10 Easy Ways You Can Tell For Yourself That The Earth Is Round

Jan 26, 2016

Photo credit: NASA/Samantha Cristoforetti

By Moriel Schottlender

Humanity has known the Earth to be round for a few millenia and I’ve been meaning to show more methods that prove the world is not flat. I’ve had a few ideas on how to do that, but recently got an interesting incentive, when Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, wrote about a recently published BBC article about “The Flat Earth” society. (Most recently, rapper B.o.B. went on a Twitter rant on the topic.) Phil claims it’s ridiculous to even bother rebutting the Flat Earth Society – and I tend to agree. But the history of our species’ intellectual pursuit is important and interesting, and it’s very much well worth writing about. You don’t need to denounce all science and knowledge and believe in a kooky conspiracy theory to enjoy some historical factoids about humanity’s quest for space.

On we go to the top 10 ways to know the Earth is unequivocally, absolutely, positively, 100% not flat!


Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

62 comments on “10 Easy Ways You Can Tell For Yourself That The Earth Is Round

  • @OP – Phil claims it’s ridiculous to even bother rebutting the Flat Earth Society – and I tend to agree.

    I agree – Anyone who has looked at photographs from satellites or spacecraft – or even flown in a high-flying aircraft should know this!

    The Flat-Earth Society is a waste of space, which is not worth wasting time on!



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  • I suspect the flat-earthers think space technology and the moon landing are conspiracies as well. I admit I am fascinated by their willingness to believe there is a conspiracy of some kind over the empirical evidence, much like creationists. It is almost mesmerizing listening to their Palin-esque word salad when they try to reconcile their conspiracy fears with the use of technology such as the GPS systems they have in their cars, or the satellite dishes on their homes for their TVs.

    Still, I agree with Carl Sagan: the pseudo-science whack jobs should be engaged, not shunned. Ever the optimist, refuting with clear and sane science is always a boon to those of us on the sidelines.



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  • I don’t think most members of the flat earth society actually think the earth is flat. For many of them it is probably just a bit of a laugh although I’m sure there will be some serious ones.
    Just like religion there are always some fundamentalists. Who really believe the whole thing. However ridiculous it might seem.



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  • phil rimmer
    Jan 27, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Ulysses Grant Morrow proved in 1896 the earth’s surface was concave……

    It depends on which spectrum you use for observations, and if you are looking from the core up or from space down!!



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  • (11) Have a look at the hundreds of videos on YouTube from people who have sent cameras up high on weather balloons. Are all these people really part of the Illuminati round earth conspiracy ?

    (12) Look at a city with high rise buildings from a distance over water and see how the buildings stick up out of the water. This used to work nicely from a house my parents had south of Geelong looking north across the bay to Melbourne.

    (13) These guys are making a straightedge to stick on the earth

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/966222131/straightedge-a-new-way-to-see-your-planet



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  • Oh yes, there are some serious idiots about the place. I thought they were poe’s at first too but I’m now convinced many like the nuts who think we never landed on the Moon are equally serious.



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  • I was engaged with an online discussion with a flat-earther who was convinced that the U.S. government was engaged in a conspiracy to make people think the earth is round, and this conspiracy included faking the moon landings, faking all space launches, etc. Wholly aside from the question of why the U.S. government would do this, I asked the gentleman why space agencies from other countries (including those with hostile intentions toward the U.S. such as Russia and China) have all been able to launch vehicles and probes into outer space and have also reported that the Earth is round. Was he claiming that Russia, China, the U.S., North Korea, Iran, etc., are all together in this conspiracy?

    Needless to say, the silence was deafening after that.



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  • It seems some were way ahead of the game centuries before the setbacks of the dark ages!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35431974

    Sophisticated geometry – the branch of mathematics that deals with shapes – was being used at least 1,400 years earlier than previously thought, a study suggests.

    Research shows that the Ancient Babylonians were using geometrical calculations to track Jupiter across the night sky.

    Previously, the origins of this technique had been traced to the 14th Century.

    The new study is published in Science.

    Its author, Prof Mathieu Ossendrijver, from the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, said: “I wasn’t expecting this. It is completely fundamental to physics, and all branches of science use this method.”

    The Ancient Babylonians once lived in what is now Iraq and Syria. The civilisation emerged in about 1,800 BC.

