If the Earth Goes Around the Sun, Why Do We Sometimes See the Moon? Answer that Mr Science!

March 6, 2014


34 Responses to “If the Earth Goes Around the Sun, Why Do We Sometimes See the Moon? Answer that Mr Science!”

  1. Actually, Heliocentricity deniers are right.

    One object (the Earth) doesn’t orbit another (the Sun). They both orbit around their center of mass.

    The Sun and Earth orbit around a point 0.064603 % from the center of the sun to its surface, and objective science would point out that this orbital model is fraught with the mathematical uncertainties imposed by the orbits of other planets and the moon.

    Now can we agree that the heliocentric conspiracy is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?

    Center of mass = (M2 / (M1+M2)) x the distance between two objects
    = (1 / (332,946 +1)) AU
    = 3.00348 x 10^ -6 AU from the center of the sun
    Sun’s radius = 4649.13 x 10^-6 AU

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You think you’re so smart with all that astrology and math mumbo jumbo?

      Everyone knows that “numbers lie”, and no one has ever been to this “center of mass” place you’re talking about and taken pictures to prove it exists, have they? Do you think we’re stupid? We’re well informed folk who listen to Rush and Fox News!

    • In other words, the barycenter is bary, bary good to heliocentric skeptics!

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      More precisely, though probably still incomplete:
      The Sun and Earth’s motions describe a complex four dimensional Lissajous path derived from their interaction with the residual resultant of all all matter in the Universe possessing positive or negative mass, after gravitational delays are accounted for according to general relativity.

      This appears to give the illusion from our reference point that our Earth is in orbit around a constantly variable barycentre, primarily influenced by the masses of Jupiter and Saturn.

      Scafetti tried to account for Jupiter’s and Saturn’s perturbations of the Sun’s location on Earth’s distance from the Sun, and hence irradiation and climate, but was largely rejected as not having a significant effect.

      I would like to see a graph of actual Sun-Earth distance over time.

      • mpcraig Says:

        “I would like to see a graph of actual Sun-Earth distance over time.”

        This might be a start: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0c/Solar_system_barycenter.svg/380px-Solar_system_barycenter.svg.png

        • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

          Thanks – that’s quite a dance!
          I think Earth orbits the centre of the sun as it was 8.5 minutes ago, and so follows the Sun’s motion, but Earth is also pulled around in its orbit by the other planets, and that may be a more significant displacement than the Sun’s.
          The Earth Sun distance would have a few wobbles in it too, including the few thousand km around the Earth-Moon barycentre, but that won’t affect insolation.
          N-body simulations are complicated!

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Dang, but this physics stuff is fun! Andy mentions Lissajous patterns and brings back fond memories of days in the electricity-electronics labs. We used to drive the professor nuts setting up Lissajous patterns on any oscilliscope we could find. Kind of like Lava Lamps for us, and he would chastise us and go around turning them off.

        The graph that mpcraig linked is great too. I wonder what it would look like in 3D (and I speak of D’s in space, not in time), although probably not much different. Also, it’s only a short slice of time, but there appears to be some interesting periodicity there. Any conjecture on what it means? I’d guess the orbital positions of the most massive planets has something to do with it?

    • greenman3610 Says:

      can you believe they are teaching this to our children?

    • andrewfez Says:

      Yeah, but no one reference frame in relative motion to another gets precedence over such: Einstein 101. The earth is just as much the center of the solar system as is the sun or Pluto’s moon. It’s just the math is easier and more elegant if we pretend the sun is in the ‘middle’.

      • dumboldguy Says:


        • andrewfez Says:

          ‘Since there is no absolute reference frame in relativity theory, a concept of ‘moving’ doesn’t strictly exist, as everything is always moving with respect to some other reference frame.’


          • dumboldguy Says:

            EVERYBODY knows that (except maybe Omno). Where is he anyway?

            I was saying “what?” more over this statement—-“The earth is just as much the center of the solar system as is the sun or Pluto’s moon. It’s just the math is easier and more elegant if we pretend the sun is in the ‘middle’.”

            That sounded a bit like Omnosemantics. When we talk about the “solar system”, we are not “pretending” anything. We are talking about a planetary system that is sun-centered by definition, and don’t the major movements of the planets and their interactions occur within that framework? The earth and Pluto’s moon are NOT the center of that “solar system” in the frame of reference that we are fooling around with here, and I can’t imagine the “reference frame” you’d have to be in to make the “math” work.

