The Titius-Bode Law

16 Jul

One of my favorite turned-out-to-be-not-true moments of all astronomical history: the Titius-Bode Law.

Makes me want to go join the Celestial Police.

Also, because you can almost not see it, my shirt says ‘Pluto/1930-2006/Revolve in Peace’.  😀

13 Responses to “The Titius-Bode Law”

  1. Peter Hartman January 7, 2023 at 9:05 am #

    Hi nice readding your blog

  2. derrick August 12, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    If you’re very lucky, you may live long enough to see your pet theory crushed. Ah, it’s so true.

  3. jaksichja July 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm #


    I retrieved an interesting article the Titius/Bode rule–it is a fairly recent publication that is available on the:

    The authors are C. Lineweaver and T. Bovaird—Dr. Lineweaver is well known. I had been saving it for one of my own posts–but things (occasionally) tend to “pile up.” The link to the e-Print server for the article Is above—

    Nice post—

    • Loren Riley July 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      Thank you. That’s a very interesting article. It’ll be interesting to see how many solar systems adhere to their two-parameter TB relation better than our own solar system. If they can predict exosolar planets using the modified law, that would be really cool!

  4. AuthorTomBaldwin July 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    One has to wonder what the odds of the Planets and Asteroid Belt fitting into such a scheme as the Titius-Bode Law predicts when in fact they don’t. Something astronomical I would think. Too bad Titius and Bode aren’t around anymore, I would have liked to have them buy me some lottery tickets

    • Loren Riley July 18, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      I would argue that with a small enough number of anything (in this case 5 out of 8 objects) some pattern of some kind would be observable. I can’t know for sure, but I think the odds would actually go the other way, it would be surprising to me that with a fairly small number, no pattern of any kind would be observed. But fitting into one specific pattern, like the TB-Law, I agree with you – that’s probably astronomically high. 🙂

  5. arunagee July 17, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    🙂 I’m just curious: What do you do? Are you in college or out of?

    • Loren Riley July 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      I’m currently in a master’s of public administration program. I do work at a small observatory and I’m going to try to get an astronomy degree if I can swing it after I’m done with my MPA. I love astronomy, but in the past I felt like it might be hard to make a career out of so… I went with a less awesome degree/position. I see now that was somewhat foolish. 🙂

  6. deecrowseer July 17, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    So, the obvious question after watching this video is: Why are the government hiding Phaeton from us, and how did they convince all of the astronomers to keep their secret???

    The second (more serious) question is: So, did you win that hand of poker? Because it sounds like you inadvertently bluffed your way to victory!

    • Loren Riley July 17, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      1) They have all those NASA people on their side! 😉

      2) Actually yes. Yes I did. I won everything. Everyone else was pretty mad at themselves. 😀

      • deecrowseer July 17, 2013 at 11:39 am #

        Sounds like you’re a bona fide hustler… “I’ve only played poker once before, and I don’t really remember the hands!” Yeah, yeah… I see what you’re up to! 😉

        • Loren Riley July 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

          Honestly I don’t know if I’d be a better poker player if I learned the game or not. I’m almost afraid to just in case I ever need to play again…

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