I realize that I should stop my thematical harping on this transcendental topic, the impact of which some people see immediately, but others just cannot get into focus. Yet the vitium originis, the basic error of modern astronomical theorizing, I must make clear to the latter if the present essay is ever to accomplish anything.
A not to be overlooked crux of the matter in hand is our understanding and application of the concept of relativity with regard to pure, a priori spatiality and the vexatious problems posed by its constituents, if any.
Leaving aside the Kantian conception, is there a matter-free space? Or is space no more than a consequence of matter, a relation between objects? Einstein clearly accepts the first option by according to empty space physical qualities and by asserting one absolute: the constant velocity C of light in a vacuum. And deliberately set against the possibility of an Earth-centered cosmos he has persuaded all those on that score agreeing with him to put their faith in an ontological impossibility. That is: with whatsoever speed we approach or leave a light source, our instruments register the appropriate Doppler shifts but measure the velocity of radiation received as if we are at rest with regard to the source.
Choosing the second, anti-Newtonian, Leibnizian option makes Poincaré’s principle, the Earth’s apparent immobility, at least understandable. In plain terms: the light any photometer observes it observes in that meter’s own space in which that meter obviously is “at rest”. Both options, however have to be rejected if the space tests I propose were to give a positive result. Only “tied-aether” theories, may then still be fielded against the defenders of Tycho Brahe, provided that by the force of evidential support they will be able to rise above their present, anti-Einsteinian, as well as anti-geocentric, wishful thinking.
Returning now to Airy’s failure: we surely cannot look at anything unless from a point of view. And it is self-evident that there are only two of these points available to us. We can choose to observe the Universe either from somewhere in space or super-space, or else from the Earth underneath our feet. The first possibility compels us to view that Universe against a background at rest that willy-nilly we must imagine to be there when we assign “motion” to anything. The Copernicans from before 1905, projecting themselves to a platform in classical “flat” space and then declaring us to be revolving around the Sun, strenuously toiled to substantiate that revolution. Nobody can deny it: they failed miserably. The super-Copernican vision of Mach, prefiguring “the great theoretical vision of Einstein”, sounds prima vista impressive. But anything about the latter’s four-dimensional mathematical model, its adherents can only apply to our three dimensional spatiality by means of an analogy. To with, by presenting it to us as happening on the friction-less surface of a globe or torus. For cerebral super-space constructs cannot be measured in the world we live in unless presented in that world’s terms. Not only that: never even in a million million years will logic compel us to accept a proposition as confirmed by an analogy. If, as is nowadays generally believed, the planet Tellus is corkscrewing through curved space, then this has to be made good here on ground level. To pontificate that something by definition physically measurable is true, yet cannot be measured is no more than a mere put-off. The heart of the matter remains this: anything will do if only it allows men to escape from a distasteful Earth-centered, and a Great Engineer proclaiming, Chain of Being.
The second option, then, is to look at the Universe from the Earth on which we live, and thereupon to investigate whether space knows place and whether, such being the case, our temporal home in the heavens is at rest. Which, on authority delegated to me by its Creator, I hold to be the case. And data attesting to this will be obtainable by instruments capable of measuring velocities in meters and duration in seconds. Space-time continuum experiments are beyond our ken, therefore we shall have to work with means applicable to “our” space and “our” time. Neither Galileo, nor Einstein can deny us the right to find out what model emerges from such a hard-nosed, common sense, and rational undertaking. An unwillingness to do this, and under the aegis of Einstein no longer even considering his stratagems to be possibly wrong, that I deem to be, as already said, the vitium originis of present-day astrophysics.
Positioning therefore ourselves on our Earth, stellar aberration observed with terrestrial telescopes allows two completely different explanations (see figures 7). And allow me to emphasize that “terrestrial”. In what follows I do not instinctively look at the motions of either Earth or stars against a background taken to be at rest. The reasoning is strictly Earth-bound, and from a 49o northern latitude the stellar motions are dextrorotatory.
The accepted view of the phenomenon is the following. As already by means of two different analogies elucidated: my telescope has to be tilted slightly forward and observes the star as apparently situated at S2, this as a result of the Earth’s 30 km/sec velocity. Keeping this in mind it is easily seen that when the Earth begins to move from A to B, the telescope begins to swing to the left. That is to say: its top projecting the apparent aberration circle on the night sky “shows” the star progressing from A1 to B1. For aberration always displaces the stars toward the apex of the Earth’s way.
The geocentric theory begs to differ from this Copernican explication. The Earth is absolutely at rest in space, and the star is moving congruent with the Sun’s motion. As a result of this our telescope “catches” the star at point of its real aberration orbit when it is already at S1. Consequently: when, as in the Bradleyan interpretation, the Sun is in position A between Earth and star, this star is observed at A1 and so on.
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