Receding planets

Hi,
today I will continue with short post because I have a lot of work to do for my 15 page essay.


When you are watching planets they travel along some predictable paths which from the view of whole Solar System are ellipses. If you measure where they are on the sky you must do it relative to something. Usually you will use stars that is because ground is too far away and it would be inaccurate (too far away in degrees).

So you measure the planet’s position every day and then strange thing happens, the planet goes back and weeks later it returns back to its original pathway, what happened?

This movement is called retrograde – backwards motion. Of course nothing like that happens simply because there is nothing to cause it.
It would take about this force to actually stop Mars in one second: 15,453,822,450,000,000,000,000,000.

T is Earth, P is planet which we observe, A is the projection on celestial sphere.

The picture above should explain you what happened here. The thing is that we orbit faster than Mars. The picture that we see A1-A5 is the projection on the background, also called celestial sphere.

The same thing happens when you are driving on highway and there is truck ahead of you. As you catch up, the truck moves relatively to objects that are very far away. At one point as you drive around the truck you may not even see them and then suddenly the truck seems to be behind the far away stuff that you watched but the truck was moving the same way all the time.

This was a huge problem for astronomers. First they made various epicycles on epicycles to explain this strange movement and it took Copernicus to show that it is just an optical illusion.

Dragallur

 

 

 

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