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Thread: Where could you touch the firmament?

  1. #1
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    Where could you touch the firmament?

    In 2014, the Civilian Space Exploration Team launched their second GoFast rocket from a site in the Black Rock desert in Nevada, reaching a height of 117 km. Once it reached its maximum altitude, its insane spin, recorded on GoPro cameras, abruptly ceased, which has led flat earthers to assume that it must have hit the firmament. Or as they call it, the dome.

    Now here's the question that I have. Leaving aside the fact that the video clearly shows the rocket was still moving after the decelleration, I was wondering if a reductio ad absurdam could determine how far from the edge the firmament would have to be before humans could actually walk under it, assuming:

    An even, steady curvature
    A height of 117 km at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada
    A radius equal to that of the Earth
    The standard flat earth geography
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2019-Dec-25 at 12:02 PM.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

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  2. #2
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    Depends on the shape of the firmament dome, doesn't it?

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3
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    Wouldn't its shape be determined by its width and height?
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  4. #4
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    Well, no. It could, for instance be a roof of constant height supported by a ring-wall at the edge of the world; or it could be a highly eccentric hemi-ellipse in cross section, rising steeply from the edges and then covering the earth in a broad, relatively flat curve; or it could be a shallow spherical cap, rising from the edges much more gradually. The first two would result in a wall you could walk up to and touch; the latter would require you to crouch down under the descending roof as you neared the edge of the disc.

    Grant Hutchison

  5. #5
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    Well, I was thinking mainly of the third option, since the other two don't really fit the definition of "dome".
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  6. #6
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    Lol wut

    Sent from my A502DL using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Well, I was thinking mainly of the third option, since the other two don't really fit the definition of "dome".
    What to the Flat Earthers say about the shape of this reputed dome?

  8. #8
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    Suppose the dome is spherical and 117 km high at 40 degrees north latitude, about the position of the launch site, and reaches the flat surface 20,000 km from the center. I find a height of 2 meters at a distance of about 157 meters from the edge. That is where someone about 6'7" will need to duck. Of course this is merely a geometric curiosity of an exercise, as in my opinion the Flat Earthers' beliefs are absurd.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Well, I was thinking mainly of the third option, since the other two don't really fit the definition of "dome".
    Domes aren't necessarily spherical caps (and usually aren't), and the firmament isn't necessarily a dome. The origin of the word "dome" is the same as "domicile" and "domestic" - a house. And in Isaiah the firmament is a "curtain" or a "tent" - implying that it might be high at the edges and sag in the middle, or low at the edges and supported by a stonking great pole in the middle. I'm not seeing this working as a debunking strategy.

    Grant Hutchison

  10. #10
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    According to this new theory--the universe may have "borders"
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_...menon_999.html

    The idea of branes flapping--of origami in space as per the recent NOVA documentary makes me think of this little thing
    https://math.berkeley.edu/~kpmann/thurstonslide.pdf

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    According to this new theory--the universe may have "borders"
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_...menon_999.html

    The idea of branes flapping--of origami in space as per the recent NOVA documentary makes me think of this little thing
    https://math.berkeley.edu/~kpmann/thurstonslide.pdf

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  12. #12
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    IIRC the usual flat earth model requires both sun and moon circulating above the disc at an altitude of 3000 miles, yet also inside the firmament/dome/whatever so it would be odd to claim a rocket hit it at 117 km altitude.

  13. #13
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    I was going to say something similar - there's no need to work out where you could touch the firmament, you just need to work through what such a 'low roof' would mean for the sizes, altitudes, and appearances of the Sun and Moon.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by marsbug View Post
    I was going to say something similar - there's no need to work out where you could touch the firmament, you just need to work through what such a 'low roof' would mean for the sizes, altitudes, and appearances of the Sun and Moon.
    Yeah, it's this nonsense.

    https://images.app.goo.gl/UsTwV24mdBsR2URd9

  15. #15
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    I think that's actually the 'slightly more in line with daily experience' version with a higher altitude Sun and Moon! If the roof were 117km up (or anything like it) most of the disk would see both Sun and moon as scarcely clearing the horizon, and their apparent sizes would vary hugely over the course of a day, and from place to place on the disk. As a result most of the disk would be in permanent darkness or twilight. It just doesn't work on a common on sense/daily experience' level, never mind physics and properly gathered evidence. Anyway, enough from me, happy new year everyone, I have a drink to attend to!

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