Table of Contents
Featured image source: www.ucsusa.org
The Cause of the Flyby Anomaly
The Central Question: What truly propels a spacecraft around the Earth, is it its internal engine or the Earth itself?
Author’s Note: This article is majorly concerned with the motion of a spacecraft in the vicinity of the Earth. It takes that the effects of other heavenly bodies on the spacecraft are negligible. Also, the flyby anomaly is addressed only in relation to the mass of the Earth. Other possible relations are not discussed in this article.
In this scientific article, I want us to resolve a mystery which is really an exciting puzzle that confounds modern scientists. This mystery is usually or formally called the flyby anomaly. Standard physics cannot explain this mystery because of a missing component in our understanding of gravity.
Before we get to this, let’s first know what the flyby anomaly is. The flyby anomaly describes the change or unexplainable acceleration spacecraft experiences when flung pass the Earth.
Spacecraft flying past the Earth for unexplained reasons display anomalies in their motion. The important question we should ask ourselves is: what kind of interaction does the spacecraft have with Earth?
Is the Earth in some way affecting the motion of the spacecraft? Yes, the Earth affects the motion of the spacecraft and this is the cause of the anomaly. However, the Earth affects the spacecraft in a way standard physics does not recognize.
We have this understanding in standard physics that the passive gravitational mass of the Earth is only what would affect the motion of the spacecraft as it flies past the Eath. And even when this is taken into account, one realizes that this is not really what is happening.
A Spacecraft Moving around the Earth… source: www.spacetelescope.org
This is because the flyby anomaly is not always detected. Experiments performed to test the flyby anomaly do not always show a positive result. There are cases in which no anomalous acceleration is detected. However, the fly-by anomaly is real not just because of the positive outcomes, but also because of what I am about to tell you.
Nature is very subtle in her operations, so it is of great benefits to the scientist that she leaves hints. The flyby anomaly is a hint nature gives us of one of the seven most pervasive principles in the universe.
This cosmic principle is the principle of universal equivalence. This principle is responsible for the existence of black holes and neutrons, for the process of radioactivity etc. This core principle of motion is, unfortunately, missing in standard physics.
What does the principle of universal equivalence state?
The principle of universal equivalence states that the weak equivalence principle and the strong equivalence principle are equivalent or equal.
The new principle of universal equivalence informs us something crucial about the motions of spacecraft across the Earth which our current theories fail to inform us. The universal equivalence principle informs us that the spacecraft is not moving pass the gravitational mass of the Earth, rather it is moving past the inertial mass of the Earth.
Whether the spacecraft in a bounded orbit around the Earth or not, it is moving past the inertial mass and not the gravitational mass of the Earth. This is possible because of the principle of universal equivalence, which I have told you arises because no accelerating body can accelerate greater than gravity.
A spacecraft bounded around the Earth does not display this anomaly as discovered because whenever the acceleration of the spacecraft changes, the distance of the spacecraft changes correspondingly as the inertial mass of the Earth, bringing to a subtle balance the effects of rest and inertial interactions.
However, for an unbounded spacecraft, this is not the case since it is not bounded to the Earth. So, the necessary variation in its radial distance from the Earth does not bring the necessary balance to the effects of inertial interaction. This results in the observation of the flyby anomaly.
Let’s me further explain this.
The Flyby Anomaly and a Spacecraft in a Bounded Orbit About the Earth
I want to explain to you the motion of a spacecraft about the Earth according to post-modern physics which informs us that such a revolving spacecraft is moving around the inertial mass of the Earth and not the gravitational mass of the Earth as standard physics wrongly supposes.
(I want to explain very lucidly to you the dynamics of the orbital motion of spacecraft about the Earth.)
Not realizing that the Earth by its inertial mass is in an inseparable inertial interaction with an orbiting spacecraft is the reason why the fly-by anomaly has been a mystery to us. In the diagram below, you are looking at a spacecraft wth acceleration a1 in which its radial distance R1 from the Earth has already balance with the inertial mass Mi1 of the Earth.
