In 1958, James Van Allen discovered the existence of the Van Allen radiation belts. Conspiracy theorists, including flat-Earthers, use it to “prove” the Apollo Moon landings were faked and never happened. To dispel the hoax, James Van Allen himself wrote letters clarifying the false allegation.
“The recent Fox TV show, which I saw, is an ingenious & entertaining assemblage of nonsense. The claim that radiation exposure during the Apollo missions would have been fatal to the astronauts is only one example of such nonsense.”
Both the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts and the statement that the radiation belts do not prevent space travel came from James Van Allen. Conspiracy theorists cannot merely quote one when it appears to support their belief and conveniently reject the other if it is against them. Continue reading “James Van Allen and the Van Allen Radiation Belts”
In 2014, the Christian rock band Remedy Drive released the album “Commodity”. Its cover image is a small hole from NASA’s Solar Max Satellite that was caused by space debris. NASA first published the original photos in 2006.
In 2018, astronaut Chris Hadfield showed the picture to illustrate how space debris can do to a spacecraft. Flat-Earthers were happy to accuse Hadfield of stealing the cover image from the “Commodity” album. They were simply looking for any reason do discredit space flight and did not realize NASA published the image first before anyone else, including Remedy Drive.
Continue reading “Remedy Drive’s “Commodity” Album Cover Image Confusion”
In an interview, Donald Pettit —a NASA astronaut— mentioned that he’d go the moon, but they no longer have the technology to do that. All the technology from the Apollo mission has been destroyed, and it is a painful process to build it back again.
Flat-Earthers interpreted the statement rather too freely and took that as “proof” we never had the technology in the first place. In reality, the word “technology” is polyseme. It has two different related meanings. Flat-Earthers misinterpreted Don’s statement as one meaning, while Don’s intention was another.
Continue reading “The ‘Destroyed Technology’ to go to the Moon”
In 2017, the group who name themselves ‘ASAN’ staged a protest to Donald Trump by sending a high-altitude balloon carrying a camera and a crude message, which was quoted from a statement by Edgar Mitchell, an astronaut from the Apollo 14 mission.
Some unscrupulous flat-Earthers hijacked the protest and turned it as if ASAN did it to prove Earth’s curvature and to insult them. These flat-Earthers pointed out that ASAN somehow “forgot” to conceal the fact that a fisheye lens was used. In reality, it is never the intention of ASAN to prove Earth’s curvature, nor to throw insults to flat-Earthers.
Continue reading “The Space Protest by ASAN That Was Hijacked by Flat-Earthers for Provocation”
Auguste Piccard was a Swiss-Belgian physicist, inventor, and explorer, known for his record-breaking balloon flights to the stratosphere, as well as the invention for bathyscaphe to allow for deep ocean exploration.
Unfortunately for him, flat-Earthers are claiming him as their own these days. It started from a Popular Science article from 1931, saying:
Through portholes, the observers saw the earth through copper-colored then bluish, haze. It seemed a flat disk with upturned edge.
But, no. In reality, Auguste Piccard was not even close to being a flat-Earther.
Continue reading “Auguste Piccard, Another Scientist Falsely Claimed by Flat-Earthers”
The distance to the Sun was first determined with a good accuracy from worldwide observations of the transit of Venus. A transit of Venus is a phenomenon where Venus passes in front of the Sun. By measuring the time Venus spends crossing in front of the Sun from two or more locations on the surface of the Earth, it is possible to calculate the distance to the Sun.
Flat-Earthers insist that it is impossible to determine the distance to the Sun in the globe model because sun rays are practically parallel. They are wrong. Using simple geometry, the distance to the Sun can be determined from the observations of the transit of Venus.
Continue reading “Determining the Distance to the Sun from the Transit of Venus”
Flat-Earthers often bring Galileo into the discussion. They treat him as a ‘villain’ who supported the spherical Earth but unable to prove it as he failed to demonstrate the occurrence of stellar parallax.
They are wrong. The Galileo affair was in fact not about the shape of the Earth at all. It was about geocentrism vs. heliocentrism. Everyone involved already knew that the Earth is spherical.
Continue reading “The Galileo Affair was Never About the Shape of the Earth”
Jupiter possesses four large moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. These are called the Galilean Moons. They are easy to observe and the first objects found to orbit a planet other than the Earth.
Flat-Earthers are often seen demanding proof that an object can orbit another object. All they have to do is to use a telescope to observe Jupiter and its Galilean moons.
Continue reading “Galilean Moons: The First Objects Observed to Orbit Another Object”
Sunlight can be broken into its constituent colors using a prism. The colors are the optical spectrum of the Sun. They are the same colors on rainbows. On careful observation, the spectrum is not perfectly continuous, but it has dark lines scattered over the entire spectrum. It turned out that from the lines, we can tell the composition of the Sun without physically getting there.
Some flat-Earthers think that it is impossible for us to determine the composition of the Sun, as it is impossible for anyone to visit the Sun without getting roasted in the process. They are wrong. The composition of the Sun can be determined from the spectral lines, or more specifically for the Sun: the Fraunhofer lines.
