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  #51  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
It showed a picture of an astronaut in low-earth orbit.
OK, you just said it was an astronaut on a spacewalk but in any case the words themselves are not problematic.
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  #52  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:37 AM
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Aren't there a few buildings tall enough to see the curvature of the Earth? Burj Kalipha, errm, what was that building in Chicago?

My $1.75 contribution to the thread;
The Earth is flat. Very much so...













...from my ground level perspective
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  #53  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:21 AM
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You've heard about flat Earth. You've heard about hollow Earth. But have you heard about... expanding Earth?
It is, but only on one side.
  #54  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:36 AM
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Aren't there a few buildings tall enough to see the curvature of the Earth? Burj Kalipha, errm, what was that building in Chicago?

...
Yeah, just about any tall building in Chi., especially overlooking the lake show it. I bet in any coastal city with tall buildings the idea of a flat earth will be a hard sell even for a child. Hell. even a tall building surrounded by corn fields would show it. Not to mention any view from an airplane.
The flat earth idea is so wrong, even to someone with no scientific background, that there have to be ulterior motives in promoting it.
  #55  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:36 AM
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I'll pass on this one, based on having seen a high school physics book that showed a picture of an astronaut doing a spacewalk over this caption:

"As you get further from the center of the Earth, gravity decreases - until, in outer space, you're weightless!"
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
But it didn't say anything about an orbit did it? That gravity decreases with distance is an absolute fact and I would read "outer space" as meaning interstellar space rather than a low earth orbit.
Novelty Bobble, how many astronauts do you think have been in interstellar space?

SPOILER:
Zero. Only Voyager 1 has made it to interstellar space, and there are no astronauts onboard.


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Originally Posted by Xema View Post
It showed a picture of an astronaut in low-earth orbit.
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
OK, you just said it was an astronaut on a spacewalk but in any case the words themselves are not problematic.
OK, Novelty Bobble, how many spacewalks (aka EVAs) in the history of spaceflight do you think have been conducted that were NOT in low-Earth orbit?

SPOILER:
Answer: Out of the approximately 400 spacewalks that have been conducted, just four (4) have been conducted that were not in low-Earth orbit, all on Apollo missions. Two were conducted in lunar orbit on Apollo 15, and two were conducted on the return flights of Apollo 16 and Apollo 17.

In any event, Xema's point is well-taken. The force of gravity in low-Earth orbit is something like 0.88g (at the altitude of the International Space Station). Even at the orbit of the Moon, the force of Earth's gravity is 1.62 m/s2 (i.e. 0.165g). Even at that far distance, astronauts have not "escaped Earth's gravity." The reason that they are weightless in space is NOT because they are farther from the center of the Earth, where "gravity decreases - until, in outer space, you're weightless!". It is because they are in orbit and are in freefall.
  #56  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:58 AM
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Novelty Bobble, how many astronauts do you think have been in interstellar space?
I really think you are taking things far too literally. It is single sentence and one that.....without a drawing, is absolutely fine. That is exactly what happens with the gravitational force and you could theoretically be far enough away from the earth that its gravitational effect is negligible and you are effectively weightless. It doesn't say anything about earth orbits at all. Had it said "here is a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit.....he is weightless" then that seems egregiously incorrect. The sentence as it stands? not so much.

The world of scientific literature is full of what-if's and thought experiments that, though technically correct, aren't necessarily accurate reflections of how we experience the world currently nor examples of a situation we may ever be able to experience.

I remember an early book of mine on space showing a little cartoon Laika with just a glass bubble over her head under a paragraph about early Soviet space exploration. Naturally, seeing as the caption was at odds with the picture I threw it in the fire as it was an affront to common sense with worthless scientific insight.
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  #57  
Old 09-04-2019, 06:03 PM
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Had it said "here is a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit.....he is weightless" then that seems egregiously incorrect. The sentence as it stands? not so much.
And yet the sentence appeared just underneath a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit, who was quite obviously weightless.
  #58  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:27 AM
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"And this, my Liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."
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  #59  
Old 09-05-2019, 01:53 AM
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And yet the sentence appeared just underneath a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit, who was quite obviously weightless.
So the problem is with the picture and not the sentence? and, you have just committed a far more egregious error than the original sentence ever made.
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  #60  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:57 AM
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I'm irresistibly reminded of a -- fictional -- episode set about a century ago, involving ultra-religious Flat Earthers. It's in The Emperor's Coloured Coat, one of John Biggins's splendid series of novels featuring an officer in the navy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in that entity's last years (when it had an Adriatic Sea coast). The hero, caught in the Far East by the outbreak of World War I, is trying -- by whatever means come to hand -- to get back to his homeland and his naval duties.

