Saturday, 14 November 2015

living with a vulcan

The spectacular images and increased understanding of solar activity that have been keeping astrophysicists occupied and excited over the past few weeks—as part of NASA’s broader programme LWS (Living with a Star, which sounds like a network television reality show—are being won by a probe that’s positioned itself so it is not blinded by the Sun and can make out details that were made invisible by too much glare beforehand.
Not being able to stare into the Sun, as Business Insider brilliantly reports, has had a long career of challenging science. To account for the observed anomalous orbit of Mercury, most were convinced there had to be another, tiny planet orbiting even closer to the Sun. Such theories proved true in another instance—incidentally giving Newtonian Mechanics someone of a pardon and reprieve, and the hunt was on for the elusive Planet Vulcan. Albert Einstein, as he undermined the foundations of classical physics, dispelled the myth of Vulcan with his Theory of Relativity which included the curvature of space-time by massive objects Rather staking his reputation on there not being an intermediary planet as Neptune’s eccentricity was explained by Uranus and Pluto, in 1915 Einstein proposed that Mercury took the smoothest path it could through warped space in order to explain the observed wobble. Once Vulcan did not materialise, Einstein’s theories were in a much more secure position.