Our Solar System -- Vortex or No?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by danshawen, Aug 29, 2015.

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Which view seems more correct to you: Vortex or Heliocentric?

  1. Vortex (the Sun and the planets travel a helical path around the Milky Way)

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Heliocentric (celestial mechanics is better understood with the Sun at a fixed location)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I watched a wonderful animation on youtube recently:

    http://www.djsadhu.com/the-helical-model-vortex-solar-system-animation/

    Which, except for the fact that Sol also bounces up and down in a sinusoidal path with respect to the plane of the Milky Way, I considered to be quite accurate. I never doubted any of this. It's just the way celestial mechanics works as observed by someone following a parallel trajectory with respect to Sol from some point outside of our solar system.

    There is another video of the motion of our galaxy by the same computer artist which I have not yet watched.

    And then I read this:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astr...ing_sun_s_motion_through_galaxy_is_wrong.html

    which completely confuses the issue of what is "reality". "Reality", as far as any of us is concerned, always requires two observers, at a minimum, to make sense of events at any level. Or to put it another way, without at least two observers, no single event can be decided in terms of whether it ever happened.

    Have I missed something here? What really is the point of refuting a given view of anything? There are even die-hard Ptolemists who believe we should keep teaching about "epicycles" of the planets further from the Sun than Earth in astronomy. It's like we never really left those dark ages, and I couldn't have framed the idea better than these two articles have already done.

    Which one do you think is closer to reality?
     
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  3. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Which one what? I don't get what you are asking: there is only one video. It's wrong. So what?
     
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  5. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    OK Sounds like you might vote for a stationary solar system. What exactly is wrong with the single video?

    I'm a Phil Plait (bad astronomy) fan myself, but I don't get what it is he thinks is so very wrong about the video either. OK, so the plane of the solar system is tilted with respect to the path followed by the Sun in its sinusoidal circuit. The helix (not 'vortex') is therefore skewed a bit with respect to that path. That is still less "wrong" an idea than nailing the Sun to a stationary spot, isn't it?

    Bohr's atom was wrong too, but it was much less wrong than the "raisins in a cake" analogy that preceded it. Let's be clear: something is "WRONG" when it is a MUCH poorer model to something of interest than another model, which although not perfect either, at least is closer to reality in a more defining category of comparison. Something else may be "wrong" in only minor details of what it describes, which is the case here. The Vortex ('Helical') model is closer to reality because the whole thing moves, and the Heliocentric model really doesn't. I like the video. I would teach it rather than the Heliocentric one in a half a heartbeat and feel good about doing so.

    No wonder I'm surrounded by Ptolemists. Their primary category of "wrong" against Copernicans was basically: "and where exactly does G-d sit?"

    Nonetheless, Phil Plait would have been the last on my list of potential hold-out Ptolemists. There's 'wrong', and then there's 'WRONG'. If you asked someone like Galileo, which model would he have liked? Hint: "…yet it (the Earth) moves."
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
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  7. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    No. A good Heliocentric model is essentially 100% accurate. A galaxy-centered model could ALSO be 100% accurate, but the one he created isn't it.
    That bears no similarity to the issue of the thread. You need to recognize that this issue is about reference frames. All reference frames are all equally valid, but you still need to construct the model properly in the chosen frame!
    That is completely wrong. C'mon, you know physics better than that: the principle of relativity tells us that we can use whatever reference frame we want and the laws of physics work the same.

    If what you were saying were true, you could use it to give every car in a parking garage a speeding ticket for going 1000mph because it is "more right" to say they are going 1000mph than to say they are stationary!
     
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  8. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    I am no expert on this but it has been my understanding that the orbital plane of the solar system, is roughly the same as the ornital plane of the Galaxy... Is this wrong? And add that the solar system as a whole moves up and down through the galactic plane as it orbits, which was not accounted for at all.

    The video as best as I could tell assumes that the solar system or the sun is moving along the line of its axis of rotation. That would be the same as shifting the earth's axis by give or take 90 degrees with the moon orbiting perpendicular to the earth's solar orbit???... I did not watch the whole video! Seemed flawed early on.