    Clay tablets engraved with their Cuneiform writing system have already shown these people were advanced in astronomy.

    “They wrote reports about what they saw in the sky,” Prof Ossendrijver told the BBC World Service’s Science in Action programme.

    “And they did this over a very long period of time, over centuries.”

    But this latest research shows they were also way ahead when it came to maths.

    It had been thought that complex geometry was first used by scholars in Oxford and Paris in medieval times.

    They used curves to trace the position and velocity of moving objects.

    But now scientists believe the Babylonians developed this technique around 350 BC.



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  • Surely you have heard of the Great Cosmic Tongue! The most recent lick in 1971 inspired the new logo used by Stones on their Sticky Fingers LP. I believe Jagger has claimed he has evidence that it is maple syrup, but his state of mind at the time makes his testimony somewhat suspect.



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  • I was discussing this with a friend who used to be a rice farmer with his father. With rice it is important that the field be level, and so he and his father had a laser levelling system to ensure this.

    But when there was water in the field, if he set the laser to a given height above water on one side of the field, there was a noticeable difference between the water level and the laser height on the other. For the fields they were using, it was about 2 inches. All very inconvenient for setting up the level field, but an interesting proof point for a oblate spheroid earth.

    As the level of a small body of water is always equidistant from the gravitational centre, and the laser is largely unaffected by the earth’s gravitational field, the difference is the curvature of the earth over that distance.

    Of course this is just another conspiratorial claim, to be ignored by those without such laser equipment.



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  • From what I’ve seen about those flat-earthers, there’s pretty much no way to convince them they are wrong. They will either dismiss any evidence as conspiracies, or lies, and they are simply not willing to test for themselves, so it is a lost cause.

    But it is still worth pointing that they are wrong, so that those who are fence sitters can be persuaded with evidences before they start believing in this pseudo-religion.



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  • As near as I can tell, not having spent dozens of hours examining the claims or arguments of the flat-earthers, is that most of the error in their maths or argument stem from three flawed or erroneous assumptions or premise:

    — using math (e.g. geometry) that applies only to a perfect sphere, with a perfectly even/uniform surface, failing to account (or correct) for the ‘bumps and dips’ or a slightly elliptical spheroid.
    — assuming that every point on earth with stated elevation, is a precise measure produced from a geosurvey. It is certainly not, often it is a bit of quick-n-dirty estimate from known nearby measured points.
    — the ground level never rises or falls over time (years, decades) by enough to make any difference in the calculation or result. The ground level often rises and falls, they don’t dispatch a geosurvey team every year to make sure the stated elevation given for every measured point on earth is current. That would require a veritable army at exorbitant cost.

    When you try to point this stuff out to them, they get very pissy and start redirecting to the illuminati, masons, etc.



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  • 23
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    Alan4discussion
    @OP – Phil claims it’s ridiculous to even bother rebutting the Flat Earth Society – and I tend to agree.
    I agree

    Yes, you are both right of course, but…

    In the view of many Islamic apologists this is “proof” of a “scientific miracle” in the Qur’an. Yes, dear friends, the Qur’an says the Earth is round, that is a scientific miracle, so the Qur’an is the true word of Allah. Allahu Akbar!

    (please don’t bother me with any stories of the Greek measurement of the Earth’s diameter, that was too far away for an illiterate Arabian orphan boy to ever hear of)



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  • too far away for an illiterate Arabian orphan boy.

    But not the scholars in the next tent. It is Arab and then Islamic scholars that did the much better job of safekeeping and extending Greek science and philosophy than the shamefully negligent Christian.

    Read Jim Al Khalili’s books Pathfinders and The House of Wisdom. I have a few little niggles about his explanation of the demise of this Golden Age, but other than that it is fascinating stuff that provides the backdrop to a rich period of questioning able to nurture the first modern (! well Current Era) atheist voluptuary after Epicurus, Omar Khayyam.



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  • Reminds me of the story of Eratosthenes, 276 BC, a person of Greek decent in Egypt. He worked out the circumference of the earth. A deep well at Aswan was known that on the summer solstice, a person could block out the reflection of the sun, but only on that day. Eratosthenes was a polymath in his day. Long CV. I’ll post the link.

