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Topics - Bobby Shafto

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Flat Earth Theory / Illumination of Western Horizon at Sunrise
« on: December 15, 2018, 06:24:56 PM »

Westward view from Mt Woodson in San Diego County on 12/13 @ 0641 PST.

This is different from the underside of clouds being illuminated by a sun "below" the horizon. Here, we're looking in the opposite direction of sunrise and seeing illumination of low altitude atmosphere before the sun has appeared to the east.

I believe this is the antisolar line. I believe this to be another sun-related phenomenon that could be a discriminator between a flat and globe earth.

Flat Earth Investigations / Sunken Land Effect
« on: December 10, 2018, 01:30:06 AM »
I posted this on a thread in Angry Ranting, but I think it merits posting in the Flat Earth Investigation forum since it presents an observation worthy of flat earth analysis/explanation.

I captured this video a few days ago when coastal surface visibility was extraordinarily clear. This was with a telescope.

This was shot from an elevation of 25 feet in La Jolla.

The land sloping "into" the ocean horizon at the start of the clip is part of the San Onofre coastal range and is normally the furthest terrestrial sighting up the coast I've been able to make.  But on this day, little peaks were showing up further to the west/northwest, including this interesting silhouette seen at the 25 second mark of the video:

Examining GoogleEarth, I figured what I had been seeing was the top of hill near San Clemente, 44.34 miles away and around 850 high with some antennas adding to the profile.

A few days later, I took the telescope up to the summit of La Jolla's Mt. Soledad and from 790' this is what I could see:

The sinking ship explanation doesn't work since it's not an issue of resolution.

According to this flat earth model, no part of that hill in San Clemente should be hidden given the focal length of the telescope used:

Flat Earth Media / Flat Earth Sun & Moon Clock App
« on: November 24, 2018, 10:51:59 PM »

Flat Earth Theory / Astronomical Prediction Based on Patterns
« on: November 19, 2018, 11:29:32 PM »

Predicting solar eclipses "with at least an approximation to the truth" is a low bar. 

How are types of solar eclipses, duration of the eclipse and locations from whence solar eclipses will be visible predictable if it's but pattern-based?

Surely, to make accurate predictions of solar eclipses, and not merely approximations to the truth, requires much more understanding than "patterns."

There is quite a bit of detail in this description of the next solar eclipse. That's not merely "pattern based." It requires an understanding of the motions of the earth and moon, relative to the sun in order to develop sufficiently accurate ephemerides to predict not just when a solar eclipse will happen but when it will begin, end, where it will be visible, partial or total (or annular).

Flat Earth Investigations / EA Sunrise
« on: November 19, 2018, 03:31:33 PM »

This was a cool photo taken by a local San Diego photographer about 40 minutes before sunrise on the morning of November 14th..

According to TimeandDate, the sun was over the South Atlantic off the coast of Brazil.

That's over 6200 miles away from San Diego.
The sun had risen in El Paso, TX. (600 miles to the east)
The sun had not yet risen in Tucson, AZ. (365 miles to the east)

The bottom of the clouds in the photograph that are being illuminated by the pre-sunrise sun is at an altitude of 15,000 ft.

I cannot find any way for this to be possible in any current flat earth model that does not integrate the Electromagnetic Accelerator theory.

A problem with EAT as a flat earth solution though is that it contradicts many other elements of more standard flat earth models, including some of the key experiments described in Earth Not a Globe.

EAT would explain how/why celestial objects can appear to descend to the horizon and be occluded by the earth. It would explain how we all see the same face of the moon regardless of our location on earth. It would explain phenomena like these clouds being lit from below.

EAT was proposed (by Parsifal, I believe) 10 years ago, resulting in a hypothesis and a preliminary formula but little else.  And it's been disparaged as "bendy light" when it's proposed (without integration with the rest of a flat earth model) as a possible flat earth answer to some observable phenomena that would seem otherwise inexplicable on a flat earth. But the concept merits barely a mention in the TFES wiki and what is there hasn't been substantively edited since it's version publication.

I'm an EA skeptic, but I think it's the best hope for building out a viable flat earth model. Is there any discussion to be had on how progress might be made on this front? How might an experiment be constructed to test for EA? How can EA on a flat earth be distinguishable from no-EA on a spherical earth?

