I have a student who thinks he is smarter than me. When we calculate the precession the classical way we also account for the supposed oblate sun. If we model sun's oblateness by splitting the mass of the Sun into 2 masses and separate them by distance s, then the acceleration we get on point mass particle on x axis is: a = - M/2 / [ (r + s)^2 ] - M/2 / [ (r - s)^2 ] and the equation that describe the motion takes on this form: the ellipse will precess by 2(pi)PQ radians per revolution. Now when we are modelling oblate sun (shape wise) we are actually modelling oblate sun mass wise. And so hypothetically if the sun is oblate enough (mass wise), then could we explain Mercury without Relativity. I was telling him yes he could make this ridiculous claim and commit this blasphemy but he wouldn't get hired anywhere with that kind of attitude. I was thinking of ways to prove that density of sun is not oblate (mass wise) and that we can use the shell theorem at will. Is there a way to prove our density of sun model or is his claim purely hypothetical at best?