    He noted that on the day of the summer solstice at the pyramids, if he placed his measuring stick exactly vertical, it cast a shadow of X degrees. He calculated the distance from his stick to the well in Aswan, and realized that this was the segment of a circular arc, and thus, worked out the circumference of the earth. His figures were a little out because his measurement of distance over so far was out, but they have repeated the experiment today, and he was only 46 kilometres out.

    It’s a pity knowledge doesn’t pass down the generations via mosquito bites from gene to gene. We probably wouldn’t have religion or global warming.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes#Measurement_of_the_Earth.27s_circumference



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  • If you’re in a beach with no buildings near, and you look up at the sky you can see the form of the sky taking a curvature, like we’re in a crystal ball, I don’t want to be offensive but how can someone be SO STUPID to think the earth is flat? That’s what happens when you choose to be a rapper instead of studying.



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  • I don’t want to be offensive but how can someone be SO STUPID to think the earth is flat? That’s what happens when you choose to be a rapper instead of studying.

    Sadly, this is only a sample of the conspiracy theories that are fairly prevalent among the African American community. I worked in a part of a city that was predominantly black, often listened in or participated in some conversations without being the obligatory white guy who was better educated. It was depressing to think this was not an exception but common among their communities and doesn’t bode well for future racial relations. With all the true and actual things whites have done to disenfranchise people of color, they’ve gone into believing at least as many false ones (some far more pernicious and unhinged than the truth). Sigh….



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  • 31
    bonnie says:

    Back in 2007, Sherri Shepherd received tons of flak for uttering (paraphrased) “I don’t know if the Earth is flat!“, on tv.

    Phil Plait especially, with veritable pitch fork in hand, attacked. On a later show, she had to address / correct the statement. Science illiteracy brings on guffaws – maybe should just try to be “teachable moments” instead?



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  • Can anyone help me answer this question?
    If we are orbiting the Sun which we are 149,600,000 miles away from, in July we should be about 300,000,000 miles from where we were in January (half year orbit). Which means at night we are facing out into space at the completely opposite direction. How come we still see the same stars?



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  • Matt Eddie

    Is your question real? If it is then some of the comments won’t apply!

    A straight cut and paste from the Net but you can find it anywhere:

    The axis of Earth to first approximation always points to the same points on the sky (there is a wobble, but it’s small and slow). That means that the rotation of Earth makes it appear that the stars circle around the celestial poles, where the celestial north or south pole is the point that would be directly overhead if you were standing on the geographic north or south pole.
    Now when you live away from the geographic poles, the celestial poles are still fixed points in the sky, they just aren’t directly overhead. Through the magic of the internet, I see that Griffith, New South Wales is at about latitude 34°S, which means that the south celestial pole will be in your sky at a point due south about 34° above the horizon. All the stars in your sky will appear to rotate around this point.
    That means that any star that is less than 34° away from the celestial south pole is never going to drop below the horizon where you are. So when night comes around it is guaranteed to be in your sky, just in a different part of the sky depending on the time of year.
    Stars further than 34° from the celestial south pole will drop below your horizon at some point. The further away from the pole, the more time the star will spend hidden by the Earth. Some parts of the year that period of time will coincide with daytime when you wouldn’t see the star anyway and other parts of the year it will coincide with night meaning that the star will be lost to view.

    I have spoken to many people like you Matt who latch onto the ‘ultimate’ question and think of it as a game changer without understanding, or bothering to find out if it is true or not. Its worked well within your group as you are all ignorant of the facts and therefore, in your world, it must be true. My family are from the Mediterranean so love a good debate. A quick search, in the right places, on the Net, has calmed our hot temperements down somewhat.



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  • Matt Eddie #32
    Jan 20, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Can anyone help me answer this question?
    If we are orbiting the Sun which we are 149,600,000 miles away from, in July we should be about 300,000,000 miles from where we were in January (half year orbit).

    The stars and galaxies are at vastly greater distances from the Earth and the Sun, than the Earth and Sun are from each other.

    Which means at night we are facing out into space at the completely opposite direction.

    In fact the stars which we can only see in January or July are in line with the plane of the ecliptic (that is on or near the plane of the flat disk of the Earth’s orbit.
    We can therefore only see them slightly above, or on the horizon, and when the Earth’s axis tilts us slightly further away, they are below the horizon and we can’t see them at all!

    How come we still see the same stars?