    Add to this Russ' point that what you see is frame of reference dependent and the question becomes, are you looking at the whole standing on the earth, the sun, the galactic core or somewhere at a distance from the galaxy as a whole? But again Russ was correct the video is an inaccurate and fictional representation no matter which of those frames of reference you choose.

    The plane of the solar system is roughly the same as the galactic plane and as the solar system as a whole orbits the galactic center, it also moves north and south through the galactic plane. I think but am not quite sure, that we are currently our north of the center of the galactic plane.

    and again Russ is correct..., you should know better.....
     
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  9. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    By the way neither of your choices are accurate. They are both wrong. The mechanics of the solar system may be best understood, assuming the sun as a fixed location, but when you mention celestial it seems the scope is broadened and the best frame of reference would be different depending on just how much of the universe you refer to when you use the word celestial.
     
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  10. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    It is wrong (it's inclined at 60 degrees), but that doesn't really have any impact on the point: for the video to show it perpendicular is still wrong.
     
  11. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Great example! I will concede there is not even any such thing as a "preferred" frame of reference, but this does not make the Pope Urban right and Galileo wrong. It is true that there are as many frames of reference in the solar system as there are planets, moons, planetoids, asteroids, and orbiting space junk, and no particular reason I can think of to prefer any one of them over another.

    Let me put this another way, to modify the question in the manner suggested by OnlyMe. In the video, Sol is traveling in a more or less straight trajectory at a speed of 70,000 kph relative to a frame at rest with respect to the galactic center and carries everything that is orbiting along with it. If you were traveling alongside the trajectory of Sol, you might not "see" the sinusoid, as it is with respect to a much larger plane of a Milky Way that may not be very easily discerned from that frame of reference. Is everyone on board so far?

    And if you were teaching someone who resides on a small planet in this solar system about the way things move in the local scheme of large celestial objects, which frame of reference would you choose to describe the details of such motion in the simplest terms possible? You are describing the motion to someone who has already worked out the basics of Kepler's laws and who knows about dark matter also. Some orbits, like that of Mercury, have a precession at perihelion that is predicted by GR, if you wish to get "picky" about the way the simulation works.

    Would you nit-pick another computer simulation of the same relative motion apart, just because it was unable either to predict or depict whether or not our sinusoidal loop circuit about the Milky Way precessed or not? The point is, if you really can't do a more accurate job than the one depicted (and you really can't, because dark matter makes a calculation of such trajectories a crap shoot), what really is the point of such an OCD style of criticism? We may not even have been a part of the Milky Way for long enough to make one complete revolution yet:

    http://www.thelivingmoon.com/44cosmic_wisdom/02files/Scientists_Now_Know_We_are_Not_From_Here.html

    Be that as it may, I really enjoyed the video. I had never seen a simulation like it. It might not be accurate enough to suit some tastes, but it's OK by me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  12. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Frankly, I have no idea what you are going on about with that.
    It depends on the objects and the motions you want to describe. That's the whole point of reference frames: you pick the one most useful to your situation.
    Now you're moving the goalposts. Previously, you claimed the video to be more right, now you concede that it is more wrong, but call it nitpicking to point that out. Whatever. I'm not interested in this new issue.
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The heliocentric system of course is observationally correct.
    Let's look at it from all scales......
    The Moon/Satellites orbit Earth: The Earth and planets orbit the Sun: The Sun orbits the central BH in the MW galaxy: The MW is attracted to the local group of galaxies: Our local group is attracted towards the Virgo Supercluster, etc. The fact remains that the heliocentric model is observationally correct, regardless of which scale one chooses to look at things.
     
  14. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I'm saying, if right and wrong are relative, then there's really nothing better to compare this video with. That includes Phil Plait's nuanced description as well as any others I've seen.
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.universetoday.com/107322/is-the-solar-system-really-a-vortex/

    extracts:
    What it purports to show is the motion of the Solar System through space. But the accuracy of this has been utterly derided as an affront to scientific dignity. Which is a shame, because the video version is really quite nicely done, with good camera movement and a catchy soundtrack. The principle antagonist is notorious “Bad Astronomer” Phil Plait, who wrote a convincing and virulent attack on the video. I decided to investigate for myself.

