How the Solar System Actually Moves

August 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm | Posted in Science, Space | 6 Comments
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You may have seen those animations of the planets circling the sun. Maybe even one of those mechanical devices illustrating it. However, this leaves us with the erroneous impression that the sun is standing still.

As I noted on Quite Enough, “the sun is moving at about 810,000 kph. The earth is not orbiting, it’s spiralling through space, following the sun. We’re not only matching the suns speed to keep up, but spinning and going around as well. So we’re going even faster…”  We also never return to the same point in space in our annual orbit.

I saw a decent animation of the process but it had the plane of the ecliptic (planetary orbits) perpendicular to the sun’s movement, which is incorrect. This one is more accurate. However, it’s also worth noting that the sun is not moving in a straight line either. We’re moving relative to other area stars, and orbiting the galaxy which is moving with our galactic cluster, and so forth.

Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster

September 10, 2014 at 9:32 am | Posted in Media, Science, Space | 2 Comments

The understanding of the place our galaxy holds in the universe has been evolving.
Laniakea means “immeasurable heaven” in Hawaiian.

Earth’s new address: ‘Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea’ discusses this
New Galaxy Map Relocates The Milky Way

Breaking Physics

November 28, 2011 at 11:34 am | Posted in Media, Science, Space, Strange | Leave a comment

The boundaries of Physics are being broken again, but recently in profound ways.
I mentioned the recent discovery that stars produce not just heavier elements but organic matter.

We also now know that over 85% of stars are binary. And they’ve begun to see planets around distant stars.

Other key recent discoveries:
1 – In Europe they discovered that Neutrinos move faster than the speed of light. This is key because the speed of light has long been considered a fixed constant and a fundamental law.

[UPDATE: Well – #1 turned out to be the effect of a loose optical cable. Not faster than light.]

2 – It’s been discovered that Mesons decay differently than anti-mesons. This would explain why we have more matter than anti-matter. But it also breaks the standard model of particle physics.

3 – Everything points to there being multiple universes. A lot of them. Not only is the universe turning out to be bigger and fuller than we ever thought, there’s more of them.


Update: a related video on the speed of light, the size of the galaxy and galactic motion.

Americas Flyby

September 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Posted in Nature, Science, Space | Leave a comment

Here’s a video assembled from time-lapse photos taken from the International Space Station. They fly over the coast of North and South America.

Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy.

Note the lightning that shows up under some clouds.

[UPDATE: If you like the video, you can watch it full screen in full 1080p. Just click the Youtube icon on the lower right. It will take you to Youtube where you can change the resolution. (also in the lower right) The full screen button is on the far right.]

Quite Enough?

August 1, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Humor, Science, Space | 6 Comments

Eric Idle of Monty Python fame sings on the scale of things.

“...So remember when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth..

The stats he uses have various scales. Here’s some using the same scale to make it easier to compare. Updated a bit too.

1) The earth is rotating at just over 1,600 km per hour at the equator.
(it varies by latitude)
2) The earth is orbiting the sun at 108,000 kph
3) the earth is in a solar wind going at about 1.4 million kph.
4) The solar system is moving towards Lambda Herculis at about 72,000 kph.
5) The solar system is rotating the galactic center at about 780,000 kph
6) The solar system is moving up off of the galactic plane at about 25,000 kph
7) Our galaxy is moving through space at approximately 2 million kph
All of this is happening at the same time.

It’s also worth noting a few other points.

In the general sense, the absolute speed of any object through space is not a meaningful question according to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, which declares that there is no “preferred” inertial frame of reference in space with which to compare … motion. (Motion must always be specified with respect to another object.)”   From

In other words, we can only judge the speed of something by comparing it to something else. As everything else is moving, its all relative. No speed is absolute.

All those pictures and models you’ve seen of the earth and other planets revolving around the sun? They are completely misleading, only a tiny step ahead of the sun orbiting the earth. All of those models assume the sun is sitting still. The sun is moving at about 810,000 kph. The earth is not orbiting, it’s spiraling through space, following the sun. We’re not only matching the suns speed to keep up, but spinning and going around as well. So we’re going even faster…

Thousands of stars stripped from the nearby Sagittarius dwarf galaxy are streaming through our area of the Milky Way galaxy, according to a new view of the local universe constructed by a team of astronomers from the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts. “If people had infrared-sensitive eyes, the entrails of Sagittarius would be a prominent fixture sweeping across our sky.

