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Offline Tom Bishop

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FAQ Improvements - 'Spotlight Sun'
« on: June 15, 2020, 09:41:02 PM »
On FAQ improvements, I think that we should to rephrase the term 'spotlight' in the FAQ. Perhaps change it to a 'circular area of light' upon the earth. This will eliminate the "how can the sun be a spotlight??" question that comes up now and then.

Are there any objections to this?
« Last Edit: June 15, 2020, 10:01:03 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Re: FAQ Improvements - 'Spotlight Sun'
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 03:26:13 PM »
I don't see anything wrong with that question, and eliminating it is probably impossible... it will just be substituted by another one.
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Offline Pete Svarrior

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Re: FAQ Improvements - 'Spotlight Sun'
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 03:32:29 PM »
I agree that the term "spotlight" is confusing, even if technically completely accurate. That said, I completely see BP's point - changing the phrasing is probably not going to have much of an effect. If we don't explain that the sun acts as a de facto spotlight, then the noob question of the day will be "But how is that possible? If the sun emits light in all directions, how can it only illuminate a circular area?"

This is not an objection, though, just an observation that the change might not have as much effect as you'd hope. The ideal solution would be to find a way to explain the effect of EA (or any other models) on the area illuminated by the sun in a succinct way; but that's a huge challenge as far as prior experience shows.
Read the FAQ before asking your question - chances are we've already addressed it.
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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: FAQ Improvements - 'Spotlight Sun'
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2020, 04:37:10 PM »
If we say that the Sun acts as a spotlight, it may suggest that it is a spotlight, and create a positive claim of what the Sun is. I would rather remove that implication and have them ask "How does the Sun do xx," so they can look further into that subject without that possible taint of information.

These were the changes made to the FAQ on this:

"It's also worth noting that if a person were to look down at the Earth from high above, they would expect to see a circular shape where the sun's spotlight was shining."  --> "It's also worth noting that if a person were to look down at the Earth from high above, they would expect to see a circular shape where the sun's area of light was shining."

and under How do you explain day/night cycles and seasons?

"...When it is over your head, it's day. When it's not, it's night. The light of the sun is confined to a limited area and its light acts like a spotlight upon the Earth." --> "When it is over your head, it's day. When it's not, it's night. The light of the sun is confined to a limited area upon the Earth."

The text near the second modification does already give a link to the sunrise and sunset page:

"The picture below illustrates how the sun moves and also how seasons work on a Flat Earth. There are several potential theories for the apparent effect of the Sun's rising and setting."

Presumably if they were curious they would click on that.

But yes, at some time in the future the community should probably generally concede that EA theory won among the FE sunrise theories and use EA as a major part of how FE is described. There is likely a better and more engaging way to explain it all.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 05:11:57 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy