But there is a fundamental difference between scientific foresight and religious prophecy.

Thus, comets can be a kind of probes created by nature, which provide an opportunity to obtain unique information about the physical processes occurring in interplanetary space.

In addition, of great scientific interest is the study of the structure and composition of the cometary nuclei, because according to some assumptions, the material of the cometary nuclei is the primordial substance from which the planets of the solar system were formed in the distant past.

During the next convergence of Halley’s comet with the Sun and the Earth in 1985-1986 p. a unique operation was carried out – the project “Vega” during which the study of this comet by spacecraft.

Scientists from socialist countries, as well as France, Austria and Germany, took part in the project together with Soviet scientists.

At the end of December 1984, two Soviet interplanetary stations were launched from one of the Soviet spaceports at intervals of several days. They first delivered research equipment to the planet Venus, and then continued the flight to get closer to Comet Halley.

In March 1986, both stations passed near the nucleus of Halley’s Comet, making a large complex of observations, followed by the Giotto station of the European Space Agency and two Japanese stations “Pioneer-A” and “Pioneer”.

Analysis of the obtained data showed that the nucleus of Halley’s comet, apparently, was a monolithic body of irregular shape, measuring approximately 7.5 X 8.2 X XI6 km. It is covered with a refractory dark crust, about 1 cm thick, through which water vapor and gases break through from time to time. The surface temperature of this crust is 300-400 K. As for the temperature of the core, it turned out to be equal to 100 degrees Celsius. The core rotates around its axis, making a complete rotation in 50-56 hours.

Space research has apparently confirmed the notion of the ice nature of space nuclei, although a number of questions regarding the structure of these objects remain unclear and are the subject of scientific debate.

It has been repeatedly suggested that comets may be a kind of carrier of life. Therefore, of particular interest was the answer to the question of the presence of organic matter in the nucleus of Halley’s comet.

As a result of processing the results of studies of the composition of comet dust performed on board the spacecraft “Vega-1” were found organic molecules, including those that contained carbon and hydrogen; carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen; carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, etc. Nucleic acid molecules have not been detected, but it is possible that, entering the warm aqueous medium, the organic molecules contained in the comet may form these acids.

Methodical considerations. When presenting material on “extraordinary” celestial phenomena, special attention should be paid to the fact that these phenomena are based on the same natural laws that govern the course of ordinary “everyday” phenomena.

Thus, the eclipses of the Moon and the Sun are the result of the motion of the Moon and the Earth according to the same Kepler laws that control the motion of the planets around the Sun.

The motion of comets is subject to the law of gravity, the manifestations of which we encounter at every turn. By the way, Kepler’s laws can be derived purely mathematically from the law of universal gravitation, namely Kepler’s laws describe the motion of periodic comets.

Meteor phenomena are due to the same physical laws, according to which the destroyed and “burned” artificial satellites of the Earth, which have expired, and spacecraft, which enter with supersonic speeds into the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.

It should also be emphasized that with the action of patterns that determine the occurrence of “extraordinary” phenomena, we often encounter in everyday life and even use them in our practice.

You can give such an example in connection with the “bloody” color of the moon during lunar eclipses. Everyone is well aware of the prohibitory red “stop signals” of street and railway traffic lights, red-orange signal lights of airports, red and orange lights of lighthouses. It is worth mentioning the bright orange costumes of astronauts and overalls of road workers. In all these cases, the red and orange colors are chosen not by chance: if the red and orange rays are less than others scattered in the air, the signal lights and objects of such colors will be clearly visible at a great distance.

Interestingly, for example, according to road accident statistics, red and orange cars are less likely to be involved in an accident than cars of other colors, such as gray, blue or green. This is due to the fact that red and orange cars drivers of oncoming cars notice from afar.

In connection with the question of “extraordinary” celestial phenomena, one should pay attention to another circumstance. Religious faith actually puts a person in psychological dependence on divine, supernatural forces. A person prays to them, makes sacrifices – direct or indirect, makes a request, correlates his behavior with their expected reaction to certain actions. In other words, the believer “interacts” with supernatural forces.

