1. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    A frequent claim you'll run across is that the constancy of the stars in our night sky is inconsistent with the Globe Earth Model. I'm not going into issues of distances, parallax, precession or proper motions of stars in this thread. I'm going to concentrate on two interwoven issues:

    - A poor understanding of the geometry of seasonal constellations. Poorly drawn illustrations.

    - The remarkable and alarming claim that there is no change whatsoever in our night sky during the year.

    The common Globe Head reply to this later claim is that the circumpolar stars are visible all year and this has led to confusion. The common reply from FE Believers is that there is no change at all in any part of the sky. One has to suspect that many FE Believers are either making that up on an ad hoc basis, or simply repeating comments made by other FE Believers. Not easy to prove. Another problem is very casual and poor observation. And this poor observation is recklessly raised to the status of absolute truth.

    I should add a note of caution to well meaning Globe Heads. The circumpolar stars are a little trickier than you might think. I'll talk about that later.

    With this in mind I'm going to talk about a well known FEB who has made poor, casual observations of the southern sky. He concludes that there is no change in the southern sky. This is something amenable to debunking.

    Well known FEB "Phuket Word" lives in Thailand. Yes, Thailand is in the Northern Hemisphere. Phuket Word's home is somewhere near 7.5 degrees north latitude, and Polaris is visible to him. So, one might suspect that in his YT video called Flat Earth: Seeing The Same Stars Every Night he is going to show us northern circumpolar stars. But he doesn't. He shows us stars on his southern horizon, in a constellation that lies on the plane of the ecliptic. Stars in constellations that definitely show seasonal changes and are not visible at all for many months. He then claims that he has video proof that these stars are visible all year; and this is devastating proof that the Spinning Globe Earth Model cannot be true.

    So what's going on?

    He has videos from three different months: Sept of 2106 (with no specific day identified), April 25, 2017, and July 28, 2017. All were taken from his own garden - (that's "yard" to us Yanks). This one is from April 25.

    I've boosted the white point here to make the stars more visible. He does not identify which direction he's facing or the name of any stars or constellations. (It's clear that he doesn't know their names.) Fortunately these are very familiar and distinct constellations - Sagittarius and Scorpius. I've outlined the teapot asterism of Sagittarius. Scorpius is a bit less distinct, with some missing stars due to relative dimness, seeing, and the quirks of the camera:

    (What I've labeled "Antares" may be Alniyat II, with Antares just out of frame.)

    Here's the Stellarium view set to his location in Phuket, Thailand:

    The best match is about 1:30 a.m. local time. There is no DST issue. Thailand has never used DST. Because it's past midnight there could be confusion about whether it's actually the morning of April 26.

    A reminder of what these constellations look like:


    This is the video taken on July 28, 2017:


    The Stellarium view for that location and time:


    A wider shot that includes Saturn and Antares:


    Just wanted to include that to support my conclusion that the best match is about 8:00 p.m. local time. That's five and a half hours earlier than in the April video. The rule of thumb is that stars rise about 4 minutes earlier each day. This video is 94 days later, which means you'd expect that the stars would be in the same spot about 6 hours earlier. Checks out.

    That's important because PW emphasizes several times that these stars are in about the same part of the sky at about the same time of night. He is aware that stars move across the sky over the course of the night and it's important to match time and position.

    They are in about the same position, but they are not in the same position at the same time.

    This next video from September, 2016 was a real challenge. It took awhile to get a good match, but I'm pretty confident I did. Once again the white point on these shots has been boosted to make the stars stand out. In the video these stars are blinking in and out because of the clouds and the light in the sky from the nearby Moon, seeing, and camera quirks. I found two different shots that together reveal enough information to get a match in Stellarium.

    The glow in the sky is from the Moon. Earlier PW panned up and to our left to show the Moon. That's an important clue as to what day this was.


    Another important clue. In this frame is a fleeting image of what I think is the star Garafsa. Because Mars is wandering day by day past the stars in this part of the sky, there's only one day that it was next to Garafsa. The same night that the Moon was in the right part of the sky.




    Saturn and Antares are hidden by the tree. Everything points to about 9:15 p.m. local time on September 13, 2016.

    At 1:50 in the video, as he is showing the Sept video:
    But these stars are not in the same part of the sky. He is clearly in another part of the yard with different trees, the stars are over another part of the roof. Sagittarius and Scorpius are in different positions, with Scorpius on its side and the teapot of Sagittarius pouring tea on the scorpion's tail. They are setting in the western sky, whereas in July and April they were high in the southern sky. Yet it is earlier in the evening than it was in April. They are both much too far west.

