Is this really how the Solar System works? (Rendering by DjSadhu)
Is this really how the Solar System works? (Rendering by DjSadhu)

Solar System

Is the Solar System Really a Vortex?

18 Dec , 2013 by

The short answer? No. Not in the way that a popular animated gif insinuates, at least.

If you’re even a casual space fan you may have seen a viral gif animation showing our solar system traveling through space, the motions of the planets tracing corkscrew “vortex” paths around a line-driving Sun. While it’s definitely intriguing to watch (in that mesmerizingly-repetitive gif fashion) and rendered with a talented flair for design, there are two fundamental problems with it. One: it’s not entirely correct, scientifically, and two: its creator’s intention is to illustrate a decidedly un-scientific point of view about the Solar System and the Universe as a whole.

For the long answer, I now offer up the stage to astrophysicist Rhys Taylor, who recently posted an in-depth article describing why the planets do yet move… just not like that.

Reposted with permission from Rhys Taylor’s blog, Physicists (Formerly) of the Caribbean:

There’s this annoying space GIF roaming the internet causing trouble. Perhaps you’ve seen it. No ? Well, here it is.

Solar system "vortex" gif (by DjSadhu)

Solar system “vortex” gif (by DjSadhu)

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.

Like many people, I was at first glance really quite impressed with the video, and didn’t have any major objections to it. Obviously the orbits and size of the planets are not to scale (and I think their orbital speeds have be altered too), but that’s just to make them visible. Fair enough. But then I read Phil Plait’s analysis, and it seems that things are much, much worse than that. Says Plait :

“Sadhu shows the Sun leading the planets, ahead of them as it goes around the galaxy… This is not just misleading, it’s completely wrong.”

He clarifies :

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:

We’ll return to the tilt in a moment. But first, if the Sun was really leading the planets, then the thing is completely ludicrous (and this is quite a major part of Plait’s argument). Yet I’m not so sure the viral gif does show the Sun leading the planets. Having read through the author’s website, I can’t find any evidence that he suggests this. In fact, some of other videos on his website clearly show that this isn’t the case:

It seems to me that the appearance of the Sun leading the planets in the gif is just the result of a projection effect – i.e. that things can look different from different angles. On the other hand, Plait read the source material for Sadhu’s model, so maybe there’s something in there that’s more explicit. I’ve glanced at it, but couldn’t find anything stating this precisely. Actually I couldn’t find a whole lot that was even vaguely coherent, but we’ll return to this later. For now, just keep in mind that Sadhu is using an alternative model, even though that may not always be evident.

What the gif definitely does not show is the fact that the orbits of the planets are tilted at about 60 degrees to the direction of the Sun’s motion. Says Plait :

“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.”

There can be no mistaking that Sadhu’s video shows the orbits with the wrong tilt. But is that so critical? Well actually no, not really. Fact is that if you include the tilt, you still see the planets making a “spiral” pattern (technically it’s a helix) as they move through space. The overall appearance just isn’t that massively different compared to a 90-degree tilt.

Solar system model by Rhys Taylor (Click to play)

Solar system model by Rhys Taylor (Click to play)

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.

But we’re not done yet. There’s a sting in the tail, and it’s a big one. The gif doesn’t show it, but the video version ends with the worrying remarks that:

“Rotational motion and vortex motion are completely different things.”*
“Life spirals.” [Picture of leaves]
“Life is vortex, not just rotation.” [Picture of developing ferns, then a flower, the Milky Way, the DNA double helix, etc.]
“The Solar System is part of life. Think about this while racing through space.”

*Yes, they are. Plait notes: “They’re different in more than just name; they’re actually very different physical motions with different properties—you can get helical motion without the particles in it interacting, like in the solar system, but in a vortex the particles interact through drag and friction.” Basically, claiming that the Solar System is a vortex is simply wrong. Sadhu appears not to have checked the word “vortex” in a dictionary.

I could forgive even these rather hippyish sentiments, if they were no more than that. Alas, they’re symptomatic of a much larger problem. Plait’s merciless attack is full of sound and fury, but it’s also signifying something. Reading more of the author’s website, it turns out he is actively promoting quackery. It’s on a par with the excellent Space Mirror Mystery* (the idea that everything further away than about 150 million km is just a reflection in a giant mirror), but less funny.

