these matters if you mean to bluster, Wow.

    Is there no one here prepared to help Wow out?

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 101 (2008) 131302

    Living in a Void: Testing the Copernican Principle with Distant Supernovae

    Timothy Clifton, Pedro G. Ferreira, Kate Land

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0807.1443

    Relevant excerpt:

    “A fundamental presupposition of modern cosmology is the Copernican Principle; that we are not in a central, or otherwise special region of the Universe. Studies of Type Ia supernovae, together with the Copernican Principle, have led to the inference that the Universe is accelerating in its expansion. The usual explanation for this is that there must exist a `Dark Energy’, to drive the acceleration. Alternatively, it could be the case that the Copernican Principle is invalid, and that the data has been interpreted within an inappropriate theoretical frame-work. If we were to live in a special place in the Universe, near the centre of a void where the local matter density is low, then the supernovae observations could be accounted for without the addition of dark energy. “

  92. #92 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    R: ““There exists no difference whatsoever between parallax attributed to Earth revolving around a fixed sun and stars, or parallax attributed to sun and stars revolving around a fixed Earth”

    W: “There is a MASSIVE difference.”

    Congratulations. You have just contradicted the Theory of Relativity.

    Let us know when you collect your Nobel Prize.

  93. #93 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “Relevant excerpt:”

    Actually, a completely irrelevant excerpt. All it does is assert something that doesn’t show what you say is correct.

    As it is, all it is telling us is that there are by the calculations they assert, fewer galaxies in our nearby supercluster than elsewhere. Absolutely nothing about being any proof of a firmament. Absolutely nothing about the earth being the centre of the universe.

    Its conclusion that the EXISTENCE of a void may be confirmed or denied based on more observation of nearby supernovae that should determine the distance of the galaxies in and ajsacent to our supercluster.

    Not one thing about firmament or a geocentric model being fact.

  94. #94 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “Congratulations. You have just contradicted the Theory of Relativity.”

    How?

    By saying that NON INERTIAL FRAMES OF REFERENCE can be determined as different?

    I’m afraid you have no clue what either special or general relativity says.

    The FACT that non inertial frames break the ingorants reading of the facts of special relativity underly the early fascination by those selfsame idiots to point to the twin paradox as “proof” Einstein was wrong.

    They, like you, did not notice that one twin was in a noninertial frame of reference.

    Only one twin accelerated to light speed then decellerated (acceleration in the other direction) to return home again unaged to a twin of great age.

    The discerning factor: one accelerated to the stars, the other did not.

  95. #95 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Yawn.

    Wow, you are not in a position to scientifically demonstrate any absolute acceleration of the Earth, and you are impervious to citations from the literature which you yourself demand.

    In other words, we now have a reasonable basis upon which to distinguish between the two possibllities; that you are willfully obtuse, or that you are simply ignorant.

    It is the former.

    Ethan, let me know if you ever are in a position to respond to my post to you above, Sep 22, 12:26 pm.

    I do believe it completely answers every point you raise.

  96. #96 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “you are not in a position to scientifically demonstrate any absolute acceleration of the Earth,”

    It is in orbit. Even you agree that orbits exist and that planets are in orbit.

    This is acceleration. Continual acceleration.

    That you feel unable to grasp this concept is no fault of any other than your own blind belief in your musty bronze age book.

  97. #97 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    Well, Ethan?

    You let this retard on here.

    Go ahead, YOU explain to him if you can his problem with his Tychoean solar system.

    It’s YOUR blog. YOU let this numbnuts on here. YOU sort him out.

  98. #98 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    “It is in orbit”

    >> This is a choice of reference frame only.

    In an *equally valid* reference frame, under Relativity, it is stationary, and the cosmos is rotating around it.

    Is it possible that you do not grasp this?

    Even after one hundred years?

  99. #99 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    “>> This is a choice of reference frame only.”

    Nope, your frame of reference must be an inertial one.

    One in orbit is not inertial.

    See Foccault’s pendulum for what happens when you treat a non inertial frame of reference as inertial.

  100. #100 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Please, Wow.

    This is embarrassing for you.

    The Earth is an inertial frame whether it is rotating on its axis and revolving around the Sun, or whether it is stationary and the cosmos is revolving around it.

    The Foucault pendulum behaves exactly the same in *either reference frame*.

    Now.

    Foucault phenomena are attributable to centrifugal forces operative at the surface of the Earth.

    These arise *indifferently*, whether one chooses a *inertial* reference frame in which the Earth rotates, or one chooses an *inertial* reference frame in which the cosmos rotates.

    This is what Mach, Einstein, and Thirring have been trying to tell you.

    It is really interesting, as a psychological matter, to see how impossible it is for you to accept the consequences of the very theory of relativity you purport to uphold here..

  101. #101 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    @chelle 11:59am:

    ” If, on the other hand, Earth were at or near the center of a very low-density region…”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Bubble_(astronomy)”

    >> Yes.

    C: “This could mean that Earth is part of the center of that bubble.”

    >> It could. The point is, that this would represent a falsification of the cosmological principle. It establishes that the Earth *is* in a special place wrt the structure of the cosmos.