    The stars we can see all the time, are above or around the Earth’s poles and can only be seen from one hemisphere.

    That is why there are separate star-maps showing the Northern Celestial Hemisphere and the Southern Celestial Hemisphere.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Celestial_Hemisphere

    The divided view of stars in the sky, is from Northern and Southern hemispheres of the Earth, not the summer – winter positions of the orbit on the plane of the ecliptic.



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  • Wow. Ok. Sorry, kilometres. Still doesn’t answer my question. And the points about degrees of view are not correct. Yeah, not sure what it takes to classify as a “troll”, but i give no attention to anyone calling me one. Just because someone asks a question or doesn’t know something doesn’t make them a troll.
    I have read 3 of Dawkins’ books and thought this forum would offer some insight to questions in my head that would oppose flat earth answers i have received. I was wrong.



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  • Matt,

    Your question was an excellent one.

    If we take two moments in time on opposite sides of the sun say say midnight at the spring and fall equinoxes, the constellations directly overhead will appear different, depending where on the planet you are. At the equator the night skies will be entirely different, the two opposite views you are imagining. At the north pole, say, the views will be identical to a first order approximation, though rotated 180 degrees on your axis if your are standing in your own footprints.

    Your experience of the night sky and its “sameness” suggests you live quite a way from the equator.



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  • Thank you to those who have answered Matt’s question.

    Questions like these are sometimes from trolls, it’s true – in which case that will become apparent within a few posts; but sometimes they’re from people who are genuinely asking for an explanation – in which case he is quite right that this is the perfect place to ask, since we are fortunate enough to have users here who both have the knowledge and can explain it clearly.

    The mods



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  • Matt Eddie #35
    Jan 20, 2017 at 6:50 am

    If you live in Northern temperate lands – say in England or New York, perhaps it helps to think of Earth’s many satellites. If a satellite is orbiting high up above and around the Equator it will be just visible on the southern horizon.
    If it is orbiting pole to pole over the Earth, it will not be visible from the northern hemisphere when it is over the south pole, because the Earth will be between the viewer from the northern hemisphere and the satellite, blocking the view. When the satellite continues its orbit and passes the Equator, approaching the North Pole, it will then be visible to the viewer from the Northern hemisphere once again.

    Similarly the stars such as those making up the Southern Cross (Crux), are blocked by the body of the Earth from those on the north of the planet – except for those in the tropics, when the seasonal tilt of the axis changes their view in relation to the background of stars at night.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crux#Visibility

    Crux is easily visible from the southern hemisphere at practically any time of year. It is also visible near the horizon from tropical latitudes of the northern hemisphere for a few hours every night during the northern winter and spring.



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  • The “winter” stars will be still be in the sky when the Earth is in the “summer” side of its orbit. It’s just that the sun’s light prevents us from seeing them !



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  • Matt,

    In simple terms if you look out towards the direction the Earth is spinning aligned with the equator (looking roughly East to West depending on how close you are to the poles) you don’t see the same constellations, for example Orion is now visible in my night sky but it may not be in 6 months time for the reasons you stated. This is where the Zodiac signs came from the star sign you were born with was the one that was currently sharing the space with the Sun. Astrology is rubbish of course and the star signs have slipped so if you are Sagittarius well you really aren’t, but they did track the movement. What you are doing is looking North or South and seeing the same constellations say the Polaris in the North and the Southern Cross in the South this is because it is aligned with our axis of rotation what you will notice over six months is their position at the same time every night of ones slightly away from the pole (like the Southern Cross) will be at a different angle or position. Others above have explained this also but sometimes having a few people give slightly different explanations helps. Can I suggest a couple of good programs I use in teaching and when printing star charts,

    Stellarium

    http://www.stellarium.org/

    Cartes Du Ciel

    http://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/download

    &

    Celestia

    http://celestiaproject.net/download.html

    All are open source or free and will allow you to run the night sky at different times of the year and compare night skies and will allow you to even run at high speed and see the changes. You can then compare them with your own night sky as they allow you to plug in a particular city on Earth. Worth an hour of play to get to know our night sky a bit better.



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  • Matt

    Regarding your concern that the earth is in quite a different place after half a year, so why do we see the same stars in the same patterns (constellations), something I don’t think the other posters addressed: I’m assuming you accept that different parts of the sky are visible at different times of the year, “as if” we were encased in a star-studded ball that moves around us.