Flat Earth Investigations / Sunset Ship Sighting
« on: November 16, 2018, 05:12:28 PM »
I've been seeing this ship operating off the coast for a few days now. I captured its profile against the backdrop of a sky illuminated by sunset:

It's an unusual looking surface combatant: one of the newer Zumwalt-class of destroyers. In fact, it's the only one currently in operation. It has to be the USS Zumwalt, DDG-1000, homeported in San Diego.

But the point here is flat/globe, and from this diagram, I estimate 10m, or about 30', appears to be hidden by something. I, of course, believe it to be a horizon caused by a globe earth's curvature.

This is where MarineTraffic reported the ship's location at the 4PM PST time of the video (0000 UTC)

I was watching and shooting from the overlook at Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla, here. GoogleEarth tells me that spot has an elevation of 25'. I would have guessed higher.

Plugging in the coordinates for the Zumwalt at 1600 yesterday afternoon and my viewing location, I get 13 miles.

And plugging that 13 miles and my 25' height into the Metabunk earth curve calculator gets 31.5' hidden without refraction and 23.31' hidden with standard refraction.

Given the margins of estimating errors, isn't this pretty good correlation to globe earth model predictions?

I was very much intrigued by the success of this video, claiming to show no earth curvature over a similar span. I haven't worked out a globe earth explanation for that other than MAYBE atmospheric surface-level ducting by a strong inversion layer. But I can't prove that.

However, this "sunken ship" observation, in my opinion, affirms the earth curvature and I haven't seen a flat earth explanation other than one akin to my ducting response to the Monterey Bay video. Is there one?

Addtional context, this video was shot through a telescope, which didn't change the amount of hull I could or couldn't see compared to my camera zoom alone. Improved resolution/magnification has no effect.

Edit: similar to this prior topic

Flat Earth Theory / The Green Flash
« on: November 12, 2018, 04:33:41 AM »

A month ago, I mentioned the so-called "green flash" as one of my "5 Characteristics of Sunset to Distinguish Between Flat Earth and Globe Earth.."  I meant to get back to this but it slipped my mind until RonJ brought it up today in another topic.

I used to hear about the "green flash" but even though I'd seen a lot of sunsets over the world's oceans, I had never witnessed a green flash. It wasn't until recently that I learned it was a real thing and not some mythical afterimage optical illusion. But I now understand what it is and have seen it, at least in video and photography imagery I've taken of the setting sun. And I also understand the explanation for it, but only in the context of a globe earth with an atmo-sphere. That explanation doesn't work for a flat earth with a planar atmo-layer. As such, I don't know how a flat earth model with an atmolayer explains this phenomenon.

The most comprehensive source (I think) for explaining the sun's Green Flash are a set of Web pages posted by San Diego State University's (former?) adjunct astronomy professor Dr. Andrew T. Young's page at . It's not very well organized, in my opinion, but rather a set of Web pages that seems as if it was composed and evolved over time, but there's a wealth of information not just about the green flash but of atmospheric effects on optics. It's a resource that's been very helpful for me in understanding the visual effects of atmospheric refraction, which for me had previously been limited to anomalous effects on radar and HF/UHF/EHF communications systems.

As explained in Dr. Young's pages, it's a complex combination of light extinction, diffusion (scattering) and astronomical refraction. It's this latter essential element that is absent in a flat earth/atmolayer model.

In a flat earth model that incorporates EAT, light bending up and away from the surface of the earth could cause the requisite refraction, but it would cause the green flash to appear on the bottom of the setting sun, not the top.

Light from the sun needs to be refracted downward along distances much greater than those required to produce terrestrial mirages. At least that's the mechanism as it is explained for an atmoSPHERE. If it can work through an atmoLAYER, and without ignoring other claimed explanations for varous sun set phenomena in a flat earth model, I'd like to invite that discussion.

Flat Earth Media / 13 Miles: 60 ft NOT Hidden
« on: November 04, 2018, 04:40:45 PM »
Even with very strong atmospheric refraction, I don't think this should be possible on a globe:

I look forward to seeing this done again across greater expanses. I need to see if this is repeatedly under standard conditions. In fact, I want to do it myself. I have no answer for this and concede this strongly supports a flat earth...for the time being.

