1. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    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:

    -You must use a scale model with proper motions.

    -You have to understand that the moon's shadow moves across the earth, not around the earth.


    The moon orbits the earth, as viewed from Polaris, in a counterclockwise motion. Therefore the shadow cast by the moon travels across the earth's surface from west to east as it outpaces the relatively slower rotation of the earth.

    This GIF from a superb video made by "DelBoy 1967" will illustrate:

    via GIPHY

    DelBoy 1967 constructed a scale model and used carefully calculated motions. This produced both an accurate and a clearly understandable illustration of the situation. Note that the model "earth" is rotating and if you look carefully you'll see marks on the surface which represent the distance between the west coast and the east coast of the U.S. It's important to understand that although it looks as if the "moon" is moving in a linear (side to side) motion, it is actually following a curved path. It is following an arc of the moon's orbit.

    The problem as alleged by various FE believers: The moon's shadow will cross the entire USA in just a few hours. Therefore, if the official explanation were true the moon's shadow would circle the entire earth in just a few hours or days - (time estimates vary). But we are told that the moon completes one orbit in 27.32 days (if they cite the sidereal lunar month); or 29.5 days (if they cite the moon phase cycle).

    Their claim: This is a fatal paradox for the heliocentric and sphere earth model. The moon is said to travel around the earth at different rates. When "Science" explains the lunar month, the moon is said to take 29 days to go around the earth. But as "Science" explains the solar eclipse, it follows logically that the moon would have to travel around the earth in just a few days! (And "Science" hasn't even noticed that this is a paradox. We've caught them!)

    Further explanation: The FE believers are noting the number of hours it will take for the moon's shadow to cross the (approximately) three thousand miles of the USA. They then attempt to calculate an average speed in miles per hour. Or they might rely on the ballpark figure of 1,100 mph you'll see here and there on the Net. Then they attempt to calculate how many hours it would take the moon's shadow to cross the entire 25,000 miles of the earth's circumference. Calculations and claims vary. Because of that - and also because the videos and so on in which these claims are being put forth are typically long and rambling - I'm not going to point to any one source. It will be easy to find a large number if you're curious. I'm just putting forth a quick summary of the core claim.

    They are also troubled about the seeming paradox of two different motions of the moon. East to west in our sky, and west to east during the eclipse.

    [Edit: On reconsideration I have to make this further caveat. There are so many variations on the argument that it's hard to put them in all in one box. There is one feature they all share: they get into trouble when they don't use a properly scaled visual illustration of the heliocentric model. I'm going to make an additional post to cover this issue and give some examples.]

    Solution to the paradox: The FE believers have made a mistake about the motion of the moon's shadow. The moon's shadow is not circling around the surface of the earth. The moon's shadow is moving across a portion of the earth's surface. They seemingly haven't considered the fact that the sun isn't conveniently following the moon around to cast that shadow.

    An illustration to help picture what the situation is...


    In this (not to scale!) side view, the sun is to the left. The moon's shadow is not hitting the earth. The moon's shadow is stretching out across space. This will also begin to show why solar eclipses are rare. Because the moon's orbit is tilted to the plane of the ecliptic (red line) the sun, moon, and earth seldom line up exactly. Almost all the time the moon's shadow is stretching out across empty space.

    I'm mentioning this point because it's part and parcel of the main issue: How the moon's shadow travels both across space and the surface of the earth.

    For a more detailed explanation, we'll go to this site:

    Note that the camera is looking at the model earth and moon from the position of the model sun. It should be clear that the moon's shadow is not moving around the earth. It's moving across the earth. Note that the moon's shadow would now be on his coat.

    It should also be clear that as the moon moves in its counterclockwise orbit, the moon's shadow is moving across the earth from west to east.

    The moon's shadow is moving across the face of the earth so fast that it outpaces the rotation of the earth. In other words the shadow is moving from west to east faster than the moon is moving in our sky from east to west.

    But don't try to add up the number of hours it takes to move across the three thousand miles of the USA and then calculate how many hours it would take to circle the earth. That is the fatal mistake FE believers are making.

