Discussion in 'Tales From the Rabbit Hole Podcast' started by Mick West, Jun 11, 2019.
At 61, I am never too old to learn new things, I want to understand how things work and also revisit long forgotten knowledge. I have probably watched more flat earth YouTube videos than some flat earthers themselves. But why do I have those instant thoughts of 'ummm, that's odd, shall have to look into that'. But the one thing that Frazzles my brain is the 'perspective' claim...it simply makes no logical or rational sense at all. But why do flat earthers believe it, how does it make any sense to them.
sorry, I dont get that impression, especially right after the satellite-monologue and how they cant be seen-nonsense. and I dont belive her, when she says that the guys at the LA-observatory denied practically any visibility of satellites, regardless the gear or nacked eye ("we cant see them from earth", 08:15), thats ridicioulus; the guys from my hometown-observatory were the ones who showed me a satellite as it was ziping across the sky when I was 14.
edit/ 23:10 - 24:20; sounds like she twist some of your statements in her memory in a very odd way. you seem almost to gentle to her, mick. this is kinda weird and painful to listen to. for me it is. ed2/ still is.
To one degree or other, I think there's a pretty drastic difference between the expectations that flat earthers have concerning satellites and reality. For instance, they might see a visualization of satellites around earth like this:
...and take it entirely literally, without applying any proper scaling to the system (i.e., they are this big, this far away, are this reflective, etc.). Understanding the variables involved with watching satellites, it doesn't surprise me, personally, that getting a good view of satellites (barring the ISS, which is very easy to spot) is quite hard.
Besides that, there may be a bit of a disconnect between what a flat earther and "globehead" consider "seeing" a satellite -- the globehead comprehends that small size and great distance means that satellites only appear as a small dot of light to the naked eye. The flat earther hears about the thousands of satellites orbiting earth, and immediately assumes that they should appear as a fusillade of incredibly bright shooting stars. Anything less means that satellites are fake.
Being clear, this is just personal impressions based off discussions that I've observed and been a part of, one in particular fairly recently. An individual asked for a photo of 10 satellites in one shot, and that was conveniently right after SpaceX had launched the first set of Starlink satellites, which at the time were moving together through the sky like a train. Anyhow, I showed him a popular video that's been circulating around the web of somebody watching the "Starlink train" from the ground, with a few dozen satellites in view. I'm not totally sure what he was expecting in response to his request, but for some reason that was unacceptable.
I always ask this. California has approximately 98,000 transit busses. How come you can't see them in this picture?
California is on the other side of the globe in this picture
China has 50k.
because the picture is fake. NASA is a lie. the Chinese Space Program is a lie. The Russian space station is a lie. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of scientists, mathematicians and astronomers have been lying to you for millennia.
edit add: as well as astrologers, gurus, OBE claimants, UFologists etc etc.
China has less busssess than California?!?
Yeah, I found that quite suspicious but as it is just hearsay it's going to be hard to prove one way or another whether that interaction ever occurred. I used to work at a public observatory here in Florida and we would frequently point out bright satellites like Hubble, ISS and Iridium flares to our guests. I find it very hard to believe that even a volunteer at such a well visited observatory would be unaware of the ability to see such objects, unless they were very new. I think it is far more likely though that the interaction might have gone closer along the lines of "it's cloudy tonight so no we can't see satellites" or possibly "it's too late in the evening, so there won't be any visible satellites" but perhaps it wasn't communicated as thoroughly. Low earth orbit satellites can generally only be seen during the hours immediately following sunset or immediately preceding sunrise (at least true during the winter), and mid to high altitude satellites are usually too dim to be visible to the naked eye.
I can certainly see a scenario where all the good visible passes of low earth orbit satellites were already done for the night and when she asked what sounded like an innocent question about whether they could see satellites the answer was a simple "no," but it really just meant at that time and place, it wasn't meant to be taken as "no, never." When pressed further on whether the telescope could be pointed at them to see them the answer was still "no" because they probably didn't have the software needed to control one of their scopes and aim it at a satellite, plus the volunteer probably wasn't even trained to know that was possible. Yeah, they probably could have aimed it at a geostationary satellite without any specialized software if they could just pull up the coordinates on a phone app, but most public observatory volunteers aren't trained to do that kind of thing and probably wouldn't even realize how easy it is.
I've never been to the Griffith, but they seem very serious about presenting accurate information. From their website:
So again, I find it hard to believe that the would have a representative who would be completely oblivious to the possibility of seeing naked eye bright satellites like ISS and others, even if they weren't visible at that particular time and place. Although they wrap up their observing sessions by 9:45 pm, during the winter that would generally be too late in the evening to have any good satellite passes available from that location. If she was asking that question towards the end of the event I can see how she might get a "no" answer that could be misinterpreted.