In the Dutch East Indies, he manages to get passage on a Dutch ship taking Muslim pilgrims to Jeddah, the port for Mecca. All the ship's officers are extremely fundamentalist and uncompromising Calvinists of the most strict and severe kind; they are convinced that the earth is flat -- whether because of the sort of reasoning laid out above, or because they read Scripture as asserting that it's flat, or a bit of both. The hero is initially concerned as to -- with people of such a persuasion doing the navigating -- where on the planet they are actually likely to fetch up. However, something of an anti-climax is revealed: it turns out that Flat-Earther navigational data and techniques are, rather boringly, not as far removed from conventional ditto as one might imagine. Jeddah is reached on schedule and without trouble.
Actually if you delete a point from a sphere, the space that's left is equivalent to a plane and has a flat metric. You could therefore built accurate navigational tables based on it. Of course, it is conceptually easier if you assume the earth is a sphere (or nearly so).
  #61  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:09 AM
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The flat earth idea is so wrong, even to someone with no scientific background, that there have to be ulterior motives in promoting it.
I think that this is what most bothered me, the whole thing is so contrarian, stupid (and shallow) that surely all the flat-earth bollocks is just a front or outer layer for a "deeper" world view*. That is, just where does it end when you think that so much science, education and decades of media coverage is lies?

If these twat-wits are back this week I'll hang around a bit and try to get a Patrick Jane like feel for what the underlying vibe is. If I don't bottle it, I may ask the "What's on the other side" question (avoiding the video-cam bloke) and I will try to find out how Newton fits in.



* Such as - the whole universe is a "Fall/Dodge in Hell" type simulation (which at least would be somewhat rational).
  #62  
Old 09-05-2019, 11:16 AM
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"large bodies of water are always flat"?

Take 1 telescope, 1 large body of water with moving ships, 1 clear day.

Observe which parts of the ships you can see and how that changes with distance and relative motion.

draw sensible conclusions.
The ocean is in on the conspiracy...
  #63  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
...
If these twat-wits are back this week I'll hang around a bit and try to get a Patrick Jane like feel for what the underlying vibe is. If I don't bottle it, I may ask the "What's on the other side" question (avoiding the video-cam bloke) and I will try to find out how Newton fits in...
Don't forget to ask them where the turtles (NOT Flo and Eddie) fit in. I hear there's lots and lots of turtles.
  #64  
Old 09-05-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
So the problem is with the picture and not the sentence?
The problem is (quite obviously) with the two together.

Surely you'd agree it's normal to interpret a caption as having a close relationship to the picture above it - yes?
  #65  
Old 09-05-2019, 02:24 PM
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The Earth is quite flat
no use in denyin'.
Those what say "It's round"
are quite plainly lyin'.

They rely on "facts"
like "some spacemen done flied!"
The obvious truth
is those men woulda died!

Don't give me no crap
'bout "lake water is bended",
It, too is flat like
the Good Lord intended!

So knock yourself out
go climb your skyscrapers,
but we know the earth
is flat like this paper!
  #66  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:09 PM
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The problem is (quite obviously) with the two together.

Surely you'd agree it's normal to interpret a caption as having a close relationship to the picture above it - yes?
The caption should certainly have something to do with the picture and vice versa but I'm happy to give a little leeway (just like I did when you got it wrong yourself). All I know is that a perfectly correct sentence was set next to a picture that you interpret as terribly misleading. I haven't seen the picture so I have no way of knowing.
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  #67  
Old 09-06-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
...and, you have just committed a far more egregious error than the original sentence ever made.
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
...but I'm happy to give a little leeway (just like I did when you got it wrong yourself).
Novelty Bobble, what exactly do you think that Xema got wrong?
  #68  
Old 09-06-2019, 04:13 PM
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Novelty Bobble, what exactly do you think that Xema got wrong?
Quote:
a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit, who was quite obviously weightless.
By the standards of Xema's own complaint that statement is wrong.

