Coated in niobium, the crystal balls were made to be the most perfect spheres ever produced. They were chilled to near absolute zero and floated in a vacuum flask filled with fluid helium. All this was done to neutralize the effects of pressure, heat, magnetic field, gravity and electrical charges.
Gravity Probe B was put in space to confirm two important consequences stemming from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity – his description of gravity. The predictions characterize the way space and time will be distorted by the presence of huge objects such as planets and stars.
One, known as the geodetic effect, is the amount by which the mass of the Earth will warp the local space-time in which it sits.
The other, which physicists refer to as frame-dragging, is the phenomenon that sees the Earth twist local space-time around with it as it rotates.
“We’ve completed this landmark experiment, testing Einstein’s Universe – and Einstein survives,” said Stanford University researcher Francis Everitt.
In layman’s terms, the Earth’s mass creates a gravity well. An old and inaccurate but graphic illustration is that of a ball sinking into a rubber sheet. Imagine that rubber sheet containing all the bodies of the solar system. Imagine the bodies spinning around the Sun, each of their gravity wells affecting the warp and woof of the fabric of space.
For over two hundred years Old Farmer’s Almanac and its longtime New England competitor, the Maine-based Farmer’s Almanac predict weather based on sunspots, planetary positions and meteorology. Highly secretive, neither publication will reveal their exact methods.
Sunspots are created (according to the latest theory) of currents of plasma that move as belts through the sun.
Wikipedia says this about the movement of plasma:
When the charges move they generate electrical currents with magnetic fields, and as a result, they are affected by each other’s fields.
The so-called Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of hot plasma within the sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to complete one circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle.
An increase in sunspot activity indicates warmer weather on earth, while a decrease indicates cooler weather.
Rationalists tell us that despite all this activity the great magnetic forces shifting in their orbit can’t possibly affect humans on Earth.
In the book Astrology: True or False by Culver and Ianna, the authors claim that refutation of astrology is that a mother has more gravitational impact on her infant than a planetary body millions of miles away from the child. However, Robert Currey tells us that we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss gravity.
I believe it is premature to set limits on the effect of gravity and orbital resonance on Earth as there is much we don’t understand. For example, gravity is the one known force that does not yet fit into a Unified Field Theory.
Its not just that gravity doesn’t fit into a Unified Field Theory, we just don’t know how it is generated. Stephen Hawking has been working on this problem for much of his working life and our greatest physicist still hasn’t cracked this nut. Instead he tells us in his latest book the Grand Design
. . . it is pointless to ask whether a model is real, only whether it agrees with observation.
He goes on to explain that:
Theres is no way to remove the observer-us-from our perception of the world, which is created through our sensory processing and through the way we think and reason. Our perception-and hence the observation upon which our theories are based-is not direct, but rather is shaped by a kind of lens, the interpretive structure of our human brains.
In other words, we create our own reality.
But at least we can all sleep a little easier knowing that Einstein’s relativistic Universe is confirmed by an observation made with crystal balls.
Spider’s Web Photo published under a Creative Commons License from Flickr
NASA photo used under the doctrine of public domain, U. S. taxpayer dollars at work!