    Why don’t the stars look different from two positions so far apart? Well, the distance between earth-at-midsummer and earth-at-midwinter is only twice the distance to the sun, or about 1000 light-seconds. (Easier unit of measurement for stuff in space than miles or kilometers). The nearest star is about 4 light-years. Since there are about 31 million seconds in a year, that puts the nearest star about 124,000 times farther off than the distance the earth moves in half a year (relative to the sun).

    Scaling this down to human sizes, take a look at some complicated scene that starts about 124 meters away, such as buildings on the far side of a park, or a street scene from a high vantage point. Now, move sideways by 1mm (yes, one millimeter). See the difference? No, neither can I. With the right instruments, the relative positions of some of the nearer landmarks (the nearest corners of buildings, for example), might be detectable, but not with the naked eye. If, like me, you’re too shaky to move just 1mm, try increasing the scale by 10 — now you need to look at things at least 1.24 km away. A view from a high lookout would do, if you can avoid stuff in the foreground. With your 1.24km scenery, move sideways by 1cm (one centimeter). Can you see the difference? Me neither. Well, that’s how much the view of the night sky changes over half a year. The only difference you’ll see comes from the direction you’re looking, which depends on the time of day and time of year, just as if the whole of the starry sky was made of bright dots on a big ball around the earth.

    A point worth noting: this tiny difference in viewpoint IS used to measure the distance to (some of) the nearer stars, instruments can be set up with that degree of accuracy. But for the more distant stars, no instrument can detect the slight change in their relative positions in the sky, and other methods are needed to determine how far away they are.

    As always, experts here (Alan, Phil, anyone?) please correct any mistakes I’ve made in this attempted explanation.



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  • Ok, i’ve received many answers as to my point of observation. But from text books, the universe is expanding at massive speed from galactic central point. Why are the same star systems still easily identifiable, wouldn’t they be changing over the last few thousand years?



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  • If anyone has seen “Balls out physics” on youtube, can you explain where he is wrong? The guy is a physics teacher and debates some of the most well known theories. Sorry if i am bothering people. I’m not a troll, i want truth at any cost. I’m not a religious or spiritual person. I just find some of the flat earth ideas convincing but it doesn’t mean i am convinced.



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  • Matt, first off Brian Mullin is a terrible physicist. He may have kept his physics books but he clearly has not understood them. If he managed to get a degree in the subject I would imagine trickery was involved.

    The thermosphere is indeed an area of high molecular temperature due to solar radiation. The temperature is assessed by gas density rather than directly. Given the exceptionally low density and the gas thermal conductivity into the denser layer below the actual rate of energy flux into the region via gas molecule insolation is about 0.002 Joules per second. The solar radiation at this point is about 1000 Joules per second. The energy available to transfer to the International Space Station say per unit area of the vessel from the fast moving gas molecules is so low as to be un-observable in any normal way. Temperature is not heat.

    His physics later is truly dreadful. This is a case of a Dunning Kruger commentator, a person so unskilled in an area they are not even aware of their own ignorance. We have always understood this by observing “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

    If you live near the equator and have not observed the the variety of constellations overhead (not to north and south), then you have not been carrying out rigorous observations at the same times throughout the year. The key is the same time. Casual occasional observations without recording the time will make things seem the same. Rigour is needed to make scientific observations and note progressive small day on day change.

    Try one of the sky viewer programmes like Astro Viewer to understand what you will actually see. You can set location and time of day and year.

    Mullin’s is possibly the most bonkers of conspiracy theories so effortlessly disproved by Eratosthenes 300BCE, Victorian map maker Everest, and any Concorde Jet passenger, because it would prove so insanely expensive to maintain and all for such a fatuous outcome.

    Matt there are far better uses of your curiosity than this…



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  • the universe is expanding at massive speed from galactic central point. Why are the same star systems still easily identifiable, wouldn’t they be changing over the last few thousand years?

    Yes they do change over time but as there were no cameras 1000’s of years ago we cannot see the changes Astronomers have mapped their current movements and can extrapolate forwards and backwards.

    here

    Phil, i understand if i move a certain distance, everything will still appear the same. But not if i turn around 180 degrees and face the other direction.

