“Oh leave the Wise our measures to collate. One thing at least is certain, light has weight. One thing is certain and the rest debate. Light rays, when near the Sun, do not go straight.” –Arthur Eddington
While we know full well today that Newtonian gravity is just an approximation to a more correct theory of gravity, you’ve got to remember that for over 200 years, it was unchallenged as the science that explained the entire Universe. When a simple puzzle — the orbital mechanics of just one of the planets — failed to line up with its predictions, it was assumed there was a problem with the Solar System, not with the law of gravity.
But when Einstein put forth General Relativity, he not only explained Newton’s laws as a special case, and not only explained this orbital curiosity that Newton couldn’t, he made a new prediction that differed from Newton’s: that light, when it passed near the Sun, would see its path bend!
On the 96th anniversary of Relativity’s confirmation, come get the story of how we learned this amazing fact about the Universe.