Foreword — Some basic intellectual problems with the Copernican model

It can hardly be denied that the Copernican model is marred by a number of problems which, objectively speaking, challenge the limits of our human senses and perceptions. To my mind, there is nothing “intuitive” about the Copernican theory. Even if you disagree, I think it is safe to say that the current, widespread acceptance of it relies on the faith that most people have conferred to those prominent scientists who, about four centuries ago, decided for everyone of us that it was not only a credible theory of our universe — but that it was, indeed, the definitive one. Paradoxically, the so-called “Copernican Revolution” was hailed as the “triumph of the scientific method over religious dogma”. Yet, when challenged by the likes of Tycho Brahe about the absurd distances and titanic sizes of the stars that the novel Copernican model’s tenets implied, the proponents of the same invoked the “omnipotence of God”.

“Tycho Brahe, the most prominent and accomplished astronomer of his era, made measurements of the apparent sizes of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. From these he showed that within a geocentric cosmos these bodies were of comparable sizes, with the Sun being the largest body and the Moon the smallest. He further showed that within a heliocentric cosmos, the stars had to be absurdly large — with the smallest star dwarfing even the Sun. […] Various Copernicans responded to this issue of observation and geometry by appealing to the power of God: They argued that giant stars were not absurd because even such giant objects were nothing compared to an infinite God, and that in fact the Copernican stars pointed out the power of God to humankind. Tycho rejected this argument.”

Regarding how Tycho Brahe noted the Absurdity of the Copernican Theory regarding the Bigness of Stars, while the Copernicans appealed to God to answer that Absurdity by Christopher M. Graney (December 2011)

It is commonly thought (and taught) that the “Copernican Revolution marked the end of religious bigotry”. Well, nothing is further from the truth; if you had been questioning the Copernican model back then, you might have been called a person “of the vulgar sort” (since, according to Copernicans, you were therefore questioning God’s divine omnipotence!).

“Rather than give up their theory in the face of seemingly incontrovertible physical evidence, Copernicans were forced to appeal to divine omnipotence. ‘These things that vulgar sorts see as absurd at first glance are not easily charged with absurdity, for in fact divine Sapience and Majesty are far greater than they understand,’ wrote Copernican Christoph Rothmann in a letter to Tycho Brahe. ‘Grant the vastness of the Universe and the sizes of the stars to be as great as you like— these will still bear no proportion to the infinite Creator. It reckons that the greater the king, so much greater and larger the palace befitting his majesty. So how great a palace do you reckon is fitting to GOD?'”

The Case Against Copernicus by Dennis Danielson and Christopher M. Graney (March 2014)

Indeed, it is a widespread popular myth that Johannes Kepler was the man who brought on the era of “rational scientific determinism” to the detriment of dogmatic religious belief. Again, nothing is further from the truth. As J. R. Voelkel points out in his The Composition of Kepler’s Astronomia Nova (2001) …

“He [Kepler] sought to redirect his religious aspirations into astronomy by arguing that the heliocentric system of the world made plain the glory of God in His creation of the world. Thus he made the establishment of the physical truth of heliocentrism a religious vocation.”

Now, it is a matter of fact that, today, our world’s premier scientific institutions cannot even seem to agree upon the distance from Earth to Polaris — our all-important, current “North star”.

“The North Star has been a guiding light for countless generations of navigators. But a new study reveals that its distance to Earth may have been grossly overestimated. […] The new discovery of a closer North Star is ‘most unexpected for what is considered to be one of the Hipparcos satellite’s most solid results,’ said study leader David Turner, an astronomer at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.”

North Star Closer to Earth Than Thought by Andrew Fazekas (December 5, 2012) for National Geographic News

As mentioned in the above-linked National Geographic article, this is no trivial matter since Polaris is a “cosmological yardstick used by researchers to measure great cosmic distances out to billions of light-years”. Well, the latest (2012) estimation of the Earth-to-Polaris distance (“323 light years”) is a whopping 34% shorter than the former estimate of “433 light years” (as listed in official ESA and NASA star catalogs). In light of this, it would hardly be unreasonable to question the much-vaunted pinpoint accuracy of modern astronomy.

If Polaris is now believed to be as much as 1/3 closer to us than previously thought, the very credibility of all currently-claimed star distances must be allowed to be questioned. Indeed, it would be a logical scientific enterprise to re-check all one’s work — once it is discovered that one’s yard stick is capable of expanding and contracting when we aren’t paying attention.

To wit, how can our current North Star Polaris — which is actually a triple-star binary system — possibly seem to remain stationary above our North Pole, year after year, and for decades on end? And this, when we are meant to be sweeping around a 300-Million-kilometer-wide circle, covering an orbit with a circumference of almost one Billion kilometers? Today we are told that the Sun (and thus, our entire system) hurtles across our galaxy at the formidable speed of “800,000 km/hour” (or 222 km/second) and around a gigantic 240-Million-year-long orbit. Yet, Polaris appears to remain roughly in the same place year after year!

In the course of one year, as Earth supposedly revolves around the Sun around a 300-Million-km-wide orbit, our current “North star” Polaris (the white, central dot in the below animation) appears to be virtually stationary.

You may now justly ask, “Is Polaris also said to be moving (along with Earth) at 800,000 km/h?”

No, it is not. We are simply asked to accept the following surreal notion:

“Earth orbits around the Sun at about 107,000 km/h – while the Sun itself moves at 800,000 km/h. Yet we do not see our current North star Polaris moving much at all – because it is unimaginably distant.”

Surely, the time has come to question such extraordinary claims which, objectively, challenge the limits of human intuition. When something is “unimaginable”, there should be plenty of room for discourse, no matter how established any scientific theory may be.

