So The World Is a Sphere?

Let’s clarify: I am not advocating a flat earth theory here.  After my last blog, there seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to a binary opinion.  This seems to go along the lines of if you are questioning the idea that we are a sphere flying through space, then you must be a flat earther.  I have found a little bit of a strange response to a straightforward question.  The other exciting aspect of the responses is that they completely disregard the many other theories about Earth and its position in space.

To be clear, the question I am trying to answer is, how can we prove that we live on a sphere?  When I was asked this question, I struggled to answer it.  Like many, I had accepted it without question.  Yet, when pushed, I saw little evident proof of something that seems accepted without question.  After I had failed to answer the question for the person asking me and for myself, it was over a beer with my brother and a friend that I found a possible answer.  I was discarded as a flat earther by my friend.  My brother was willing to engage and had a fascinating observation.

I should explain that my brother was an artillery officer for many years, so he is well-versed in hurling large pieces of metal through the air to arrive at a particular point on the earth accurately.  He observed that if the world were not a sphere, none of the shells he fired would have hit their target. This was because when calculating the shell’s trajectory, an adjustment is applied for the earth’s curvature when calculating the specifics for firing a shell to the target.  I was intrigued.

It turns out that the Navy first started to adjust their firing trajectories for the earth’s curvature.  It was well understood that the trajectory of the shell out of the gun barrel had to be calculated by considering air resistance.  This would change depending on the air pressure (basically a measurement of the density of the air), prevailing wind, shell weight and a lot more. Even with this calculation, the shells would land past their target.  It was not until the earth’s curvature was included that they started to hit their target. 

That was that, then.  Our human prowess at destruction and blowing things up has proven that the Earth is a sphere.  But then it struck me that if a shell travelling 15 miles needs to be adjusted in its trajectory to hit a target, why can we not see this if we look closely?  We should be able to observe this phenomenon in plenty of places. 

But first, I wanted to understand the magnitude of the adjustment in the curvature. That should be pretty simple maths; as you know, I am always up for some maths.  In this case, I will spare you the details, mainly because they have been laid out in detail by others.  Applying a bit of Pythagoras theorem, the answer we get is as follows:

What does this mean to you and me?  I plugged this into a spreadsheet, and with the earth’s radius at 6371km, the result is that there should be a curvature effect of just under two meters at a range of five kilometres.  At seven Kilometers, it is about four meters.  In my mind, this should be observable, but the issue is that the point of observation is important. We are only looking for a 2 ~ 3-metre deviation.  The most accessible place to observe this would be at sea.

I started to scour the internet for some evidence; it did not take too long.

Thornton Bank wind farm photographed from the Belgian coast

The photograph above is of the Thornton Bank wind farm taken from the coast of Belgium.  It is approximately 27km from the coast, so if we assume a spread of the turbines from 27km to about 35 km, the curvature would be approximately 55m at the closest point and just under 100m at the furthest point.  The wind turbines are approximately 100m tall (sorry, I do not have a good source for this).  That is what I see in this photograph.

Well, that is a relief.  But it leaves me even more curious about the clock in Prague.  More on that next time.

Share this article

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More Blogs

Swiss Made

SNGLRTY was only possible because of all the watch innovators that went before us and the accumulation of their skills and knowledge in Switzerland. We celebrate their achievements by being proud that each of our watches is “Made In Switzerland” so you can be confident that it is engineered and assembled with longevity in mind.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will enjoy Seeing Time Differently every single watch comes with our Money Back Guarantee so you can buy with confidence. If you have any concerns after your purchase, just let us know within 30 days of delivery and we will refund your money. After all, Daniel and Steve want everyone to enjoy wearing SNGLRTY on their wrist.

Free International Shipping

UPS will whisk your beautiful new SNGLRTY watch from Bern, Switzerland to your front door – and you will be able to track it every step of the way and reduce your waiting to the minimum.

2 Year International Warranty

Where ever you are, if there is a problem with your watch (and we seriously doubt there will be), we will make sure it is put right so you can buy your SNGLRTY watch without any worries, wherever you live.

Hour Numerals Color

I like to think the color of the hour numerals creates the personality of your SNGLRTY watch. We have the basics, black and white, but if you would like to have your watch glow in the dark we offer a range of colors in Swiss Super-LumiNova. We always use Grade X1 for the best luminous effect but the daytime colors do impact the ultimate performance of the Super-LumiNova. If you want the brightest possible luminous effect choose Swiss Super-Luminova White, and if you want more please contact us.

Color Of The Hour Ring

The hour ring is the largest surface area on the SNGLRTY watch face so sets the tone for the rest of your design.

Date Display

Each of our watches can be configured with a date display, or without. Due to the mechanics this is the first decision you need to make in your journey to create your SNGLRTY watch.

Comparison Ohi2 vs. Ohi4

The OHI movements, or One Hand Indication, are unique to SNGLRTY. During the development phase of the watches Daniel and Steve used this moniker before naming it SNGLRTY. There are two distinctive movements to choose from, OHI-2 and OHI-4.

The OHI-4 movement is built on the Decorated and Fully Adjusted SW-300 tractor movement from Sellita. On top of the tractor movement the SNGLRTY complication plate is assembled and incorporates the “reverse minute gearbox” that is available exclusively from SNGLRTY. Depending on your selection, the complication plate will also relocate the date wheel from the top of the tractor movement to the top of the complication plate. Relocating it in this manner increases the size of the date disc and moves it closer to the top of the watch face improving its readability considerably.
The OHI-2 movement is the same as the OHI-4 movement except that it is built on a standard execution Sellita SW-200 movement.

Finally, depending on the movement you select the watch case will have a different profile as the OHI-4 movement is thinner than the OHI-2 movement. The key differences are that the case for the OHI-4 movement has a double domed crystal and a flat caseback. The OHI-2 case has a flat crystal and a curved caseback. All the details are in the product page.