I'm gently teasing because I don't think it actually matters that much. If the picture did show a spaceman in earth orbit then the caption with it was, at worst, not a full explantion. Xema's quote above was just a slip of the keyboard and shows how easy it is to apply "weightless" to a body in orbit.

In any case, A slight quibble over a slightly misleading picture with a completely accurate statement is absolutely nothing compared to the bollocks of a flat earth.
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  #69  
Old 09-06-2019, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema View Post
"And yet the sentence appeared just underneath a picture of a modern-day spaceman in earth orbit, who was quite obviously weightless."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
By the standards of Xema's own complaint that statement is wrong.
No, it isn't.

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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I'm gently teasing because I don't think it actually matters that much. If the picture did show a spaceman in earth orbit then the caption with it was, at worst, not a full explantion. Xema's quote above was just a slip of the keyboard and shows how easy it is to apply "weightless" to a body in orbit.
On the contrary, there is nothing wrong with Xema's statement. An object in orbit is in freefall. Objects in freefall (defined as any motion of a body where gravity is the only force acting upon it) are weightless. This is true whether you are talking about an astronaut in orbit, or a person in a plummeting elevator. I'd cite a physics book if I had one handy, but this will have to do.

You seem to have this idea that "weightlessness is the absence of gravity," which is a common misconception addressed in this same link.

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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
In any case, A slight quibble over a slightly misleading picture with a completely accurate statement...
The point that Xema and I have been repeatedly making is the reason that astronauts in space are weightless is NOT because they are far from the center of the Earth where there is an absence of gravity. Because this is such a common misconception, I'd say that the picture is more than just "slightly misleading."

There are other ways to get across the point that the force of gravity decreases with distance, but the quoted caption with the photo of an astronaut in orbit is not one of them. As I stated upthread, the force of gravity at the orbit of the International Space Station is something like 90% as strong as it is at the surface of the Earth.

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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
...is absolutely nothing compared to the bollocks of a flat earth.
On this we are in complete agreement.
  #70  
Old 09-07-2019, 06:49 AM
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You seem to have this idea that "weightlessness is the absence of gravity," which is a common misconception addressed in this same link.
Of course I don't think that, I'm fully aware of the various reasons for weightlessness and stated the inverse square law for gravity upthread. I know how it works.

Quote:
The point that Xema and I have been repeatedly making is the reason that astronauts in space are weightless is NOT because they are far from the center of the Earth where there is an absence of gravity.
And my point is that it is entirely possible for an astronaut in space to be weightless for exactly that reason. Take them far enough away from the earth, away from large gravitational influences and that would indeed be the case. It may be that the image in question doesn't show such a situation, it may be that we've never attempted such a thing but that doesn't make the statement wrong. Xema seemed to be suggesting that the statement was wrong to same degree as the flat-earth bollocks. I don't think it is anywhere near it.

Quote:
Because this is such a common misconception, I'd say that the picture is more than just "slightly misleading."
Well we don't actually know if the image is misleading or not, having not seen it, but the statement is absolutely accurate by itself and it is that which I believed Xema to be complaining about. If I've misunderstood their beef then fair enough but I think that just makes their complaint even more hyperbolic.
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  #71  
Old 09-07-2019, 08:06 AM
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Xema seemed to be suggesting that the statement was wrong to same degree as the flat-earth bollocks. I don't think it is anywhere near it.
Nor do I - I'd hoped (perhaps naively) it would be evident that some exaggeration involved when I said "Not quite as bad as embracing a flat Earth ..."


Quote:
Well we don't actually know if the image is misleading or not, having not seen it ...
The image wasn't misleading at all - it was a bog-standard photo of an astronaut doing a spacewalk. Which has only ever happened in earth orbit. When paired with this photo, the caption, by contrast, was not so much misleading as flat-out wrong.


Quote:
... but the statement is absolutely accurate by itself ...
I disagree.

