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 parts are experiencing the peak 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 appears to be in the angular size of about 0.53°, and it is constant throughout the day. But sunlight is very intense and causes glare that surrounds the Sun. Because of the intensity, we are unable to distinguish the Sun from its glare.

During a sunset, sunlight’s intensity is reduced as sunlight traverses the 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 see 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 Proof 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 narrower aperture.

Flat-Earthers often find themselves looking for any peculiarity —no matter how small or unbelievable— in order 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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