    Dr. Doherty's little model is not to scale. But this top view illustration is to scale. The little dot at the top is the moon.

    In this 2-D illustration of the upcoming solar eclipse we have to imagine that the moon is in just the proper position to cause a solar eclipse. The moon is not only between the sun and the earth, but the moon is also on the plane of earth's orbit as explained above. We are looking down at the north pole of the earth. East on the earth is to the left and west is on the right. The sun is off screen directly above. The red arrow represents the direction of the moon's shadow.


    Because the sun is at the top of the illustration, the sun's rays are going to continue to shine from top to bottom during the lunar month. (Yes, the earth and moon will continue on their orbit around the sun during the lunar month so there will be some movement.)

    This little GIF shows the the direction of the moon's shadow during this lunar month. It will move across the earth's surface on August 21. Not around the earth's surface. Most of the time, the moon will be casting its shadow across empty space. There's only a brief few hours that it will hit the earth.

    via GIPHY

    Okay, that's the basic explanation of the problem with the FE believer's paradox idea. But the speed of the moon in its orbit is just one factor that explains the west to east movement and the varying speed at which the moon's umbra moves across the surface of the earth.

    To be thorough, one must also factor in the 3-D shape of the earth and how it affects the movement of the moon's shadow across the curved surface of the earth. A picture is worth a thousand words...

    via GIPHY

    This may look wrong at first sight, and it would be if the earth's surface were flat. But you have to factor in the curved surface of the earth.

    And it's important to note that the camera is NOT fixed relative to the sun. It's fixed relative to a spot on the far side of the moon. If we turned the camera around, we would see the sun slowly moving across the screen as the moon moves in its orbit. So this could be a bit deceptive.

    And that's where I'll have to leave you because this is going past my ability to explain more fully.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    • Like Like x 7
    • Winner Winner x 5
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. PCWilliams

    PCWilliams Active Member

    I made this graphic as a very simplified explanation.
    • Like Like x 5
    • Useful Useful x 4
  3. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    As PCWilliams said The Moon's shadow takes 3.5 hours to completely traverse the face of the Earth (2286 mph; Distance traveled 8000 miles).
    The Earth rotates 360 degrees (distance traveled at equator is 25132 miles) in 24 hours which gives the rotational speed of 1047 mph (25132/24). Now as the Moon's orbital speed i.e. 2286 mph is greater than the rotational speed of the Earth i.e. 1047 mph it makes complete sense that the shadow of the Moon should go West to East, and also the misconception of the conspirators has been cleared up but now these people will say that the Moon is going faster so it should appear from our perspective that the Moon should also go West to East (which is wrong and calculation show). Now as the OP said:"Solution to the paradox: The FE believers have made a mistake about the motion of the moon's shadow. The moon's shadow is not circling around the entire surface of the earth. The moon's shadow is moving across a portion of the earth's surface." If you keep this in mind you will realize the complication. Here is an image of the effect of the rotation of the Earth and the revolution of the Moon in its orbit over a time of 1.75 hours.

    Eclipse explanation.

    The Moon and of course its shadow has traveled 4000 miles in 1.75 hours and anybody who started experiencing the eclipse from zenith (Line 1) has rotated 26.2 degrees after 1.75 hours (Line 2; traveled 1829 miles) and this shows that the Moon will continue its regular course of East to West as the Moon has descended from zenith to a lower elevation. There are also other ways to understand these complicating perspective like : The reason the moon's shadow travels west to east is the same reason everything's shadow on the surface of the earth travels west to east. Rotational perspective. We all learned in our secondary classes the concept that potentially applies here, the distance that Moon has to travel around Earth's barycentre is large so its speed has to very much greater to mantain its trajectory whereas Earth's surface is much nearer to its own barycentre thus its rotational velocity can be alot lesser and still rotate a whole 360 degrees in a lesser time . Or better if you want to visualize it:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xkUTebkABc
    (The start of the explanation is better from 1:57 mark of this video).
    Here is another one from NASA this time :https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4579 (A great visualization!!!)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    You think that was hard??? The total eclipse of November 23, 2003, for example, went West-East and then changed to East-West, according to the co-ordinates of the center of the eclipse. The eclipse was very close to the Southern end. In general, extreme northern and southern eclipses can have odd behavior like this.
    P.S. If any flat earther thinks this goes against a sphere Earth is AGAIN wrong. This odd behavior is only explained by the shadow cast on a spherical object.
  5. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    Indeed it would be interesting to see Flat Earthers explain these eclipse paths...

