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Reawakening the Luminiferous Aether - 3

Updated on March 25, 2010

The Tycho Brahe model of the
Solar System would contain its
turning force, and explain why
the outer planets fail the
gravitational law.

By a strange coincidence, should we live in a Universe which revolves around Earth in exactly the way we see it happening every day and night of our lives, that Universe would be almost exactly the same size as our own Solar System. This is shown quite easily by a simple calculation.

The sidereal period of revolution, tsid say, for all the stars to return to the same place in the night sky every night is about four minutes shorter than a 24-hour day. More accurately, tsid = 86,164 seconds, closely. We know from special relativity that nothing travels faster than light-velocity c, which has a value of close to c = 299,790 kilometres per second. So the maximum distance, Rss say, at which spacetime would be revolving around Earth with a transverse velocity equal to that of light is simply given by:

Rss = tsidc/2π = 4,111 million kilometres                                         (6)

How big is the Solar System? The major planet furthest from the Sun, Neptune, has a mean orbital radius of just under 4,500 million kilometres, while dwarf planet Pluto has a highly-inclined orbit with a large eccentricity at a mean orbital distance of 5,900 million kilometres. Both of them exceed the Rss value above - but not the velocity of light, as special relativity makes sure that dilation effects compensate in such a way as to make the exact value of c unattainable.

Considering how large the Universe is, however, with even the distance to the nearest star a factor of 10,000 times larger than Rss, it seems odd that a revolving Universe should end so conveniently more-or-less at the edge of our Solar System. What about the rest of it? Those faint points of light we call stars and the even fainter collections of stars we call galaxies exist at such tremendous distances from us that they would be inflated to enormous energies and frozen in time by the massive dilations involved in that form of Universe.

If so, it would certainly result in a simpler and much more economical cosmic backyard than the conventional version. All energy and no mass, emerging from something-spacetime revolving everywhere at light-velocity. Even atomic-level energy transitions could potentially scale up to become quasars, and inward-bound cosmic rays achieve their staggeringly large measured energies without the need for supernovae or black holes.

Would this be such an extreme interpretation? Set against what has been termed the standard model of the formation of the Universe, this alternative solution would clearly be a pinprick of energy in comparison with the vast outpouring of the Big Bang. Moreover, it would exist where we are and where our conscious awareness is, and nowhere else.

Squaring this kind of Universe with heliocentricity isn't difficult, and the basic idea for doing so was outlined more than four centuries ago by the astronomer Tycho Brahe. Recall that the Ptolemaic world model based on Aristotle's doctrine of a Universe in which everything went round Earth as a series of concentric crystal spheres was replaced by its opposite, the Copernican model we've all grown used to. Earth is supposed to be just another planet orbiting the Sun, which is an average star in an average-sized galaxy, nothing special at all.

Tycho thought up a compromise between the two extreme views: the planets went round the Sun, while the Sun in turn went round Earth. At the time, the idea of a whirling force could have entered into discussions amongst astronomers but none of the masses involved were known. The enormous mass of the Sun means that any force revolving it around Earth in as fast a time as one day needs to be both completely different and far stronger than the gravitational one, something Tycho couldn't have realised. Nevertheless, it was a valid theoretical approach, geometrically equivalent to the Copernican model.

One of the proofs that such a force does exist was mentioned in the second part of this article, and comes from the failure of the gravitational model to correctly calculate the orbits of the outer planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and dwarf planet Pluto. If we take the accurately-measured sidereal mean orbital periods, Tmeas say, for these planets and try to theoretically calculate their mean orbital radii, Rtheo say, we need something called the mass balance-corrected Kepler-Newton equation, given by:

Rtheo = [ Tmeas2 ( 1 + Mp/Ms) ]1/3                                                                        (7)

where Mp is the planet's mass and Ms the Sun's mass.

It turns out that this equation comes up with consistently lower values than the accurately-measured mean orbital radii, Rmeas say. Table 1 below shows both the measured and theoretical mean orbital radii for all the planets, in astronomical units (au), which provides a comparison between correctly- and incorrectly-predicted values.

Rmeas (au)
Rtheo (au)
Table 1: Measured and theoretical mean orbital radii of the planets.

Remarkably, for the last four outer planets the values of Rmeas and Rtheo can be brought together fairly well if we multiply the measured mean orbital period data Tmeas by the ratio of our own planet's solar (tsol) to sidereal (tsid) days, given closely by:

tsol/tsid = 1.002,737,9                                                                                  (8)

The same result may be obtained by dividing Rmeas/Rtheo in the third column of the table by a factor of (tsol/tsid)2/3 = 1.001,824.4. This takes care of (in order from the Sun) 96%, 98%, 104%, and 89% of the relative excesses for those last four planets. Only if the Sun and the planets were revolving around Earth would this procedure make sense. On the downside, it isn't clear why Jupiter isn't affected in the same way.

The data for this comparison were published in 1992, following the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spaceprobe missions to fly past the outer planets. Curiously, due to a mislabelling error which JPL-NASA only picked up in 2001, the correct values of the sidereal orbital periods couldn't be used for nine years. Consequently, two different sets of that data still exist in the astronomical reference books and on websites, one of which are the tropical values incorrectly labelled "sidereal". The importance of the correct data seems to have been missed by every astrophysicist who came in contact with it.

Now for the million-dollar question: if true, what could the luminiferous aether possibly be made of?

Seidelmann, K.P. (Ed.), "Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, (1992) p. 704 (University Science Books, Mill Valley, California)

Reawakening the Luminiferous Aether 4


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