A flame can produce a shadow if the other light source is much brighter, then refracted by the temperature difference, or the flame produces soot, steam, or other combustion products.
Flat-Earthers discovered images of flames not casting a shadow, & when they saw in a photo that a rocket’s exhaust casted a shadow, they used it as “evidence” it was faked. In reality, a flame can produce a shadow under the right conditions. Rockets have opaque combustion products, & in daylight, are lit by the very bright sun.
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Flat-Earthers and other conspiracy theorists incorrectly claim that the shadows in photos taken on the Moon in the Apollo missions are inconsistent. In reality, it is just due to their confirmation biases, and we can easily explain how the shadows were formed.
The perspective effect can cause parallel shadows to appear angled to each other and converge to a distant point. Conspiracy theorists incorrectly claim that non-parallel shadows can only be caused by a nearby light source.
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The sun is a huge light source. It is larger than anything on Earth. As a result, the umbral part of a shadow formed by sunlight will always be smaller than the object casting the shadow.
Flat-Earthers assert that a shadow cannot be smaller than the object casting the shadow. They would use that to “disprove” the scientific explanation about the occurrence of a solar eclipse. In reality, it is not difficult to demonstrate that the umbral part of a shadow can be smaller than the object casting the shadow, especially if the light source is the sun.
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During an equinox (March 20 and September 22-23), the Sun is directly above the equator. If we are on the equator, an upright stick will not have a shadow in the middle of the day.
On any other location, the angle between the stick and the direction of sunlight will be the same as the observer’s latitude.
This fact can only occur if the Earth is a sphere, and only if the Sun is very far relative to the size of the Earth.
Continue reading “The Angle of a Shadow During Equinox”