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The Flat Earth Theory


How Do Flat-Earthers Explain the Equinox? We Investigated | livescience - September 21, 2018 04:51pm ET

--- Quote ---The autumn equinox is upon us. On Saturday (Sept. 22), the sun will shine directly on the Earth's equator, autumn will officially begin in the northern hemisphere, and the length of day and night will be nearly equal across the globe ... or, "across the disc," if you're a flat-Earther.

For flat-Earthers the vocal online community of folks who believe the world is actually flat and science is a conspiracy the equinox can be tricky to explain. Without axial tilt, the phenomenon in which the rotating, spherical Earth angles its poles toward or away from the sun, how can the changing seasons be reliably explained? How can sunrises and sunsets occur if the sun is constantly shining on the entire, flat surface of the planet? If the North Pole sits at the exact center of the world, can compass directions even exist? [7 Ways to Prove the Earth Is Round]

Flat-Earth thinkers have come up with many answers to these niggling questions over the last century or so, and we've scoured the literature to share the explanations with you. Be warned: Understanding them requires discarding a few thousand years of what you might consider accepted scientific knowledge. For starters, forget the heliocentric model of the solar system. You won't need it here.

The sun is really, really small

In the most popular flat-Earth maps, the North Pole sits roughly at the center of the planetary disc, while Antarctica forms a giant ice wall along the planet's circumference. The equator forms a ring hallway between the two.

Many flat-Earthers agree that the sun perfectly circles the ring of the equator on the equinox; however, to account for the equal hours of daytime and nighttime, the models make a few tweaks to how the sun itself looks and behaves.

While you might envision the sun as an enormous ball of exploding gas located 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away, a flat-Earther would see it as a teeny, tiny spotlight hovering just over the Earth. How teeny and how close is it? According to the early flat-Earth thinker Samuel Birley Rowbotham, who published the influential treatise "Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe" in 1881, the sun is only about 32 miles (52 km) in diameter and hovers anywhere from 400 to 700 miles (640 to 1,130 km) above the Earth, depending on the month.

Many modern flat-Earthers now believe that the sun sits about 3,000 miles (5,000 km) over the Earth, but Rowbotham's general idea remains popular in the community. Here's how members of the Flat Earth Society (one of the foremost flat-Earth activist groups in the world) describe the idea on their official wiki page:

"The sun moves in circles around the North Pole. When it is over your head, it's day. When it's not, it's night. The light of the sun is confinedto a limited area, and its light acts like a spotlight upon the Earth."
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The Flat Earth Theory Explained


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