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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Flat Earth Follies: Let's play "Where Is The Sun?" again (Cornwall edition)

Jack is at it again...

Seems Jack is breaking Flat Earth rules by using random images and I have to agree to a certain extent, you do need to know the provenance of an image - but it's ridiculous to say you can never rely on ANY evidence outside your own creation.

Figure 1. @flatearthqueen's tweet
Of course, this person is actually dishonest and will instantly disregard anything you say anyway:

Figure 2. @flatearthqueen's twitter thread with @nate_birn

It really boils down to trust, which is why Flat Earthers constantly try to prove that NASA has lied about something.  The problem is, they fail HARD.  I have NEVER seen a convincing argument that NASA has lied in any substantial way or faked space images or video - these claims invariably boil down to some uneducated nutjob on the internet making an assertion because they don't understand something.  Has NASA *ever* lied about something?  I would be shocked if a massive organization hasn't made errors and even knowingly put out false information - but I'm talking about out-and-out faking space images or video -- just doesn't happen.  More importantly, we don't NEED NASA to know the shape of the Earth.  So it's all irrelevant red herrings and well-poisoning.

So, while there are legitimate epistemic questions in how we can approach sharing knowledge, I digress because they aren't relevant to our case AT ALL.

In our case Flat-Earther-Jack has provided the image as his evidence and made a very specific claim:

"In this picture rays are coming straight down from sun. Not perspective."

"Is the Sun indeed even CLOSE to being overhead this area" is the only question before us and there are no questions of Fact that we need to resolve.  I accept Jack's image as authentic.  In fact, this image was used in a scientific study: The venetian-blind effect: A preference for zero disparity or zero slant?

Which states, in part:

Figure 3. excerpt from scientific study

The image itself is a very beautiful image of the Longships Lighthouse near Cornwall taken by Andrew Green and is titled “over the lighthouse".

Figure 4. Andrew Green's "over the lighthouse" -  CC BY-NC 2.0

Thanks to the original for this image being posted on flickr we have all the EXIF data.

Date and Time (Original) - 2010:12:13 16:12:37
Focal Length (35mm format) - 123 mm

So now we know the location, the date, and the time!

Which means we can know where the sun was actually directly overhead (called the subsolar point):

Figure 5. subsolar point for 2010:12:13 16:12:37
Which puts the sun over this point: 23° 10' S, 64° 26' W

Latitude: 23° 10' South
Longitude: 64° 26' West

Meanwhile, our lighthouse is way up in England near 50°04'01" N, 5°44'48" W

Figure 6. Google Earth: Longships Lighthouse area
So rather than "straight down", the Sun is about 6,186 miles away!

Figure 7. Google Earth: Distance from Longships Lighthouse to Subsolar point

So it should be clear that Jack doesn't have a clue what he is talking about -- this is so egregious of an error and so inexcusable that it is LYING.  Especially since this isn't the first time Jack has run afoul of using random images and getting busted over it:

Figure 8. I emailed the photographer and they said "mostly fake sunwise", so this is a photoshopped image

This is why you need to VERIFY your evidence -- you cannot just grab RANDOM images from the internet and make reliable arguments based on them.

And if you're going to claim the Sun is "directly overhead" some spot you better check it or you're going to look like a fool.

I also used Sly Sparkane's "tube of lined paper" to overlay this image (From his video on Crepuscular Rays):

Figure 9. Tube of lined paper making parallel rays

And we can line that out and overlay it with our original image:

Figure 10. Image overlayed with Parallel Rays
So yeah...

Image of Jack's tweet for safe keeping
MEME version:

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