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Bode's Law and other numerical oddities- Is it all just coincidence?

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posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 01:28 AM
I was recently reading my favorite portion of "Astronomy" magazine when I was introduced to Bode's Law by the author of the piece, Bob Berman.

He writes a piece in the magazine every month called "Strange Universe". This particular article was entitled "Odd patterns, dead oxen" In which he addresses the question "Are all the planets numerically linked to earth?".

The part of the article about Bode's Law has really stuck with me just because you would think such a coincidence would be so ridiculously unlikely that it could never happen.

But it does!

First, a rundown of what we're dealing with:

The pattern was first mentioned by David Gregory in 1702 and later it was published by Johann Titus, then Johann Bode.

1)Take the pattern 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192 (which continues to double)
2) Add 4 to each.
3) Insert a decimal point.

What you end up with is this..

0.4, 0.7, 1.0, 1.6, 2.8, 5.2, 10.0 and 19.6.

In the article I read, Bob Berman states: "Weirdly enough, this accurately expresses each planet's distance from the Sun." And it is absolutely bizarre to contemplate. I've noticed it is also something fun to share with friends and loved ones because you would think such a thing so highly unlikely could never be true.

What is interesting about this pattern is that it was "discovered" before we even knew about Uranus (10.0) or Ceres (2.8). But once Uranus was discovered by William Herschel, whammo! Then, when Ceres was discovered, it also fit accurately and precisely with the sequence.

Then Neptune was discovered in 1846 but it didn't fit the sequence. Thus, the entire concept was tossed out as being a simple coincidence. But is it?!

Perhaps the entire reason it is missing from the sequence is because it was missing from the original formation of the Solar System and was later "captured" by the gravity of the other gas giants. Why would I say this? A couple of reasons. Primarily, Neptune's composition. It is mostly hydrogen and helium with some other elements thrown in. One could almost sermise that Neptune was born as a dwarf star but was never able to form large and massive enough to turn into an actual "star". This composition is vastly different than that of Saturn or Jupiter.

It would definately explain why scientists have never been able to accurately model the formation of the outer solar system. The idea that the outer planets were formed by gravitational accretion alone has been tossed out because it doesn't explain the size, mass, and composition of the outer planets based on what we know about how accretion really works. It is still completely unknown.

What is everyone's thoughts on this? It has really been bugging me!

Something else strange..

The rotation of all the planets seem somehow linked As Bob Berman states.. This one was discovered by a British reader named Roger Elliot who, according to the aforementioned article, sent him this observation that all planets have a bizarre numerical connection with Earth.

During 1 "Earth" year, each planet spins a certain number of times (full spins) on its axis, then it rotates a further, additional, angle that is always a multiple of 45 degrees. It isn't always exactly 45* but it always ends up being extremely close, nonetheless.

An example: In 1 "Earth" year Venus spins 883 times on its axis plus an additional 88.8 degrees. This ends up being just 1.2 degrees short of being a multiple of 45 degrees.

And this same concept applies to all the other planets in the solar system, it applies to Pluto and it applies to the three largest Asteroids.



posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 02:13 AM
Incredible find. Is it intelligent design, or the natural mathematical order of the Universe?

posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 02:16 AM
It's not just Neptune that mess things up.
Pluto is only half as far away as it's "supposed to be" and Eris...well, that's a really hard one to reconcile. Many of the newly discovered exoplanets don't seem to have heard of Bode's law.

Given that the Titius-Bode relation contains three parameters (a=0.4, b=0.3, and c=2) it’s possible to choose a,b, and c to exactly reproduce Gliese 581 e, b, and c. Unfortunately, the results for d and and f are then rather less than satisfactory, so I decided to abandon a Bode’s law scheme in favor of a straightforwardly bald assertion of Gliese 581 f’s existence.

Mercury rotates once every 58.646 days. That means that in Earth's orbit around the Sun (365.256 days) it rotates 6.228 times. 360 * .228 = 82.1º, an "error" of 9%. You may call that insignificant but I don't. Saturn also comes in at 9%. Uranus at 20%. Neptune 37%. Pluto 28%

"Almost" and "nearly" are fun to play with but when you start rounding numbers too much you end up with, yes, coincidences.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by inivux
Incredible find. Is it intelligent design, or the natural mathematical order of the Universe?

Personally, I do not believe in Intelligent design. I also do not believe in the "sacred" significance of Math or Geometry. I believe that certain geometric patterns and math are simply more likely to occur in nature than others.

Take the shapes of the planets, for example. Although none of the planets are perfect spheres, it is as if their gravity fields were. And that is extremely strange to me.

Perhaps this is why some of these mathematical patterns become evident when we apply them to all the planets in the solar system. Perhaps it has more to do with the uniformity and geometric stability of the planets' gravity fields than the planets, themselves. Regardless of the explanation, It is the type of thing that causes your brain to run in circles trying to figure it out.

I just finished reading "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking. About 3/4" through the book he talks about the possibility that dark matter and gravity are, essentially, the same thing. He thinks its possible that dark matter is simply gravity bleed-through from a parallel universe and/or universes in other dimensions superimposed over our own.

For example, whatever gravity were to bleed through from those "other" dimensions would be added to the gravity created by objects with mass in ours. Hence, it would help explain how such a weak force (relatively speaking) could be so powerful as to keep entire galaxies and galaxy clusters from flying apart when there doesn't appear to be an explanation.

Perhaps this is why our own galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy are being gravitationally drawn to a certain area of space with no obvious explanation (I believe it is called "The Great Attractor"). Perhaps in another dimension of reality a massive galaxy exists in that location but in ours it doesn't. The gravity would bleed through to our universe as if it surrounded/permeated that galaxy only the galaxy wouldn't physically exist in our dimension.

Furthermore, it could be possible that the gravity bleed-through experienced by all the planets in our solar system could be keeping the planets spins and orbital patterns more or less in "sync" with the orbits and spins of the planets in the other dimensions. It sounds crazy but it would definately help explain the mathematic uniformity of Bode's Law and other unlikely mathematical "coincidences" with relation to the planets.

edit on 12-10-2010 by BlasteR because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 01:53 AM
reply to post by Phage

Statistically speaking, I think we would both agree that it is absolutely impossible for Bode's Law or any other, similar application of mathematics to apply to all the planets of any solar system with a zero margin of error.

This makes Bode's Law seem even more bizarre to contemplate though.

Whenever one tries to apply mathematics to all the planets of the solar system it will always involve so many different factors, many of which are probably completely unknown, that to have zero margin of error would be completey implausible anyway. We don't even fully understand how our own planet's magnetic field works!

If Bode's Law were to translate to something of scientific significance, if anything, it would be that a combination of different factors have contributed to making an extremely unlikely mathematic coincidence a reality. The next question is: "Why?".

It is completely plausible that Bode's Law is a simple coincidence and we're just wasting our time. But since we don't know why Bode's Law applies to almost all the planets of our Solar System it is just as plausible that it hints at something of scientific significance we don't know about yet.

Certain forces and factors have been at work over billions of years to result in the different relative positions of the planets we observe today and much about the planets remains completely unknown.


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