Some related articles:

The Electric Sun

April 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Movies, Science, Space, Strange | 4 Comments

Just finished watching the film, Thunderbolts of the Gods. (Link below, just over 1 hr.) Here are a few notes I made. The film has fabulous space imagery.

The film suggests Electricity rather than Gravity as a solution to new space discoveries. Large magnetic fields indicate electricity. We’ve found glowing electric filaments spanning millions of light years. Empty space turns out to be filled with charged particles. Gravity does not explain it.

The electric model” explains it, a new synthesis.

They speaks of the commonality of many old myths – different stories describing the same imagery – plasma discharges. This suggests ancient skies were much different.

Nature transfers electricity over great distances in dual filaments that spiral around each other. This phenomenon is fully scalable so can be tested locally in the lab. The local patterns are similar to massive scales in space.

Test indicate spiral galaxies are produced by rotating dual filaments, not gravity. Radio telescopes can see the strength of electrical energy. The electric model works in both relativity and quantum mechanics, once thought incompatible.

Magnetic fields indicate electricity. We see them on planetary, solar, and galactic levels. They ‘sew together’ elements in space rather than being perceived as separated by vast distances.

Einstein’s ideas ignored electricity. But he recognized they weren’t complete. If gravity is the only driving force, large founts of energy predict regions of infinite mass, hence a black hole as gravity is a weak force. If electricity is the driving force, so called black holes are simply confluences of energy. Neutron stars in Pulsars are not actually possible. In the electrical model, you can produce a pulsar in the lab with a simple relaxation oscillator. No strange matter etc. required.

The sun produces magnetic forces 10 million times the gravitational force.

Ancient cultures spoke of a different sun. Plasma science is changing our understanding of the sun – not an atomic furnace, not consuming itself. The corona is electrical. It is connected to the galaxy, the sun being an energy focus. This is why the corona/atmosphere is hotter than the surface. The insides are even cooler.

Particles (charged) in the solar wind accelerate, the further from the sun they get. This is an electrical process. The sun is like a large positive anode. Sun spots, where we see into the sun, are the coldest places, not the hottest. The electric model has been verified over more than a century and every aspect has been verified. The fusion (atomic model) of the sun/stars has never been fully demonstrated, only the parts of the process. They offer a list of features that don’t work in the “failed” standard model, while the electric model addresses all of them.

Electrical model sees a comet as an electrical body that discharges as it approaches the sun (moves through an electric field). They are cratered rocks, not ice balls. The same as asteroids, just with a different orbit. They better predicted the impact test on comet Tempel I, an electrical response. Cometary displays are from electrical effects from moving closer and further from the sun.

Venus is much hotter than Mercury, and a similar size to earth. It displays some cometary aspects. Speaks of Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision [I read back when] suggesting the world experienced a comet a few thousand years ago. Suggested Venus as a comet. Speaker feels Velikovsky wasn’t all correct but observes that cultures throughout the world talk of Venus as a comet. Venus as long haired, serpent or dragon, torch of the sky, bearded star.

What is creating the electric field? Electric sun, electric stars, an electric cosmology- a whole new way of understanding how the universe works.
(Bruce Lipton was there too)



We’re Not from here – part 2.

November 8, 2007 at 11:35 am | Posted in Science, Space, Strange | Leave a comment

Well, as is no big surprise, my original post about the solar system possibly originating from another galaxy was an extrapoloation of data the original scientists did not intend. It is nonetheless a remarkable thing to realize our sky has an entire galaxy stretched across it, being pulled into ours. And at this point in time, it happens to be raining down in our area.

Here is the release from the University of Virginia:


Study Shows the Milky Way is Out to Lunch

Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling. Thousands of stars stripped from the nearby Sagittarius dwarf galaxy are streaming through our vicinity of the Milky Way galaxy, according to a new view of the local universe constructed by a team of astronomers from the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts.

Using volumes of data from the Two-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a major project to survey the sky in infrared light led by the University of Massachusetts, the astronomers are answering questions that have baffled scientists for decades and proving that our own Milky Way is consuming one of its neighbors in a dramatic display of ongoing galactic cannibalism. The study, to be published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal, is the first to map the full extent of the Sagittarius galaxy and show in visually vivid detail how its debris wraps around and passes through our Milky Way. Sagittarius is 10,000 times smaller in mass than the Milky Way, so it is getting stretched out, torn apart and gobbled up by the bigger Milky Way.

“It’s clear who’s the bully in the interaction,” said Steven Majewski, U.Va. professor of astronomy and lead author on the paper describing the results.