*I was delighted to find that this website is back online. Seriously, read it. It’s epic.

From Sadhu’s website:

“In this diagram it seems the Solar System travel to the left. When the Earth is also traveling[sic] to the left (for half a year) it must go faster than the Sun. Then in the second half of the year, it travels in a ‘relative opposite direction’ so it must go slower than the Sun. Then, after completing one orbit, it must increase speed to overtake the Sun in half a year. And this would go for all the planets. Just like any point you draw on a frisbee will not have a constant speed, neither will any planet.”

Apparently he thinks this is a problem. Worryingly, it suggests that he didn’t show the 60-degree orbital tilt not for mere simplicity, but because he doesn’t believe it’s possible. Which — if true — is utter madness, pure and simple. There’s absolutely no reason the planetary speeds have to be constant as they move around the galaxy — the massive gravitational pull of the Sun is keeping them firmly in its orbit, regardless of how those orbits are inclined.

“Secondly, most planets are visible throughout the entire year. In a ‘flat’ model, every single planet would hide behind the Sun at least once a year. They don’t. Now the heliocentric model isn’t entirely flat, but mostly.”

Fine. The heliocentric model isn’t flat, which perfectly explains why planets aren’t eclipsed by the Sun once per year. What need to state this ? Is he really saying that this is a problem in a heliocentric model…? SERIOUSLY?

“Fact of the matter is that if the helical model is correct and our Solar System is a traveling[sic] vortex, it will change how we feel about our journey. For me personally the heliocentric model feels like a useless marry[sic]-go-round: after one year we are back to square one. The helical model feels much more like progress, growth, a journey through space in which we never ever come back to our starting point. We are NOT in a big marry[sic]-go-round. We are on a journey.”

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.

Then there are some pointless ravings about the Mayan calendar.

He also links the following video. Skip to about 2 minutes in:

This has the bizarre quote that :

“The planets do not come back on to their [own] path[s]. They don’t. If they did, we most likely would have the same set of information over and over and over… like a broken record. And we’d probably get bored. It would be like Groundhog Year.”

Then he links a video claiming that the Fibonacci sequence is the fingerprint of God.

None of which changes the fact that his first video/gif has only minor inaccuracies, but at this point I can’t help feeling that this was more by luck than judgement.

Then there’s his second video. This one is more objectively just plain wrong. He shows the Sun tracing out a corkscrew pattern as it orbits the galaxy, which makes no sense. The Sun simply goes around the center of the galaxy (and up and down a little bit) — nothing else. It’s not orbiting anything else at the same time. For it to trace a helix is just nonsense. He seems to have an almost unique case of helix madness.

What of the source material — the alternative model Sadhu uses? Garbage. Utter garbage. I find it difficult to read more than a sentence or two, because it’s verging on incomprehensible. As in almost at the level of TimeCube.

“Three types of time may be recognized:
– An absolute time that is universal and has neither a known starting point nor an end point; not even limited to a measurable parameter.
– For living organisms there is a time for birth and a moment for death. The interval is the life span. This time may be measured with parameters like seconds, minutes, days and so on. Mechanical devices may measure fractions and to some extant reliable. In every case some kind of energy source or gear system is involved.
-–When one is engaged with some work involvement in another activity may be impossible or result to be unnatural. In such cases personal values decide what course to take up and say “no time” to the other work, however important that may be. This time is highly subjective.”

Later:
“The constellations at the background are sufficient evidence to deny the heliocentric orbits for planets. The Sun at 500 light seconds distance, when visible within a cone of 30° maintaining a background of one constellation, say for example Aries, (Hamel at 68ly) the SOLSTICES and EQUINOXES through Zodiac Earth maintains in the opposite constellation at midnight, namely Libra. After six months to maintain heliocentric orbit, the mid day of today should become midnight and the midnight should become midday. This has not taken place!

