- #1

PainterGuy

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- TL;DR Summary
- Does the precession of Mercury's orbit change the plane of its orbit?

Hi,

I was reading about the general relativity to get some basic understanding and it was said that the proper answer to problem of precession of Mercury was provided by the general relativity. Then, I started reading about the precession of Mercury orbit.

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In picture #1 below the orbit is shown precessing counterclockwise and the plane of precessed orbits remains the same. In other words, all the precessed orbits lie in the same plane. But in picture #2 the precession is shown to change the plane of orbits as well. In other words, the precession gives a tilt to orbit along the vertical axis. Or, perhaps it's just me!

I also watched this video and it shows the precession the same way as in picture #2: youtu.be/NXlg3nTqSnk?t=21

Could you please confirm how the orbit of Mercury really precess? Thank you for the help!

Picture #1

Picture #2

I was reading about the general relativity to get some basic understanding and it was said that the proper answer to problem of precession of Mercury was provided by the general relativity. Then, I started reading about the precession of Mercury orbit.

"

*Mercury deviates from the precession predicted from these Newtonian effects. This anomalous rate of precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit was first recognized in 1859 as a problem in celestial mechanics, by Urbain Le Verrier. His reanalysis of available timed observations of transits of Mercury over the Sun's disk from 1697 to 1848 showed that the actual rate of the precession disagreed from that predicted from Newton's theory by 38″ (arc seconds) per tropical century (later re-estimated at 43″ by Simon Newcomb in 1882).[6] A number of ad hoc and ultimately unsuccessful solutions were proposed, but they tended to introduce more problems.*

In general relativity, this remaining precession, or change of orientation of the orbital ellipse within its orbital plane, is explained by gravitation being mediated by the curvature of spacetime. Einstein showed that general relativity[3] agrees closely with the observed amount of perihelion shift. This was a powerful factor motivating the adoption of general relativity." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity#Perihelion_precession_of_MercuryIn general relativity, this remaining precession, or change of orientation of the orbital ellipse within its orbital plane, is explained by gravitation being mediated by the curvature of spacetime. Einstein showed that general relativity[3] agrees closely with the observed amount of perihelion shift. This was a powerful factor motivating the adoption of general relativity.

**Note to self:**"

*A minute of arc, arcminute (arcmin), arc minute, or minute arc is a unit of angular measurement equal to 1/60 of one degree. Since one degree is 1/360 of a turn (or complete rotation), one minute of arc is 1/21600 of a turn. ... A second of arc, arcsecond (arcsec), or arc second is 1/60 of an arcminute, 1/3600 of a degree, 1/1296000 of a turn, and π/648000 (about 1/206265) of a radian.*" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minute_and_second_of_arc**Question:**In picture #1 below the orbit is shown precessing counterclockwise and the plane of precessed orbits remains the same. In other words, all the precessed orbits lie in the same plane. But in picture #2 the precession is shown to change the plane of orbits as well. In other words, the precession gives a tilt to orbit along the vertical axis. Or, perhaps it's just me!

I also watched this video and it shows the precession the same way as in picture #2: youtu.be/NXlg3nTqSnk?t=21

Could you please confirm how the orbit of Mercury really precess? Thank you for the help!

Picture #1

Picture #2