For every Newton or Galileo, there’s a Velikovsky and a Horbiger. Check out these 5 completely baseless theories about space.
10 Crackpot Theories About Space:
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• For every Newton or Galileo, there’s a Velikovsky and a Horbiger.
• There’s a lot of *space* for crank theories ... in space.
• Velikovsky’s Astronomical Theories
• The psychiatrist and author Immanuel Velikovsky had lots of theories about astronomy and the history of the solar system
• In 1950, Velikovsky published the very popular book “Worlds in Collision”
• “Worlds in Collision” made many claims, including:
• About 3,500 years ago, a large piece of matter collided with the planet Jupiter
• The planet Venus, which was originally a comet, was ejected from the collision
• The Venus-comet traveled through the solar system, passing near Earth several times
• Velikovsky claimed the close passage of other planets and objects like the Venus-comet was behind the stories of catastrophes and strange astronomical phenomena reported in the Bible and other ancient religious traditions
• Velikovsky’s ideas were and still are almost universally rejected by scientists
• They are unsupported by geology, astronomy, Newtonian physics, etc.
• Planet X Will Destroy Earth
• In 1995, a woman from Wisconsin named Nancy Lieder set up an online discussion group in which she claimed to have been visited by aliens
• Lieder said the aliens used communication implants they had given her to warn planet Earth about the danger of Planet X
• This was not another planet full of aliens, but a planet that would supposedly swing through the orbits of the inner planets in the solar system and pass dangerously close to Earth and result in calamity.
• There is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of this planet.
• According to NASA sources, if a large planet were headed toward Earth, we’d know about it at least a decade ahead of time.
• The moon doesn’t rotate.
• This one might not count as a “theory,” but it sure as heck counts as “wrong.”
• Because we always see pretty much the same face of the moon, it has been tempting for many non-experts to assume that the moon doesn’t rotate like the Earth does
• But that’s not true.
• The moon experiences synchronous rotation with the Earth, meaning roughly the same part of the moon is always facing in toward the Earth
• This is why you always see the same side, and not the so-called “Dark Side” of the moon, which actually is not a thing
• Horbiger’s World Ice Theory
• In 1913, the Austrian engineer Hanns Horbiger (with the help of astronomer Phillip Fauth) published a book explaining his so-called “world ice theory,” or “Welteislehre.”
• Horbiger proposed that ice played a central role in the universe
• He proposed that in the ancient past, a wet star had collided with a large, hot star, and the wet star exploded, sending water vapor all over the universe
• This water vapor condensed and froze into chunks of ice
• Hailstorms occur when icy meteors fall into the Earth’s atmosphere
• Perhaps needless to say, this is not a widely accepted theory today
• Horbiger passed away in 1931
• For some reason, a bunch of the Nazis really liked the world ice theory
• Pulsars are Alien Beacons
• Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that function sort of like a cosmic lighthouse with a rotating beam.
• Their rotation means we observe bursts of radiation from them at regular intervals, kind of like a cosmic strobe light.
• The regular “flashing” of the pulsar signal has led some people to believe pulsars are alien transmission beacons, saying hello from far away
• But these days, that looks pretty unlikely, since no one has ever detected a more complex pattern or structured signal in the flashes of a pulsar
• What’s your favorite crank theory about space, science or nature?
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• If you want to learn more weird and fascinating space conjectures, read 10 Crackpot Theories About Space at HowStuffWorks.com
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