Australia is a pretty big country south of the equator. Two cities, Perth and Brisbane are located on opposite sides, Perth on the west coast and Brisbane on the east coast. According to mapquest.com (not easy to deal with if you are not living in Australia) gives a driving distance of 2740 miles and a travel time of some 44 hr 23 min for an average speed of 61 mph (rather optimistic if you ask me). Well, the route between these two cities is not particularly straight so the true distance, as the crow flies, is probably a bit shorter. I assume though that mapquest is fairly accurate with its mileage otherwise we would have heard a lot of serious complains by motorists.

Perth is located at 32 degrees South and 116 degrees East, for Brisbane the numbers are 27 degrees South and 153 degrees East. So, in first approximation they at about 30 degrees South and have a difference in longitude of 153-116=47 degrees.

So, what do the two competing theorŅes, FET and RET, have to say about the distance.

RET : 30 degrees South makes these two cities lie on a circle with a radius of 3963*cos(30) with a circumference 2*Pi as large. Hence the distance between them is 3963*cos(30)*2*Pi*47/360 = 2216 miles. That is about 80% of the driving distance. Does not sound unreasonable to me.

FET : 30 degrees South of the equator is 120 degrees south of the North Pole, the radius of the circle these cities lie on is now about 14666 miles ( assuming 22000 mile from the North pole to the Antarctic ). Hence an approximate distance between the two cities would 14666*2*Pi*47/360 = 9471 miles.

Such a difference, 9471 vs 2740 miles, needs to be explained by the FET experts, don't you think ?