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Cosmology, the study of the origin & structure of the universe:

Proofs 15 to 21 that the Earth is not flat.

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Part 9

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Proof 15: Sundials:

The Sun's shadow produced by a sundial rotates clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. That would be impossible with a flat earth, but is a necessary observation if the Earth is close to a sphere.

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Proof 16: Star trails:

Photographing star trails around Polaris in the Northern Hemisphere shows that the stars appear to draw circles in a counterclockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere. A photograph in the Southern Hemisphere shows them apparently moving counterclockwise. Again, that would be impossible with a flat Earth, but is a necessary observation in a spherical Earth.

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Proof 17: Apparent rotation of the Sun:

As viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, the sun appears to rotates clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere rotation is counterclockwise. This can be observed, with suitable precautions to avoid damage to one's eyes, by tracking sunspots across the surface of the Sun. Again this is impossible with a flat Earth, but is a necessary observation in a spherical Earth.

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Proof 18: Duration of sunlight:

The Arctic region lies north of the Arctic Circle, which is a line at 66°33' North Latitude. At that latitude, the sun remains completely below the horizon throughout the 24 hours at the date of the Winter Solstice, about DEC-21. As one moves closer to the North pole the number of days without sunlight increase. Also at the Arctic Circle, the sun remains completely above the horizon at the time of the Summer Solstice (about JUN-21). As one moves closer to the North pole the number of days with 24 hours of sunlight increase. The same is true near the South Pole, except that the dates are reversed.

However, if the Earth were flat, then when the sun rose above the horizon, it would be visible everywhere on Earth. The number of hours of sunlight and darkness would be the same on every day and at every location around the Earth.

Earth, as seen from the moon on an Apollo mission  Earth portrait by Appollo mission

Earth rise or set.          View of the Earth.
As seen from the moon on an Apollo mission: real or hoax? 1

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Proof 19: How the moon appears in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere:

The "Ask an Astronomer" web site is updated by volunteers in the Astronomy Department of Cornell University. They attempt to give answers to questions posed by their site visitors.

One question was posed by a person from Australia. She or he was visited by people who lived in the U.S. The visitors noted that the moon looks inverted in Australia to what it appears in the U.S. This is to be expected, if the Earth is near spherical in shape. People looking at the moon are typically standing with their feet on the earth. Therefore, people in Australia are upside down when compared to people in the U.S. The web site stated:

"... imagine for simplicity that the orbit of the Moon was exactly in the same plane as the Earth's equator. From the northern hemisphere, the Moon is in the southern sky because that's the direction of the Earth's equator. In the southern hemisphere the situation is reversed.

Now imagine that you are standing on the equator. The Moon would be directly overhead. First face north and look straight up at the Moon. It should look like it does in Australia. Now turn and face south and look at the Moon. You are now looking at the Moon flipped from how it looked when facing north. This is how the moon looks in the northern hemisphere to your American friends." 2

If the Earth were flat, then everybody on earth would see the moon in the same orientation.

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Proof 20: Measuring the distance from the Earth to the Moon:

constellation orion The constellation of Orion appears upside down in the Southern Hemisphere -- say in Australia or New Zealand -- compared to how it appears in the Northern Hemisphere -- say in North America or Europe.

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Proof 21: Measuring the distance from the Earth to the Moon:

Orthodox flat-earth teachings include a belief that the sun and moon are both small objects, approximately the same size, and both located about the same distance from the earth. Both are believed to rotate around the flat earth. Samuel Birley Rowbotham (1816-1884), a believer in fundamentalist Christianity, was the first major promoter in a flat earth in modern times. He used several pseudonyms: Tryon, S. Goulden, Parallax, and Dr. Birley. 3 He was the first flat-earth believer to compute the diameter of the sun and moon's. He estimated both to be about 32 miles. Many flat earthers still use this value. They further believe that both are about 3,000 miles from Earth. Meanwhile, astronomers believe the distance between the Earth and moon is about 239,000 miles or 384,400 km. The ratio of the two values is about 80.

Fortunately, it is now possible to measure the distance to the moon from Earth by generating a radar pulse on Earth, bouncing the signal off of the moon, and measuring the elapsed time between the transmission of the signal and the detection of the return pulse. The Apollo 11 missions left reflectors on the surface of the moon to facilitate such measurements by enhancing the return signal's strength. Knowing the speed of radar signals, which is about 300 million meters per second, the distance can be accurately measured with the right equipment.

This type of measurement was shown on Episode 23 on Season 3 of the TV program "The Big Bang Theory." 3 The episode is called "The Lunar Excitation." The team said that they used equipment borrowed from the California Institute of Technology (a.k.a. Caltech ) where most of the show's main characters are supposed to work. At a distance of 384,400 km, the signal would have taken 2.56 seconds to travel from the earth to moon and back. If the moon was only 3,000 miles away, the interval would have been about 32 milliseconds. Needless to say, astronomers measure intervals close to the 2.5 seconds estimated by Leonard on the program.

During the TV episode, Leonard demolished another NASA conspiracy theory. He commented that this type of measurement is the only definitive technique to prove that humans actually did reach the moon and left objects on its surface.

This type of measurement only proves that one part of the Flat Earth belief system is incorrect and that the distance from the Earth to the moon is about 80 times that estimated by Flat Earthers. Proof 20 does not prove that the Earth is roughly spherical in shape.

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RELATED FEATURE ESSAYS on Cosmology, the study of the origin & structure of the universe:

  • Part 1: Overview about cosmological beliefs. The Ancient Pagan view originating in Sumer.

  • Part 2: The revised Pagan view, as generally accepted within early Christianity.

  • Part 3: Greek Pagan cosmology (Continued). Modern view of the solar system. Church taught an Earth-centered system. The big hoax: that the church taught a flat Earth during the Middle Ages.

  • Part 4: A modern-day return to the belief that the Earth is flat, and that there is a massive, false conspiracy teaching that the Earth is similar to a sphere

  • Part 5: Three more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat.

  • Part 6: Five more proofs that the Earth is more or less spherical and not flat

  • Part 7: Arguments about the Earth's shape. A weak proof of a spherical Earth. More Old Testament passages about the Earth's shape.

  • Part 8: Passages from the New Testament about the Earth's shape. Additional proofs that the Earth is not flat.

  • Part 10: Proof 22 that the Earth is not flat. Are Flat Earthers Hoaxters?

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "NASA Got Sick of Moon Landing Conspirators and Released 10,000 Photos From Apollo Mission," Before It's News, 2016-AUG-12, at: http://beforeitsnews.com/
  2. Laura Spitler, "Does the Moon look different in the northern and southern hemispheres?" Ask an Astronomer. Undated, at http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/
  3. A segment of "HD The Big Bang Theory - The Lunar Excitation Episode," can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/

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Site navigation:

 Home page >  Christianity > Bible & the world > Cosmology > here

 Home page >  Religion & science > Cosmology > here

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Copyright © 2016 & 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2016-AUG-12
Latest update and review: 2017-FEB-18
Author: B.A. Robinson

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