A Bounded Spacecraft in Settled Orbit
In other words, the bounded spacecraft is moving in a settled orbit around the Earth that corresponds to the acceleration a1. The inertial mass Mi1 of the Earth and the acceleration a1 of the bounded spacecraft are related by the inverse square law as shown below,
The above equation is an equation of inertial interaction which makes you realize that the spacecraft motion is really caused by the Earth itself and not its internal engines. There just exist in the universe a harmony between the operations of the internal engines and the inertial interaction of the spacecraft with the Earth.
Now, if a new acceleration is then impacted on the spacecraft as shown below, the orbit of the spacecraft changes as the spacecraft attempts to find the new orbit that corresponds to this new acceleration. In this transition, the orbit of the spacecraft hasn’t settled.
As the spacecraft finds this new orbit, the inertial mass of the Earth would be varying as the radial distance alters indeterminately. The inertial mass of the Earth during this transition from one defined orbit to another is denoted in the diagram below as Mi2 and the different radial distances are collectively represented as Rn.
A Bounded Spacecraft in Unsettled Orbit
The inertial mass Mi2 of the Earth and the acceleration a2 of the bounded spacecraft without a completed orbit are related by the inverse square law as shown below,
The third image below shows that the spacecraft has found the true orbit that corresponds to the impacted acceleration a2, and the radial distance and inertial mass of the Earth for this acceleration are represented as R2 and Mi3.
The new inertial mass Mi3 of the Earth and the acceleration a2 of the bounded spacecraft are related by the inverse square law as shown below,
This crucial post-modern elucidations show us something unique about a bounded spacecraft, which is that whenever there is a change in the acceleration of a bounded spacecraft, it always finds the new orbit that corresponds to this change. Bounded spacecrafts always settle.
This is importantly why the flyby anomaly has not been observed for bounded spacecrafts. Bounded spacecrafts move in settled orbits.
A Bounded Spacecraft in Settled Orbit
Now, the flyby anomaly is only observed for an unbounded spacecraft flying past the Earth because such an unbounded spacecraft never finds the new orbit around the Earth that corresponds to its acceleration. Rather it finds it along its linear path of motion, if it ever does.
We have been thinking according to standard physics that the accelerated motion of a spacecraft is due to its internal engines. This is partly true, but this thinking hides the role the continuum plays as the true origin of force and not any man-made engines.
Spacecrafts, both bounded and unbounded moving close to the Earth, accelerate due to the inertial mass of the Earth and not due to any other source of force. Having this basic understanding of the interaction of bodies in the universe will unlock the flyby mystery and also the Pioneer mystery. Both are due to the same reason.
Understanding this, let’s now move to describe an unbounded spacecraft.
The Flyby Anomaly and a Spacecraft in an Unbounded Orbit About the Earth
The universal equivalence principle applies to both a bounded spacecraft and an unbounded spacecraft. However, for a bounded a spacecraft its motion makes an observable closed orbit around the Earth whereas for an unbounded spacecraft its motion makes an unobservable closed orbit.
The unbounded spacecraft if maintained in its motion would inevitably return to its point around the Earth. But the complete orbit of its motion is not observable like for a bounded spacecraft. Unbounded spacecrafts move in unsettled orbits.
An Unbounded Spacecraft in Unsettled Orbit
We must now realize that the accelerated motion of the spacecraft is due to the inertial mass of the Earth, and in a general sense, of the universe. This understanding resolves the flyby anomaly as it implies that the spacecraft is not truly driven by its internal engines but by inertial interaction with the Earth.
The above shows an unbounded spacecraft flying past the Earth in an unbounded or non-observable orbit. You know, we wrongly suppose that an unbounded spacecraft is in an attempt to escape the Earth.
What we really don’t know is that the unbounded spacecraft is fully interacting with the (inertial mass of the) Earth. It is not attempting to escape at all, and it even cannot because its accelerated motion is due to the inertial mass of the Earth.