Well of course it hasn’t — it’s complete gibberish ! Plait may well be right that somewhere in this mess is a model wherein the Sun leads the planets, but I don’t have the time or sheer mental fortitude to read the whole thing. I will note, though, that there’s a paragraph where the author rubbishes the conventional explanation for the ozone hole — and God help us all if that goes viral. That, not petty disputes about whether the orbits of planets are tilted by 60 or 90 degrees, is why such quackery deserves to be shot down without mercy.

“My feeling is that if your take-home message was only that the Solar System moves through space, and the planets trace out pretty spirally paths, then all is well and no harm done. But if it’s leading you to question the heliocentric model, then we’re all buggered.”

–Rhys Taylor, astrophysicist

In conclusion then, the first video and gif of the Solar System as a “vortex” are not really all that bad. Unfortunately, the inaccuracies are not due to some minor over-simplifications, but are symptoms of a some very deep-seated misunderstandings. My feeling is that if your take-home message was only that the Solar System moves through space, and the planets trace out pretty spirally paths, then all is well and no harm done. But if it’s leading you to question the heliocentric model, then we’re all buggered.

___________________

Thanks to Rhys Taylor for the guest post of his entertaining and informative article — at the very least, you got to watch “The Galaxy Song” again! Read more from Rhys (and check out some really nice infographics too) on his blog here.

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By  -        
A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!



52 Responses

  1. Olaf2 says:

    What these wacko’s don’t understand is the concept of relative motion.
    The orbits are an ellipse because the 0,0,0 axis also moves with the planets at the same rate.

  2. Brock Robinson says:

    Well, if the sun is orbiting around the galaxy center, and the galaxy as a whole is also flying thru space, doesn’t the Sun corkscrew as well?

    • Olaf2 says:

      It might un-corck-screw.

    • Rhys Taylor says:

      Excellent pont ! Yes, it does, on the very large scale. But, in Sadhu’s second video, he shows the Sun moving on a corkscrew path as it moves through the Milky Way (as though it were orbiting something else within our own galaxy). This is just not the case.

      • ubuuntu says:

        I am agreeing with you on general point and the need to mercilessly debunk, but I am not aware of data sufficient to make this statement with certainty.
        Sun is not orbiting a single local object, granted, but the gravitational interactions with neighbourhood make for motion that could exhibit periodicity.

        • Rhys Taylor says:

          Possibly. But I doubt very much we would see the Sun making a very nice, neat corkscrew pattern. More likely the gravitational neighbourhood of the Sun will vary more randomly, since none of the stars will have _perfectly_ circular obits. So the motion through the galaxy may look a bit more… wobbly… but not a neat helix of constant radius.
          Certainly though, as Phil Plait points out, we will not see the Sun passing through the plane of the galaxy dozens of times in its orbit of the galaxy, as in Sadu’s video. This actually happens about 4 times per orbit.

          • Art Sada says:

            The invariable plane of the solar system maintains the same orientation with the Universe as the sun orbits the galaxy therefore the best representation of a helix, as shown in the videos, will only be illustrated twice during each orbit of the galaxy. 90 degrees from these two points the planetary orbits trace a very nearly straight line through the sun as observed from behind.
            Notice I wrote illustrated and traced as there is nothing magical about any of this. I could draw a picture of a cat and tell someone that has never seen a cat that it is a dog but the truth would expose me as a liar. So why not tell the truth. It is only an illustration for crying out loud! The planets don’t draw lines. Everything is on the move and it is beautifully ordered chaos. If Nemesis exists and wanders inside the orbit of Jupiter let’s see how neat our little solar system turns out then.

            Even a crackpot can keep people interested by throwing out a little comedy:) I might just use Groundhog Year when I experience deja vu
            Did you notice that Jupiter and Saturn are reversed in order in the first video?

  3. Mark_2674 says:

    Well obviously, its not *just* heliocentric — its also “black hole centric” (as we travel around the center of the galaxy, and also “dark energy centric” (as our own galaxy travels though space as well). So we *are* on a journey, unless the motion of the galaxy via dark energy is also cyclical.

    • Olaf2 says:

      The black hole is only a tiny part of the mass that pulls the Sun. “It is not black hole centric at all”. Unless you would claim that Earth orbits the moon in comparison.