    Sometimes the planets really are ahead of the Sun as we orbit in the Milky Way, and sometimes trail behind it (depending on where they are in their orbit around the Sun).” [my italics]

    The orbits of the major planets of the solar system all lie in a narrow plane (like being in economy class! hahaha… sorry), which is tilted at about 60 degrees to the disc of stars that forms the Milky Way. Like this:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!




    “In the helical model, he shows the planets as orbiting around the Sun perpendicular to the motion of the Sun around the galaxy; “face-on”, if you like.This is wrong. Because the orbits of the planets are tipped by 60°, not 90°, they can sometimes be ahead and sometimes behind the Sun. That right there, and all by itself, shows this helical depiction is incorrect.”


    So what’s the big deal? What does the author claim in this internet sensation that’s so outrageous? Well, not much. That particular video/gif are actually fairly inoffensive, to my mind. The most basic notion that the planets trace helical paths through space is perfectly correct. What honestly surprises me is that this is so incredibly popular on the internet. If you weren’t aware that the Sun orbits the center of the galaxy — which, since the planets orbit it, necessitates that they trace out helical paths — then the education system has seriously failed. But do not despair! This can be remedied very, very easily.

    Planets trace a helical path in space because our Solar System is orbiting the center of the galaxy. Big bloody deal. It’s that simple. You don’t need a wacky alternative model of the Solar System for this – it’s happening anyway! As for going on a journey though – well no, not really. Every other star is also orbiting the center of the galaxy, so no, we’re not actually getting anywhere relative to other star systems.
     
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  16. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, I guess 60 degrees is a little more than roughly.
     
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  17. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Lol, no. Right and wrong are most certainly not relative!
     
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  18. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Yea! Paddoboy, you did it justice! Thanks; that's all I could ask. No one else seemed willing to do this anywhere. Didn't even need a video.
     
  19. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Thats it.

    The reference frame is very crucial in determining the path or motion of a particle. Keeping aside many complex issues like spin, precession, up-down oscillatory motion of solar system etc, we will see how Neil Armstrong would have moved around on the Moon surface (taking a particle point on the moon can be far more illustrative than Earth) with respect to various observation points.

    Frame: Observed Locus
    Self Frame : Static
    Moon Center : Orbital, Moon Center Centric
    Earth : Closed Helical
    Sun : Double Helical (Minor Helical on a larger closed Helix)
    Galactic Center : Loss of words for me...May be Tripple Helical, but most recent path is still closed.
    The Great Attractor : You name it; but could the most recent path be open?

    So, neither of your choices are correct. But there are a few interesting observations here...

    A. if the human beings were to evolve on the Moon, will their DNA structure be having one more knot (twist) as compared to their counterpart on the Earth.

    B. Or if human beings from Earth decide to colonize on the moon, then will their DNA acquire one more knot / twist in generations to come. (Best proof of evolution, The mighty God out of picture completely).

    C. Or if at all we get ETs, and do their DNA structure analysis, will we be able to correlate their orbital position with respect to Earth.

    C. Shhhhhhh....argument. GR cannot describe this beautiful triple helix kind of distortion in the spactime. Just an observation.
     
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  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Ignoring the irrelevant nonsense in your post, the interesting observations are simply that the solar system is heliocentric in nature and other motions are easily explained as per the article in post 12.
     
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  21. The God Valued Senior Member

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    This is not accurate, but good enough to teach even the mid school students. Now when we know that our Solar System orbits around GC and the entire MW is also moving, then path of Earth is different, even if it is orbiting the Sun.
     
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  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Oh its certainly accurate as detailed by my reputable links rajesh, as distinct from your own questionable position.
    At least you recognise that Earth is still orbiting the Sun.
     
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  23. The God Valued Senior Member

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    Your behavior is unacceptable and immature.
     

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