In fact, both the bounded and unbounded spacecrafts are in bounded inertial interaction with the Earth. The only difference between a bounded and an unbounded spacecraft is that the orbit of inertial interaction is settled for the bounded spacecraft, while for the unbounded spacecraft, the orbit of inertial interaction is unsettled, even though it exists.
So, the unbounded spacecraft flying past the Earth is in a necessary attempt to find the orbit around the Earth that corresponds to the inertial mass of the Earth and its acceleration and not really to escape the Earth’s gravitational influence.
This new understanding of gravity emerges from post-modern physics, and it now shows you that our standard theory of gravity has been modified. Gravity is not a resistive phenomenon, rather it is an allowing phenomenon. You will learn more about gravity in this blog.
Image source: NASA
The flyby anomaly is as a result of the interaction between a spacecraft and the inertial mass of the Earth and not the gravitational mass of the Earth.
Now, what role does the gravitational mass of the Earth play? The simple answer is nothing and this is because the post-modern weak equivalence principle has replaced gravitational mass with rest mass, and post-modern physics shows us that without this revision of the weak equivalence principle and also of the strong equivalence principle – must read – we would not have arrived at the universal equivalence principle.
The post-modern weak equivalence principle is what informs us that rest mass and inertial mass are equivalent and not that gravitational mass and inertial mass are equivalent as the classical weak equivalence principle states.
So, my discussions so far about the flyby anomaly have been based on the post-modern weak equivalence principle and the resulting principle of universal equivalence and it will be so for my subsequent discussions.
Now, the rest mass of the Earth which doesn’t vary with acceleration like the inertial mass of the Earth is in interaction only with bodies at rest on the Earth surface. I have talked much about this in my other articles.
The scientist observing the motion of the unbounded spacecraft must know that while he stands on the rest mass of the Earth, the unbounded spacecraft flies past the inertial mass of the Earth. Both forms of mass are qualitatively and can be quantitatively different.
All accelerated motion of moving bodies arise due to fundamental interactions with the inertial components of the universe. Newton’s law of universal gravitation is ‘more universal’ than he had thought, it applies to all accelerating bodies, both those accelerating due to gravity and those not accelerating due to gravity.
So, the flyby anomaly is not just because the Earth in some way affects the motion of the spacecraft. No, it is because the Earth causes the motion of the spacecraft. When we view the origin of the motion of the unbounded spacecraft as such, the flyby anomaly varnishes.
Even the Pioneer anomaly is due to inertial interaction. In the case of the Pioneer anomaly, the unbounded spacecrafts are moved by the inertial mass of the solar system.
This resolution of the flyby anomaly informs you that if an unbounded spacecraft flies past the Earth with an arbitrary acceleration of 30 m/s2 and at a radial distance of about 9 × 10 6 m, it is actually being propelled by the Earth’s inertial mass of 3.64. × 10 25 Kg.
The inertial mass was gotten from the second equation above,
Since a2 equals 30 m/s2 and Rn equals 9 × 10 6 m and G equals 6.67408 × 10-11 m3 Kg-1 s-2, Mi2 which is the new inertial mass of the Earth corresponding to this acceleration becomes,
This inertial mass 3.64. × 10 25 Kg of the Earth is obviously different from the rest mass of the Earth. It is greater in proportion than the Earth’s rest mass of 5.97 × 10 24 Kg.
In most cases of inertial interaction, inertial mass is usually greater than the Earth’s rest mass, and this, besides the unsettled orbits of unbounded spacecrafts, is related to the generally observed increase in the energy of spacecrafts during flyby missions.
During flyby missions whether around the Earth or around any other planet in our solar system, inertial mass is usually greater than rest mass as spacecrafts are driven at accelerations greater than free fall acceleration.
In one of my other articles, I discussed the only condition in which the inertial mass and the rest mass of the Earth are equal. I want you to look it up as it would greatly increase your understanding of this new post-modern principle of universal equivalence.
This shows us the fundamental difference between rest mass and inertial mass, for while rest mass is constant inertial mass is not. Inertial mass varies with the acceleration and the radial distance of the spacecraft from the Earth.