    It does not, in itself, establish geocentrism.

    But it does, in conjunction with other observations such as the CMB Axis, establish that the Copernican/cosmological principle is wrong, and therefore the FLRW cosmological “bubble” universe is wrong.

    It is a few short steps from here to geocentrism, but I prefer to take this in a logical sequence.

    C: “Most likely as when you take the Milky Way as the center, and our Solar System as a part of that.”

    >> This in itself constitutes a direct refutation of the cosmological principle and the FLRW universe- thaty is, it constitutes a refutation of consensus cosmology.

    C:”btw as you can only rotate around something,”

    >> If by “something”, you mean a material object, this is wrong.

    One rotates around a barycenter, which may or may not itself be occupied by any object.

    C: ” there is only one possible conclusion and that is that we are rotating around the Sun, thus we are not the center.”

    >> No, this does not follow.

    For example, consider a closed, rotating cosmos.

    One and exactly one barycenter will be defined by the closed, rotating cosmos.

    It may, or may not, have a material object present at that bar center.

    The geocentric model proposes that the Earth occupies that barycenter.

    In such a case the Earth will not orbit any other body.

    C: “Just like you as a person are now rotating around the center axis of the world.”

    >> This assumes that the Earth is rotating on its axis, which has not been demonstrated- indeed, under Relativity it could never be demonstrated (although if Relativity is first falsified, then the question becomes a legitimate one for experimental test).

    I hope this helps.

  102. #102 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    You’re just talking bollocs. It seems like I’m in a monty python sketch.

    If the earth is in orbit around the sun, then this is not an inertial frame of reference.

  103. #103 Wow
    September 23, 2012

    Ethan, if you’re too frigging scared to be a doorwarden, then man the fuck up and fight for the truth.

    I’m fucking sick fed up doing your work for you.

    Do it yourself.

  104. #104 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Barbarians at the gate, eh Wow?

    I would be delighted to be the beneficiary of Ethan’s response to my proposed solution to his post.

  105. #105 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Wow:

    I owe you an apology.

    I have exactly reversed the correct terms “inertial” and “non-inertial”.

    The Earth is a *non-inertial* frame, obviously, since centirfugal forces arise at its surface.

    It is a *non-inertial* frame in either the geocentric, or heliocentric model.

    Therefore, to re-address your objections:

    W: “Nope, your frame of reference must be an inertial one.”

    >> No. There are many non-inertial frames. Indeed, I would be interested in knowing what frame exists, in all the universe, which satisfies the requirement of an inertial frame, that is,

    “in a state of constant, rectilinear motion with respect to another”.

    Clearly no such frames exist in reality.

    W: “One in orbit is not inertial.”

    >> One at rest wrt a rotating cosmos is also not inertial.

    W: “See Foccault’s pendulum for what happens when you treat a non inertial frame of reference as inertial.”

    >> The Earth is a non-inertial reference frame under either case, whether it is rotating on its axis and orbiting the Sun, or whether it is at rest in a rotating cosmos.

    Relativity is unable to establish which is which.

    Relativity in fact exists that there exists no physical difference at all between the two cases.

  106. #106 Fred B
    September 23, 2012

    “Wow” sounds like he has a lot of rage, and is frustrated that the entire internet isn’t a vast wasteland of atheism. He is upset that the internet isn’t one big atheist echo chamber. He forgets that the world, and therefore the online world, does not consist solely of social rejects.

    Social reject, yes. Look at how he talks to people who have not displayed any bad will towards him, nor any disingenuous behavior. Utterly vile behavior by “Wow”. Thus, truly a social reject, at least online.

    I didn’t know what to think of geocentric theories, but I certainly will take it more seriously and consider it after seeing the very interesting and seemingly feasible arguments made here by Mr. DeLano.

    Mr. DeLano, thank you for taking the time to discuss these matters on here, despite the poor company. I doubt I am the only “lurker” reading with great interest.

  107. #107 Ethan
    September 23, 2012

    Please refer yourselves to our articulated comments policy page, and please direct all future comments on this topic to this page: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/

    You are free to believe whatever it is you want and to ask questions as well as exchange information. But you are not free to promote your own pet theories here, and in particular to misrepresent good science to get there.

  108. #108 aheavyweightuponyourheart
    September 23, 2012

    That “predictive power” and parsimony can determine whether one theory is more likely than another, assumptions upon which your argument depends, is what some guy called regulative ideas of pure reason. They can’t actually be empirically demonstrated. They are presupposed metaphysical propositions that assume that the universe inclines toward cognizability..

  109. #109 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    aheavy:

    I agree completely that metaphysical predisposition is crucial in interpretation of cosmological observations.

    I disagree that universal cognizability requires us to abandon geocentrism, since geocentrism is consistent with all observations.

    It can of course be rejected on metaphysical grounds.

  110. #110 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Frank:

    Thanks, please continue to investigate.

    The key takeaway here is that the universe does in fact disclose to us a preferred frame, both in the CMB Axis and in galaxy distribution (Hirano 2010).

    This is in direct contradiction to the prediction of the FLRW, LCDM, “Copernican principle” consensus cosmology, and in direct affirmation of the predictions of Tycho Brahe.

    I especially appreciate that you have recognized the irony of Wow’s behavior, which directly violates Ethan’s policies, eliciting not a whisper, whilst mine, which adheres to them completely, has elicited a “bad apples” rebuke.

    Ah well.

    Onward!

  111. #111 Vince Whirlwind
    September 23, 2012

    Rick says, “geocentrism is consistent with all observations”

    This is precisely the kind of crap that isn’t allowed here. Take it to your “moon-landing hoax” blog and discuss it there with appropriate interlocutors.

  112. #112 Rick DeLano
    September 23, 2012

    Vince:

    There is no observation inconsistent with geocentrism.

    This is a clean, well-defined, easily falsifiable statement.

    So falsify it.

    If you can.

  113. #113 Wow
    September 24, 2012

    “They can’t actually be empirically demonstrated.”

    Why, precisely, is this a problem?

    No, really.

    It seems no problem to most to agree that there is an inside substance to a brick, but you can make up any old crap to patch up any “theory” about how there are only surfaces, no solids and even shoehorn a misreading of the atomic theory to “prove” your “theory”.

    But why, precisely, is this supposed to be a killer argument?

    Especially in the face of an “alternate theory” that doesn’t even TRY to explain itself.

  114. [...] How the Earth moves, and how do we know? [Starts With A Bang] [...]

  115. #115 OKThen
    the rockin and rollin Earth
    September 25, 2012

    Very nice explanation Ethan.

    I didn’t understand the magnitude of the adjustements that the Ptolemaic system had to make. ” the Sun needs to change its location in the sky significantly throughout the year: in addition to its once-a-day journey around the Earth, it needs to change its location relative to the celestial sphere by a whopping 47 degrees every six months.” Mind boggling.

    And yet navigators across the seas accepted this huge magnitude (adjustments, fudge factors) because they were hidden in the navigation tables. No one (even todays navigators) with tables in computers for program use needs to have a clue just how big the annual changes are.

    So now we know it is the Earth that is rockin and a rollin; not the universe (at least not in the way that Ptolemaic system suggested).

    Very nice education.
    Thanks.

  116. #116 William T
    October 3, 2012

    There’s also the Coriolis force, which can be measured or even observed on earth. Difficult to imagine this on a stationary earth.

    In fact, I believe this was one of the more convincing early arguments FOR geocentric theories – that is before it could be measured.

  117. #117 Vince Whirlwind
    October 3, 2012

    Ah, but in Rick’s topsy-turvy world, “the coriolis effect is not inconsistent with geocentrism”, because it is an a priori fact that nothing is.

  118. #118 Rathica A Noqurra
    january 30, 2013
    January 29, 2013

    very nice explation ethan

  119. #119 Vikram
    India
    June 25, 2013

    “So what can we see that can give us a clue to whether it’s the Earth or the sky that’s moving? Although the stars always appear to make this rotational motion throughout the night, the stars that are visible in the night sky — as well as their locations — vary greatly throughout the year.”

    Different positions of starts at different points of time on the space not necessarily give any clue towards earth motion, but a clue towards if there is a relative motion between two stars.

  120. #120 CB
    June 25, 2013

    No, proper motion of stars has nothing to do with the phenomenon described in that paragraph. He’s talking about how the entire sky appears shifted — e.g. in the northern hemisphere you see Orion at night, but not during the summer, and its position (of the entire constellation, and all the other constellations) changes each night.

    The relative motion of stars plays a role when making precise distance measurements using parallax, but is otherwise completely unnoticeable. Certainly not on the same scale as the difference between solar and sidereal days.

  121. #121 CB
    June 25, 2013

    * You see Orion in the winter, not in summer.

  122. #122 theophilus
    earth
    September 2, 2013

    Albert Einstein said that in space if there are 2 bodies (planets) that can observe each other then by that alone it can not be ascertained which one is standing still. To each other, movement can detected but, not which one may be stationary or not moving.

    So called definitive prrof of the earth rotating is from a well that someone dropped an object down. It is said that over appreciable time the object moved one way then struck the wall as it descended. Supposedly showing that the earth is moving/rotating or moved into the object’s path. But, nothing was said of how true the well was dug or how perpendicular the shaft really was to the plane of rotation. If drilled off center then gravity which is true to the rotation plane would have the same effect, inside the well.

    The movements of the sun, moon and stars can be explained from the perspective of the earth not moving now in the increased knowledge of this Information age.

    http://forum.tribalwars.net/showthread.php?163776-The-Earth-Is-Not-Moving-DEFINITIVE-PROOF

  123. #123 anthony
    washington ave
    March 16, 2014

    I would be scared

  124. #124 xavier
    sulsbury
    April 30, 2014

    this is so amazing

  125. #125 Kevin
    September 8, 2014

    I am no astrophysicist and this was written 2 years ago so I hope someone can answer.

    If you say the earth does indeed spin around its axis, is it still a problem to say the sun (and I guess the universe) spins around the earth once a year?

    Just looking for facts and explanations so no trolling please..