    But Matt is isn’t the constellations we see change as the year goes on…

    this animations shows why

    We see different constellations at different times of the year. Any constellations you are seeing all year will be around one of the poles (which ever you can see from your position on the Earth). If you go out one night a week for a couple of months and look at say orion you will see it rising gradually over time until it eventually sets in the West months latter. Again download Stellarium (link in post above) and run time forwards to see for yourself then check over the next few months. Orion at the moment here in Australia is around 45 degrees above the horizon at the time of me writing this, 7:38 pm. By May 21st, Orion will be set in the Western horizon because by then the Earth will have moved around the Sun sufficiently that our angle compared to Orion’s will have changed. I will still be able to see the southern cross though because it is close to the south celestial pole. I built my own telescope some years ago and don’t use it as much as I should but when I fish build it I used it regularly for a couple of years and the thing you really notice is how much is changing up there and when certain constellations are visible and when they are not, you get to know the changes, they are moving up there, you have but to take the time to look.

    If you are saying that the constellations should change that is Cancer looks different 6 months apart, well they would but the change would be so small that we wouldn’t be able to detect it – certainly not with the naked eye. Think about driving down the road the power poles beside the road are moving very quickly the objects like mountains in the distance don’t seem to move at all. The nearest star is 4.5 light years away that is it would take one whole year for light to reach it and light travels at 300 000 km every second. Most constellations are much much further away than that (note, the different stars are all in different places too so the constellations only look like they do to us because of where we are). Above I suggested you download celestia, do so and turn on constellations then travel to a different star and see what happens to the appearance of the constellations. You will see they do change, it just you have to move light years to see it, we don’t move that far by comparison even though the radius of the Earth Sun Ellipse is around 150 000 000 km.

    I get the feeling when this finally clicks with you Matt that the universe is going to seem a damn sight bigger to you than it does now. Keep researching and wait for your mind to be blown.



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  • Matt I changed the geographical location on one of my star chart programs to match the sky for where you live. If you look up tonight just after dark (about 7pm) Betelgeuse (the big red star in Orion) is about 47 degrees above the horizon just after nightfall. If you look up again in one month at the same time of night it will be closer to 75 degrees, keep doing this until may and it will be 15 degrees over the western horizon (almost set) a month after that and you will not be seeing it for about 6 months. Don’t believe me, learn to find the star and look for yourself. Or download free software and run it through in about 30 minutes.



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  • Matt I made another comment on here that seems to have disappeared, I linked to a couple of you tube videos and they may need to be moderated or something so apologies if I duplicate my efforts here. Your comments about the universe expanding and stars moving. A few things to say there. The stars we see in constellations are all part of our galaxy the Milky Way and are gravitationally bound together. So the expansion of the universe is not going to effect them it will effect how the other galaxies are moving in relation to us. Some of those are also gravitationally bound to us and are actually coming towards us. The Andromeda galaxy for example will collide with us in about 5 billion years. Most of the other galaxies (outside of our local group) are actually moving away from us, but this will not affect our constellations. Our constellations are moving however relative to us it’s just that they are so far away their motion is relatively small. Over tens of thousands of years though they will be unrecognizable. This clip from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos shows a simulation of this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owAWld2M-ls



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  • Matt Eddie #43
    Jan 21, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Ok, i’ve received many answers as to my point of observation. But from text books, the universe is expanding at massive speed from galactic central point.

    The distant galaxies are moving away from each other, – not just “away from our galactic central point”.

    As OHooligan @#41 points out, the distance between the Earth and the Sun is tiny compared to the distances between stars.
    The distances between galaxies are even vastly greater.

    It is the distant galaxies which are moving apart (the nearest large galaxy to us – the Andromeda Galaxy is moving closer, and will eventually merge with our Milky Way galaxy).

    Why are the same star systems still easily identifiable, wouldn’t they be changing over the last few thousand years?

    The nearest 2 to 3 billion stars are in our own galaxy, and are not in other galaxies which are moving away.
    Like our Sun and the Solar-System the other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy orbit in circles around the black-hole at the galactic central point.

    http://www.atlasoftheuniverse.com/galaxy.gif



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  • Matt Eddie #45
    Jan 21, 2017 at 1:54 am

    I just find some of the flat earth ideas convincing but it doesn’t mean i am convinced.

