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22 a very simple aidememoire There are few things more simple than a circle. With Keplers discovery of the ellipses, and Newton and Einstein setting them spinning, the planetary orbits can be thought of as orbital circles, centred on the Sun, with the eccentricity thickening the circle slightly, or giving the spheres a shell see Keplers diagram, page 13. One of the very first things you can do with circles is to put three of them together so that they all touch. Amazingly, the orbits of the first two planets of the solar system are hiding in this simple design. If Mercurys mean orbit passes through the centres of the three circles then Venus encloses the figure 99.9. This is a simple trick to remember you see it all around you all the time, in the home, in design, art, architecture and nature. Every time you pick up three glasses or push three balls together you create the first two planets circular orbits, to an extraordinary degree of accuracy. There must be a reason for this beautiful fit between the ideal and the manifest, but none is yet known and these kinds of problems are currently out of fashion perhaps a bright 21st century scientist will find an answer until then it remains a coincidence. The triangle is one emblem of the musical octave 21, and Mercury performs a delightful solo on this theme, as one Mercury day is exactly two Mercury years, during which time the planet has spun on its own axis exactly three times. Thus the very first planet plays the very first harmonies and draws one of the very first geometrical shapes. We have started with one, heard a two, and seen a three. 23
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