Flat Earth Investigations / Angular Speed of Sun Slows near the Horizon
« on: November 03, 2018, 08:57:01 PM »
Tom Bishop raised the point in another topic that expresses skepticism about the explanation of atmospheric refraction being responsible for the apparent slowing of the motion of celestrial objects near the horizon. Rather than pursue it there, where it is off topic (and, dare I say, pedantic), perhaps it would be worth our time to discuss it in the Investigations section.  Here's the quote for context:

Astronomers claim that the reason the celestial bodies don't match theory in such examples is because there is a permanent refraction effect which can do many marvelous things such as slow bodies down as they approach the horizon.

"As you can see the stars get significantly closer together as they get closer to the horizon" --Mick West

From the Wikipedia page on Atmospheric Refraction we read:

"Whenever possible, astronomers will schedule their observations around the times of culmination, when celestial objects are highest in the sky."

This should give you an idea of the magnitude of refraction they are claiming. Any theoretical prediction based on uniform movement will likely not manifest in reality, considering all of this "refraction" necessary to salvage the Round Earth Theory.

I don't know really what the crux of the issue is for Tom. Does he dispute that the apparent angular motion of celestrial objects slows closer to the horizon? Do we need to do a zetetic observation to see if that's true?

Or is the issue that it's true but it's not refraction that is responsible for the phenomenon? If that's the case, I could compose an explanation for how an atmosphere on a globe must produce such an effect and challenge flat earth theory to construct its own explanation given a non-convex atmolayer.

If it's the former, I'd like to perform a demonstration showing the passage of the sun and it's angular speed at various times throughout the day compared to it's movement within a few degrees of sunset. If that's not a bone of contention, let me know so I don't waste my time showing something that isn't disputed and we can move on to the latter issue.

Flat Earth Theory / Bi-Polar Flat Earth Model
« on: October 31, 2018, 10:21:37 PM »
There is no description or explanation of the bi-polar model on the TFES wiki. (If there is, I couldn't find it.)

If the bi-polar model is the preferred model, having replaced the north polar azimuthal model most associated with flat earth belief, I think this deficiency merits attention. I know it's not my charter to worry about how TFES presents a defense of a flat earth, but it's come to my attention that some of my critiques of "flat earth theory" (if there is such a thing) is based on a misunderstanding of what the Society currently supports.

I've read through some of the older discussion topics that delve into a bi-polar model of a flat earth, but rather than resurrect any of them, I thought it might be better to start fresh. And I've been reading the Sea-Earth Globe publication that may have been what motivated the Flat Earth Society to elevate a bi-polar model over a monopole one. I also see extensive argument by Sandokahn for his own passionate version/explanation of bi-polarism.

I don't think a bi-polar model is zetetically supportable, but I think both I and TFES might benefit from a discussion about it: the Society so that it can consider drafting an explanation of the model for the public and me so that I know if I'm understanding it correctly and investigate it properly.

Before I had read the Zetetes publication, (and I probably haven't scratched the surface of Sandokahn's writings),  I drew this up to start my questioning:

It was impressed upon me in another discussion topic that the bi-polar map(s) found on the wiki are notional and that there is no map. Rather, the bi-polar concept is but a model. So I drew this up without any map characteristics. I don't understand the model mechanism for the sun's shift from a northern hemiplane transit to a southern hemiplane. Here, I have the diamond marking the start of the sun's path on the day before the September Equinox. The sun at this point is slightly north of the equator. It then travels around the northern pole at maximum distance until reaching the centroid, the point at which it intersects with the equator. That is the point of equinox. Then, the next 24 hours it's path is the mirror of the previous day, but now around the southern hemiplane's perimeter, until reach the approximate location shown by the star icon.

That's a 48-hour journey bracketing the point of equinox. And the (angular?) distances above and below the equator are exaggerated, as is the distance from the perimeter since I don't know exactly how that should work. The equator, in particular, is confusing since during day of equinox the sun follows a path along the equator; but in a bi-polar model, that line (if that's what the equator is) is split between the far reaches of the north and south hemiplane. I also just guessed and rounded the corners at the left and right edges of the equator, uncertain how the sun makes that bend...assuming it even is an actual bend.