    The most obvious refutation of the Flat Earthists’ claims, is the existence of hundreds of satellites from the space agencies of numerous countries, orbiting the Earth.
    There are also many astronauts from various countries who have also flown in orbit around the Earth in orbit, and there is even live video from the windows of the International Space Station, showing the curvature of the horizon as it orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes!

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Views_from_Cupola



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  • Matt Eddie,

    One more point about the whole flat Earth thing. If the Earth is flat then in an age of international flight why has no-one ever found an edge? You should ask yourself the question in science “What would refute my position?”. Flat Earther’s never do this. They also refuse to carry out any real experiments. For example claims about fish eye lenses distorting the field of view. We know enough about optics to measure the exact amount of distortion from a fish eye and remove it digitally. Likewise you can send a weather balloon up with a camera without a fish-eye lens. You can even with a go-pro take reference photos say taken low over a known flat surface and measure the amount of distortion yourself then see if the curvature is any greater. Hell a teenager in my town sent a raspberry pi computer up with a raspberry pi camera suspended under a weather balloon and tracked it with on board GPS retrieved it after the balloon bust at the edge of the atmosphere this 14 year old did it for less than $500 total. Why don’t these flat Earther’s ever just do the experiment. Hell just do an international flight across several time zones and look out the window to track Sun and Moon. The when going back travel in the same direction say east to west until you get back to your own country. Simple they are just plain wrong.



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  • Phil and Monkey, thanks for your in depth responses. I will certainly be watching the skies, although it can get very cloudy here. I will bring up the measurement of joules with Brian. The satellites thing, I have never seen a satellite. Most communication is ground based, this has been admitted. We actually lost internet for 5 days through Viettel network, because their underwater cable was cut. Half the country lost internet. Most flat earthers i talk to don’t believe in an edge,they say the land is fast and our earth is one of many ponds. Also checkout RussianVids on Youtube, he uploaded a gret 30second vid today using the Nikon 900 zoom camera, to show perspective over distance. He zoomed in on the sunset and the sun popped out from behind the horizon and was 100% visible again.



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  • Hi Matt Eddie,

    any clear night you can look up at the sky just after dusk for an hour to an hour and a half and see satellites crossing overhead with the naked eye, they look like stars moving across the sky. What you are seeing is the light from the Sun, still visible to the satellites (although not to us because the Earth is a sphere and the angle has the Sun for us below the horizon – another proof of the spherical nature of the Earth) reflecting off the solar panels/ If you have an okay telescope you can even make out more detail here is an example

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/old_boone/14044208935

    again don’t take my word you could build your own for about $500 or even cheaper find a local astronomy club and go and look for yourself.

    Many of the astronomy programs mentioned above allow you to add satellite data so you can track a particular satellite and check the sky (prediction – run the experiment and confirm for yourself don’t have to believe me).

    here is one site

    http://www.satview.org/

    and another

    http://www.satflare.com/track.asp?q=Skymed&Lat=-27.4679&Lon=153.028&Alt=100&Chart=1#TOP

    so find one that will be visible to you find a time and look. They’ll move quite fast but not as fast as a shooting star but faster than a jet by quite a margin.

    Had a bit of a look at Russian Vids site. This guy is a conspiracy theory nut job. I’d point out something on his site you may not have noticed. I was watching one of his videos about landing of rocket x, this guy is asking questions but he has turned comments off, so no one can answer his questions. Why do you think this is? Clearly he does not want to be challenged, and that is his right but from your perspective if you are choosing who to listen to (again there are a number of ways we’ve suggested to prove it to yourself) choosing someone who is not prepared to listen to a contrary point of view can be dismissed to begin with.

    This guy is wedded to the idea that the earth is flat due to the fact that the bible suggests its so, thus all this spherical earth stuff must just be satanic/masonic conspiracy rubbish. Matt just go and visit the local university and talk to some astronomy professors. Or go on a drive a do the stick experiment for yourself. Couldn’t find the particular video you mentioned but there was only so much I could bear to watch without tearing my hair out. Perhaps you could send a link. My sister used to live in the states, I’d talk to her here at noon and she’d be in complete darkness, either my sister and every other American is in on the same conspiracy or the Earth is a sphere, there is no other explanation.

