The Science behind the sphere

In our vast world, people hold a wide range of beliefs, including some who believe the Earth is flat. Changing the mind of someone who holds such a belief can be challenging, but I’m here to present you with evidence that strongly supports the idea of a round Earth. We’ll explore geometry, lunar eclipses, time zones, the horizon, and photographic evidence to demonstrate the compelling case for a spherical Earth.

Let’s begin with geometry, which focuses on shapes and space. One argument made by flat Earth believers is that the horizon always appears flat. However, this perception is due to the Earth’s immense size. When we’re standing on the ground, the curvature is not easily noticeable because it’s subtle. But if we observe from a higher vantage point or view the horizon from a distance, the curvature becomes more apparent. It’s similar to how a ball may appear flat when we’re standing close to it but reveals its roundness when we step back.

Now, let’s consider lunar eclipses. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth casts a circular shadow on the Moon. If the Earth were flat, we would expect the shadow to be flat as well. However, the consistent circular shape of the shadow during lunar eclipses provides strong evidence for the Earth’s roundness.

Another significant piece of evidence is the existence of time zones. Different parts of the world experience different times, thanks to the Earth’s rotation. As the Earth spins, various regions face the Sun at different angles, resulting in the progression of day and night. If the Earth were flat, we would not have synchronized time progressions across the globe. However, the presence of distinct time zones, where travelers experience changes in time as they cross longitudes, strongly supports the concept of a spherical Earth.

Photographic evidence also contributes to our understanding of a round Earth. Over the years, photographs taken from space missions and satellites have provided us with compelling images of our planet. These photos capture the unmistakable spherical shape of the Earth, displaying its curvature, vast oceans, and distinctive continents. The abundance of photographic evidence from different perspectives further reinforces the widely accepted consensus that the Earth is round.

Addressing common misconceptions held by flat Earth believers, one common argument is that the horizon always appears flat. However, this perception is a result of the Earth’s vast size compared to our immediate surroundings. Similarly, the lack of noticeable curvature in everyday life is due to the Earth’s immense scale, making it difficult to perceive without specialized equipment or a broader viewpoint.

In conclusion, when we examine the evidence from geometry, lunar eclipses, time zones, the horizon, and photographic records, it becomes clear that the Earth is indeed spherical. While different beliefs will always exist, scientific exploration and the accumulation of compelling evidence provide a strong foundation for understanding the shape of our planet. By embracing these scientific discoveries and remaining open to new knowledge, we can continue to appreciate the wonders of our round Earth and the unity it brings to our shared human experience.

Aleksander Knapik – Loyola Academy – DMSF Class of 2027