A great cosmic ballet is captivating people's imaginations in America today. A total solar eclipse is passing over the country from coast to coast for the first time in nearly 100 years.
For some people however, the solar eclipse is casting a shadow over a very different conversation.
The flat Earth community, a collection of people who believe beyond a solar shadow of a doubt that the Earth is flat, have been the butt of many jokes on the internet for some time now.
One young man decided to take a spirit level on a plane to prove that the curvature of the planet didn't exist, while another got into a shouting match with a Nasa scientist in a coffee shop.
These are just two examples of how passionately this community believes the planet is not a globe.
A number of people on both Twitter and flat Earth subreddits are encouraging people not to wear the specially made eclipse glasses during today's eclipse, because of a Nasa conspiracy. This is highly inadvisable, because no matter your opinions on the composition of our planet, the sun will still burn and blind your eyes. Do not look at it with your naked eyes flat Earthers.
Excluding the conspiracy theories surrounding holograms or mass hypnosis, one would assume that a day like today would be a bit of a wake up call for flat Earth followers. Apparently not.
Many have created elaborate charts and diagrams, revealing just how the eclipse can work, regardless of meddling Nasa.
There's even a digitally animated flat earth solar model if you were interested.
There are also a number of questions about shadows. Many flat Earthers argue, using a flash light and household objects, that an object's shadow can't be smaller than the object itself. Put simply, how can the moon's shadow be smaller than the moon as it passes over the United States?
Will Kinney, professor of physics at the University at Buffalo SUNY told Mic that The Sun isn’t simple a single beam of light, like the flashlights in the videos. It’s a staggeringly huge source of light, beaming out said light in every direction. He added to Mic that a better analogy would be the shadow of a marble in the light of a bonfire.
What you need is an extended light source that is at such a distance that it’s almost exactly the same apparent size as the thing you’re blocking it with.
Other arguments include the fact that the path of the eclipse is moving from east to west, when the earth is spinning from west to east.
IFL Science reports that this is because the moon is moving in that direction in its orbit. It's also moving a lot faster than us.
The joys of science.
HT IFL Science