When United Flight 175 hit World Trade Center Tower 2 on 9/11 some large parts of it passed through the building and landed in the streets to the north. One of these was a badly damaged core part of an engine. This landed at the intersection of Murray st and Church St.
This engine has long been part of 9/11 "Truther" mythology, with claims that it was impossible that it was used in the 767 (registration N612UA) that took off as Flight 175. This led to claims that the plane that hit the building was a modified drone, or even that there was no plane at all, and the engine was planted there, or in more extreme variants shot out of a cannon from inside the building.
The earth rotates around its own axis eastward. Or put another way, as viewed from the north star Polaris, the earth turns counterclockwise. Because of this we see the moon travel across our sky from east to west during the day.
But during the upcoming solar eclipse the moon's shadow will travel across the US from west to east. At first this seems to make no sense. It's a complicated problem. But it can be resolved and understood if two things are kept in mind:
A variety of conspiracy theories have sprung up around the Charlottesville car attack. As usual there were suggestions that the attack was faked. One piece of "evidence" was the car license plate on the car driven by James Alex Fields Jr, an Ohio plate reading GVF 1111. Video of his mother, Samantha Bloom, shows a similar number GVF 1122. Conspiracists suggest this is an unusual looking number, and it's unusual that two family members would have such similar numbers.
Some claims are obviously ridiculous, like the idea that the "G" stands for "Government". The license plates are standard Ohio plates. Both numbers are correctly registered to the cars shown and show up on public info sites like SearchQuarry. But because their information comes from scraping public source it's...
Walter Bislins has created a very useful tool for visualizing what things should look like from certain positions, and with certain camera settings, on the Globe Earth, or on a hypothetical Flat Earth.
The Simulator includes recreations of classic and modern experiments and observations including the Bedford Level, the Pontchartrain Power Lines and Causeway, and the Chicago Skyline. You can stop the simulation at any point, and examine the scene and the settings used. Here's a (non-interactive) animation of the Bedford Level experiment.
I'd encourage anyone interested in the topic to play around with the various settings and watch all five demos.
On the night of April 25, 2013 at about 09:22 PM (local time), a Bombardier DHC 8 airplane operated by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection equipped with an Infrared camera, captured and followed a very peculiar flying object which yielded a fluctuating infrared signature over Rafael Hernández airport, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico). The object at times seemed to disappear (which was interpreted by some ufologists as “splashing into the ocean”) and also split into two pieces (1).
When I first saw the light it did not seem to moving I had no idea what it was. Venus maybe? Then I saw it actually was moving, so I thought it might be the International Space Stations, which had made a couple of good passes over here in the last two days. I tried to take some photos, and got some blurs like the above. I switched to video and what I saw on the view screen was a strange set of three flowering lights. When I put it on the computer though, it looked like this:
It's a plane of course, and I realised that as it approached me and flew overhead. Lufthansa 459, from San Francisco to Munich. An A340, climbing through 20,000 feet. My first photo was just a pretty piece of motion blur from the camera moving. The...
A classic experiment to demonstrate the curvature of a body of water is to place markers (like flags) a fixed distance above the water in a straight line, and then view them along that line in a telescope. If the water surface is flat then the markers will appear also in a straight line. If the surface of the water is curved (as it is here on Earth) then the markers in the middle will appear higher than the markers at the ends. Here's a highly exaggerated diagram of the effect by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1870:
This is a difficult experiment to do as you need a few miles for the curvature to be apparent. You also need the markers to be quite high above the...