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ZetaTalk: Centrifugal Force
Note: written on Jan 15, 1997.


Motion is not a thing, immutable, unchangeable, eternal, once born at the start, as during a big bang or whatever, never to go away. Motion is not a thing, it is a result, a reaction, and as such it changes. Human astronomers explain orbits as a balance between a straight line motion tangental to the sun and a gravity tug to the side, and assume that the forward motion is translated into a centrifugal force that never erodes as it is a thing. This looks good on paper, but examine the reality a bit closer and the contradictions and inadequacy of that argument emerge.

Each time an orbiting object corrects its straight line path due to gravity tug, its straight line path would be diminished in its intensity. Is this not the case in your all-too-familiar situation of having to put on the brakes when driving? The car is in motion along a flat plane, propelled continuously only as long as the foot is on the gas pedal. This equates to the forward or tangential motion of the planet. Should one brake simultaneously while still stepping on the gas, the car slows. This equates to the interference in the orbiting planet's tangential motion caused by gravity. Now take the foot off the pedal, and you do nothave the same forward motion as before. It was not a thing, but a reaction, and now it is a reaction to the push caused by the foot on the gas while starting from the car's state of rest.

Just so, the orbiting planet requires a continual push, from something, in order to continue to move. Left without this push, the object would steadily spiral into the sun, and humans would scarcely have had time to evolve into intelligent creatures pondering this scenario as the spiral would not take all that long! This spiral is what happens to your Earth orbiting satellites, which are often kept aloft only due to a puff now and then from the jets built into them. Left alone, they spiral to Earth, the gravity tug affecting their forward motion each instant. The gravity tug is not strictly a sideways tug, as in all cases the planet's path is pointed away from the sun, however slightly. For any given instant moment:

  1. draw a line representing the planet's straight line path,
  2. draw a second line representing the path the planet is being set upon by the gravity tug, essentially a second tangent to the sun,
  3. the angle between these two lines is the degree of backward tug that the planet is experiencing.

Thus, there is erosion in the forward motion, which is not a thing but a reaction. In order to keep the planet continuously revolving, there must be a push, and a push there is. It is caused by the swirling matter in the sun's core, which creates fields of influence such as magnetic fields that affect the orbiting planets to varying degrees depending upon their composition. Why do you suppose that planets orbit all in the same direction? Is it by accident that this same pattern presents in all solar systems? Retrograde planet motion is the extreme exception, so the fact that planets invariably revolve in the same direction should be a compelling clue to anyone seeking an explanation for why planets continue to revolve.

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