          • Phillip Shaw Says:


            I believe Andrew’s point is that the definition of the Sun’s center being the center of the Solar System is somewhat arbitrary, and that, mathematically speaking, other arbitrary points could be designated the center of the Solar System with equal validity. The equations just get more complicated.

            Of course, if my first wife is right then the Universe is actually revolving around her.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I did get Andrew’s point, and my point was that for our purposes (particularly for discussions of climate change and global warming) the sun IS the center of our solar system, period. This post was about human ignorance and lack of science knowledge, not astrophysics and relativity.

            And is it “somewhat arbitrary” that I put my left shoe on my left foot and my right shoe on my right foot just because “mathematically speaking” I could put them on the “wrong” feet and still walk?. No, I do it because it observably works better that way, and getting into Bill Cosby-like discussions akin to “Why is there Air?” is, as I said, just an exercise in Omno-semantics—-confusing and a waste of time.

            I have been married to my only wife for nearly 50 years, and we should introduce her to your first wife—they do not agree on the location of the center of the universe and need to work out an “occupation schedule”. (And please do NOT begin a discussion on whether two objects can occupy the same “space” at the same “time”)

            PS In spite of majoring in science in college, I did not discover any of this until after we got married and I attended the “graduate school” conducted by my wife.

        • andrewfez Says:

          Ha, ha – Omno said he couldn’t make it today, so i told him i’d fill in for him.

          Now I’m wondering how hard it would be to define a transformation that allows 4 dimensional reality to be stored in 3 dimensions (4-tuple to 3-tuple) so that {x,y,z,t} can be stored on {x,y,t}. That way I can join the flat earth society. Ha, ha!

          • dumboldguy Says:

            While helping the flat earth society to get in better touch with “reality” is a noble cause, I hope you don’t mind if I don’t take part.

            I’d much rather spend my time practicing tele-psychiatry on the 25% of Americans who believe the sun revolves around the earth.

    • Or consider the cosmic vision of Stephen Crane, who memorably represented mankind as “these lice which are caused to cling to a whirling, fire-smote, ice-locked, disease-stricken, space-lost bulb.” Crane could never have anticipated that the bulb would, in the blink of an eye (from a geological perspective, that is), cease to be ice-locked, this due to the blind agency of those lice . . .

      But why worry? Be happy!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      What’s a UNFCCC? Is it anything like a FUBAR? Is it someplace they send “weirdo women” who can “rattle off 76 acronyms and not know what half of them mean”? In addition to speaking in tongues, does she also handle snakes as she seeks enlightenment?

  2. We need to start challenging these clowns somehow.

    I propose that they be challenged with a bet:  if their claim turns out to be nonsense (what is “unexplainable” was explained some time ago), they admit as much for the camera and neither speak nor write for the media for a period, say 6 months for the first offense.

    As you accumulate a list of clowns who either refuse the challenges or lose them, the number of clowns with media exposure ought to shrink.

  3. Gingerbaker Says:

    And the Earth and Sun are do-se-do-ing along, spinning around the galactic center, etc, etc, etc. So, our orbits never repeat in 3-D space, the Earth will never occupy the same spot in the Universe it has been in at a previous time.

    Which is interesting in regards to whether time travel is disproved by the fact that we never see time travelers. Empty space might be littered with the corpses of ambitious time travel experimenters who didn’t realize that you can’t just go back in time, you have to also move your atoms to a point in 3-D space millions of miles away from where you start your time journey.

  4. joffan7 Says:

    “Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that.”


    (Seriously though – tides are often misexplained even in textbooks …)

  5. I recall back in the 80s when I played the game Frontier on the Amiga you could choose which object you wanted to show your speed in relation to. A rather fun discovery about the fact that we are all zooming along at incredible speed in the universe. 🙂

  6. Good to see Ted Rall — a political cartoonist of real integrity, who takes no prisoners — addressing the climate issue. Hopefully we’ll see more from him on this in future.

  7. […] 2014/03/06: PSinclair: (cartoon – Rall) If the Earth Goes Around the Sun, Why Do We Sometimes … […]

  8. […] 2014/03/06: PSinclair: (cartoon – Rall) If the Earth Goes Around the Sun, Why Do We Sometimes See … […]

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