Yesterday, the United States witnessed a magnificent astronomical sight, a total solar eclipse. Most Americans took away a sense of profound appreciation for our Solar System, however, there was an underlying group of people set to throw the curtains wide on the lie of a round Earth.
These groups of flat Earthers believed that the solar eclipse would be the final exclamation mark in proving the Earth is flat. Most flat Earthers agreed, something fishy is going on during a solar eclipse and the way media and science are portraying it, leaving them a chance to unveil the truth.
Flat Earthers believe the Earth is shaped like a hockey puck with a dome above it called a firmament, which includes our atmosphere, the sun, the moon, stars, etc. Some make a religious argument for a flat Earth, stating that the Bible tells us the Earth is the center of the universe and wholely stationary. Others rely on their imagination and flawed logic to build an argument that the Earth is flat.
In some cases, flat Earthers believe the edges of this hockey puck world of ours is surrounded by an ice wall similar to the one keeping out the White Walkers in Game of Thrones.
Did The Solar Eclipse Prove The Earth Is Flat?
There are two key issues flat Earthers take with the Eclipse that prove in their mind the Earth is indeed flat. One is the eclipse path, which moved from west to east. The other is the size of the moon’s shadow on Earth.
The first argument is if the Earth is rotating from west to east, the shadow should pass across Earth’s surface from East to West, just as the sun moves across the sky. At face value, this would seem odd to many people. Here’s a video of a flat Earther explaining why he thinks this proves the Earth is flat.
However, it’s important to understand the speed at which the Earth and moon travel. According to NASA, the moon travels to the east as it orbits Earth at approximately 3,400 km per hour. This is compared to the Earth rotating to the east at 1,670 km per hour at the equator. This would mean the moon’s shadow will move from west to east at 1,730 km per hour at the equator.
As an analogy, imagine car B passing car A on the highway. Car A typically finds objects first pass by the car from the front hood and travel toward the back bumper. However, in the case of car B which is passing car A, car B would travel from the back bumper to the front hood.
The second argument is that the shadow the moon casts on the Earth has to be bigger than the moon itself. A few flat Earthers tested their hypothesis by turning on a flash light and shining it at a quarter against the wall. They found that if they moved the quarter closer or farther from the wall the shadow was always bigger than the quarter itself.
The image below is a comparison of what the flat Earthers were expecting to see, a massive shadow significantly larger than the moon itself.
However, there is one key issue with these experiments. The Sun projects light in all directions and is many many times larger than the moon. Hence, the experiment would be better served not by a point source of light such as a candle or flashlight, but with a large area of diffuse of light and one that is significantly far from the quarter and wall.
Here you can see an accurate demonstration of how the Sun casts the moon’s shadow on Earth. Unfortunately for flat Earthers, this wasn’t their big breakthrough in discrediting NASA, the media, and the rest of the world that the Earth is flat. However, the group has never been keen on facts or evidence and maintains a significant distrust of the rest of the world. Maybe the next solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, will be their coup de grâce on this whole round Earth nonsense.