  4. Mark_2674 says:

    The following is Plait’s most germane point:

    “Also, we have multiple space probes that have visited other planets, many of them still in orbit. If heliocentrism were wrong in the way Bhat describes, then those probes never would have made it to those planets. The calculations used to send them there would’ve been wrong. We don’t have to account for the Sun’s motion around the galaxy at all when calculating these spacecraft paths, so Bhat cannot be correct.”

  5. JayMankind says:

    My own theory is that we are all in the process of falling into a Black Hole but we haven’t hit bottom yet.

  6. ubuuntu says:

    It’s ok to question anything. No problem with that.

    But the deluge of astro-quackery on youtube is staggering and scary. One of those creepy magnetic-ISON videos was also in the “featured” category in November – actively promoted by yt. Even worse, these videos have millions of hits, far more than most non-quack videos on the topic.

    Unsurprisingly, quackery is popular. People can relate to it without putting much effort into learning. And, it’s as profitable as ever.

  7. Lordwhiteman says:

    Many people need to believe there’s more to the universe then math equations in order to believe in their own greatness.
    Pathetic really.

    • Michael Wilson says:

      math invented by human beings will prove only what they perceive.

      • Dav_Daddy says:

        Ok I know I’m going to hate myself for even asking this, but WTH is that even supposed to mean?

        • Michael Wilson says:

          it means that humanity is not as smart as we think we are and that we are only aware of what we percieve and that isn’t very much.

          math is just a form of thought and it only works when you think it matters.it only makes sense when you want it to make sense.

          1+1+1=3, but if i cannot perceive the ones, how can there be 3. maybe what i see is everything is connected. maybe i see the energy that makes the one and it really is just a field of fluxations that changes in the now.

          how can we perceive objects and forces and time and scale, mass and energy when we suddenly stop seeing phenomena as our mind has been trained to see it.

          music is based on math but what you hear and what you see are different.

          tell me what temperature is? what do you see when you view it on radar or sonar.

          its only 86 degrees outside because something we invented tells us that it is.

          it is all a mind boggle but how arrogant are we to say that anything we say makes sense.

          is gravity real, not in the way we perceive it.

          it is time for us to grow up!

        • Anothercoilgun says:

          If you have to ask you will not understand,

  8. Ole Jørgen Nordhagen says:

    LOL! I agree completely that the gif-animation actually is quite a good representation of the Solar system’s travel through space. Then of course, forget the imposed implications about helix and creation, and the maker’s underlying intentions. The model itself works well, with minor unimportant adjustments…

    • Asha banerji says:

      Well what is wrong with djSadhu’s animation is the name. If his name was Dick taylor or D Silverstein, this animation would have been wonderful.

  9. Michael Wilson says:

    i don’t believe that there is anyone on earth that really knows what is happening. even rhys’ i give it a couple of minutes before he realizes just how stupid what he just said actually is. lol

  10. MandoZink says:

    This animation, pretty as it is, was also leading people to a mistaken belief that the sun is dragging the planets and other solar system objects through space. I’m not sure if that specific claim accompanied the video or was in it’s followup comments.

    I did my best to explain that the entire solar system was a co-moving mass sharing an evolving angular momentum which developed a tidal torque, which created a triaxial ellipsoid, which pancaked into the flat rotating mass that is the ecliptic plane. ALL of this local mass rotates the galactic plane sharing the same angular momentum. No one body is dragging any other.

    I think a correct and comprehensible description of the mechanics involved, given beforehand, would have made the video a nice conclusion as long as it’s inaccuracies were understood.

    I would like to see a well documented animation of the carousel motion through the galactic plane that the entire solar system undertakes as it rotates the galactic center. Anyone ever see such a video? If so, do you have a link?

    • Anothercoilgun says:

      Its not showing “dragging”. Open you eyes.

      • MandoZink says:

        “Dragging” was mentioned not only in a video I saw, but in several other articles I that highlighted this animation AND in comments following those articles. In the articles (not this one, by the way) many commentors said that the “dragging” was now obvious to them and they were delighted to see it demonstrated.

        This unfortunately adds to the already-too-large body of popular scientific misunderstandings.