The document previously linked offers this graphic with accompanying explanation that is, at least for me, rife with problems:

I kind of hope this doesn't wind up being a bunch of round earthers piling on with criticism of these model variants. Not to discourage criticism because that's how ideas are burnished, but this shouldn't be round earthers doing the work to "murder board" and refine a bi-polar model. If there's already an existing articulation of the current, preferred model, point me to it. Else, can we talk it through and see where the model stands?

Since joining this community in March 2018, how sunsets are explained by a flat earth model has been a prime and enduring interest. It was my first query for flat earth (though it might have been on The Other site since I joined them first, not realizing until later than there were 2).

At various times, I've proposed the features of sunset, some of which I'm listing below, as possible ways to distinguish between a flat earth and a globe earth. They could just as well apply to sunrises or, in some cases, the moon as well.  Sensing my time and interest is waning here, I thought I'd assemble them in one location and see if produces anything new I hadn't thought about. But up to now, I believe these are characteristics for which observational evidence supports a globe and that the flat earth model hasn't countered except through non-zetetic, ad hoc rationalizations.

A theory should be able to explain these in a single, coherent and integrated set of explanations that are not contradictory. I feel the globe does that and a flat earth does not. Here are my 5 aspects of sunset that, I think, show the earth is a globe and not flat.

1. Occlusion

On a globe earth (GE), the sun "sets" due to the rotation of the earth and occlusion of the sun by a horizon. A horizon presents a physical barrier to visual line of sight that "cuts off" the sun, first from below like a "sinking ship" effect.

Various flat earth (FE) hypotheses attempt to explain sunset: spotlight pattern, extinction and/or compression by the atmoplane, perspective (plus surface irregularities), mechanisms that cause light to bend upward creating the illusion of the sun nearing the horizon and a bottom-up occlusion of the sun by the horizon.

My conclusion is these FE explanations are either flawed, unsubstantiated or don't integrate well with explanations for other observable phenomena. And if Occam's Razor has merit, the simple GE explanation is elegant, predictable and consistent. As a solitary argument/observation, the explanation(so) for the sun's occlusion at sunset might not be enough to resolve the FE/GE question, which is why I think, collectively with the following, it least in my opinion.

2. Constant Angular Width + Diminished Angular Height

The sun maintains the same angular width throughout the day. It is only within a few degrees of the horizon that the sun can appear "squashed" in the vertical yet nearly unchanged in the horizontal. On a GE, this is explained by an atmosphere that causes light to refract toward the surface of a spherical earth as the angle of incidence changes. Due to at curvature of the atmosphere and the oblique angle of the sun's rays, the lower limb of the sun is refracted more than the upper limb. As the rays pass through density changes of the atmosphere, the atmosphere itself curves, and upper/lower limb sunlight is refracted differently, thus causing the sun to "squash."

For a FE atmoplane over a flat earth, the effect would not be the same. For theories in which upward bending light explains the sun's apparent descent and occlusion by a horizon, the effect would be the opposite, causing the sun to appear elongated vice squashed.

I haven't seen it proposed, but atmoplanar "lensing" theorized to explain why a sun receding into the distance doesn't get smaller in appearance could be modified to say such lensing is imperfect and doesn't magnify the sun equally in the vertical dimension as it does the horizontal, but without evidence of how this atmoplanar mechanism works this is but an ad hoc theory.

3. Angle of Descent

North of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun always sets angling toward the north. South of the Tropic of Capricorn, the sun always sets angling toward the south. Between the Tropics, the angle of descent varies depending on the time of year.

This is explicable on a spinning globe with the sun's ecliptic being oblique. No theory (that I've seen, anyway) has been offered to explain this phenomenon on a flat earth.

4. Rate of Descent

The sun maintains a constant rate of angular passage of about 0.5° ever 2 1/2 minutes throughout most of the day. At low angles to the horizon, however, the sun's rate of descent appears to slow.

I don't believe I ever posted about this before. I'd heard about it, but never checked it myself until last night:

On a GE with an atmosphere, this is explained by atmospheric refraction and is the same reason as #2 above. Light from the sun bending toward the curve of the earth due to the changing density encountered by a curved atmosphere causes the sun to appear higher in the sky than it is astronomically. Without an atmosphere, the sun's apparent rate of descent would be constant; but with atmospheric refraction, the sun appears to slow as the effect increases until overtaken by occlusion (#1).