Where did you get that number? I found a different number:
I googled (did my homework) "Griffith Observatory telescope) and apparently the Zeiss telescope is pretty famous for allowing public viewing. (she says she didn't know if she wasn't allowed to look through the telescope
The only satellite I can find on their webpage is the ISS (which does move fast). But I twittered the "Sky Report" guy and asked him if I can see satellites through his Zeiss telescope. I'll let y'all know what he says.
Keep in mind it seems they have lots of smaller scopes they set up on the lawn for star party nights. I doubt the Zeiss telescope is nimble enough to move and track satellites (geostationary is a different matter but given the focal length it could be tricky to nail them). Many of the smaller telescopes they have out on the lawn could probably do the job though with the right setup. Scopes like the Celestron they show on that site as well as the Meade LX200 are compatible programs out there designed to enable satellite tracking (including one created by yours truly). I would have phrased the question differently to ask in general about seeing satellites out on the lawn and maybe inquired if any of the scopes they have available could be used for that purpose, I wouldn't be surprised to hear it's never been done with the Zeiss.
This is from a Guardian article talking about Shenzhen (population 13.5 million; about 1% of the country):
Hard to believe that nearly a third of China's buses are in that one city, and that car-lovin' California (population 40 million) has double the number of buses as public transport-lovin' China (population 1,390 million).
And this one says 99% of the world's ~400,000ish electric buses are in China, and that 17% of the buses in China are hybrid/electric:
So quick back of a napkin math(s) makes that about two and a half million buses in China.
That's for "heavy duty transit buses" (same source):
That same page shows the entire of North America has only around 6,000 HDTBs.
From Statista, as @Landru mentioned:
But also from Statista:
The clear difference is between "Heavy-duty buses" and "buses".
Well, if you want to start a thread about Chinese bus numbers feel free. My point was since HDTBs are far larger than most satellites and we can't see them either than maybe we are not supposed to see the satellites.
well she did say he said 'they are moving too fast' and then she says he said 'we cant focus on them'.
he did answer me.
Yeah I figured they meant that because the telescope is only looking at a small area of the sky the satellites cross that area too quickly. Like trying to watch a fly in a room through a narrow tube
Yeah that's about the answer I expected. Good tip though on the geostationary satellites and the Orion Nebula. If they shut the drive off as a geostationary satellite passed through they would see it come to a stop and remain in the eyepiece. I can't imagine they'd want to waste observing time doing that, but I've done it before on my webcasts. It would be cool if they dedicate a smaller scope out on the lawn to tracking low earth orbit satellites and display it on monitor, especially if something interesting was coming overhead like ISS or Hubble, but at least in my experience these kinds of public observatories rarely have the time and resources to set anything up that would be that complex. The KISS principle usually works best for public viewing. I've done satellite tracking at public viewings before and it's always a hit, but it does require a little more setup time and experience than regular observing.
they do have a youtube channel, but i didn't see any live feed type sky observations. they seem more interested in things going on in space. I didn't look at the channel that closely though, as their stuff isn't labeled well. I thought they might have footage of the Orion Nebula but I got bored looking for it
I'd just like to say, for Sasha's benefit of she's reading this: I satellite watch as a hobby. With dark, clear skies (not always guarantee in Scotland!) I can comfortably find five or ten in a night with just my eye. With a decent a but easily available telescope and some skill ( it does take practice as satellites move quite quickly against the background) it's possible to photograph them close in, well enough to show their shape. It's even possible to do a triangulation experiment, using a friend in another town and trig no more complex than what you do in high school, and show they cannot be less than hundreds of km above the surface, regardless of whether you account for Earth's curvature or not.
As an aside: I am always fascinated by FE claims about the horizon: The most common thing I still hear is just that it's not there, and any object can be recovered with high magnification. Show the results of a simple experiment with telescope and binos to prove that's not so ( and that you can only recover the missing part by climbing something tall, as per the globe model) and the claim often becomes that it's due to perspective (which also fails to explain why the missing part comes back into view as you climb, but I digress)... the idea seems to be that the apparent size of the bottom an object shrinks more quickly than that of its top.
I am genuinely curious (no, genuinely, I'm not sure how to ask one of them without sounding patronising as hell): What do they think will happen, if that's the case, if you stand on your head (or otherwise invert the viewpoint) and look at an object partly over the horizon? Since your down is now up, and visa versa, would they expect the top to now disappear, and the bottom to become visible?
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