Tycho's Nova Summary
The Urantia Book states that "The most recent of the major cosmic eruptions . . . was the extraordinary double star explosion, the light of which reached [Earth] in A.D. 1572. This conflagration was so intense that the explosion was clearly visible in broad daylight." The explosion to which The Urantia Book refers has come to be known as Tycho Brahe's Nova. It was not until several decades after The Urantia Book was published that astronomers determined that, in all likelihood, a double (or binary) star relationship, in which one star eventually accretes a critical amount of matter from the other star, is responsible for the explosion of this supernova. In 2004 researchers announced that they believe they have discovered the remnant of the companion star that gave rise to this explosion.
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As late as the 1980’s, when the Hubble telescope was being built, astronomers were very skeptical about how far more powerful telescopes would be able to penetrate deep space. Various factors led astronomers in this direction—the Big Bang theory, redshift issues, gravitations forces, etc. The people who built the Hubble telescope were told not to worry about seeing galaxies in deep space because it would not be possible. In 1977 a Scientific American article noted that astronomers estimated that there were about 10 million visible galaxies. Nonetheless, the authors of The Urantia Book (published in 1955) assert, “In the not-distant future, new telescopes will reveal to the wondering gaze of Urantian [Earth’s] astronomers no less than 375 million new galaxies in the remote stretches of outer space.” Data collected by the Hubble telescope greatly increased earlier estimates. Currently, astronomers estimate that there are well over 100 billion galaxies.
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Mercury’s Rotation Summary
The Urantia Book states that tidal friction causes the axial rotation of heavenly bodies to slow to a stop (relative to the body around which they revolve) and cites Mercury and the moon as examples. It has long been well established that the rotation of the moon has stopped, and it was also believed at the time of publication (1955) that Mercury's rotation had ceased. Though the widely held belief at the time of The Urantia Book’s publication was that Mercury had stopped rotating, when The Urantia Book addressed the subject of tidal friction slowing orbiting bodies to a stop, it did not state that Mercury had stopped and only portrayed the moon as a body that had stopped rotating due to tidal friction. In 1965 we learned that Mercury does have a slow rotation. The Urantia Book avoided the trap of agreeing with science that was wrong, but widely accepted, at the time of its publication.
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