General, Research, Technology

How to tell if the Earth is round? A few simple tips

Does everyone really know that the earth is round? It may seem that this fact should not cause any doubts today, but there are people in the world - and there are not so few of them - who are seriously convinced that our planet is flat. In fact, behind such, ahem, a radical view of the world, there is often a complete lack of understanding of physical laws and how the universe around us works. Meanwhile, the history of our species' intellectual quest is important and interesting. Against the backdrop of countless discoveries made by our ancestors and contemporaries, there is no point in believing in a crazy conspiracy theory that is contrary to common sense. But if you are still in doubt about the shape of our planet, this article is for you. Introducing readers to simple ways that will allow you to understand why the Earth is not 100% flat.

The 2014 image captured by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from the International Space Station shows the curvature of the Earth.


  • 1 Satellite of our planet
  • 2 Ships and the horizon
  • 3 The sky above us
  • 4 Buy a plane ticket

Satellite of our planet

So, the first and most obvious fact is that ourthe planet is the moon. For the ancient Greeks, the Moon was a mystery, but after man first stepped on its surface in 1969 (if for some reason you doubt this, read our material on what you need to know about a man's flight to the Moon) and brought to the Earth lunar soil and stones, we know what it consists of and are still continuing to study it.

The observations of the ancient Greeks, however, putthe beginning of humanity's understanding of what kind of round body flaunts in the night sky. Aristotle (384-322 BC), for example, made quite a few observations about the spherical nature of the Earth and noticed that during lunar eclipses (when the shadow of the Earth falls on the surface of the Moon instead of sunlight), the shadow on the surface of the Moon is round and belongs a spherical body - our planet. He also announced that the earth is round, judging by the various constellations that we see moving away from the equator.

Lunar eclipse on April 15, 2014. The image shows the shadow of the Earth crossing the surface of the Moon. The shape of the shadow is curved because the Earth is spherical.

Many centuries later, Nicolaus Copernicus would writethe famous book entitled "On the Rotations of the Celestial Spheres." By the time of its release, the world system proposed by the ancient Greek scientist Claudius Ptolemy will dominate in society for a millennium and a half. It consisted in the fact that the Earth is motionless at the center of the Universe, and the Sun and other planets revolve around it. The church liked this system very much, as it did not contradict its basic canons. Today we know that the Earth rotates in an orbit around the Sun and around its axis, and with each lunar eclipse casts a shadow on its own satellite. So it's definitely not flat.

Ships and the horizon

If the world were flat, how wouldships over the horizon? If you live not far from the beach (but what if), then you probably noticed this interesting phenomenon: approaching ships do not just appear from the horizon, but rather appear from under the sea. The reason that ships literally "come out of the waves" is that our world is not flat, but round.

Imagine an ant walking alongorange surface. If you look at an orange at close range, you can see the insect's body slowly rising above the horizon due to the curvature of the orange's surface. If you carry out the same experiment with a long road, the effect will be different: the ant will slowly "materialize" in the field of view.

Ships, as is known, do not emerge from the waves

Read even more fascinating articles about how amazing our Universe and the world around us are on our Yandex Zen channel. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site.

The sky above us

Returning from a trip to Egypt, Aristotlenoted: "in Egypt and Cyprus, stars are visible, which are not visible in the northern regions." This phenomenon is explained by the fact that we look at the stars from a circular surface. Aristotle also believed that the sphere of the Earth "is small in size, because otherwise the effect of such a slight change in terrain would not have manifested itself so soon." The further you are from the equator, the further the constellations known to us go to the horizon, replaced by other stars. If our planet were flat, this would not happen.

If our planet were flat, we could observe the same constellations from anywhere on the planet.

You might be wondering: Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Buy a plane ticket

If you have ever traveled outside the country,especially on long trips, you probably noticed two interesting facts about airplanes and our planet: airplanes can fly in a relatively straight line for a very long time and at the same time they do not fall over the edge of the world. Moreover, planes can fly around our planet without stopping. If you look out the window during a transatlantic flight, you can see the curvature of the Earth on the horizon. So sorry flat-earth proponents to disappoint, but our planet is round.