Of course, in fact, human interaction with God is imaginary, illusory, and yet it largely determined the specifics of religious activity. At the heart of religion is the belief in the real possibility of a religious person to establish directly or indirectly a “personal contact” “connection” with God. However, for the “believer-god” system to work, the hope of consolation cannot be entirely abstract, it must be supported by something.

In other words, in the system “the believer is a god”en there is feedback. The believer must receive some “signals from above” in response, which would indicate either that his appeal to God will be heard, or at least that his faith is not in vain, that God remembers him.

Of course, such “signals” do not exist, because there are no supernatural forces. However, religious people may have the illusion of feedback. In various events and phenomena of nature, they can see the “message from above.” In particular, unusual celestial phenomena are often perceived by superstitious people as celestial signs that announce the divine will to the inhabitants of the Earth. Therefore, the “signs of heaven” were often the basis for all kinds of religious prophecies.

The ideological result of the study of this section should be the conclusion that no matter what unusual, mysterious phenomenon or event a person encounters in his life and activity, one should maintain clarity of thought, sobriety of judgments and a firm belief that even the most unusual phenomenon only seems mysterious. , and actually has a natural origin.

Discovering the real causes of rare and unusual phenomena, science breaks the veil of mystery from them. The prediction of such phenomena is especially convincing. If a rare phenomenon is counted in advance, it can no longer be considered a divine sign.

In this regard, it is necessary to once again draw students’ attention to the fact that one of the most important features of scientific theories is their ability not only to explain known facts and phenomena, but also to predict the unknown. The history of religion is also associated with many predictions and prophecies. But there is a fundamental difference between scientific foresight and religious prophecy.

Scientific forecasting is based on a detailed study of the objective laws of the world around us, on the certainty (it is based on all the experience of the development of natural science) that under the same conditions the same laws apply. This fact makes it possible, based on the prehistory of this material system and its current state, to predict its future behavior, with a certain degree of accuracy to calculate the course of events, to predict its future state.

Scientific predictions of a slightly different kind are also possible. If scientific theory correctly reflects a certain range of natural phenomena and the relationships that operate between them, it is able to predict such phenomena that exist but have not yet been discovered. In other words, scientific theory has great heuristic power, it not only explains but also organizes the discovery of new, in some way directs scientific activity, to consciously seek new facts.

As for religious prophecies, they are not based on knowledge, not on the study of the properties of the world around, but on false, fantastic narration ideas ideas about it. Therefore, it is not surprising that such prophecies have no foreseeable force, their main purpose is to impress religious people, strengthen their faith, encourage even more zealous observance of church guidelines, perform religious rites.


The influence of gravity on the motion of celestial bodies. Abstract

Cosmic velocities and the shape of orbits. Perturbation in the motion of the planets. Discovery of Neptune. Tides. Mass and density of the Earth

Cosmic velocities and the shape of orbits

Based on observations of the motion of the moon and analyzing the laws of planetary motion discovered by Kepler, I. Newton (1643-1727) established the law of universal gravitation. According to this law, as you already know from the course of physics, all bodies in the universe are attracted to each other with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square distance between them:

F = G * (m1 * m2 / r2)

here m1 and m2 are the masses of two bodies,

r is the distance between them,

and G is the coefficient of proportionality, which is called the gravitational constant.

Its numerical value depends on the units in which the force, mass and distance are expressed. The law of universal gravitation explains the motion of planets and comets around the Sun, the motion of satellites around planets: double and multiple stars around their common center of mass.

Newton proved that under the action of mutual gravity bodies can move relative to each other in an ellipse (in particular, in a circle), a parabola and a hyperbola. He found that the type of orbit described by a body depends on its velocity at a given location in the orbit (Fig. 1).

At a certain speed, the body describes a circle near the center of gravity. This speed is called the first space or circular speed; it is given to bodies launched as artificial satellites of the Earth in circular orbits. (Derivation of the formula for calculating the first cosmic velocity is known from the course of physics.) The first cosmic velocity near the Earth’s surface is about 8 km / s (7.9 km / s).