TheScienceChallenge

The Center Of Our Solar System

Back when I was attending public school, we were taught by our teachers that, once upon a time, most of the non-educated people on the planet and even many of the well-educated ones, believed that the earth was at the center of our solar system [1]. This meant that the sun, the moon, and the other planets were all spinning around the earth.
For thousands of years everyone was happy with this explanation[2].

Our teachers, however, continued to explain that, one day, a man called Sir Issac Newton introduced a new, scientific theory, regarding the movement of the planets. Newton’s Theory of Gravitation, as it has come to be known, had shown once and for all that, in fact, it was the sun that was situated at the center of our solar system[3] and not the earth, as was previously believed.

Or so we thought.

You see, as we got older and started learning more advanced topics in science, we were introduced to yet another gentleman with an even newer scientific theory dealing with the movement of the planets. His name is Abert Einstein and according to his General Theory of Relativity, there is never one body in space orbiting around another body in space, as we will shortly see[4].

Let’s just re-cap what we have so far. We’ve gone from having the earth at the center our solar system to having the sun at the center of our solar system, to having neither one of them at the center of our solar system! Should we even continue calling it the solar system? And while we’re at it…

…if we all agree that Einstein and GR are correct[5], then where exactly is that point in the heavens that the sun and all the planets, including the earth, revolve around?

And that’s the subject of the first challenge on TheScienceChallenge.

Where exactly is the center of mass of our solar system?. If we know that the planets and the sun all revolve around some central point in space, provide the calculations and show us once and for all exactly where the center of our solar system really is.

There must be someone out there that can do the calculation.

At any rate, Einstein has shown that the sun is not at the center of our solar system. That much is clear as day. Yet schools worldwide still teach that the sun is at the center of the solar system. Hello! It’s been a hundred years now!
Time to wake up from the big sleep, no?

[1] Most of those same people also believed that the earth was at the center of the entire universe, but we’ll leave that discussion for a different time.
[2] After all, it made a lot of sense since this is what we see when we look up into the sky. Interesting, but not directly relevant to the discussion at hand.
[3] This is probably why it’s called the solar system to begin with.
[4] Probably next post.
[5] At least for the time being, anyway.



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