        Not only are my eyes very much open, so is my mind, my astronomy knowledge and my ability to properly conceptualize relative motions.

    • Marcus Davis says:

      If the sun is not dragging the planets then why cant they send a space probe in the direction of the sun ? A person can easily walk to the center of a carousel, but a person water sking can not ski to the front of the boat as long as the boat`s speed is constant. In other words it is easy for us to move in one direction (away from the sun) and nearly impossible for us to move in the other direction (toward the sun ). The simple explanation for this is that the suns momentum is leading and dragging the planets. If the water skier releases the handle at the end of the rope, the handle will at first accelerate toward the boat but will not reach the boat. Again the rope will be streched out and the handle will be dragged behind the boat.

  11. Kawarthajon says:

    Very interesting. I learn a lot about the universe by reading these debunking stories. It seems that DjSadhu is making some tremendous leaps in logic or creating straw-men gallore, such as when he’s arguing that somehow the Gregorian calendar makes you come back to square one every year and, therefore tells people that they’re “not very useful if you’re an individual looking for ways to better yourself”. Absolute nonsense.

    My question is: Why is making this argument? Is he selling books/music or some new spirituality that makes his helical model somehow relevant? Is he trying to usurp Deepak Chopra as the spiritual guru of our time?

  12. Erich says:

    I enjoyed the video much more than the annoying rant. I’m quite aware of orbital inclination and planetary sizes. I feel 2 or 3 paragraphs detailing it’s inaccuracies would have sufficed… no need to be so butt hurt over an animation.

    • Rhys Taylor says:

      You may be aware of orbital inclination and planetary sizes, but not everyone is. There are parts of the video which are slightly inaccurate and others which are preposterous. Then there are problems others claim which do not, in fact, exist. And as I say, I do not think there is actually all that much wrong with the video itself.

      My problem is more that those minor accuracies are caused by beliefs as ludicrous as creationism. When stuff like that goes viral, it deserves a damn good annoying rant.

      • Erich says:

        That’s the whole problem. The rant wasn’t good. I kept reading it expecting there to be more than 2 points, but there wasn’t. It was extremely long-winded with very little content. And since when does something “deserve” to be bullied around by virtue of it going viral??? You sound petty because you didn’t think of making the animation first. Why not instead of being a little man over someone else’s internet success, you go and remake the animation with all the factual accuracies of our solar system. Or is that beyond your capabilities little man?

        • Rhys Taylor says:

          Yeah, err, what ? If you actually read the article, you’ll see I did indeed remake the animation more accurately, as best I’m able. That was the whole point. I wouldn’t have bothered writing the thing if I hadn’t. As I noted, the more accurate version isn’t that different in overall appearance to the original.

          I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the article but that’s no reason to be insulting. I’m not bitter about well-made CGI going viral. Actually I stated several times, quite clearly, that the video is, in fact, basically accurate. I’m bitter that inaccurate pseudoscience could go viral as a result of this. As I stated, the quack who came up with the theories behind the video believes that damage to the ozone layer wasn’t caused by CFCs. I believe in supporting alternative, fringe theories – but not when they fly in the face of all known facts and have potentially dangerous consequences.

          I attempt to inform people in my own style, if you don’t like it then that’s absolutely fine. I accept that you may find it long-winded. But why insult me for it ? It’s not like I charge any money to read it, or deliberately set out to offend you, or force you to read it. Again, I tried very hard to point out what’s accurate about the video as well as the problems. I don’t believe I was disparaging about the video in any way, but I stand by the need to rubbish the author’s “science” because it is just that – garbage.

          • Master of Love says:

            Right on Rhys! I love well-put rebuttals that are well-informed and cordial. 100+ Respect points for you.

            I found the article rather entertaining in all its meatiness, while at the same time addressing the problem in a way many can understand. If it’s “long-winded” it’s either because of the well-put effort in laying out the point for the layman or perhaps the limit of the layman to comprehend.

        • Anothercoilgun says:

          The authors here are so predictable you could place bets on them if they were horses at a race track and win every time. The vary existence of the article told me precisely what was going to be written. And with perfection it came to past.

