Stellarium

Some flat-Earthers like to observe celestial phenomena and the positions of celestial objects. Sometimes, they insist such events cannot possibly happen if the Earth is a sphere orbiting the Sun, and took the wrong conclusion that the Earth must be flat.

We can try asking them the time of the occurrence and the position of the observer, then use Stellarium or similar applications to simulate it. If the result matches the observation, then they have nothing to complain about. Their confusion was only the result of their ignorance.

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Sun Path

In the Northern hemisphere, the Sun appears to move to the right. In the Southern hemisphere, it appears to move to the left. During sunrise and sunset, the path of the Sun forms an angle that roughly corresponds to the latitude of the observer. This phenomenon occurs because observers on the different locations on Earth’s surface is not standing on the same plane.

The path of the Sun observed from many different locations on Earth’s surface is evidence of spherical Earth. This observation cannot possibly occur on a flat Earth.

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Sunset, Camera Zooming, and Autoexposure

There are videos showing the sun to appear to set, but after the camera is zoomed in, the sun is still above the horizon. The reason is that the camera’s autoexposure system is constantly adjusting the exposure, and in such scenes, there’s a difference in overall brightness before and after zooming in.

Flat-Earthers are taking such videos as ‘evidence’ of a receding sun. They are wrong. This is merely a matter of photography. In reality, the sun is not receding, and it has the same angular size throughout the day.

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The so-called “Experiment” Done by Flat-Earthers

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We often see flat-Earthers create a ‘miniaturized physical model’ of a real object and present them as ‘proof’ in support of flat-Earth and against spherical Earth. Their M.O. is to observe if the model remotely resembles the actual object in a particular way. If it does, then it is enough for them to conclude the model describe how the real object works.

Conversely, if a real object cannot be miniaturized and still have the same behavior as the original object, they would conclude that the behavior of the original object doesn’t exist.

They would wrongly call creating such models “doing an experiment”.

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The Direction to the Sun vs the Position of the Sun

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If we were to observe the direction to the Sun over the entire course of the day, on multiple locations on Earth’s surface, and then plot the results on the so-called flat-Earth map; then they would not consistently point to the position of the Sun that is calculated from its location on such map.

This fact happens because the flat-Earth map is not the correct description of the real Earth.

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Temperature Variations at the Different Times During the Day

The variation of the temperature at the different times during the day is the result of two primary causes: the difference of the thickness of the atmosphere the sunlight must traverse to reach the surface; and the change of the concentration of sunlight over the same surface area of the Earth.

Flat-Earthers claim that the change in Sun’s distance caused such a difference in temperature and that it can only be explained in a flat Earth. They are wrong.

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Sunglint

Sunglint is a phenomenon that occurs when sunlight reflects off the surface of a water body —like the ocean— at the same angle as an observer is viewing the surface. In the affected area, relatively smooth ocean water becomes a silvery mirror.

In the flat-Earth model, the Sun is assumed to be a ‘local light source.’ They like to use a spotlight or a flashlight as an analogy. They present the sunglint phenomenon as ‘evidence’ of the fact that sunlight is local. They are wrong.

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The Apparent Size of the Sun

The apparent size of the Sun is practically constant throughout the day. This can only happen if the Sun is practically at the same distance all day.

In the flat-Earth model, the Sun is close to the surface at the distance of about 5000 km (3500 miles). The Sun is supposed to be moving in a circle, and it completes the circling motion once in a day. This fact should cause the Sun’s apparent size to change during the day. But it does not happen. The Sun’s constant apparent size is evidence that the flat-Earth model is wrong, and that the Sun is very far away.

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Shadow on Clouds

Before sunrise or after sunset, the Sun is below the horizon and not directly visible. But the sky and clouds above are illuminated because they are high above, and sunlight can reach them.

If there’s a mountain between the Sun and the clouds, it can cast a shadow on the clouds. The flat-Earth model assumes the Sun is always high above, and thus, this phenomenon cannot possibly occur in a flat-Earth.

The fact that a mountain can cast its shadow on clouds far above it is evidence that the Earth is spherical.

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The December Solstice, When the Sun Illuminates an Impossible Area in the Flat-Earth Model

The December solstice occurs between the 20th and 22nd in December, which is when the Sun reaches its most southerly excursion. Around this time, the northern hemisphere experiences winter, and conversely, the southern hemisphere experiences summer.

