As per the title, I'm an employee of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where I work on the Mars 2020 rover. I'm required to add that anything I say does not necessarily reflect the views of NASA or JPL, and are fully my own.

That said, I'm not a believer in flat earth, but I'm trying to understand what your arguments are. As my expertise is in space systems, I'll be able to expound on any physics or astronomy-based arguments for a flat earth. Would anyone here be willing to share some of their explanations or theories regarding a flat earth?


Hi. I am a Round Earther with some quick inquiries.

If you click on the "Wiki" link in this site, followed by the sub-link called "General Physics" and then finally the next sub-link towards the bottom called "Sunrise and Sunset", Flat Earth theory attempts to explain using a theory called EA (Electromagnetic Acceleration).

There has been a lot of spirated debate and push-back from Round Earthers (including myself) about the plausibility of EA and so would be interesting to get a Physicists / Astro-Physicists take on this overall theory, which talks about light bending.

I am a Mechanical Engineer by trade but not as astute on the finer points of Astro-Physics.

Thank you.

Hello. After giving it a general look, here's some of my thoughts.

Quote
Straight line trajectories rarely, if ever, occur in nature.

I've got no complaints with this. However, comparing a particle under the laws of classical mechanics (e.g. car, airplane) to one under the laws of quantum mechanics (like a photon) doesn't work too well.

Quote
If two potential explanations can describe the same phenomena, the matter then becomes a philosophical question of what one might interpret as more reasonable.

As a scientist, I'd first try to find other phenomena that one model explains better than another, or then resort to Occam's Razor.

Quote
an approximate formula for large-scale bending has been authored and proposed by Parsifal.

I don't know what a "Dark Energy potential" is, and the equation doesn't seem to explain. I'm not sure how this equation is testable.

Some thoughts off the top of my head based off of this:
  • In this model, all light has to curve up. If so, that would also apply to laser gyroscopes, which have to register a slight tilt downwards if they're turned upside down. Not only that, but that'll mean laser gyroscopes are only accurate at one latitude.
  • If all light is curved towards the sun, and then back towards the globe, we'd see a distorted view of the stars in different time zones. But the stars we see in each time zone are the same.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 01:19:52 AM by discombobulate »

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.

Some final questions:

1) How do Physicists / Astro-Physicists measure the distance of the Earth to the Moon and the Earth to the Sun?

2) And how are the diameters of each body measured? I believe the Moon is about 239k miles away, while the Sun is 94 million miles away.

3) And, to what degree of accuracy are these distance and diameter measurements?

4) With Flat Earth theory, the Moon and Sun are described as being only a few thousand miles away from Earth, with each body being only 30 or so miles in diameter and moving in a circle above the Flat Earth. What additional evidence, other than measurements, might make these FE suggestions not accurate or not correct / or perhaps correct and accurate?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 02:26:24 AM by GoldCashew »

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.

Some final questions:

1) How do Physicists / Astro-Physicists measure the distance of the Earth to the Moon and the Earth to the Sun?

2) And how are the diameters of each body measured? I believe the Moon is about 239k miles away, while the Sun is 94 million miles away.

3) And, to what degree of accuracy are these distance and diameter measurements?

4) With Flat Earth theory, the Moon and Sun are described as being only a few thousand miles away from Earth, with each body being only 30 or so miles in diameter and moving in a circle above the Flat Earth. What additional evidence, other than measurements, might make these FE suggestions not accurate or not correct / or perhaps correct and accurate?

Thank you.

  • We usually have it as readily made constants, but it's the same way we measure the distance to any other celestial object - by parallax. When observed from two different angles, objects that are closer to you shift faster than objects farther from you. You can draw two similar isosceles triangles this way, each of which shares a point. So, by observing something like a solar eclipse at two different points, and knowing the distance between those points, as well as the radius of the Earth, you'd be able to tell how far you were from the body, as well as the diameter of the body. The Apollo missions also put reflectors on the Moon that we shine lasers on to measure the distance.
  • See above for close-by bodies. For other stars, we can measure the diameters through interferometry, since the light coming from that star comes in at different points in its wave function, we can find the diameter by looking at the interference pattern.
  • Since I'm not an astronomer, I won't be able to say for certain. However, for the Moon at least, given how accurate lasers and clocks are today, I'd estimate we'd have at least centimeter accuracy for the distance to the Moon.
  • I'd like to hear how nuclear fusion can occur in a star that small, and how it all stays together, for one. Almost all stars are at least the size of Jupiter, not including neutron stars. I'd also like to know how exactly half the Earth could be illuminated when light (and all electromagnetic radiation) radiates out in sphere. I'm also not sure what forces are acting on them to move in this manner, since if they're rotating around the center of Flat Earth you'd also need a radial acceleration.

*

Offline Pete Svarrior

  • e
  • Planar Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11104
  • (>^_^)> it's propaganda time (◕‿◕✿)
    • View Profile
    • The Flat Earth Society
This is my HSPD-12 card with all identifying information removed, along with my username. Is this enough proof?
It raises more question than it provides answers, but I appreciate the effort. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'd appreciate it if you humoured me with my follow-up questions, but you are of course completely within your right to decline.

