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Velicovsky believed it was a comet captured by the sun's gravity, as I recall. It's original orbit would have been less round, leading to a near miss (near hit?) with Mars and the Earth, before it settled into its current pattern. Look at Pluto's orbit, it's so eliptical that sometimes Pluto is closer than Neptune.

I suspect the Astronomy board would be inclined to follow the lead of conventional astronomers, not theories that would be considered radical. Velicovsky's "sin" was in choosing to take circumstantial evidence such as mythology and, presuming it accurately described what people saw happening, try and determine what might have lead to those observations. Why a society would claim that the sun used to rise in the west and then changed to rise in the east. He decided it wasn't a mistaken observation, but an accurate one. The mid-east story of the sun stopping in the sky (I know, the Earth stopped, not the sun) is paralleled by a South American tale of an extended darkness.

Other tidbits: The temperature of Venus exceeds that of Mercury, even though Mercury is closer to the sun. On Venus, if you could see the sun rise through the atmosphere, it would rise in the west. And a day on Venus is longer than a year (it spins so slowly that it takes longer to make one rotation that it does to make revolution.) It's a very intriging little planet.

Moonglade
(who loved her college astronomy courses)
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