If we try to plot the areas that are having daytime and nighttime on the so-called ‘flat-Earth map,’ the Sun would appear to illuminate an impossible area, similar to Batman’s bat-signal. This fact tells us that the ‘flat-Earth map’ does not conform to reality.

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Observing Mercury and Venus

Mercury and Venus are closer to the Sun compared to the Earth. The best condition to observe these planets is during some time after sunset or before sunrise. In some cases, they are even visible in the day.

Many flat-Earthers think that it should be impossible to observe Mercury & Venus as they are closer to the Sun. They are wrong.

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The Cities of Punta Arenas, Dunedin, and Murmansk During the December Solstice

During the December solstice, on December 21, the Sun reaches its southernmost point. During this time, the northern parts of the Earth are experiencing the peak of winter, and conversely, the southern regions are experiencing the height of summer.

Most flat-Earth denominations picture the sun shining like a spotlight, and they can’t explain what is happening in the southern parts of the Earth during the December solstice.

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Sun Glare Makes the Sun Appear Larger

The Sun has the angular size of approximately 0.53° seen from Earth, and it is practically constant throughout a single day. But sunlight is very intense and result in a glare that surrounds the Sun. Because of the intensity, we are unable to distinguish the Sun from its glare.

During a sunset, the intensity of sunlight is lower due to the fact that sunlight has to traverse Earth’s atmosphere at an angle. Because of the reduced intensity, the amount of glare will also be reduced, and the Sun can look as if it is shrinking.

Flat-Earthers often use this phenomenon as ‘evidence’ of a receding Sun during a sunset. They are wrong.

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Confirmation Bias

Humans have cognitive biases that can affect our judgments. One of these cognitive biases is the confirmation bias. Because of the confirmation bias, we tend to seek the information confirming our preexisting beliefs.

Confirmation bias is a fact of life, and all humans have it. Confirmation bias can result in different subjective opinion from a different subject. A characteristic of any pseudoscience —like the concept of flat-Earth— is that they don’t try to minimize the confirmation bias, but they actually encourage it.

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Zooming in Will Not Reveal More of a Distant Object

Zooming in using a camera merely magnifies the center portion of the image. Changing zoom does not change an object’s position with respect to another object or the camera. It will not reveal more of a distant object.

Flat-Earthers often claim that zooming in will reveal distant objects that are ‘allegedly’ behind the curvature. They are wrong. If the object is really behind the curvature, then no amount of zooming can bring the object back into view.

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Atmospheric Refraction

Light waves are not always moving in a straight line. When it passes through a medium of a different refractive index, the waves will deviate. The phenomenon is called refraction and described according to Snell’s Law.

Earth’s atmosphere has variation in air density that depends on the altitude. As the refractive index changes with the density of the medium, light waves passing through Earth’s atmosphere also experience refraction.

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The Starburst Effect is not Evidence of CGI

In photography, the starburst effect gives the illusion of light rays from strong light sources in an image. The effect happens when the lens’ aperture is not a perfect circle, and it gets more pronounced under a narrower aperture.

Flat-Earthers often find themselves looking for any peculiarity —no matter how small or unbelievable— to discredit any picture they deem unacceptable to their misguided causes. One of this peculiarity is the starburst effect.

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Perspective: Not the Reason a Sunset Occurs

One of the major holes in the flat-Earth model is the apparent motion of the Sun. The sun rises and sets once a day. But if the Earth is flat, then sunrises and sunsets should never happen, and the Sun would be visible all the time, from anywhere on Earth. In order to plug the hole and  ‘explain’ this problem, they invented an ad-hoc hypothesis that the Sun sets because of perspective.

The pretext is that an object appears closer to the horizon as it is moving away from the observer. They extrapolated this fact and wrongly assume that if it keeps going, then eventually it will appear to go down crossing the horizon line and is no longer visible.

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Selenelion: The Phenomenon Where The Sun and Moon Are Visible During a Total Lunar Eclipse

“The Sun and the Moon have been observed to appear in the sky at the same time during a total lunar eclipse. This cannot happen if the Earth is round because the Sun, Earth and Moon are supposed to be in a straight line during a total lunar eclipse. So, the globe Earth model is wrong!”

Some flat-Earthers observed the Sun and Moon appear at the same time during a total lunar eclipse. Predictably enough, they pick the most far-fetched explanation, and conclude the Earth is not round. But in reality, this phenomenon is well documented and clearly explained.

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