In model images made to show the interaction in 3-D, available at, the Milky Way appears as a flattened disk with spiral arms, while Sagittarius is visible as a long flourish of stars swirling first under and then over and onto the Milky Way disk.

“If people had infrared-sensitive eyes, the entrails of Sagittarius would be a prominent fixture sweeping across our sky,” Majewski said. “But at human, visual wavelengths, they become buried among countless intervening stars and obscuring dust. The great expanse of the Sagittarius system has been hidden from view.”

Not any more. By using infrared maps, the astronomers filtered away millions of foreground stars to focus on a type of star called an M giant. These large, infrared-bright stars are populous in the Sagittarius galaxy but uncommon in the outer Milky Way. The 2MASS infrared map of M giant stars analyzed by Majewski and collaborators is the first to give a complete view of our galaxy’s meal of Sagittarius stars, now wrapping like a spaghetti noodle around the Milky Way. Prior to this work, astronomers had detected only a few scattered pieces of the disrupted Sagittarius dwarf. Even the existence of Sagittarius was unknown until the heart of this nearest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way was discovered by a British team of astronomers in 1994.

“We sifted several thousand interesting stars from a catalog of half a billion,” said co-author Michael Skrutskie, U.Va. professor of astronomy and principal investigator for the 2MASS project. “By tuning our maps of the sky to the ‘right’ kind of star, the Sagittarius system jumped into view.”

“This first full-sky map of Sagittarius shows its extensive interaction with the Milky Way,” Majewski said. “Both stars and star clusters now in the outer parts of the Milky Way have been ‘stolen’ from Sagittarius as the gravitational forces of the Milky Way nibbled away at its dwarf companion. This one vivid example shows that the Milky Way grows by eating its smaller neighbors.”

“Astronomers used to view galaxy formation as an event that happened in the distant past,” noted David Spergel, a professor of astrophysics at Princeton University after viewing the new finding. “These observations reinforce the idea that galaxy formation is not an event, but an ongoing process.”

The study’s map of M giants depicts 2 billion years of Sagittarius stripping by the Milky Way, and suggests that Sagittarius has reached a critical phase in what had been a slow dance of death.

“After slow, continuous gnawing by the Milky Way, Sagittarius has been whittled down to the point that it cannot hold itself together much longer,” said 2MASS Science Team member and study co-author Martin Weinberg of the University of Massachusetts. “We are seeing Sagittarius at the very end of its life as an intact system.”

Does this mean we are at a unique moment in the life of our galaxy? Yes and no.

“Whenever possible, astronomers appeal to the principle that we are not at a special time or place in the universe,” Majewski said. “Because over the 14 billion-year history of the Milky Way it is unlikely that we would just happen to catch a brief event like the death of Sagittarius, we infer that such events must be common in the life of big spiral galaxies like our own. The Milky Way probably dined on a number of dwarf galaxy snacks in the past.”

On the other hand, Majewski and his colleagues have been surprised by the Earth’s proximity to a portion of the Sagittarius debris.

“For only a few percent of its 240 million-year orbit around the Milky Way galaxy does our Solar System pass through the path of Sagittarius debris,” Majewski said. “Remarkably, stars from Sagittarius are now raining down onto our present position in the Milky Way. Stars from an alien galaxy are relatively near us. We have to re-think our assumptions about the Milky Way galaxy to account for this contamination.”

The new findings will help astronomers measure the total mass of the Milky Way and Sagittarius galaxies, and probe the quantity and distribution of the invisible dark matter in these systems.

“The shape of the Sagittarius debris trail shows us that the Milky Way’s unseen dark matter is in a spherical distribution, a result that is quite unexpected,” Weinberg said.

“The observations provide new insights into the nature of the mysterious dark matter,” said Princeton’s Spergel. “Either our galaxy is unusual or the dark matter has richer properties than postulated by conventional models.”

2MASS was a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation funded the project. Additional funding for the Sagittarius study with 2MASS came from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Research Corporation.

High-resolution color images of the Milky Way’s interaction with Sagittarius are available at

The larger amusement is that this was announced in 2003 but seems to have caught the attention of the press (and this blogger) with the twist about our origins…

We’re not from here??

July 25, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Science, Space, Strange | 1 Comment

“Remarkably, stars from Sagittarius are now raining down onto our present position in the Milky Way. Stars from an alien galaxy are relatively near us. We have to re-think our assumptions about the Milky Way galaxy to account for this contamination.”

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