Vanity thought #1674. Mirages

The maker of the flat earth video I discussed a couple of days ago has uploaded Part 2 and it was a huge disappointment for me.

It started promisingly, though – they took a flight in a small airplane around the same area where they made their flat Earth observations in the part 1 but, sadly, the island in question, Moreton, could not be seen due to foggy atmosphere so it was impossible to say whether it appears in direct line of sight if observed from an airplane.

Google’s “earth view”, I must note, is not an actual view from a satellite but a 3D model of the same flat map, so if North Strabroke obstructs the view between their observation point and Moreton on a flat map it would obstruct it in 3D model as well, but 3D does look spectacular, can’t deny it.

It did appear to me that the shore is bent more inwards in this long static frame than on Google map but I think it’s just a matter of perspective. In Google 3D model the shape of the shore looks identical. The most interesting part lies to the north, out of the frame, and we couldn’t see that far during this flight.

This means that the problem with Moreton island being unobstructed is still a mystery, but there’s more luck with rational explanation for the apparent absence of the Earth’s curvature.

There are several possible phenomena that could explain it. I already mentioned atmospheric refraction, then there various kinds of mirages, and, finally, there’s something called looming.

Atmospheric refraction requires the air above the water to be significantly hotter. The video was uploaded at the end of March but there’s one point there where the author mentions renaming that observation point into “Flat Earth Lookout” and gives a date for it – 10-12-2015. We can read it as October or as December but on October 12 there were storm warnings for the area and the weather generally wasn’t as clear and sunny as in the video, so it must have been beginning of December. The date didn’t come from the camera, though, it was superimposed by the author and might reflect the date he was doing his “renaming” during editing rather than the date the video was shot.

Assuming it was beginning of December, which is summer in Australia, the sea temperature is pretty high, 24-25 degree Celsius, and the maximum temperature recorded last December was only 30. The difference is rather small and it should not produce an extreme case of atmospheric refraction.

Under normal conditions refraction moves the horizon by 8%, I understand, but when conditions are just right it might allow people to see objects hundreds kilometers away, wiki says. In this case the horizon moved back from 11 miles to at least 76 miles, nearly 700 percent comparing to the usual 8 while the temperature difference between sea and air is unremarkable.

Mirages could be of different kinds here, something like superior mirage or Fata Morgana but, as far as I can see, mirages are inherently unstable and should always distort the image in one way or another, especially as time passes. In the video, however, no distortions are visible at all so I don’t think mirages are a good explanation here.

Then we come to looming which fits in every way but, unfortunately, lacks scientific explanation for it in that wiki article. If they mean that it’s a common atmospheric refraction event then proper conditions should be there but I just discussed that everything looked pretty normal.

What’s interesting about looming is that if the Earth was larger and so had lesser curvature light would naturally bend downwards and run parallel to the surface at all times. If that were to happen we might conclude that the Earth was indeed flat – if we define propagation of light as a straight line and everything that deviates from it as curved or bent.

This is an interesting proposition because that’s what we normally do, it’s our classical perception of the world where we judge things as curved or straight according to the line of sight. I should add that sight and light are one and the same here, I’m not talking about some special beams or lasers but general light as it’s reflected of the objects and travels towards our eyes. We always assume it to be straight.

In theory of relativity, however, time and space are intrinsically linked so the shape of space, ie the path of light, depends on its speed. Things might look perfectly straight to us but not to an outside observer. There aren’t any actual outside observers outside our time-space continuum but we can theorize about how things would look to them.

With atmospheric refraction or looming, however, we CAN accept the position of an objective observer outside the influence of factors contributing to the effect. We can increase our altitude, for example, and raise above the extreme temperature gradient that allows for refraction, or we can wait it out until conditions change.

Unlike a hypothetical observer outside the influence of time, we CAN see how light propagates in a straight or a curved line depending on the air-temperature continuum it travels through. This makes us laugh at people who think the Earth is flat just as people outside of time can laugh at our perception of days and years, or distances. Inside our time-space continuum we think that the universe is gazillion kilometers wide and it would take gazillion years traveling at the speed of light to reach its other side but for the light itself the distance doesn’t exist – by definition – light doesn’t travel, it’s always already there – because it doesn’t take any time for it to go from one end of the universe to another.

Hmm, so light is just like Brahman – all pervasive and outside the influence of time. We see it as taking time to go from one place to another only due to our relatively slow speeds, or due to our conditioning, in KC speak. Interesting, huh? Perhaps there’s a scientific explanation for the universe that is totally aligned with Vedas. Actually, there MUST be such a scientific explanation because it’s the reality. Our problem is that we never live up to the absolute demands of the scientific method, hence science is never complete and always have space for progress. Or we could just become liberated instead, if we really want to know, but that is a subject for another day.

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