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Removal of {{fact}} from Implications of Pythagorean philosophy section[edit]

I will not revert an IP's removal of the {{fact}} tag from the last section of the article, but I do believe that the last sentence needs to be either cited, or furnished with examples. Regards, Kavadi carrier 04:54, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 09:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

New Citation Needed[edit]

There should be a new citation stated for this article, as the only source shown is no longer available. I would provide my own, but cannot find any Bluttony (talk) 02:02, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


From the article:

The ideas of a flat earth, Counter-Earth, and Central Fire were all eventually superseded by the theory which is currently held by the scientific community, that is, of a spherical earth rotating around its own axis while revolving around the sun.

I'm afraid that my knowledge of astrology is somewhat limited but I was of the impression that the notion of the earth being spherical and rotating on its own axis while orbiting the sun was a universally excepted fact. Was I mistaken? -- (talk) 18:33, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Merge with Central Fire?[edit]

I've been contemplating whether or not to bring Central Fire into this article, but that would necessitate changing this article's title, and I don't know what to change it to. Serendipodous 15:08, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Done. Serendipodous 20:10, 18 May 2010 (UTC)


Furthermore, since none of the other planets has such a twin it would be extremely improbable if the Earth were the only planet to have one.

This sounds like "Since none of the other planets has a wikipedia, it would be extremely improbable if the Earth were the only planet to have one." It should be rewritten. Earth is quite improbable. -- Error

More like, "Since all of the other planets have gravity it would be extremely improbable if the Earth were the only planet not to have it." Some things are more improbable than others. --Lee M

Back to the article, is it true that the astronomical counter-earth was invented to save the phonomonea that the central fire could not be seen, a central tenet in pythoragean thought. (windsor ppt presentation--I am not a windsor student and do not feel comfortable putting this in--but seems like a definition of counter-earth should dominate this article. --Sam

Yes, the whole idea of a Counter-Earth was developed by Philolaus to support his new ideas about the non-geocentric cosmos and a Central Fire. You can learn more about this here. Mrwuggs 20:56, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Relevance of second paragraph[edit]

In the scientific analysis section, is questionable. (talk) 06:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)anon

Orbital Feasibility[edit]

According to the article the counter-earth orbit is just feasible. So would somebody please point out what is wrong with this analysis:

Consider the earth at the point where the line joining it to the sun forms an exact right angle with the major axis of its orbit. Counter-earth must be at the opposite side of the sun, at the point where it's line to the sun also forms a right ngle with the elliptical axis.
Now let us advance the earth until it is in the same position on the other side of the sun - i.e. the other point where it's line to the sun forms a right angle with the elliptic axis. In order for counter-earth to still be hidden it must now occupy the position that earth previously occupied. BUT this cannot be the case, because by Kepler's second law the areas swept by the arcs must be identical, and this is obviously not the case (one of the planets must be going round the long side of the ellipse).
So is counter-earth orbitally feasible or not? DJ Clayworth 20:27, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
The Earth's orbit is almost perfectly circular, and CE would stay hidden. It would orbit in exactly the same period.
The scientific analysis section seems to be clunky. It presumes CE in the L3 spot, which would make it uninhabitable as well as unstable. A 180 degree opposed orbit SHOULD be stable. Can someone clean up the section a bit so it reads more clearly on what is meant?Mzmadmike 02:19, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
CE in a 180 degree opposed orbit would be unstable due to L3 in close proximity and introduce its own L3 close to the earth making earths orbit unstable too. If CE was in earth's L3 it would be stable, but introduce its L3 close to earth an cause earth's orbit to become unstable, thus giving earth's L3 an unstable position and give an unstable CE. Sum - two identical objects can't have opposite obits around a third object. Eroen 17:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Just a guess[edit]

I think it is plausible, however it will not be found in our lifetime.

