Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson delivers proof the Earth is round

Neil deGrasse Tyson delivers proof the Earth is round

The flat earth society is composed of people who promote the idea that the earth is flat. He also explained why he thinks some Americans still believe the earth is flat, blaming our educational system and one thing most would consider to be a basic human right: the right to say whatever you want.

While "we have a video from space - of a rotating spherical earth", the people who believe that the earth is flat do not believe it. In fact, Google Trends data indicates that over the last couple of years, searches for the keyword "flat earth" have gone up more than three times, the news outlet reported at the time.

"What's odd is there are people who think that Earth is flat but recognize that the moon is round", Tyson says. Gravity wouldn't work like it does on our planet if Earth were flat, due to the center of mass being in the middle of the disc instead of the center of a sphere, so that's right out the window. The easiest way is to see the many photos of the Earth taken from space, but there are ways to do it from the Earth's curved surface as well. According to Tyson, the laws of physics are universal and how energy behaves are two reasons why everything in the universe is, in fact, a round object.

He mentioned Eratosthenes' famous well experiment to calculate the circumference of the planet, as well as seafarers who would observe ships disappearing beyond the horizon as evidence of a rounded Earth. His view differs from that of astronomer and author Stuart Clark, who told Business Insider UK earlier this year that he believes flat-Earthers are simply being amusing by saying that Earth is flat. With three wells in different locations, the angles of incoming sunlight would all be different and can be measured to suggest a curved Earth. Tyson states that if three wells were considered for this experiment, there is no explanation available by flat Earth theory that the bottom of three wells was illuminated at three different angles cast by the Sun.




If there is anything that flat-earthers prove, Tyson identified that it's the current educational system's failure to teach critical analysis to students.

He explained the physics around why heavenly bodies tend to be spherical, which he wrote about at length in his book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.

In typical Tyson fashion, he introduces several pieces of evidence throughout history, be it from the time of the ancient Greeks or from far more recent research done by our fellows, adding, "That's okay, as long as you don't run NASA".

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an author, astrophysicist, and science communicator.