I will venture to say that the TYCHOS model may ideally satisfy both sides of the secular heliocentric vs. geocentric debate, since it proposes an ideal, “unifying” solution that may appeal to both parties (if they can first choose that agreeing on something would cause no harm). In the TYCHOS, our Earth is neither static or immobile; nor does it hurtle across space at hypersonic speeds. Nor is our planet located (“by the will of God”) smack in the middle of the entire universe. Instead, it is just located at or near the barycenter of our very own binary system. Among other things, the TYCHOS model revives Plato’s ideal concept of uniform circular motion: as we shall see, Kepler’s elliptical (and accelerating/decelerating) orbital motions may well be a spatial illusion largely caused by Earth slowly moving around the center of our system.

“Kepler’s Laws are wonderful as a description of the motions of the planets. However, they provide no explanation of why the planets move in this way.”

Kepler’s Laws and Newton’s Laws from a course at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts

For now — and before we get on — let us remind ourselves of the Copernican model’s “elegant” geometric configuration, “starring” the Sun which would be positioned in the middle of a multi-lane, planetary “merry-go-round” — i.e.; a carousel of planets revolving around the Sun in concentric, elliptical orbits. Here it is, as we are all familiar with – ever since our school days:

The Copernican / Keplerian “Carousel”

Above — a diagram originally from a Lumen Learning online coursework

The heliocentric Copernican model undeniably appeals to our natural senses, what with its plain and orderly layout. There is a clear “middle”, and what’s more, there is an object right there in it – the brightest and most obvious object in our skies. The problem is that its geometric layout conflicts with empirical observation and therefore, it cannot possibly represent reality. As will be amply demonstrated in the following chapters, it is outright unphysical – as it violates, among other things, the most elementary laws of perspective.

It bears reminding that, since their initial acceptance by our world’s scientific community, the fundamental premises of the Copernican model have had to undergo a long series of profound critiques and revisions — all of which were somehow “patched up” with ad hoc arguments submitted by a clique of extremely influential fellows (e.g.; Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Einstein, Bradley, etc.). It is disconcerting that so much faith has been placed in those few individuals’ convictions. It is also most disturbing that, over the years, numerous findings by independent researchers (invalidating the Copernican theory) have been completely ignored by the worldwide scientific community. If astronomy considers itself as a science, it ought to be taking a good hard look in the mirror today.

As you may remember (if you are old enough), the old Copernican theory went like this:

“The sun is immobile, just like the stars – while all of our planets orbit around it in concentric circles.”

Whereas the current Copernican theory sounds a lot like this:

“The Sun travels at 800,000 km/h across our galaxy – along with all of its companions – completing one orbit every 240 Million years.”

Both theories always were, and still remain, eminently questionable for a number of reasons:

The old Copernican theory contradicts the empirically-observable fact that not one of our visible stars are entirely immobile or motionless. The old notion implied that our Sun would be the only immobile star of our entire visible cosmos, an absurd proposition that I trust can safely be put to rest.

The current Copernican theory (which claims that our Sun needs circa 240 Million years to complete only an orbit) conflicts with the observable fact that the overwhelming majority of our visible stars appear to have much smaller local orbits of their own with relatively short periods. For instance, the orbital period of the Sirius A and B binary system is only 50.1 (solar) years; the binary system of Alpha Centauri A and B revolve around each other in only 79.9 years, while the Polaris A and B binary pair do so in just 29.6 years. Other recently-discovered binary systems exhibit even shorter “mutual orbital periods” of only a couple of years, months, weeks, days, or less. No stars (other than our own Sun) are said to be observed to be moving around orbits in the range of hundreds of millions of years.

And yes, it is indeed officially claimed that the Sun employs 240 or 250 Million years to complete just one of its orbits! I am certainly not making this up:

How long does it take the Sun to orbit the galaxy? by Robert Matthews (July 22, 2009 at

Moreover, our visible stars exhibit far slower apparent orbital velocities than 222 km/s (i.e.; 800,000 km/h – the alarming orbital speed at which our system is claimed to move across our galaxy).

For instance, our nearmost binary stars, Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, exhibit orbital speeds (a.k.a. “proper motions”) of 21.4 km/s and 18.6 km/s. As it happens, such speeds compare well with the orbital speeds (as of the TYCHOS model) of our Sun (29.7 km/s) and Mars (22.7 km/s). To be sure, a star has never been observed to move ten times that fast. Even the fastest moving star in our skies, the Barnard star, is reckoned to be traveling at about 110 km/s, more than 50% slower than our Sun’s supposed motion around the galaxy.

Indeed, these foundational notions upheld by current theory truly stand out for their extraordinary claims. Give it a good thought: according to modern astronomy, our Sun would be the one and only star in our observed cosmos to have a mega-gigantic, unthinkably large “240-Million-year” orbit (with an incredibly small angular momentum, unlike any other star) around our galaxy. Our sun would be the fastest star of them all, travelling at a scorching 222 km/s and all the while “carrying” Earth (and our system’s other planets) along with it. And yet, we earthly observers can only detect minuscule stellar parallaxes from one year or decade to the next?

In the latest decades of astronomical research, a particular discovery stands out for its paradigm-changing nature: the vast majority of our visible stars have turned out to be interlocked in what are known as binary systems. In binary systems, a large star and a far smaller celestial body (often too small and dim to be detected even with the largest telescopes) revolve in relatively short, mutually intersecting “local” orbits around a common center of mass, or “barycenter”. Again, no binary systems are observed to have orbital periods lasting anywhere near 250 Million years.

I feel it is more reasonable to consider the possibility that our system is alike to other systems, rather than some sort of exception to the rule.


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