by Mick West at 4:56 PM
(4,301 Views / 4 Likes)


This video by YouTuber LouB747 has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, and many people think it shows some kind of deliberate spraying, a "chemtrail".

The video looks very odd if you don't know what you are looking it. It's a Boeing 787 that's flying more or less on an opposite track to Lou's plane, but about 1,000 feet lower. It starts out looking like this:


Similar videos have show up before, when the conditions, lighting, and angles are right. This one is from 2010.


In the new video there's a similar combination of the right angle,...
by Mick West at 8:34 AM
(2,485 Views / 3 Likes)
Fallacies overlay title metabunk.

I just read an article by Maarten Boudry, where he argues that the practice of spotting and pointing out fallacies is over-used in the skeptical community.
by Mick West at 9:33 AM
(3,325 Views / 0 Likes)
Phone Accelerometers around the world - Metabunk.
In a video titled "*** 4,519 MILES & NO CURVE! Globe Debunked Once And For All *** RESEARCH FLAT EARTH", Youtuber Paul On The Plane uses a phone with a virtual bubble level app in two locations: Seattle, in the North West of the United States, and Dublin, Ireland.

He first resets the level in Seattle with the phone of the floor, and then switches off the phone. Then after arriving in Dublin he turns on the phone on the floor, and the level reads about the same as it did in Seattle. He claims this is proof that the Earth is flat.

Of course it's not, simply because the phone is measuring which direction is down, i.e. it's measuring the direction that gravity pulls things, which is towards the...
by Mick West at 9:58 PM
(3,432 Views / 3 Likes)

Cody Don Reeder, a science educator, did a nice experiment to show that gravity (and hence weight) changes based on your location. The two main things that affect gravity are latitude and elevation, and you should be able to detect these with a sensitive enough scale and a large enough change in altitude and/or location.

Cody uses a 295g cube of non-magnetic tungsten, and a jewelry scale that weighs up to 500g with an accuracy of 0.030g (30mg). He weighs this in Logan UT, and Manchester NH.

wieght varies by location Metabunk.
The weight varies as expected. At higher altitudes you are further from the center of the Earth, so the gravity and weight decrease. At higher latitudes (more North) the effects of the spin of earth are less, and so apparent gravity is...
by MikeG at 6:33 AM
(4,364 Views / 0 Likes)
Stone Cold Truth.
A number of websites, led by Roger Stone, are claiming that former Clinton White House official John Podesta received $35 million from a Russian company while working for Hillary Clinton and president Obama.

A careful examination of the facts, already made by a number of media outlets, reveals that Podesta received no such money and, although carefully skirting existing federal law, did not violate it.

According to the Stone Cold Truth website:

by Mick West at 8:10 AM
(81,447 Views / 1 Likes)
Level Plane Title Metabunk.

Youtuber Darryle Marble, a believer in the "Flat Earth" theory, recently took a spirit level on a plane to attempt to demonstrate that the world was flat by showing the pilot never had to angle the plane down to compensate for the curve. Somehow the story went viral and the internet reacted as you would expect, with incredulity and mockery.

Unfortunately most of the reaction seemed to boil down to "what an idiot, of course the world isn't flat", when really the situation arose from a series of misconceptions and misunderstandings of flight and physics that are shared by many people. Very few people really think much about things like gravity, acceleration, or the curvature of the earth. Despite getting everything wrong, Marble is at least doing an experiment, so I think it's...
by Mick West at 2:52 PM
(26,929 Views / 7 Likes)
One problem I have in telling people that contrails can actually persist, and can even spread out to cover the sky, is that people tend to be suspicious of random people on the internet. So I decided to simply let 70 years of books on clouds speak for themselves.

Result: Every single book on clouds that I could find for the last 70 years says that contrails can persist for hours.

So next time some random guy on the internet tells you contrails can't persist and spread, then ask them why 70 years of books on clouds say the opposite.

My cloud book collection:

Selected References:

1991: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather

1988: Exploring the Sky By Day,...
by Mick West at 8:00 PM
(2,308 Views / 15 Likes)

This was a very lucky shot. I did not know the plane was there and it was only in front of the sun for about six seconds. Note also the two sunspots above and below the trail.

Nikon P900 @ 2000mm
Date Time Original: May 19, 2017, 7:47:19 PM (PDT, so 02:47AM May 20th UTC)
Approximate photo location: 38.63°, -121°

It presents an interesting geolocation opportunity for identifying the plane, due to the precisely known location the the sun at any time.
by Henk001 at 10:09 PM
(4,009 Views / 2 Likes)
South of the equator when you are looking south at the southern night sky you always see the same point in the sky: the south celestial pole. Therefore the lines of sight must be parallel.
Three examples
Sydney, Australia (notice the Sydney Opera House on the left)
Image Source:
From Reúnion
From ESO, Chili
So, instead of this
We must assume this

by Mick West at 12:13 PM
(12,937 Views / 4 Likes)
HD Full Disk Satellite Images Metabunk.

There are several satellites that take photos of the full disk of the earth on a regular basis, but the most impressive are the three above. The first two (Himawari-8 and GOES-16) are geostationary satellites taking photos from 22,236 miles above the Earth's equator. The third, DSCOVR is located in an orbit between the Earth and the Sun, about one million miles away. All three take several photos a day.

Quick Links To Full Disk Satellite Feeds