    • Like Like x 4
    • Funny Funny x 3
  6. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

    if re-mapped on the Flat Earth map, these paths would read "the Earth is not round" (in some ancient language);):cool::rolleyes:
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    Well I have been on two of those paths (and another one before the time period shown) and the eclipses occurred exactly when and where they should have done :)
  8. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    In the original post I covered one variation of a basic claim.

    The basic claim should read: The solar eclipse disproves the sphere earth.

    There are many variations, but there is one thing they share: They get into trouble when they do not use a proper visual model of the situation in true scale.

    The author of this video uses a close moon. He is aware of the moon's sidereal orbital period: 27.3 days. Taking this into account, he tries to move his model moon through the number of degrees it would move in its orbit during the eclipse. He rotates the globe as well. His model moon only travels a short linear distance across the face of his globe, while the earth's rotation outpaces it. He concludes by this that the moon would be too slow to cast a west to east shadow.

    He's right that if the moon were this close, it would move only a short linear distance across the face of the earth during the duration of the eclipse. But he's not considering what would happen if he placed the moon at its proper scale distance.

    An illustration of the model to proper scale shows why the moon shadow can travel a great distance across the earth while the moon only travels through a small part of its orbit.

    via GIPHY

    D. Marble also uses a close moon, but confusingly says that the eclipse would work if the moon were this close but would not work if the moon were as far away as it's supposed to be.

    He seems to think that a close moon could zip across the face of the earth, but a distant moon could not. This is so muddled it's hard to see what he's really thinking. His confusion would be cleared up if he used a model at proper scale.

    The author of this video doesn't refer to a visual model at all. He calculates an average speed, in kilometers per hour, of the moon's shadow across the face of the earth during the eclipse, then extrapolates from that how long it would take the moon's shadow to travel across the earth's circumference. His answer is that the moon should orbit the earth 2.4 times per day. Which is clearly at odds with how long NASA tells us it takes the moon to orbit the earth.


    In a different video, the same author cites this map of other eclipse totality paths.

    In this case, as previously explained in this thread, the path of the moon shadow over the curved surface of the earth can be complex and surprising.

    The author of this video did not refer to a proper visual model of the situation and made two mistakes:

    -He doesn't realize that the geometry of the moon's shadow projected onto the curved surface of the globe earth can lead to surprising things.

    -He is citing a flat map (Mercator projection) and not taking into consideration the distortions introduced.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  9. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    "The scale and visualization" are the things they do not understand, and are genuine problems for them and you got that spot on!!! I want to write more but I am crazy for the eclipse and am going to see that.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Me2

    Me2 New Member

    Don't FE proponents say the sun and moon are roughly the same distance from earth? How do they explain an eclipse in the first place, let alone try to use it to prove their point?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Just go to youtube, search for "flat earth eclipse", get comfy, and knock yourself out.

    If you can find even one video that makes the slightest bit of sense, I will personally pay for every flat earther to join me in Chile for the next one in July 2019. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
    • Funny Funny x 3
  12. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    To be strictly honest nothing they say makes sense. They cannot even explain the Moon moving from West to East as it rotates clockwise (East to West) and the eclipse, yesterday, went from West to East; practical evidence. In most maps the Moon is 180 degrees opposite or likewise (do not know what to say) which means Moon can never cover the Sun or else??? THEY WILL Collide as they are about the same distance from the disc of the Earth. The list of problems is literally endless. I heard an invisible disc covers the Sun.
  13. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    World famous Patricia Steere of 'Flat Earth and Other Potatoes' has a pretty logical and straightforward theory:

    I always thought the sun and moon were opposite one another above the flat disk but, there you go, I guess these things are flexible.