Your card (one of the very few bits you didn't censor out) states that you're not a NASA employee, but rather a contractor. What gives?
Why did you edit out the month and year of expiry on your PIV?
Similarly, why did you edit out the zone affiliation colour code, while still leaving the colour itself prominently visible?
Finally, are you currently located in the state of California?
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
Follow the Flat Earth Society on Twitter and Facebook!

<Parsifal> I like looking at Chinese Wikipedia with Noto installed
<Parsifal> I don't understand any of it but the symbols look nice

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.

Some final questions:

1) How do Physicists / Astro-Physicists measure the distance of the Earth to the Moon and the Earth to the Sun?

2) And how are the diameters of each body measured? I believe the Moon is about 239k miles away, while the Sun is 94 million miles away.

3) And, to what degree of accuracy are these distance and diameter measurements?

4) With Flat Earth theory, the Moon and Sun are described as being only a few thousand miles away from Earth, with each body being only 30 or so miles in diameter and moving in a circle above the Flat Earth. What additional evidence, other than measurements, might make these FE suggestions not accurate or not correct / or perhaps correct and accurate?

Thank you.

  • We usually have it as readily made constants, but it's the same way we measure the distance to any other celestial object - by parallax. When observed from two different angles, objects that are closer to you shift faster than objects farther from you. You can draw two similar isosceles triangles this way, each of which shares a point. So, by observing something like a solar eclipse at two different points, and knowing the distance between those points, as well as the radius of the Earth, you'd be able to tell how far you were from the body, as well as the diameter of the body. The Apollo missions also put reflectors on the Moon that we shine lasers on to measure the distance.
  • See above for close-by bodies. For other stars, we can measure the diameters through interferometry, since the light coming from that star comes in at different points in its wave function, we can find the diameter by looking at the interference pattern.
  • Since I'm not an astronomer, I won't be able to say for certain. However, for the Moon at least, given how accurate lasers and clocks are today, I'd estimate we'd have at least centimeter accuracy for the distance to the Moon.
  • I'd like to hear how nuclear fusion can occur in a star that small, and how it all stays together, for one. Almost all stars are at least the size of Jupiter, not including neutron stars. I'd also like to know how exactly half the Earth could be illuminated when light (and all electromagnetic radiation) radiates out in sphere. I'm also not sure what forces are acting on them to move in this manner, since if they're rotating around the center of Flat Earth you'd also need a radial acceleration.


Thanks and appreciate your thoughts and reply's.

This is my HSPD-12 card with all identifying information removed, along with my username. Is this enough proof?
It raises more question than it provides answers, but I appreciate the effort. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'd appreciate it if you humoured me with my follow-up questions, but you are of course completely within your right to decline.

Your card (one of the very few bits you didn't censor out) states that you're not a NASA employee, but rather a contractor. What gives?
Why did you edit out the month and year of expiry on your PIV?
Similarly, why did you edit out the zone affiliation colour code, while still leaving the colour itself prominently visible?
Finally, are you currently located in the state of California?

Quote
Your card (one of the very few bits you didn't censor out) states that you're not a NASA employee, but rather a contractor. What gives?
All employees of JPL are contractors, as we technically work for Caltech, and JPL is an FFRDC.

Quote
Why did you edit out the month and year of expiry on your PIV?
Similarly, why did you edit out the zone affiliation colour code, while still leaving the colour itself prominently visible?

That's fair, I suppose. Here's the card with those in



Quote
Finally, are you currently located in the state of California?
I'm currently not in California due to the mandatory telework policy in effect at my site currently: https://nasapeople.nasa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus.htm.

*

Offline Pete Svarrior

  • e
  • Planar Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11104
  • (>^_^)> it's propaganda time (◕‿◕✿)
    • View Profile
    • The Flat Earth Society
Thank you. I'm convinced. I'm sorry if that was a bit of an ordeal, but I hope you can understand some of my initial skepticism. Funnily enough, usually those with demonstable ties to NASA try to keep it private around here, and those who openly claim to be working there usually turn out to be teenagers looking for a laugh.

Did you work there prior to the 2016 election? If so, I wonder if there has been much change in the working culture or priorities that you personally witnessed between the Obama and Trump administrations?
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
Follow the Flat Earth Society on Twitter and Facebook!

<Parsifal> I like looking at Chinese Wikipedia with Noto installed
<Parsifal> I don't understand any of it but the symbols look nice

Thank you. I'm convinced. I'm sorry if that was a bit of an ordeal, but I hope you can understand some of my initial skepticism. Funnily enough, usually those with demonstable ties to NASA try to keep it private around here, and those who openly claim to be working there usually turn out to be teenagers looking for a laugh.

Did you work there prior to the 2016 election? If so, I wonder if there has been much change in the working culture or priorities that you personally witnessed between the Obama and Trump administrations?

That's no problem! I started working there about a year ago, so I can't speak to that.