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BAA would have liked: 18th century astronomy


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On Friday I discovered the Rittenhouse Orrery at the University of Pennsylvania, and also discovered what an orrery is. It's a machine that replicates the motions of the planets. The one at UofP was cutting edge at the time it was constructed in 1771.




Born Again Athiest would have smiled to see how far we've come since then, but also, how far they'd come by the 18th century. 

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Yes, very cool. Also it is  a far better depiction of reality than some of the also very beautiful and technological, but wrong mechanical versions of our solar system, the last of which were produced in the late 1400's and early 1500's when the new Copernican models of our solar system eventually superseded the old Ptolemaic versions of epicycles.  History repeats itself in a number of ways and I think the Big Bang model of the observable universe, with all its cool graphics, depictions, and related hypothesis, has its own kind of epicycles in the form of dark matter, dark energy, Inflation, warped space, expanding space etc., and as a result will soon be in question IMO. I expect that the present BB model will eventually be superseded by a far  better model of cosmology once the James Webb is up and running, properly placed, and fully functional for maybe a half dozen years or so, at which time IMO many theorists and practitioners will begin to realize that the BB model is almost entirely wrong.


I agree. BAA, Mark, certainly would have liked 18th century astronomy and the Rittenhouse Orrery as being an interesting historical mechanism, but probably would have disagreed with my assessment above concerning the future of the BB model and would have provided a number of links supporting the validity of the BB model following my contrary opinions.

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