    Personally, I'm down with the Rahu explanation: after all, that's what it says in the Vedas - "the most ancient and accurate system of astronomy on the planet":
  14. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    I found this very good YT video. The author has built a scale model. The movement of the earth and moon models can be measured in degrees to a good precision. He takes us through 12 hours. The moon moves through 6 degrees of its orbital path.


    I made this primitive GIF. If you look closely you can see the marks on the model earth representing the west and east coast of the 48 states. This is 12 hours of movement...

    via GIPHY

    The earth rotates, as seen from the north star Polaris, counterclockwise. The moon revolves about the earth counterclockwise. The movement of the moon outpaces the rotation of the earth.

    The time cued video:
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
  15. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    One thing I noticed in the second link is the problem that the preacher does not understand that why should not the lit part of the Earth, oceans specifically reflect the Sun's light and show up the landmarks on the Moon. Somebody has a point on that?
  16. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It does, it's called "Earthlight", it's just not very bright, so you can't see it unless you really push the dynamic range.
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 2
  17. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    We can see the Moon doing its 0.5 degrees distance Easterly movement, and also see it approaching the Sun and finally obscuring it completely. I mean the "Moon" as I or you know did exactly that so I think Rahu=Moon.
    Another wrong information is cleared in the link below:
    The preacher of Vedas states in his comment states that predicting eclipses started about 100 years ago, which is absolutely not correct.

    P.S. If you think the accurate predictions started very late in time then that again is not correct because firstly OK, the Sun's motion was not understood correctly but it was: "This actual movement of the sun was fully understood by the famous astronomer Yi Xing (一行, 683-727 A.D), and he used the theory in his computations, for example the calculations for the time of eclipses."


    First reply...
  18. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    The model I cited above also gives us a visual solution to another seeming paradox:

    If the moon's shadow moves from west to east because it's outpacing the counterclockwise rotation of the earth, why doesn't the moon move from west to east in the sky during the day?

    The key: It's a straight motion versus a circular motion. The moon's shadow moves across the earth, but on the earth's surface we ride around in a circular motion.

    As you watch this physical model, concentrate on seeing that the moon's shadow is moving across the earth's surface. This is a linear (straight across) motion. This accounts for the west to east movement of the shadow.

    via GIPHY

    But then concentrate on the earth model, and see that it is rotating. Watch the marks representing the USA move. The USA disappears from view as the model earth rotates on its axis. From our view on the surface of the earth, the moon would disappear from view to the west. It sets in the west. This is a circular motion. This accounts for the daily view of the moon traveling across the sky from east to west.

    We on the surface of the earth get the old familiar merry-go-round view. As the merry-go-round moves counterclockwise (from a top view) we see things in the rest of the world move past us from our left to our right. Eventually those things in the outside world disappear from view.

    This is the equivalent of the moon rising in the east and setting in the west. You'd just have to tilt the merry-go-round... which you can do if you're looking at this on a phone or tablet! Just hold it up.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Amber Robot

    Amber Robot Member

    Even with a flat earth, the sun and moon can't be the same distance if the moon is actually the body eclipsing the sun. It wouldn't be too difficult to calculate, even on a flat earth, the relative distance between the two bodies based on how much of the sun is eclipsed as a function of position on the earth. I haven't done the math, but it shouldn't be too hard to draw up the diagram for the flat earth and calculate the relative distance.
  20. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    • Like Like x 1
  21. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Beautiful pic, great find.

    What's the bright light on the left?
  22. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    On his FB page the photographer says he thinks it is Regulus. Mars was also visible quite close to the sun at the time.
  23. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    Yes, Regulus. I'm still working on the dimmer two to the right.

    Edit: The binary star system, Nu Leonis.

