The Earth’s Supposed Elliptical Orbit
The form of an ellipse is taken from the circumference of
a conic section cut obliquely, by a plane passing through
both sides of the cone, and not parallel to the circular base.
If cut parallel to the base it makes, of course, a circle, which
decreases in size as it approaches the top point of the cone.
The ellipse is something like a circle which has been more
or less flattened on opposite sides; but it is not like the
circle in having only one centre, for it has two points or foci
in the longer diameter, from which it can be constructed.
Each of these points is at an equal distance from the centre
of the figure. We are not told how the circle got flattened L
The ellipse since Kepler’s time has long been supposed
to represent the earth’s annual orbit round the sun; and
though the latest “new astronomy” has broken open
Kepler’s closed ellipse, yet astronomers keep up the fiction
of “ elliptical orbits,” rather than openly confess the great
change which has taken place in their views of planetary
motion. The great German astronomer Kepler was born in
the year 1571 A.D., and he invented and formulated his
Laws of Motion between 1609 a.d. and 1618 a.d. He taught
that the earth’s orbit was an ellipse, with the sun in “ one
of the foci, and a little over twelve millions of miles from the
earth. The other focus was left empty, and it has been
“ to let ” ever since ! Modern astronomers have lengthened
the sun’s distance by nearly a hundred millions of miles,
which has necessarily increased the earth’s supposed orbit
more than three hundred millions of miles! But this ugly
fact is not acknowledged nor permitted to detract from the
great name of Kepler, lest it might also reflect upon the
“science” of astronomy; for in this “exact science” the
alteration of millions of miles is “a mere detail!”
Sir Robert Ball, in his Story of the Heavens— and a big
story it is too!— says of this problem that Kepler “to his
immortal glory succeeded in solving and proving it to
demonstration”! The select “Royal Astronomical Society”
is evidently a Mutual Admiration Society, if nothing else!
Further on Sir Robert says that “ Kepler’s discovery
(invention?) of the true shape of the planetary orbits stands
out as one of the most conspicuous events in the history of
astronomy ” So say all of us!
Great astronomers are not always good logicians, so Sir
Robert further eulogises Kepler in these words:
“Kepler found that the movement (movements?) of the planets
could he explained by SUPPOSING that the path in which each one
moved (moves?) was (is?) an ellipse. This (supposition) in itself was
a discovery of the most commanding importance.” (Italics mine, and
parenthesis.) Story o f the Heavens, p. 110.
The above confession refutes itself; but we may point
out that the idea, belauded by Mr. Ball, is based on four
suppositions or hypotheses: (1) That the sea-earth is
globular; (2) that this sea, earth ball is a planet, or wandering
star, amongst “other” heavenly bodies; (3) that the sun
is stationary in “one of the foci and (4) that the orbit of
the earth annually round the sun makes a closed ellipse!
Assumption after assumption; and the fourth one spoiled
and quietly discarded by later astronomers, as D.V. we shall
show later on ! But let us here refer to the above diagram
The thick line A D B E represents an ellipse all closed in;
and S the place of the sun in one of the foci of the longer
diameter. The heavier dots on the ellipse may show the
earth’s hypothetical positions for the different months of
the year. Now astronomers admit that the moon travels
round the earth once a month, while the globe is going round
the sun. What then should be the path of the moon?
Neither a circle nor an ellipse; but a series of cycloidal
curves, a sinuosity like the track of the serpent! But my
limited space demands brevity.
Look at the curve and study it, and you will find out some
curious phenomena which the moon ought to manifest if
their theories were true ; but which she, in spite of her
supposed fickleness, refuses to manifest. Trace out the path
of the moon through the various signs of the zodaic, in
relation to the sun’s fixed position. The moon would
sometimes be very slow— sometimes very swift, very— sometimes
stationary— and sometimes actually appearing retrograde!
Y e t the daily speed of the moon never varies more than
two or three degrees, and the moon’s motion is always
“ direct ” through the twelve signs— justifying the inspired
statement of the Psalmist that the moon is “the faithful
witness in the sky” (Psa. lxxxix 37).