    PW believes he has almost the entire year covered: September to July - ten months. These stars were visible for ten months, he thinks. But this is a mistake. The time frame is actually April to Sept. It doesn't matter that it is a Sept. of a previous year. The stars are in the same position on Sept 13, 2016 and Sept 13, 2017. What is important is that Scorpius is about to disappear from the night sky in October; not to be seen again for many months.

    This video shows what happens to these constellations from April to November in the southern sky of Thailand, just as PW would see them. The time is always 10:00 p.m. local time. It's the months that are going by one by one. The video starts with Scorpius just peeking over the Eastern horizon at 10:00 p.m. on April 25 - the day PW shot his April video. By Sept 25, Scorpius is setting in the West. Sagittarius is setting by Oct. 25 and nowhere in sight in November.

    A reminder of what they look like.

    This video shows where these constellations are in the southern sky of Thailand all year long. The time is set for 7:00 p.m. local time. About sunset. On May 25, Scorpius is just rising in the East. By October it's setting in the West. By November it's nowhere to be seen. Where is it? Well Scorpius is still there, but it's up during the daytime and can't be seen. Around Nov 22 it's behind the Sun. If you're born at that time, you're a Scorpio. That's what astrology is all about. (Although the 2,200 year old astrology dates have drifted away from present day astronomy dates. Due to precession! I said I wasn't going to talk about precession.)

    Stay tuned. More to come. Same Bat Channel.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    This is a good example of where you can just use Stellarium rather than going outside, or going to Thailand. We know that Stellarium has a 100% accuracy record in predicting where a given star will be at a given time. So you can (and should) use Stellarium (or any other piece of sky viewing software) to get an idea of what to expect.

    If you use Stellarium to look south from Phuket at 8PM every day for a year, you see the constellations rotate around the southern celestial pole. Hence that supports the globe model. Here I made a 2 year video.

    Source: https://youtu.be/Ck_0mN_3fMs

    PW should be encouraged to be more precise in his observations, and also to constantly check against Stellarium. Because Stellarium is based on the globe model, and so the only way to disprove this model would be to show how Stellarium differs from reality. And since it matches reality, then you've got to come up with some other model that is both based on a non-globe model and matches the globe model.

    Personally, I've been paying more attention to the constellations since I moved to a darker location. I enjoy watching the constellations rotate through the year (the Precession of the Equinoxes.) It's great for getting a sense of what's going on with the Earth, the Sun, and the Stars - but it does require a bit of thought.
  3. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    An easy project just now in January: Find either Sagittarius or Scorpius in the night sky. Any FEB in any part of the Earth can participate.

    I'm in favor of anyone becoming more familiar with the night sky. When the stars become familiar friends and you understand how they move, you gain understanding.
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    It's an astonishing kind of claim really. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with the night sky has to be aware of how the constellations change with the seasons. One of the most obvious examples (at least from my fairly northerly latitude) is Orion. It's probably the most recognisable shape in the night sky in the winter months, and yet totally invisible in the summer, because it is only above the horizon during the day at that time of year.
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, before I got more familiar with the constellations I used to think "Where is Orion???"

    And in the north, a very obvious constellation (or part of one) is the big dipper, which is visible year round. If you look at that at 10 PM in January and July it has flipped over.

    Metabunk 2019-01-02 10-50-51.

    And this works consistently all over the celestial sphere.

    Of course, the challenge is partly about explaining what the celestial sphere actually is. Some people seem to find the idea of very large distances, effectively infinitely far away, to be implausible
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Although I think it's also kind of hopeful, as if someone is really taking the time to study the stars, then they should eventually figure it out.
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  7. Raymond

    Raymond New Member

    The big dipper is not visible year round in areas close to the northern arctic circle. A better time is March and September. stellarium.
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It does not go below the horizon though. You mean it's just too bright to see stars?
  9. Raymond

    Raymond New Member

    Yes. I can not see the stars in the summer.
  10. Astro

    Astro Active Member

    For the last 3 months I've been archiving daily time lapse videos of all sky cameras for the iTelescope.net network of observatories. About 3 months ago, Orion didn't rise until about midnight local time at the Siding Spring observatory:

    Right now Orion is visible pretty much throughout the night:

    In about another 6 months, Orion will not be visible at all in the nightly time lapse. With a little work I bet you could even derive a decent figure for the length of the sidereal day by comparing these videos.
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  11. DavidB66

    DavidB66 Member

    It is not widely known, but many stars can be observed in daylight with a good telescope if the observer knows their exact location. I remember reading this in an astronomy book by Sir John Herschel, and could probably dig out the reference if needed. (5 minutes later...found it): Herschel, Outlines of Astronomy, 2nd edn., 1849, page 44:

    The stars actually continue visible through telescopes in the daytime; and, in proportion to the power of the instrument, not only the largest and brightest among them, but even those of inferior lustre, such as scarcely strike the eye at night as at all conspicuous, are readily found and followed even at noonday, - unless in that part of the sky which is very near the sun - , by those who possess the means of pointing a telescope accurately to the proper places.
  12. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    I once saw Jupiter naked eye near the meridian in late afternoon. Funny thing is that I wasn't even looking for it. I was just looking up at the sky in general and it caught my attention. I didn't even realize what it was for awhile.
  13. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    PW has posted a new YT video claiming the same thing.

    In the previous video he was looking at the constellations of Sagittarius and Scorpius. In that video, he concentrates on, and zooms his camera in on, the stars Shaula and Lesath in Scorpius; demonstrating a point I won't go into. Shaula and Lesath are also known as the Cat's Eyes, because they are bright and close together. They draw attention.

    Once again he's looking at the southern sky. This time he has videod the constellations of Crux, Centaurus and Lupus.

    Just now Scorpius rises in the early hours and perhaps he has spotted the stars Shaula and Lesath again. Oddly Scorpius isn't visible here because it's hidden by the trees on our left. Perhaps he doesn't realize Shaula and Lesath are hidden by the trees and is looking instead at two other bright stars: Hadar and Rigel Kentaurus (not to be confused with Rigel). It's clear that he doesn't recognize constellations or know the names of the stars he's looking at, so there's room for confusion.

    Scorpius was invisible during November and December and just became visible again in mid-January; rising in the east just before dawn. PW doesn't seem to know this. Sloppy observing at best.

    But he seems to be convinced that because he's seeing these stars again they are always visible in the night sky; even though he's seeing them rise early in the morning now, and he saw them setting in the west at 9:00 p.m. in September of 2016.

    Or... perhaps he's been looking at Hadar and Rigel Kentaurus for weeks, and has never noticed Shaula and Lesath. The more I think about that the more I'm convinced this might be so. He doesn't recognize constellations or know the names of the stars. Hadar and Rigel Kentaurus are just now above his roof in about the same spot that Shaula and Lesath were in the first video, and they look similar. Although Shaula and Lesath are closer together, his memories of them are old, and he's working on wishful (and sloppy) thinking.

    In that case he is not looking at the same stars.


    April 2107

    PW makes another remarkable claim:

    Venus just now is the morning star, and Mercury is the evening star. He hasn't checked. And doesn't notice that Venus is far brighter than Mercury.

    Stellarium view:

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  14. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Somebody should make a video of your analysis and post it to YouTube.
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  15. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    Anyone who wants to put in the work; please go ahead.
  16. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    So basically you're saying that he's lying/forgetting?

    Are there any prominent stars that he won't be able to see now, but will be able to see in a few weeks? Perhaps we could devise an observation for him.​
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  17. Mendel

    Mendel Member

    He can see all of the stars now, it depends on the time of the observation and whether he can see the horizon, though, as when they set early in the night or rise late, they may be obstructed. He can see the same stars all year, put general like that, his claim is not wrong. Well, it is kinda hard to see the stars "behind" the sun. Use these. They should be visible in the morning in a few weeks.
  18. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Exactly. Which prominent stars rise and set during daylight hours?

    Or maybe better would be to identify some that will rise and set with the sun in a week or two: that way he can spot them now, and then won't be able to find them later on. I suppose that would be some that are right now setting around sunset.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  19. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    How about Achernar? This time of year it's visible after sunset till around 8.30pm in Phuket, and in a week it will be setting half an hour earlier. By March 20th it won't be visible at night.

    Magnitude is 0.45 (reduced to about 1.2 due to airmasses).
  20. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Senior Member

    There are two typos in my latest star photo. Maybe I should fix that.

    -Gamma Lupi
    -Kappa Centauri

    There... fixed.
  21. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Could you have another look at this one? I made it more like 9pm but I certainly bow to your knowledge on this.