As far as I am aware, FE with an atmoplane has not addressed this. But like #2, the impact of an atmoplane and in combination with the theories offered for why the sun is perceived to be at such a low angle of elevation, the explanation used for GE+atmosphere doesn't work. A FE+atmoplane must have a different explanation.

5. Green Flash

I also don't believe I've ever presented this argument before, but the chromatic prisming of sunlight at sunset is real:

Commonly called the "green flash," it is explained by the same mechanism of atmospheric refraction responsible for #2 and #4 above.

And just as with those phenomena, a FE with an atmoplane must have a different explanation since the globe earth + atmosphere explanation doesn't translate to planar topography. And any upward-bending light mechanisms to explain a flat earth sunset would produce a "green flash" on the bottom of the sun vice the top (or a "red flash" on the top rather than a 'green flash').


I propose that these sunset observations: occlusion + shape/size + angle of descent + rate of descent + green flash; are explicable by a globe earth model and that no flat earth model has as yet done the same. I welcome discussion to the contrary and in defense of a flat earth model.

Flat Earth Theory / Viewing Carlsbad from La Jolla
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:11:30 PM »
Posted this in an AR forum topic, but felt it warranted its own discussion topic in the Flat Earth Theory forum where it might reach a wider viewing audience, as long as it's divorced from the issues of the rest of that AR topic.

Yesterday in late afternoon (10/10/2018), about an hour before sunset, I made some visual sightings across a 20-mile over-water stretch from La Jolla, CA's "Children's Pool" seafront area to Carlsbad, CA to the north:

The visual target was Encina Power Station with its still-standing~400' smokestack:

It made spotting observations from 3 points of differing elevations:

From 25 feet:

From 10 feet:

From 0 feet:

The tide was just past its low, at 0.0, which is -2.8' Mean Sea Level (MSL) for La Jolla.
A light on-shore wind chop was was on the water, with a primary South-Southwest swell of 4-5' at 12 second intervals.
Lifeguard station listed air temperature as 70°F and water temperature 66°F.
The sightings from each spot elevation was observed to coincide closely with what earth curve calculations predict with standard atmospheric refraction applied:

All images were taken at max focal length (215mm-equivalent) with Canon Powershot SX50 HS. Images above were color/contrast adjusted and cropped with original resolution intact.

I feel this is yet another case where my personally-conducted observational evidence appears to support a convex earth surface and presents a challenge to the flat earth model. As always, I invite critique and criticism on either the method, observation or conclusions.

Flat Earth Theory / Viewing Cliffs of Dover from Cap Gris Nez
« on: October 07, 2018, 02:26:11 PM »
Can you see all of the Cliffs of Dover from France? This post lifted from another topic claims yes. "No curvature whatsoever."

What do you think? Is this convincing evidence of earth's lack of rotundity?


The English Channel: 34 km distance from Cap Gris Nez to Dover, a curvature of some 22.4 meters on a round earth.

The original webpages, as they were posted on

The photographers located between Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez: we will ascend to 30 meters.

And now the photograph itself: no curvature whatsoever, all the way to the other shoreline, the Dover cliffs seen in their entirety (on a round earth, from 30 meters, we could not see anything under 16.5 meters from the other side), the ships are not part of an ascending/descending slope, no midpoint curvature of 22.4 meters:

Another photograph taken right on the beach of Cap Gris Nez: no curvature over a distance of 34 km:

Dover cliffs:

Flat Earth Theory / Angle of Sunrise/Sunset
« on: October 01, 2018, 03:11:03 AM »

This is a New Zealand sunrise.

I've never seen the sun rise like this. I've been to Australia (and Argentina, Chile) but I never paid attention to how the sun rises or sets there.)  I'm used to seeing sunrises and sunsets angle to the right/north. 

Stellarium models sunset at my current latitude north of the equator like this, matching sunsets I routinely observe:

The same day of the year, Stellarium shows an Auckland, New Zealand sunset angling like the video above:

This is explicable with globe earth/distant sun mechanics. I don't know how this would work with a sun circling overhead a flat earth. Could this be a feature for zetetically determining whether we live on a globe or a not-globe earth?

(I believe I raised this point early on, or it might have been on the other community board. But I don't think it was every discussed. Has it? Is it addressed in any flat earth (or non-globe earth) media?)


