Ever since mankind started to develop civilizations, one of the most divisive questions has been – is the Earth flat or round? In this fascinating blog, we’re going to examine the scientific evidence and compare it until we reach a verdict. So put your thinking caps on and let’s get into it!
Sphere Or Flat Earth?
We may test this hypothesis by considering the fact that a sphere is the three-dimensional extension of a circle, and asking whether or not this applies to Earth. Do we live on a sphere, or do we fall through a flat Earth? The quick response is no (of course not).
The Curvature Conundrum
This response raises the question: how do we know this for sure? Some individuals, surprisingly, persist in arguing that the Earth is flat on the grounds that it is impossible to perceive a curving horizon from the beach. However, this concept implies that you can really observe the curvature from left to right across the picture. The issue is that the size of the Earth suggests that the curvature is extremely modest, even when we stare at the horizon. The curve would be less than 10 meters from one side to the other across a distance of 10 kilometres (more than the width seen from above).
Even you could figure this part on your own.
The Ship On The Horizon
However, if we stare straight at a snapshot of a ship cruising on a placid sea some 30 kilometres away, we won’t see any clouds. The only explanation for the distant ship’s position below the horizon is bent on the surface of the Earth. The ship seems somewhat taller when seen from 20 meters above the surface on the right, where we can see farther over the curve.
Eratosthenes And The Spherical Earth
Surprisingly, the roundness of the Earth has been recognized for almost 2,000 years. During a lunar eclipse, the Moon seems to form a crescent shape as seen from Earth; this led the ancient Greeks to conclude that the Earth must be spherical. Then, in about 240 BC, Eratosthenes developed a method for determining an approximation of the Earth’s circumference.
Measuring Earth’s Curvature
At noon on the summer solstice (21st June), the sun would be directly above, shining straight down the well without casting a shadow, according to a story he had read about a well in Syene (now Aswan, Egypt). Eratosthenes realized that he could determine the Earth’s curvature by measuring the angle of a shadow cast by a stick at noon on the same day at a considerably more northern (or southern) location if he also knew the distance to that location.
The Egg-Shaped Earth
We now know that the Earth is not a perfect sphere but rather a somewhat elongated ellipsoid (egg shape), mostly because of its rotation. Also, it has a little bumpy texture since the density of the materials it’s comprised of varies. This information can be measured precisely by satellites and is crucial for a wide range of studies, including weather analysis, volcanology, and seismology.
The verdict is clear, folks! Yet again, the Earth is not flat. The fact that there are multiple proofs supporting this shows how improbable it would be for us to believe that the planet we live on is just a piece of paper sitting on top of nothing but thin air.
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