    Regards



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  • @Matt

    No satellite dishes in your neighborhood? No satellite TV?

    The dishes, if you do spot any, all point in pretty much the same direction, you might notice. They each aim at a satellite that is “parked” approximately 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above some point along the equator. The angle of tilt of the dish (north-south) matches the latitude where the dish is installed, with a little bit of adjustment east-west to line up on a particular satellite. Aligning a satellite dish is a bit of hands-on practical experience easily done even under cloudy skies, and it’s oddly satisfying when it works. Understanding the prediction (by Arthur C. Clarke) that it was possible, is even more satisfying. His prediction assumed the earth is a globe, and that gravity acts as Newton described, and then required just a little elementary mathematics. It was in some ways an outrageous prediction, like a “sky hook”, but one worth betting on — because it worked.

    I know of no equivalent useful prediction by proponents of other arrangements of the world (flat or hollow).



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  • Matt

    I will bring up the measurement of joules with Brian.

    Don’t bother. I already have. Moving through his other vids reveals consistently egregious material which I have felt necessary to point out to others.

    In fact you must thank him. I now see a task for undergraduate science students to post detailed corrections to be marked by their tutors and underwritten by their universities to flag such nonsense to the unwitting. By co-opting Youtube and the like to allow a distinctive warning banner we can help clean up such mostly malicious stuff. Lets see if I/we can start something….

    Reckless O’Hool,

    So, so many disproofs of the hypothesis, when only one should be needed…Heigh ho.



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  • phil,

    So, so many disproofs of the hypothesis, when only one should be needed…Heigh ho.

    Yes, unfortunately not many people get this point. If you are making a positive claim – ‘The Earth is flat’ any one of these proof blows it completely out of the water.



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  • @Matt

    Most flat earthers i talk to don’t believe in an edge,they say the land is fast and our earth is one of many ponds.

    I was re-reading the posts and found this bit I’d missed. So the Earth is fast? Yes the Earth is fast but Newton shows us that as the air and us are moving with it the relative movement doesn’t matter. So first here is a little experiment you can do yourself.

    Get into a train with a tennis ball wait till it is going at full speed say 100km/h drop the ball. If Newton is right then the ball will drop to your feet in-spite of the fact that the ball is traveling at 100km/h it will not go flinging into the nearest passenger at 100km/h. Hence is you are flying over the ground you are flying in air that is attached to the ground so while the airspeed does move relative to the horizon over long distances due to the Coriolis effect (another proof we live on a sphere) you will still be moving relative to the ground. So the speed of the Earth is it is just part of an infinity big pond will not stop you from getting to the next pond.

    Likewise if they are right then an aircraft would get to a place where it just stops moving relative to the horizon or if on the ground or out at sea would get to a certain distance away when the wind would be so strong that even an airliner cannot outrun it. Well why haven’t any of these crack pots done the simple experiment. Map for us where the speed becomes such that we cannot get further?

    You need to recognise that the empirical method is never carried out with these guys they just don’t do the simple experiment. You can do it yourself with a compass your eyeballs and an international flight – pick a set of flights that fly West continuously until you get back to Vietnam without ever flying East (won’t be exactly west flight paths have to fly to cities etc. but you could certainly track your flight with a compass and take a log book). Of course normal businessmen and travelers do this exercise every day flying through timezones, sea captains circumnavigate the world, and have done for hundreds of years, we have satellites and space stations and have had for decades. Hell you can put a stick in the ground in two places at the same time with a trusted friend in a city a few hundred km away and do the experiment yourself. Any one of these blows flat earth out of the water. So why do you not ever see flat Earthers do these simple experiments? Instead they raise a hundred objections that are simply scientifically wrong, this is a tactic to waste the time of those who know the science as though we have to give them a complete scientific education when their assertion that the Earth is flat requires extraordinary evidence which they produce zero physical evidence and any one of these proof we have provided completely decimates the flat earth BS. Note I don’t think you are a troll but you owe it to yourself to do the simple experiments, let us know how you go.



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  • Thank’s for that Ohooligan,

    I think you are right, I’ve seen a couple of flat Earther’s argue that the world is a flat plate accelerating upwards at 1 g explaining gravity in their minds and other arguments about the Sun moving around the Earth or the Earth spinning. So my normal error correction seems to have misfired in this case.

    regards



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