  13. Geritt Kampmann says:

    I think it should also be mentioned, that the orientation of the orbital plane of our planets changes relatively towards the sun’s direction of movement as the sun rotates around the Galactic Center.
    So there will be a time when the sun moves roughly in the direction of the orbital plane and the planets won’t do a nice cork screw motion but some sort of wobbly loopings.

  14. Michael Wilson says:

    wow; you are more naive than i thought you were.mainstream science is worse than mainstream media. they are soo entrenched in dogma that as of right now. everything they say is fact is like people believing the world is flat., it just isn’t true! it is amazing how slow the mind works and how ego always gets in the way.

    at the rate we learn, it will take another 200 years before we realize gravity isn’t real.

    its a shame the world will have to stop spinning in order to prove that.

    wake up!

    • Rhys Taylor says:

      Err, actually, a lot of us are acutely aware that 100 years from now all of our current theories will be long since obsolete. I can only speak from the astronomer’s point of view, but, to give an example, almost everyone I’ve ever met accepts that the standard models of galaxy evolution have massive, massive problems.

      Entrenched in dogma ? Hardly. We accept that we have no idea if what dark matter exists (or even if it exists), let alone dark energy – which is thought to make up the major part of the Universe. How we could be said to be “dogmatic” in the face of acceptance of such obvious failings I do not know.

    • Jason Major says:

      Are you a professional troll or do you just do it for fun?

  15. Prism2Spectrum says:

    THE FIBONACCI SEQUENCE – “Fingerprint of God”?

    Artistic animation by Cristóbal Vila * ( complimentary soundtrack, Wim Mertens, “Often A Bird” ), gives elegant graphic expression to the extraordinary mathematical equation: IF I understand, a pattern apparently repeated in, and mirrored throughout creation ( a few illustrated examples shown ). The Golden Ratio of “golden shapes in nature”, from molecular Blueprint of life to stellar Galaxy of worlds. From floral design sequences to ideal human proportions, reoccurs the amazing “Golden Mean”.

    Curious mathematical coincidence, or deep probing wonder? Chance formulation, or Intelligent Creation? ( A “ludicrous” belief? ) Assuming freedom of idea and thought — in context — is allowed.

    Universe-wide configuration, revealing visual motif? Golden key to aesthetic grace, bright open Sunflower or smiling human face? Master artists and skillful designers, surely know.

  16. Samuel Maverick says:

    A thousand years from now people will realize that the earth is just a flat disc sitting on the back of a turtle anchored by four elephants at the corners. Watch this space.

  17. SSJJ says:

    Regarding the DjSadhu “vortex galaxy” videos, and your statement that

    “Having read through the author’s website, I can’t find any evidence that DjSadhu suggests [the viral gif does show the Sun leading the planets].”

    If you read DjSahu’s blog (http://www.djsadhu.com/research/im-a-dj-not-a-scientist-damnit/), you’ll see that he made this claim quite clear in his response to Phil Plait:

    “I am currently trying to reproduce the retrograde [motion] in a
    “flat” solar system, and it can’t be done. There’s ‘depth’ in the
    retrograde loop, pointing downwards, and in a flat system this is
    impossible. However, if I use the “non-flat”, cone-shaped Bhat model
    (with the sun leading and the planets trailing behind) then I can easily
    reproduce this observed phenomenon. “The claim that the Sun is at the
    tip of the solar system with the planets trailing behind is also
    demonstrably wrong” – well, it can be demonstrated to be right.”

    So, DjSadhu says that the Bhat model (which is what his videos are intended to promote) does maintain that the Sun leads the planets; moreover, DjSadhu claims to be able to demonstrate that this claim is true. He’s never made good on that claim, and never will because it is indeed demonstrably false.