Edit: I did ask this on this board back in May. Never got a response and I forgot about it. Administration can combine the two topics. I won't complain.


Also: globe-defender Walter Bislin created a flat earth model based on a dome over a monopole earth, and had to add a 2-dimensional (vertical and horizontal) light-bending parameter to make it work.

Flat Earth Investigations / Gambling on Sunset
« on: September 29, 2018, 10:53:09 PM »
I recently discovered that UCSD has something called the High Performance Wireless Research & Education Network (HPWREN) that includes web cameras mounted on the masts around the local San Diego county high points. I started checking them regularly for visibility before decisions whether or not to go out for any observations. I didn't consider the resolution sufficient for what I've been trying to do in investigating flat vs. globe earth.

But I happened to catch the moon setting this morning on one of the camera feeds, which gave me the idea that maybe it might capture the sunset and let us gauge where the horizon is with respect to level. But rather than collect the imagery and try to assess it, I thought it might be my interesting to make some predictions beforehand and THEN see how it played out.

This is just a rough cut, but according to the HPWREN web site, and in looking at the views from other cameras, I deduce that the western facing camera is at an elevation of ~1600'. Mt Soledad in La Jolla is 822' at  distance of 66,222' away, and so that gives me an index line: 0.7° declined below level sight (we'll go with a flat earth measure; on a globe with std refraction, eye level would be 0.1° higher).

On a globe, instead of the horizon being at eye level, it should be declined 0.65° from that 1600' vantage point. In a bit of serendipity, Mt. Soledad summit seems to coincide with the globe "horizon," below the FE eye level "horizon".

How to gauge the angular dimension? That nearby water tank is 32' from ground to edge of the domed top. Working out the trig (I forget the distance off hand), it's about 0.5°. So that provides a pixel/degree ratio basis, and using that is how I can place the eye-level line above the Mt. Soledad summit line (and projected globe earth horizon line).

Does that follow? The sun is about 0.5° in angular diameter too, but I don't expect we'll see its actual size without a filter. The haze low on the western horizon may filter the sun enough to see it as an orb.

Looking at TimeandDate, the sun should set at 6:35PM on the 267° azimuth. It looks to me like the camera is oriented on 270°, and that seemed to be corroborated by the earlier moonset bearing. So I placed an arrow where I think the sun will set.

I'd like to refine these lines and measures using the larger resolution photo instead of this reduced image (reduced for the purpose of posting it inline and not wrecking the page). But I wanted to get this posted now, just in case I don't get back to it before sunset.

Anyone can check and see if the prediction was close. Will the sun appear to set below the eye level line? Will the time and bearing of match what I'm predicting?

Here's the direct link to the web cam. Under 3 hours to sunset.

Edit: I see the sun is already in view, and now see that the disc is being eclipsed. I don't know if that will remain in place all the way through to sunset.

And it's looking grim for my globe estimate. Sure looks like the horizon is appearing to be raised above the Soledad summit, just about the level I figured was FE eye level...though the image below is cropped from the original at double the resolution than my annotated one above. Nevertheless, my estimate of globe earth horizon is looking wrong. Depends on the haze.

Either my geometry/trig was way off or that sun eclipsing disk is well greater that 0.53°.

Update #2:
I don't. GoogleEarth depicts the globe horizon just barely cresting the summit of Mt Soledad when height is set at 1600' from the Black Mtn view point.

Update #3:
Still looking like horizon is around 0.5° above Mt. Soledad summit. (Large JPG file, annotated)

Update #4:
Raw image at sunset.  Will assess tomorrow, but anyone can do it.

Update #5:
Looking at this morning's camera feed and at last night's file capture of sunset, I find myself asking lots of questions. When I initiated this topic, I was nervous because my globe earth calculation of where the horizon should be compared with where it appeared to be was so different. But from lower elevations, I'm well-familiar with what the atmospheric haze and marine layer can do to make the actual horizon difficult to see. But seeing from the vantage point of 1600' I wasn't so sure. And as I watched the sun illuminate the ocean and appear to make the horizon distinguishable, I thought I was going to have to eat my hat and score one for flat earth. 

It shouldn't have been a surprise to me, but it was when I checked the archived picture after sunset -- I missed the actual event live -- and saw the sun setting below the apparent horizon. I still have to mark it up and measure, but just eyeballing it, it sure looks close to the prediction.

