Many people talk about how General Relativity solved the issue of Mercury’s orbital precession.
The story is much more amazing than you think.
You see, Mercury’s precession has been known for hundreds of years, and in that time Mercury precessed 574″ (” is 1/360 of a degree) per century. Many precise calculations were done to account for this – the sun’s lack of symmetry, the other planets, etc. however, 43″ were left unaccounted for, and it was known that those 43″ were not due to error.
When Einstein did the math for calculating Mercury’s precession he used a simplified model – ignoring the asymmetry of the sun, the other planets, etc. and found the precession to be 43″ – exactly what was missing from previous models.
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