    As for the “virulence” of Plait’s article, you may wish to see what he was responding to, which is more than just the videos. DjSadhu claims that the heliocentric model is “incorrect”, and suspects that conventional scientists keep information about the Sun’s movement from the public as part of an “Establishment plot” (http://www.djsadhu.com/the-helical-model-vortex-solar-system-animation/). He also continues to support his “vortex” model with the assertion–which he knows to be falso–that “Pioneer [i.e., its position] was WAY off relative to NASA’s calculations”. (Emphasis in original.) http://www.djsadhu.com/the-helical-model-part-2-our-galaxy-is-a-vortex/

    So, DjSadhu is nothing more than a disgusting, conspiracy-mongering liar and fraud with an anti-science agenda, who happens to have a talent for making nice-looking animations. Your article is a disservice to the people (including several school teachers) whom he’s deceived thereby, and to the dedicated, honorable scientists whom he’s defamed.

  18. Brill Pappin says:

    Ive come to a lot of the same conclusions as you on the primary statements that are being refuted. The problem is that the video is as you say, not showing what is being refuted *(and in fact the tilt issue is felt with in a later video).

    So at first I wonderd what the problem was. In the end, the issue is really what Sadhu is *saying* not what he’s showing.

    What he’s showing isn’t ere ally all that accurate either, but he is also not showing the sun leading, he’s just saying it is (possibly a vicim of his own optical illusion).

    In the end, my conclusion was that Sadhu really is going against accepted empirical evidence, at least in what he is saying, but that for those who don’t know the details, his animation is an important and vital link for those who just need a col video to wow over, and be amazed at their place int he universe.

    I make that argument in this thread:
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/107029192067560465292/posts/FPzdnePEaSC

    I personally would love to see something of that quality, but using the accepted empirical data. In the mean time, I can accept the cool video as a general idea of whats going on.
    Those that are screaming the loudest should put their conviction where their mouth is, and give the unwashed masses what they need, a video with enough production quality that they can understand it, wow over it and share it with their friends.

  19. Anothercoilgun says:

    Vortex requires compression.
    At least attempt to use the correct terminology. Spiral would be much better choice. How about Helical.
    Will not bother about this topic. Not with this website. The type of website where objects move in straight lines LOL.

  20. Anothercoilgun says:

    The issue is the nay sayers trip over the swirly lines and COMPLETELY miss the entire message. All motion is spiral. The myopic can only see their relative 2D and 3D interactions and don’t bother to look at the whole picture. The picture itself is in motion. Place an x,y, and z maneuverable miniature submarine in a body of water. It has 3 degrees of motion to other objects in same water. Yet the water can be in motion its self going down or around a drain.

  21. Art Sada says:

    The invariable plane of the solar system maintains the same
    orientation with the Universe as the sun orbits the galaxy therefore the best representation of a helix, as shown in the videos, will only be illustrated twice during
    each orbit of the galaxy. 90 degrees from these two points the
    planetary orbits trace a very nearly straight line through the sun as observed from behind.
    Notice I
    wrote illustrated and traced as there is nothing magical about any of
    this. I could draw a picture of a cat and tell someone that has never
    seen a cat that it is a dog but the truth would expose me as a liar. So why not tell the truth. It is only an illustration for crying out loud! The planets don’t draw lines. Everything is on the move and it is beautifully ordered chaos. If Nemesis exists and wanders inside the orbit of Jupiter let’s see how neat our little solar system turns out then.
    Even a crackpot can keep people interested by throwing out a little comedy:) I might just use Groundhog Year when I experience a little deja vu.
    Did you notice that Jupiter and Saturn are reversed in order in the first video?

  22. Marcus Davis says:

    Mr Taylor
    If the sun is not leading the planets and the planets occassionally lead the sun in relation to the suns movement, then why is it so difficult to send probes to the sun. Aside from the heat is it not true that currently the energy needed to move an object close to the sun is far to great for us to achieve ?

  23. MandoZink says:

    We can. It is not the sun’s momentum that has to be overcome, but the angular momentum, relative to the sun, of any object which leaves the earth. The initial momentum of any launched probe will be the same as the planetary body it is launched from, which in the case of the earth is very large.

    We have already sent probes to Mercury, and in 1976, the probe Helios 2 got even closer than that – 32 million miles.

    It is difficult to make a probe that can endure the heat at close range, but NASA is has designed one that will get within 4 million miles. The Solar Probe Plus mission is scheduled to launch in 2018.

    The motions and mechanics.of your water ski analogy is completely unrelated to a discussion of astronomical trajectories.

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