A Brief History of Everything Wireless

How Invisible Waves Have Changed the World

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Spain: a good place for watching heavenly bodies

2024-03-07 [Petri]

Living in a place with 250+ clear days per year is a boon for someone interested in astronomy and celestial events in general.

Here, in coastal Spain, having an early morning walk by the beach lets you experience the starry skies almost every day, and the gradual natural changes that you notice, as well as some predictable man-made ones, allow you to witness the workings of the Universe around you with your own eyes.

The humidity caused by the proximity of the sea, combined with the expected light pollution of cities with decent infrastructure, naturally reduces the visibility somewhat, but it does not stop you from getting the big picture on what is going on around you.

Via some simple observations, it becomes very obvious that the power of prediction, of which I have talked already before in this blog entry, can be witnessed first-hand across the sky.

In the past couple of months, I have been admiring first the wintry shine of Orion and Sirius high over the sea, just to see them eventually rotate away from sight into the western horizon.

This has been followed by the constellations of Leo, Virgo, Libra and recently Scorpius rising from the east, one after another, taking Orion’s place as the dominant constellation in the morning sky.

The small but repeating daily shift is naturally due to the Earth’s movement around the Sun, as our viewpoint changes every day just a little, until we end up with exactly the same view one year later again.

One of the most prominent shows, of course, is watching the Moon go through its phases, ending up as a beautiful, waning crescent roughly every four weeks.

The simple fact that the face of the Moon looks exactly the same from Svalbard in the north to Quito on the equator to Tasmania in the south, except that it does a full 180 degree turn along the way, is another, blatantly visible phenomenon that does not match any of the Flat Earth “models”.

Actually the Flat Earth movement is still not sure what the Moon is, the wildest explanation being that it is a "hologram".

A hologram projected from where and against what, and especially how throughout the whole written human history, is just a "minor" missing detail that needs no explanation whatsoever...

Similarly, the incoming Solar Eclipse that crosses the continental USA is an inexplicable event to these folks, even though tens of millions will again witness it by their own eyes, and us conniving “non-flatearthers” are able to calculate its location and timing down to a second.

Another recurring show against this otherwise unchanging set of morning stars has been the movement of Venus, first to a higher position in the morning sky, only to back down again to today’s hardly visible location just before the sunrise.

Even Mercury was visible on these latitudes for a couple of days: something that is pretty much impossible to experience in Finland, which otherwise is a country with crisp, dark winter skies, that unfortunately often come together with -30°C temperatures

Yet those silky-black skies tickled my interest in all things space as a kid.

This back-and-forth dance of the planets is already embedded in their generic name: “planet” means “wanderer” in Greek, indicating that already the ancient astronomers had realized that these spots of light are different from the rest of the stars.

Even though Aristarchus of Samos had suggested already around 300 BC that these movements could be explained by putting the Sun in the center, with planets going around it, it was Nicolaus Copernicus, with his heliocentric model presented in the 16th century, who finally and mathematically explained the occasional retrograde movement of the planets.

Apart from these celestial occurrences provided by the Universe itself, we can also easily witness some recurring man-made events these days:

The past couple of days, including today, have been optimal for spotting the International Space Station on multiple consecutive mornings. And every morning the ISS has popped up at exactly the predicted spot and at the predicted moment, as it has been doing ever since 1998, when the first modules were sent to orbit the Earth at roughly 400 km altitude.

In the adjoining picture you see the ISS whizzing across the sky, just over the Orion’s belt, as an extra bright star during an earlier overfly last September.

Thanks to this high orbital altitude, the ISS becomes visible against the dark sky as it enters the sunlight, even while the Sun still remains below the horizon from the observer’s point of view. And thanks to the enormous size of the ISS, it is easily the brightest star in the sky.

In my book, I explain how these predictions and the resulting observations between two locations on Earth can be used to roughly estimate the 7.7 km/s speed of the ISS, thus immediately negating the claims of the Flat Earthers that it is “just a plane that is on orbit over the Flat Earth to mislead us”.

Yep, that is their “valid” claim. Even those almost one-hour videos of astronauts freely floating through the ISS and explaining its various functions in front of a continuous camera shot do not convince this lot. It is all CGI and made in some secret NASA studio, you know...

All these predictions, whether they are about the movement of planets or the ISS, are based on relatively straightforward mathematical principles, and the fact that they can even be calculated in any way is due to the simple fact that the predictors know that the Earth is a ball that is revolving around the Sun, just like all the other planets do as well.

Hence, the easily witness-able back-and-forth of the planets in the sky is the result of the combined relative movement of the planet in question and the observation point, the Earth, and the appearance time and the location in the sky of the ISS is based on the orbital parameters of the ISS while it is whizzing around the Earth.

You can find a link to the Heavens-Above site that has the predictions of ISS, among others, from the link collection of my book.

Being able to predict stuff should be the most obvious death knoll to any claims of the Earth being flat: this “other team” has never been able to explain any of these events by their “theories”: they have no generally acceptable models that lead to formulas that could be used to predict when and where these celestial events are going to happen.

Their sole approach to keep on claiming the “truth” of their “alternative world view” is based on finding a couple of fringe events that can be willingly misinterpreted, and then extrapolating from those the conclusion of the Earth being flat.

Who cares about the gazillion contradicting observations, or the need to be able to predict the events?

Inherently knowing that you are "right" and that the whole scientific world is conspiring against you is enough.

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The International Space Station passing by the Orion's Belt

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You can purchase A Brief History of Everything Wireless: How Invisible Waves Have Changed the World from Springer or from Amazon US, CA, UK, BR, DE, ES, FR, IT, AU, IN, JP. For a more complete list of verified on-line bookstores by country, please click here.

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