The azimuth was way off from predicted though, but that's just my error since I was guessing that the camera was pointed due west. I checked the bearing line with GoogleEarth and the sun DID set on a bearing of 267°. So now I know how the camera is oriented.

The time was off as well, by a couple of minutes. But I forgot that from a higher elevation the time, of course, will slew later. Local hot air balloons give their customers multiple sunset viewings by climbing through higher altitudes. I should have known the time of sunset would be later.

But that horizon: even this morning, looking at the feed, I could swear the horizon is higher.

And looking at last night's shot, the sun is setting on a bearing line just about in line with the northern tip of San Clemente Island, but I can't detect any hint of the island in the image. MAYBE there's a tip of Mt Thirst poking up above the marine layer. Or, I might be just trying to see something that isn't there.

Edit: Link fix

This topic was moved to Angry Ranting with the justification "Complaints about how you totally don't like FET don't belong in the upper."

I do not consider this a proper justification. I pondered how to present this challenge to the Bishop Experiment, both wanting to highlight my own observational testing experience in contradiction and asking for more detail on how to replicate a observation test that appears in the TFES wiki.

I request a review of the moderating decision and an appeal to have the topic moved back to the Flat Earth Theory topic board.

I've been told by another moderator that the S&C forum is where to air these types of grievances, but if this is not the proper means to submit a request such as this, please let me know the correct avenue.

Flat Earth Theory / Equinox and the Bi-Polar Model of Flat Earth
« on: September 23, 2018, 04:24:28 PM »
The sun crossed the equator yesterday somewhere over Indonesia, passing from north to south.

According to the bi-polar model, the sun will spend the next 6 months rotating around the south pole:

If true, wouldn't that mean that, from my vantage point 33° north of the equator (Southern California) I should witness a shift in the sun's trajectory during sunset?

Top image: before Autumnal Equinox
Bottom image: after Autumnal Equinox

Even more dramatically, the sun should starting setting in the S or SSW. This doesn't happen, of course. Am I misinterpreting the bi-polar model or does this show the bi-polar model can't be right?  (I found an old topic on this subject that didn't address this question, and rather than dredge that one up, I started a new topic. I trust that's okay.)

Flat Earth Theory / Viewing Brighton Seafront from Worthing
« on: September 18, 2018, 01:18:18 AM »
Video author: Dr. John D.
Title: Viewing Brighton Seafront from Worthing with a Nikon P510

A mirrored version of this was posted on the Flat Earth Media board, but I'd like to talk about it.

This slide in particular:

Light is not refracted downward? Over the sea? At night? This isn't right.

Even with a stable air mass, with standard temperature gradient, an atmoSPHERE will refract light downward. That's typical and to be expected. It's not a peculiar occurrence that requires "specialized" environmental conditions.

Maybe in an atmoPLANE that would be true. But he's talking about "according to the Sphere/Globe earth model," and in that model a standard lapse rate in temperature/pressure/humidity WILL refract light downward.

In fact, evidence to answer Dr. John's of "photographic proof" is present within his own imagery.

Note the "compression" of the lower floors of the building in the foreground of Sussex Heights. That's indicative of a greater refractive index at the lower angles than at the higher elevation. 

Flat Earth Theory / Viewing Mt Helix from Cabrillo Point 16.2 miles
« on: September 16, 2018, 04:32:23 PM »
Post #1
Help me with my math.

363' observation point.
1372' target.
16.2 mile distance.

What's the elevation angle -- to the nearest tenth of a degree -- above level (eye level) for a flat earth and for a globe earth (r=3959 miles); no refraction?

I got:

+0.7° for flat earth.
+0.6° for a globe earth.

Post #2

0.1° may be too small an increment to measure with confidence using Theodolite app.

Despite a no-refraction 175' "drop" difference between a flat and globe earth over 16.2 miles,  the angular delta may not be large enough to distinguish without more precise tools.

Could adding an 8-12x telephoto capability to the phone focal length help distinguish a vertical difference if 0.1°?

Post #3

I think enough eyes have seen this, so I'm going to assume there are no corrections to the geometry.