Continue reading “Fraunhofer Lines”
In a talk show, Neil deGrasse Tyson explained the figure of the Earth. He told the audience that the Earth is practically round, but it is a little farther from the center near the equator compared to the poles. And that in the southern parts, it is a bit farther from the center than in its northern regions. To illustrate the fact, Neil used the analogy ‘pear-shaped.’
Flat-Earthers really love to ridicule the ‘pear-shaped’ analogy. But they are mistaken. If they watch the entire unaltered video, they will find Neil explained the fact very clearly.
Continue reading “Neil deGrasse Tyson and His ‘Pear-Shaped’ Analogy”
James Cook made three significant voyages to the Pacific Ocean. Flat-Earthers often made their case with his second voyage. In this voyage, James Cook was tasked to find the hypothetical continent, the Terra Australis, that was predicted to be around the southern Pacific Ocean. In his second voyage, James Cook proved no such continent exists.
Flat-Earthers often take the second voyage of James Cook as ‘proof’ that Antarctica is not a continent, but a massive landmass encircling the flat-Earth. Their ‘proof’ is that Cook traveled more than 60000 miles, and 60000 miles is much farther than the circumference of Antarctica. They are wrong.
Continue reading “James Cook’s Second Voyage”
Flat-Earthers quoted Einstein’s statement out of context to give the appearance that he gave credence to the notion that Earth is stationary. In reality, Einstein never said the Earth is stationary.
The quote came from his Kyoto address “How I created the theory of relativity,” December 14, 1922.
Continue reading “Quote-Mined Einstein Statement”
In 205 BC, Eratosthenes successfully determined the circumference of the Earth by measuring the length of the shadow cast by a rod. He did the measurement in Alexandria and timed it to coincidence when the Sun is directly overhead Syene.
2222 years after that, some flat-Earthers tried to refute the Eratosthenes experiment. They say the experiment can be applied to the flat-Earth model.
Continue reading “The Eratosthenes Experiment: Proving the Earth is Spherical”
Aether was the hypothetical material that fills the region of space. It was assumed to be the medium that allows light and gravity to propagate in space. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, some experiments were carried out to prove if the aether exists.
Flat-Earthers (and geocentrists alike) often use the results of these experiments to support their case that the Earth is stationary. But they are wrong. These experiments were conducted to prove if the Aether theory, or if one of its competing hypotheses —like the Special Relativity— better explains reality.
Continue reading “The Aether Experiments are Never Evidence of Flat and Stationary Earth”
In 1870, Alfred Russell Wallace successfully demonstrated the curvature of the Earth to answer the challenge put forward by a flat-Earther, John Hampden.
Continue reading “Bedford Level Experiment Confirmed the Curvature of the Earth”
The film ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is a mockumentary. It is fictional but presented as if it is a real documentary. The film features guests like Donald Rumsfield, Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Vernon Walters, Buzz Aldrin, and Stanley Kubrick’s wife. In the film, they all pretend that the Moon landings were faked, and created in a studio by Stanley Kubrick.
There are many doctored versions of the film circulated on the Internet. Usually, the ‘giveaways’ are cut to make the film more believable. Then, the film is presented as ‘evidence’ that the Moon landings did not happen. Unfortunately, many believe these edited versions of the film and don’t realize the events in the movie are entirely fictional.
Continue reading “The Mockumentary ‘Dark Side of the Moon’”
Archimedes is a scientist from 3rd century BC. He is best known for the Archimedes’ Principle which explains buoyancy. He also contributed to many scientific discoveries and inventions.
But did you know that Archimedes explained the Archimedes’ principle using the spherical Earth model?
Continue reading “Archimedes and the Surface of any Fluid”
Many flat-Earthers will tell you that Nikola Tesla is actually a flat-Earther. The supposed ‘evidence’ is a piece of quote that is claimed to be from Tesla himself; but in fact, it is not. It is actually a really terrible misquote, and an attempt to take the quote out of context.
The source of this problem is apparently a Facebook post that quotes Tesla, as well as a Facebook user named ‘Darrell Fox’.
Continue reading “Misquotes of Nikola Tesla”
Isaac Newton formulated the law of universal gravitation which explained the motion of all celestial bodies in space known at his time. Also, he demonstrated that it is the same law that is causing everyday objects to fall to Earth.
Newton wrote that he had not been able to discover the reason for the phenomenon of gravity. Flat-Earthers use this as “proof” that he lied and he did not know anything about gravity, and that gravity was a mere fabrication. They are wrong. Gravity adequately explained the motion of all celestial bodies and the fact that everyday objects are falling to Earth. Newton simply did not know what is causing it.
Continue reading “Isaac Newton and The Law of Universal Gravitation”
According most flat earthers, there’s no such thing as the continent of Antarctica. In their imagination, Antarctica is not a continent, but a long ice wall enclosing the Earth. Without having anything to prove that assumption, they look anywhere for any quote they can mine and stumbled into this quote by Admiral Byrd:
“Strangely enough, there is left in the world today, an area as big as the United States, that’s never been seen by a human being. And that’s beyond the pole, on the other side of the south pole from Little America.”
Continue reading “Admiral Byrd: “An Area As Big As The United States on the Other Side of the South Pole””