As was noted, if it existed, it would have been found by observation from probes and gravitational perturbation of spacecraft and other bodies.Mzmadmike 02:20, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


Suggestion: Counter-Earth merge with Antichthon
An orpahned discussion can be found at :Talk:Antichthon#Merger
  • Support -- I realize now that a copy and paste merger is the wrong way to merge things, but seriously, there is no reason why this should be two pages. Although the copy/paste job was improperly done, that was just the way this article should look. This page seems ideal for a speedy merger. Mrwuggs 19:40, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • OpposeOppose your merger — your merger is wrong. Antichthon is the absolute wrong title to use for a merged counter-Earth article. Oppose merger from Antichthon — because that article is lengthy. 02:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Counter-earth" might have been distantly inspired by Pythagorean concepts, but it's considerably different from Antichthon. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:15, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support merge to Counter-Earth - It looks like the Counter-Earth and Antichthon articles contain complementary information that should be combined under one heading. Since Counter-Earth appears to be a more common name, I suggest using Counter-Earth. I would oppose merging both under the name Antichthon. GeorgeJBendo 09:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment: No source is provided for the assertion that "It was hypothesized by the Pythagorean school as Antichthon and was periodically speculated about..." I find this connection dubious, so I'm adding a "citation needed" tag. Even if a citation is provided, I still oppose the merger, because the ancient concept is significantly different than the modern science fiction trope. --Akhilleus (talk) 14:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Mildly oppose. Like George J. Blendo, I would strongly oppose merger under "Antichthon" because "Counter-Earth" is a broader, more general term able to accomodate both. But I agree with Akhilleus that there are enough differences in the articles, and since they are already fairly well connected up with each other readers can easily get a more complete picture, and keep the somewhat different usages straight, by having both articles. Gene Nygaard 15:28, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose These are two completely different concepts which happen to have the same philosophical end result: "a planet never visible from Earth". It is important to link the two articles in that respect, but they shouldn't be merged. GreyWyvern 18:39, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Under Counter-Earth. Antichthon should be its own section, clearly, but the articles don't need their own space-- especially for a topic that, conceptually, is identical. Counter-Earth is descriptive, Antichthon is specific; seems clear to me. --mordicai. 05:21, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support I agree with mordicai. I also agree with Akhilleus that a distinction needs to be made between the ancient theory and the science fiction idea. I suggest that Antichthon and the science fiction stuff be put under the same article (titled "Counter-Earth") in the context of an analysis of the changes in the idea over time (or, to be truly accurate, the changes in the way the idea is applied and interpreted). Galanskov 19:15, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I've gone ahead and added a lot of the stuff in the Antichthon article to the Counter-Earth article. There is now essentially nothing in the former that is not in the latter. I believe that the Antichthon article should now be redirected to Counter-Earth. (I've ensured a distinction is made between the ancient theory and the science fiction motif). Unless someone raises an objection I'll go ahead and make the change in two weeks. Galanskov 23:33, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Thank you, Galanskov. Your helpful additions have finally made possible a merger that should have happened long ago. Mrwuggs 17:02, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • You're welcome. Thank you for suggesting the merger. Galanskov 16:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • The merger has been carried out. Thank to all who have participated in this discussion. The ideas you presented here were essential to merging the two articles. Galanskov 04:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Wrong Section[edit]

The information about Mela's spherical Counter-Earth is, at least in my opinion, probably better situated in the "Need for a Counter-Earth" section than in the "Scientific Analysis" part. Galanskov 23:44, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Earth's orbit and rotation, a hypothesis?[edit]

The ideas of a flat earth, Counter-Earth, and Central Fire were all eventually superseded by the hypothesis which is currently held by the scientific community, that is, of a spherical earth rotating around both its own axis and the sun.

Is this idea really just a hypothesis? I would think that all the spacecraft that have left earths orbit, been effected by the Sun's gravity, effected and captured by gravity of other objects, experienced Impairment and loss of Line of site of line-of-site, usually by design or prediction, would be more than sufficient to prove the earth orbits the Sun. In addition, satellites that orient themselves to the position of the Sun, keep cameras pointed at the earth and have located at least one other moving object in space, would confirm the earths orbit of the Sun. and its rotation around it's axis.--Zerothis 06:58, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

You're right. The better word would be 'theory.' Thank you for pointing this out. Galanskov 04:12, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Is it even a theory? There are certainly fine points in gravitational theory and orbital mechanics to debate, but I think it's pretty well established FACT that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Are there ANY reputable scientists in dispute? Perhaps call it an "understanding"?Mzmadmike 02:23, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
In science, a 'theory' is a widely accepted explanation for natural phenomena for which ample empirical evidence exists and which has been rigirously tested. Therefore, a 'theory' (such as gravity) pretty much is a fact. Galanskov 05:22, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation; in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.[1] Thus, theory is not fact. I have an hypothesis that there is no such thing as "scientific fact". It seems wikipedia agrees with me, since that link goes nowhere at this moment--Zerothis (talk)
  1. ^ Gower, Barry (1997). Scientific Method: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 0415122821. 