The statement was "As you get further from the center of the Earth, gravity decreases - until, in outer space, you're weightless!" Outer space is widely held to be all that space further than 100 km from the surface of the earth, which includes space where the earth's gravity is more than 90% of that at the earth's surface. The only way to be weightless there is to be in freefall.
  #72  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:28 AM
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Actually if you delete a point from a sphere, the space that's left is equivalent to a plane and has a flat metric. You could therefore built accurate navigational tables based on it. Of course, it is conceptually easier if you assume the earth is a sphere (or nearly so).
IIRC, this is pretty much the conclusion which the book's hero comes to, after getting a look at the eccentric mariners' charts; I not being genned-up on such things, had forgotten the details. I had just been taken with the the fancy -- before the hero susses things out -- of the ship, with these twits doing the navigating, setting out for Jeddah and ending up making landfall in Fiji or somewhere.
  #73  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:43 AM
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Nor do I - I'd hoped (perhaps naively) it would be evident that some exaggeration involved when I said "Not quite as bad as embracing a flat Earth ..."
Well I took you to be serious, apologies for that. Nuance can get lost on the interwebs.

Of course we've now ended up doing the flat-earthers work for them to some extent. They'd point to our back-and-forth and say "look, even those putting forward the spherical earth theory can't agree, so much for conventional science"
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  #74  
Old 09-07-2019, 02:24 PM
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Of course I don't think that, I'm fully aware of the various reasons for weightlessness and stated the inverse square law for gravity upthread. I know how it works.

And my point is that it is entirely possible for an astronaut in space to be weightless for exactly that reason. Take them far enough away from the earth, away from large gravitational influences and that would indeed be the case. It may be that the image in question doesn't show such a situation, it may be that we've never attempted such a thing but that doesn't make the statement wrong. Xema seemed to be suggesting that the statement was wrong to same degree as the flat-earth bollocks. I don't think it is anywhere near it.
Well, I agree that it's certainly not wrong to the same degree as the "flat-earth bollocks," but my point is that no actual astronaut, spacecraft, or space probe has ever been weightless because it was "far enough away from the Earth." On the contrary, in every case, it is because the object in question is or was on a free-fall trajectory. Even the Voyager space probes, which are on an escape trajectories away from the Sun, are on free fall trajectories and are still influenced by gravity. For one, despite being on escape trajectories from our solar system, they are still being slowed down by the Sun. For another, they are not going fast enough to be on an escape trajectory from the Milky Way galaxy. Both probes will ultimately end up in orbits around the center of our galaxy.

In short, due to the inverse square nature of the force of gravity, it is not actually possible in any practical sense to get far enough away from all gravitational influences such that an astronaut would thereby be weightless.

What you are talking about (i.e. "Take them far enough away from the earth, away from large gravitational influences...") is something that is not actually possible and is best described as a thought experiment. You're basically talking about a hypothetical astronaut in the intergalactic void far enough away from everything such that the force of gravity acting upon the astronaut is negligible (though never zero).

That's not what Xema's picture showed, though. It showed a photo of an astronaut in low-Earth orbit. This astronaut is weightless for a completely different reason, that reason being because the astronaut is in free fall, and very much affected by gravity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
...Of course we've now ended up doing the flat-earthers work for them to some extent. They'd point to our back-and-forth and say "look, even those putting forward the spherical earth theory can't agree, so much for conventional science"
Let me be perfectly clear. My nitpicking of subtle aspects of orbital mechanics and gravity is not meant to encourage the delusions of flat-Earthers. As to your point, check out this famous essay by Isaac Asimov entitled The Relativity of Wrong.

As Asimov wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Asimov
...when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong [because it's actually an "oblate spheroid"]. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
  #75  
Old 09-09-2019, 05:28 AM
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What you are talking about (i.e. "Take them far enough away from the earth, away from large gravitational influences...") is something that is not actually possible and is best described as a thought experiment. You're basically talking about a hypothetical astronaut in the intergalactic void far enough away from everything such that the force of gravity acting upon the astronaut is negligible (though never zero).
Apologies Robby, I thought I'd responded to you on this, a digital dog appears to have eaten my homework.

I agree completely. That is exactly how I'd read that sentence, something akin to a thought experiment. Science literature is absolutely full of such things. Asking you to consider a situation that has not happened or even could practically not happen.

Let me use a famous and apt example to explain how I see it. Take the sentence.

