The sun emits sunrays in every direction. But as the sun is very far, the sun rays that reach us are practically parallel. From Earth, any two sun rays form a maximum angle of ~0.53°. Sun rays are practically parallel, but not perfectly parallel.
For most practical purposes, we can assume sun rays are parallel for simplification. But in other cases, the small angle is critical to the problem & we need to take it into account.
Continue reading “Sunrays are Practically Parallel, but not Perfectly Parallel”
Many Islamic rituals rely on the observations of astronomical events. Presently, many such observations are supplanted by calculations involving the knowledge that Earth is a sphere. These calculations give the same consistent results as direct observations on all locations on Earth for several centuries already. The fact confirms that Earth is indeed a sphere.
Some Muslims believe in flat Earth and then try to integrate the belief that Earth is flat into their religion. It results in an interesting phenomenon that they perform their religious rituals using the results of spherical Earth calculations but have severe difficulties accepting the fact. It can result in a spectacular cognitive dissonance after being made aware of it.
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The “Flat Earth Dome Model” (walter.bislins.ch/FED) is an app created by a fellow flat Earth debunker, Walter Bislin. The app attempts to map observed reality to the flat Earth model. Lines in the app portray how light rays must have traveled if Earth were flat. They demonstrate that light must bend in a physically impossible way if Earth were flat, disproving a flat Earth.
Videos of the app are circulating in flat-Earth communities, and flat-Earthers fail to understand what the app is showing. They incorrectly assume the app “proves” a flat Earth when in reality, it thoroughly disproves the flat Earth model.
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The Saros is a period of 18 years, 11 days, and 8 hours between related eclipses. The eclipses with the same Saros cycle are classified into a Saros series which is numbered for identification.
Flat-Earthers claim the usage of the Babylonian term Saros “proves” that eclipses are predicted using ancient Babylonian technology. In reality, the Saros is now used to classify related eclipses. For example, the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 is the 22nd member out of 77 in the Solar Saros 145.
The term Saros was first used in association with eclipse by Edmond Halley in 1691. The Babylonians never used the term Saros to describe eclipses. And the numbering system of the Saros series was created by G. van den Bergh in 1955.
Continue reading “The Saros Cycle and Saros Series”
Saros is a period of 6585⅓ days separating the occurrence of two eclipses. One Saros after an eclipse, a similar eclipse will occur. The eclipses that belong to the same cycle are grouped in a Saros Series.
Flat-Earthers claim that we can only predict eclipses using the Saros Cycle. In reality, it is impossible to determine many characteristics of an eclipse from its Saros Cycle alone.
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The images showing the progress of a lunar eclipse were taken in increasing exposures to compensate for the decrease in brightness. The exposure increase from full moon to totality can reach 12EV or 4000× increase in light-gathering power.
Images showing the progress of a lunar eclipse appear in a constant brightness, and flat-Earthers —presumably never seen it in person— use it to “prove” a lunar eclipse is not caused by Earth’s shadow. In reality, the images were kept in a constant brightness by increasing the exposure of the camera.
Continue reading “Constant Image Brightness in Images of a Total Lunar Eclipse”
The Moon becomes red during a total lunar eclipse because Earth’s atmosphere acts like a lens and refracts sunlight toward the Moon. It also scatters bluish components of sunlight more strongly and lets more reddish components reach the Moon.
The Moon does not become totally dark during a total lunar eclipse, and flat-Earthers use it as “evidence” the Moon is not in Earth’s shadow during a lunar eclipse. In reality, it occurs due to optical phenomena involving Earth’s atmosphere.
Continue reading “Blood Moon: Why The Moon Turns Red During a Total Lunar Eclipse”
The lunar phase is the shape of the Moon’s directly sunlit portion as viewed from Earth. The lunar phases change continuously, with a cycle over a period of 29½ days.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves into Earth’s shadow. It is a rarer event that occurs only during a full moon and when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are very closely aligned.
Flat-Earthers claim it is impossible that the gibbous phase of the Moon is caused by Earth’s shadow, and they use it to discredit science. In reality, nobody claims Earth’s shadow causes it. They confuse the lunar phase with a lunar eclipse.
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The plane of the Moon’s orbit around Earth does not coincide with the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The two orbital planes form an angle of 5.145°. This is the reason an eclipse does not occur every month.
Flat-Earthers claim an eclipse should occur every month, but it does not, and they use it to discredit the science. In reality, they are unaware of the inclinations of the orbits.
Continue reading “Orbital Inclination: The Reason an Eclipse Does Not Occur Every Month”
Using the current computing power, predicting eclipses is usually done iteratively. We determine the position of the Sun and the Moon at a time and calculate their elongation to determine if an eclipse happens. This same procedure is then repeated many times, each for a different time.
Flat-Earthers insist that nobody can predict eclipses from the position of the Sun and the Moon. They incorrectly believe NASA used the ancient Saros cycle to predict eclipses by calculating the interval between eclipses. A tiny Python script can easily debunk it.
Continue reading “Predicting Eclipses Does Not Require the Saros Cycle or NASA’s Involvement”
A selenelion is a rare lunar eclipse where the Sun and the Moon are both visible at the same time. An even rarer form of selenelion occurs if it is a partial lunar eclipse, and the upper part of the Moon is eclipsed. Some call this an “impossible eclipse.”
Flat-Earthers claim that such an eclipse should not be possible to occur because the Earth’s shadow is in the wrong position. In reality, it is possible to happen because the observer is looking slightly downward due to the dip of the horizon and atmospheric refraction.
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A selenelion occurs during a lunar eclipse when the sun and moon are observed above the horizon. Atmospheric refraction bends light rays and lifts the image of the sun, and the moon typically up to 0.6°, so both can appear above the horizon.
Flat-Earthers assert that a selenelion should not be possible if Earth is a sphere due to the fact during a lunar eclipse, the sun and moon are 180° apart. In reality, a selenelion is possible because Earth’s atmosphere refracts light.
Continue reading “Selenelion: The Phenomenon Where Both the Sun and Moon Are Visible During a Total Lunar Eclipse”
Light generally travels in a straight line. We can use this property of light to determine the umbra, penumbra, and antumbra part of a shadow by drawing lines from the edges of the light source toward and past that of the occluding object.
Flat-Earthers regard the lines in an eclipse diagram as a violation of the fact that a light source emits light in every direction. In reality, the lines are there only to determine the boundaries of the shadow’s regions in an eclipse diagram.
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It can be surprising that many people believe that the lunar phase is caused by the Earth casting its shadow on the surface of the Moon. Flat-Earthers are no exception. But they take it one step further and use the misconception do “disprove” the fact that Earth is a sphere. They are wrong. The lunar phase is the shape of the sunlit part of the Moon seen from the observer.
On the other hand, the phenomenon where the Earth casting its shadow on the surface of the Moon is called the lunar eclipse. Moon phase occurs all the time and undergoes a monthly cycle, while a lunar eclipse happens only a couple times in a year.
Continue reading “Lunar Phase: Earth’s Shadow has Nothing to do with It”
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.
Continue reading “Atmospheric Refraction”