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Eclipses, flat earthers and a cool C64 sky-watching program

Started by cwpab, 16:32, 12 April 24

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A few days ago, there was a total eclipse in some areas of the United States:

In Europe there will be two relatively soon: August 2026 and August 2028. I will be able to see them because I live exactly in the zone of Spain where they happen.

As a curiosity, "annular" eclipses project "horseshoe" shapes onto the ground, but in total eclipses the light simply goes out. In both cases, the Purkinje effect can be seen, meaning that we see red things suddenly turn purple and dark blue because our eyes give priority to other colors when there is little light.

In any case, these events are a problem for the Flat Earth theory. Why, a flat earther will ask? We also have a spherical sun and moon orbiting the flat Earth, so our model also fits, they will say.

Well, basically the problem is that all the calculations to predict eclipses are done by official science with the official model. If their model was the right one, they would be using some totally different kind of calculation to predict these phenomena and of course the dates and times would not match the eclipses in the spherical Earth model. Instead, they simply blindly trust official science for eclipse dates because they know they always get it right. And from there, they modify the model by creating a series of trajectories to make it look like they have everything under control.

They don't: with such a different model in which the force of gravity doesn't even exist, taking data based on it as good is not good news. Bad times for flat earthers in the areas on the map above, of which there could be quite a few: According to a 2018 survey, one-third of the US population is unsure that the Earth is spherical.

Also, in another type of eclipse where the Earth casts its shadow on the moon, we should see this:

Finally, the 1984 C64 app "Sky Travel" allows you to "experience" eclipses in real time... pretty cool! The CPC has some similar programs, but I don't think they have this feature.


A total eclipse is a great experience. I was lucky enough to see one in 1999. The weather was not good and the sun was mostly behind clouds but for the second half of the eclipse the clouds moved so we could see it in all its beauty. 

It was quite weird too. You don't recognize it until it's almost full. And then all of a sudden it becomes cold and somehow blueish dark. Nature also reacts, e.g. birds stop their activities. And then, after a few minutes, the sun appears again - and the world is back to normal.


Never underestimate human stupidity. Also, confirmation bias.

By the way the 2028 eclipse will be visible in the SE Asia I think?


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