Problems with Southern Astronomy
« on: June 07, 2021, 07:37:41 PM »
This is a critique of some problems that arise from the "disk" model of the flat earth.

First we'll assume that the earth is a flat disk. The center of this disk is the north pole in the arctic, and the disk is bounded by Antarctica. The sun acts as a spotlight, and is close to the earth. The stars are on a plane and rotate around the arctic. From what I understand this is one of the more popular models of the flat earth. However it conflicts with how astronomy works south of the equator.

When you track the motions of stars north of the equator they travel in circles around a star Polaris which is always due north. Polaris does not move. The farther stars get from Polaris the larger circle they move in and the faster they move.

As you move south Polaris sinks in the sky. The angle from the horizon to Polaris is the traditional way navigators determine latitude. At the equator Polaris is at the Horizon, and the stars move across the sky. Under our disk model we would expect that as we move farther south the movements of the stars would start moving faster, as they have to make larger circles around Polaris (even though it is now not visible). This isn't what happens.

What we see instead is another fixed point appearing in the south. It becomes visible as you move south of the equator. Unlike Polaris, this southern fixed point does not have a star in it (There is no real reason that there is a star exactly in the northern most point of the disk it's just a happy coincidence). However, it is still a fixed point that the stars can be seen rotating around.

Here's the problem. This is a fixed point that is always due south (Opposite of Polaris). So the stars south of the equator have to be rotating around some point in the south. However the disk model doesn't have a south pole, so there is no place this fixed point can be. This point is visible in the south in Australia and South America, but under the disk model "south" is not pointing to the same place from those locations. So this point that the stars rotate around must be moving, but then it wouldn't be fixed and we would see it shift across the sky throughout the night.

So this astronomy violates the disk model.

Possible Fixes:

The disk model commonly claims that stars are actual real things with actual positions. This is what violates our model. If we instead assume that the stars are actually optical illusions this is fine. Similarly to how two people can believe a rainbow is in different locations.


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Re: Problems with Southern Astronomy
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 07:56:51 PM »
Flat-Earthers seem to have a very low standard of evidence for what they want to believe but an impossibly high standard of evidence for what they don’t want to believe.

Lee McIntyre, Boston University