Diagram questions[edit]

The diagram is currently marked as needing conversion to a vector format. If that's done, it would only make sense to correct any other outstanding issues with the current diagram. However, I'm a bit puzzled by several features:

  1. The current diagram shows Antichthon on a different orbit from Earth, with half the orbital radius. Why not the same orbit? The article doesn't seem to mention this.
  2. The current diagram shows the Earth and Antichthon as spherical, and indeed, the article text notes that the understanding of a spherical Earth was one of the central facts in the chain of reasoning that led to the Antichthon idea. However, it later describes Earth and Antichthon as "flat." How is this to be reconciled? If the diagram were to change the shape of Earth and Antichthon, exactly how should they be represented? Hemispheres, disks, cylinders,...?

--Amble (talk) 06:27, 14 July 2008 (UTC) I've made a direct translation to SVG, for now. Perhaps a better diagram could be made, but there are too many points in the theory itself that need to be clarified. --Amble (talk) 19:01, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


The inline ref to siegel and moser is priceless. +sj + 23:39, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

"According to some Greek Mythology..."[edit]

...which Greek Mythology? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to know that, too. I've studied Greek Mythology extensively and I've never heard anything about "Antichton." It's not worth making an account to eliminate one made-up bit of Greek Mythology, though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

I seriously doubt that's an accurate translation. (talk) 23:15, 29 August 2013 (UTC)


Introducing the Counter-Earth and the Central Fire increased the number of objects in the Solar System to 10, which number might have had mystical significance for the Pythagoreans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Galileo said something about the Counter-Earth somewhere. Perhaps this could be mentioned. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

USNO Numerical Experiment[edit]

The celestial mechanics of a counter-Earth (anti-Earth) were done numerically by the US Naval Observatory for the Condon Report 1968 Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects. The results in Appendix E [1] show a counter-Earth would have been always visible in a short span of time.--aajacksoniv 23:56, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much. Have added this to the article. (though it's now over 4 years since you told us!) --BoogaLouie (talk) 14:48, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Flat or Spherical[edit]

The article is a bit confusing in that it starts by saying that in the 5th Century BC everyone accepted that the world was spherical - that Philolaus set out to solve problems arising from this - and that in doing so he proposed that the earth was flat. In postulating a flat earth, didn't he undermine the very problem he was addressing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Good point. Fixed it. --BoogaLouie (talk) 16:48, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Pythagorean astronomical system[edit]

I'm working on an article for Pythagorean astronomical system. Seems a bit silly to have an article on one body in this theory (the counter-earth) but not on the overall theory. I am also going to shorten the article on the Central Fire which I restored. --BoogaLouie (talk) 01:36, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Here it is! Pythagorean astronomical system (Made Central Fire a re-direct again, redirected to Pythagorean astronomical system.) --BoogaLouie (talk) 16:31, 25 October 2013 (UTC) Made

Here is the article about a year ago when I first started editing it. Here it is now. Big improvement I hope you will all agree.

In case anyone is wondering where I found the source for the theory that the true purpose of the Counter-Earth was to "balance" Philolaus's cosmos, it is hard to find googling and I couldn't. I found it later by checking a wikilink to "Central Fire". The link was just a re-direct to this article (not very useful!) but I began to wonder if there had been a Central Fire article that someone had deleted and turned into the re-direct. Checked the article history and found the old article -- pretty much a rehash of an old version of this article. But unlike the old version of Counter-Earth it had a source: (Burch, George Bosworth. The Counter-Earth. Osirus, vol. 11. Saint Catherines Press, 1954. p. 267-294). And the source - Burch's paper - contained the balance theory for the counter-earth. --BoogaLouie (talk) 16:14, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Full disclosure: Burch's paper did appears in the external links to the old article. I neglected to check it. --BoogaLouie (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2013 (UTC)


Rudolf steiner also mentions the concept of counter earth in his lecture of 2 may 1920 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 20 May 2014 (UTC)