    Mars, Venus and Mercury are too many degrees away from the sun to be seen in this photo.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  24. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    This image is also doing the rounds:


    Of course, as well as quoting the circumference (rather than the diameter, which is the relevant measurement), this ignores the fact that the actual shadow of the moon is far wider than the path of totality, extending from the Arctic right down to South America:


    The meme also ignores the fact that the sun is so much bigger than the moon: 400 times bigger in fact. If you used a lightbox 400 times bigger than the teddy bear as the light source then you wouldn't get a defined shadow until you moved it 400 times further from the wall than the bear.


    The penumbra (diffuse shadow) covers quite a large area of the globe. But only areas that are in shadow from BOTH sides of the sun will be in the central umbra and experience totality.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
  25. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    The same old confusion. The umbra is not the shadow. And it's not a different shadow. It's just the darkest part of the shadow. And it's smaller than the shadow as a whole.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  26. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    Although diameter is our concern as circumference does not decide the size of the shadow (unless you want to find the diameter using the formula of spherical object). I will try to do the calculations and then upload.
  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The confusion might be partially resolved by actually looking at the shadow from space.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRJ6Zpf0tpQ
    • Like Like x 5
  28. DJC

    DJC Member

    I dont think that was the moon that was blocking the sun .....there is no video of the moon also when the supposed moon went by it didnt reflect sunlight off it like its supposed to ....and nasa again gets caught photo shopping the Iss into the suns path ... images-2.
    • Funny Funny x 7
  29. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    And for those who don't believe in space? How can they resolve their confusion? ;)

    Case in point: that Hare Krishna page I linked to earlier has proved to be a surprising source of anti-science diatribe. I honestly expected more of our enlightened Eastern cousins. But, alas, it's as anti-NASA, conspiratorial, and strange as anything else I've read. This eclipse really should have quashed all notions of the flat earth moon/sun, invisible planets, and whatever other weird ideas are out there - but it only seems to have strengthened beliefs.

    Gosh, I'd really love to know the accurate figures of how many people are thinking these things, and if/how fast it's growing, and where it might end.
  30. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    By looking at the sun-cast shadow of a tennis ball held at different distances from a piece of paper (or a globe). Keep repeating the words "umbra and penumbra" while pointing at the full and partial shadow areas until enlightenment is achieved.
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  31. Me2

    Me2 New Member

    So what was it that blocked out the sun?
  32. FlightMuj

    FlightMuj Active Member

    Do not ask!!!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  33. Z.W. Wolf

    Z.W. Wolf Active Member

    Just a few posts above yours is a recognizable photo of the moon. Just scroll up.

    Do you really need to have someone explain silhouette to you? Okay here goes. The sun is behind them and... Jiminy, I can't go on.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  34. Amber Robot

    Amber Robot Member

    I had assumed that was satire. I guess it can be hard to tell the difference these days.
  35. FatEarther

    FatEarther Member

    I also think you were using satire, but here's the ISS travelling past the sun (around 3:00 in) in case you were being serious. NASA had nothing to do with it.

    • Like Like x 1
  36. DJC

    DJC Member

    you believe that ? you trust an independent Youtube channel with 5 million subs ? they didnt get 5m subs without you tubes help ...
    • Funny Funny x 4
  37. DJC

    DJC Member

    I undertstand the un behind the people in the pic creates a shadow or them to go black .....but the sun wasnt behind the moon the whole time so whats the point of this ? after the "moon" went by why didnt the suns light reflect off it ? like it does every day ....day or night
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2017
  38. DJC

    DJC Member

    Why dont ask ? do you feel you know everything and that there are no more mysteries or questions at least ? does anything seem strange to you or not fit what we are told ? if so why are you here ?? your done ..you know everything .
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
    • Funny Funny x 1
  39. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    it was in new moon phase. something i didnt know either until i looked up your question. i didn't even think to look for the moon after the eclipse :)

    • Like Like x 2
  40. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    I imagine he probably meant "Don't ask DJC."