Inertial interaction informs us of how we, through our machines, deploy the inverse square law. It is one of the ways we become co-participators in the cosmic operations of the universe. The universe knows when we move a spacecraft beyond or behind the acceleration (or possibilities) of free fall.
This, in a nutshell, is the demystification of the flyby anomaly and even the Pioneer anomaly. I must once again point out that you standing on the Earth’s surface experiences the rest mass of the Earth, while the unbounded spacecraft experiences the inertial mass of the Earth.
You must now be aware of this fundamental disconnection in both experiences, even as you further apply the universal equivalence principle on your own scientific research and endeavours.
The above elucidation for the inertial interaction of mass can be extended to force and time. The extension of inertial interaction for time would require me to present to you another article soon. However, the same interpretations for mass also apply for time.
The Subtle Universe
At this point, I must inform you that this resolution of the flyby anomaly emerges from my understanding of a new kind of science. This new kind of science is called absolute science. This new science is metaphysical, and as such it is concerned with the deeper levels of reality that are beyond observation.
The universe is unapologetically subtle. When we move, we are deceived by our efforts that we are actually the ones causing our motion. We cannot usually see the role the universe plays in ensuring that we move. The flyby anomaly is one of such motions.
The universe interacts inertially with all accelerating bodies. The introduction of inertial mass into Newton’s gravitational law ensures that all accelerating bodies follow Newton’s gravitational law.
We must take our eyes off our efforts and realize how the different bodies in the universe organically interact with each other. We owe all our motion to the continuum and not our efforts or machines. Without inertial interaction, we cannot by ourselves produce motion.
This is a great scientific truth which is quite similar to Mach’s principle. This is why I often view classical Mach principle as the predecessor of the post-modern universal equivalence principle. You can read about this in my other scientific article.
So, the flyby anomaly pushes us to understand the global aspect of motion which involves the inertial interaction of bodies in the universe, and not to look at the local aspect of motion which involves the local methods or means by which we move bodies or bodies move.
The true understanding of the universe and certain anomalies with the flyby anomaly in focus emerge from the global aspect of motion. And to take you deeper, even the internal engines of a spacecraft must also operate by internal motions, and these internal motions are also due to inertial interaction.
In other words, the internal components of the engines of spacecrafts in their motions are also interacting with the inertial mass of the Earth. Motion is global both in effect and description.
So, to resolve the flyby and Pioneer anomalies, we should not concern ourselves with the local methods by which we move bodies but with the global methods by which the universe moves its components (or bodies).
The universe is the true engine which produces all motion, whether it be the motion of spacecrafts, cars, man, animals etc. The inverse square law applies to all accelerated motions. In the universe, every motion is organic. There is no such thing as mechanical motion.
Also, this article deals with the flyby anomaly taking the Earth as the closest heavenly body. In a case of the Pioneer anomaly when other planets and even the entire solar system become involved, you must understand that the Pioneer spacecraft interacts with the inertial mass of the solar system.
The deviation from their expected paths is an inkling to us that inertial interaction with the Solar System is what determines the trajectories of motions of the two Pioneer spacecrafts and not really their respective engines.
This is why post-modern physics is very important for the true understanding of the universe. Post-modern physics more than any other era of physics captures the subtleties of nature. The flyby anomaly and other mysteries of the universe vanish in the face of post-modern physics.
This article exposes the true cause of the flyby anomaly by exposing the true origin of motion of unbounded spacecrafts. This article tells you that because of the universal equivalence principle, the unbounded spacecraft moves because of the not-constant inertial mass of the Earth and not because of its internal engines.
This article informs us that bounded spacecrafts in inertial interaction with the Earth move in settled orbits, while unbounded spacecrafts also in inertial interaction with the Earth move in unsettled orbits.
We should no longer separate our efforts to move from the precedent internal operations of the cosmos. The inertial mass of the Earth moves the unbounded spacecraft, and the flyby anomaly is the universe winking at us of this great scientific truth.
Until next time,
I will be here.
– M. V. Echa
Importantly related post: