I have read that many physicists challenge the theory of general relativity, and it has been proved many times that it is correct; my question is on Mercury's orbit. And we know that many of astronomers know that Mercury orbit does not precess, and astronomers said that result would, t be same because quoting the article from my chat discussion.

If we calculate the orbit of Mercury using Newtonian gravity then in fact we find it does precess. This precession is caused by interactions with the other planets. But when you calculate the precession using Newtonian gravity you find it gives a value that is too low. That is when we observe Mercury we find it precesses faster than Newtonian gravity predicts,it is Because of the gravitational filed of other planet ''.

So my question do we have another proof other than assumptions of calculation - I mean do we have some significant events that prove that we were correct?.

Edit:) due to some close request I clear again the my question is not based that how GR proof mercury orbit precession. So that duplicate question doesn, t answer my question.

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    $\begingroup$ Where have you read that Mercury's orbit does not precess? It is a very well known and very well observed fact that its orbit does precess. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ "I have read that...." guarantees that whatever follows is false. Please don't post questions based on writings from crackpots. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


And we know that many of astronomers know that mercury orbit does not precess ...

Mercury's orbit does precess, by a good amount. The greatest amount is explained by Newtonian mechanics. Venus, Jupiter, and to a lesser extent, all the other planets, make Mercury's orbit precess by over 500 arcseconds per century. A key problem of the latter half of the 19th century was that the calculated precession of Mercury disagreed with its observed precession by 46 arcseconds per century.

General relativity fully explains this apparent discrepancy. This postdiction was one of the key reasons that general relativity was accepted so quickly compared to many other scientific theories that represented a radical change from orthodoxy.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks though. But please sir read my last part carefully @david. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ We have centuries of observations to which I alluded in my answer, @YuvrajSingh... Observed values take precedence over computed values. Because the computed values didn't agree with the observed values, astronomers searched for yet another planet that might explain Mercury's anomalous precession. That approach did work for explaining Uranus's anomalous precession; it was how Neptune was discovered. It did not work for Mercury. But general relativity did work. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, that, s thing I want to know, regarding process word sir I will quote the book name too. @David Hammen. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't there at least a small component of precession due to the Sun's $J_2$? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh - Yes, but it's tiny, so very tiny (about 0.03 arcseconds/century) that until recently it was a theoretical effect only. What changed recently is that NASA sent its MESSENGER vehicle to Mercury. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 7:19

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