Quote:
"Shooting a cannonball at a higher speed sees it travel further. Shoot it fast enough from a high enough mountain and the ball would fall over the horizon forever and would be in orbit"
Now put that next to a picture of a standard cannon. Would we complain that it isn't possible to get such a standard cannon to shoot a ball at over 17,000 mph? would we complain that it isn't actually possible to place a cannon on a tower that takes it beyond atmospheric interference? Would we say that such a thing has never been done and that the cannon in the picture doesn't depict such a thing?

I think the astronaut picture is just a man in space because the caption mentions it. Just like the cannon example above is just a picture of a cannon because the caption mentions it.

If a caption talking about manned space exploration showed a Soyuz rocket taking off I wouldn't pick holes in it and point out that only Saturn V vehicles had put people on other worlds or that the particular model didn't have the lift capability to ever do so.

Like I said previously. If the caption had said that an astronaut in orbit around the earth was weightless because of their distance from the earth, that is a different matter and a clear error. It didn't say that. I'm happy that the picture is mere illustration and not intended as a comprehensive and accurate expression of the concepts involved.
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  #76  
Old 09-09-2019, 01:31 PM
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I watched (a bit) (so you didn't have to) of content from videos of one of the sites broken-linked to in the OP. I quote as carefully as I can, given that I had a couple of glasses of Shiraz to brave the frontiers of stupidity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlatEarthVideo
I must emphatically state that no-one has ever seen a (an artificial) satellite, they do not exist and every image of one that has been presented to you has been one of a computer generated cartoon...
Well, you haven't been looking very hard, (strike that) at all. I've seen them under construction at (XXX redacted) and the ISS is quite often clearly visible in the (night) sky, without optical aids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monumentally-ignorant-twats*
The Hubble space telescope is another deception, which flat-out doesn't exist either. Every image from there an image from photoshop
Quote:
Originally Posted by words-fail*
While the tides' motions do seem to follow the moon's motions overhead... on closer inspection (?) while the moons's motions overhead are regular - tides round the world, not so much so
I dunno, just what the frak?* Just go talk to a sailor.**

* I would like to add some swear-y descriptions at these points, feel free to add your own.

** I'm not a sailor, but I grew up close the Thames, I am pretty sure the tides are pretty damn*** regular.

*** Still resisting the urge to say fucking!
  #77  
Old 09-09-2019, 05:55 PM
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Let me use a famous and apt example to explain how I see it. ...
I like your cannon example, but don't feel it works all that well as an analogy to the spacewalking astronaut. The possible complaints you list are all valid, but the caption seems sufficiently hypothetical to get by.

Suppose instead the picture was of the original Sputnik satellite (which was more or less cannonball-shaped) and the caption said "Many satellites are launched by rockets, but it's also possible to launch them with a sufficiently large and powerful cannon." I think this is both more objectionable and closer to my example.

The essential point is that the picture showed a weightless astronaut and its caption gave an explanation for weightlessness in outer space - which had nothing whatever to do with what was going on in the picture.
  #78  
Old 09-09-2019, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Small Clanger's flat earther
... no-one has ever seen a (an artificial) satellite, they do not exist and every image of one that has been presented to you has been one of a computer generated cartoon ...
Artificial satellites are of course trivially easy to see - with a clear sky and decent viewing, some will be visible every evening.

Worse for flat earthers is how their exact behavior can be precisely predicted far into the future. This is true even before they are launched.
  #79  
Old 09-09-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post

Like I said previously. If the caption had said that an astronaut in orbit around the earth was weightless because of their distance from the earth, that is a different matter and a clear error. It didn't say that. I'm happy that the picture is mere illustration and not intended as a comprehensive and accurate expression of the concepts involved.
In the early days of space travel, which I remember, people often said that astronauts were weightless because of a condition of zero gravity, and took those descriptions as equivalent. Which they aren't for any place we've ever been. (Or will go, as has been noted.) A textbook implying that weightlessness in orbit is due to zero gravity because of distance from the earth is playing to this misconception not refuting it.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:37 AM
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The essential point is that the picture showed a weightless astronaut and its caption gave an explanation for weightlessness in outer space - which had nothing whatever to do with what was going on in the picture.
Fair enough, I reckon we've kicked it around enough now.
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