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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Flat Earth Follies: Reunion Island from Mauritius - 149 MILES!

Reunion and Mauritius are two Islands off the coast of Madagascar.

Reunion has 2000 m and even 3000+ m high mountain peaks and Mauritius is a little more modestly appointed but the Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire peak is 828 meters.

On a clear night you can see across the 110 miles of ocean between them very nicely.  Well I was told it was 149 miles by a Flat Earther but on double checking seems it's only about 110 over the water.

Which inevitably means that some Flat Earther is going to claim this "proves" the Earth is flat.

Figure 1. The claim (original photo source possibly here)
I clock the distance between Cascavelle (approximate location of the photo from the source) and the Saddle between Cimendef and Roche Écrite peaks at 219.52 km (136.4 miles) and will estimate the observer at 146 meters.  So kudos on getting the distance pretty close.

Seems the Flat Earthers ignored the Observer height which isn't the worst of it.

The most striking omission from this "meme" is that the Saddle between Cimendef and Roche Écrite peaks - from that angle, is about 1600 meters high.  Highlighted here as LIE #4.

Figure 2. Fixed It For You
With a 14% refraction that would tell us that about 2069.4 meters should be hidden which is entirely consistent with this view.

Was this 14% refraction?  Was the observer higher or lower?   We don't know - but if Flat Earthers can assert without evidence than I'm free to do the same aren't I -- however the difference is:
  1. I'm being honest about the uncertainties
  2. My numbers are within reason
  3. My numbers aren't complete fabrications and lies of omission
  4. Flat Earth cannot explain the missing 1600 meters - not even with their lies about perspective
So this meme is busted at the very least.

We can make better estimates in the future when we have better images and data about them.

Here is what you DON'T see below the horizon...

Figure 3. Google Earth view of the Saddle
Figure 4. Google Earth Elevation analysis of the lowest visible spot from viewer angle

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