Here are the geographic details:
Observation Point: Cabrillo National Monument
32.674005, -117.238946

Target Objective: Mount Helix Cross
32.767044, -116.983436

Last week, I noticed I could see the cross on Mt. Helix from a San Diego bay overlook near where I work. I can't take photographs from there, but I can go out to the Cabrillo Monument; and so I played with Google Earth and did the math to try to predict what the elevation above eye the cross should be from that observation point at the end of Point Loma.

I'd hoped to make predictions first before taking a sighting to avoid after-the-fact calculations, which can sometimes be skewed to match what is observed to what one wants to see.

I'm going to work with the Theodolite app to calibrate it and see if I can repeatedly, consistently take measurements to within 0.1°. I've tried this taking level sightings at the Coronado Islands 20 miles away, but the elevation data on the islands is much less certain than the ground elevation of Mt. Helix summit.

I'm also going to see if a telephoto multiplier lens for a smart phone will enhance the sighting at all.

Prediction going in is the Helix cross will be elevated +0.7° if earth is flat. +0.6° if earth is a globe.  Hoping I can do this in the mornings over the course of several days. I'll also thought it might be good to take some time lapse images for 15 minutes before and after each sighting to check for "Skunk Bay" -like dynamic atmospheric conditions.


EDIT: Merged several posts to make OP adequate for upper fora. ~junker


Post #4

Too much haze (smog) today for Theodolite/Phone camera, and I'm resigned to the fact that Theodolite app is just not up to the task. The cross hair line itself is 0.1° thick. And with needing to distinguish between 5.8° and 6.8°, getting level at 0.0° is critical. Even with repeated calibration, I felt the tool was inconsistent:

I was able to cut through the haze with my camera and, with a little color and clarity adjustment, was able to get a decent shot of Mt. Helix. (I'll link to the original image file since it's large.)

Could analyze angles and elevations using the Hilton Bayside tower in the foreground as a gauge. Has to be better than Theodolite, which just isn't cut out for what I set out to do here.


Post #5

Cropped from original; resolution unchanged:

Can use this to figure vertical angle above level to Mt Helix summit (foot of the Helix cross). Need to find level first (different for FE and GE).

Photo taken from 363' elevation using a tripod set 4' high for a total of 367'
The Hilton, 26,739 feet away, is recorded as 385' tall on about 8' elevation (avg).

Post #6

Calculating elevation angles above horizontal level for both Mt. Helix and Viejas Mountain, based on the measurements of the San Diego Hilton Bayfront tower:

Post #7

Results recap:

The FE/GE "contest" starts to show more clearly with the unanticipated inclusion of Viejas. Helix measurements are too close to call and could easily be within margins of error.

I'll keep observing and measuring to see if different days/conditions produce different results; probably won't be able to bracket observations with time lapse imagery like I had hoped.

Post #8

Tried again today...same spot...earlier in the day this time, but more haze/smog trapped in the basin than yesterday.

Widened the field of view to capture Cuyamaca Peak and add that to measurement. GE (with standard 7/6 refraction) consistently undershoots while FE calculation overshoot increases with range.

Having to take photo with heavy color processing to create contrast due to haze. Lots of blue. But otherwise, unaltered. Link to annotated photo in native 4000x2248 resolution is 2.2MB.

Flat Earth Theory / IR Video from FL310 -> 500 mile visibility?
« on: September 03, 2018, 12:07:41 AM »
New video upload from JTolen Media 1:

Most of the footage is raw from left window seat of a LAX-MCO flight while passing over Arizona and New Mexico, view northward.

The intro is where the analysis is presented, along with a short evangelical statement regarding the flat earth movement. This will accumulate the usual accolades from the flat earth community, and I thought of posting it in the Flat Earth Medium forum. But I'd like to discuss it, so I'll post it here. I'm hoping JT will visit to answer some questions.

If he does show, I ask that the skeptics and naysayers of flat earth play nice. I'd really like to encourage YouTube video publishers to discuss their postings here. I know there's a view that The Flat Earth Society is a disinformation effort, but that's between the factions of flat earthers. I'd like to have a place other than YouTube comment section to  encourage discussion, debate, and critiques of these videos, including those defending the globe earth.

I really like this Infrared approach to imagery capture and wish I had the equipment to do the same. But I'm not willing to risk my modifying my cameras so I'm left to examining the products folks like JT are posting. 

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