What About the Sunset?

What about the sunrise/sunset?

We get this question a lot in FE. To understand the answer, throw away all notions of a huge blazing gas ball sun, central to our system.

The sun is a small, mobile, local light. It makes a circuit across the sky every day. When it goes too far away, it disappears into the line of convergence, or horizon.

The best illustration I’ve seen so far is from @VerumBellator1 :

coin

Properly understood, the sun doesn’t “set” or “rise.” It advances and retreats. No spinning globe required.

One more illustration that kinda helps too:path sun

Thanks for reading! If you have a better way of explaining sun advance/retreat, please leave your idea in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. I can see certains errors in the coin example:
    1. We can’t see the surface of the table. This is important, very important. It’s clear that if the camera is under the table surface level, the coin will disapear.
    2. The model should be in scale. The coin should be 1.4 meters (aprox) above the surface of the table. The sun is not touching the surface of the Earth, it is at 4828.032 km (3000 miles) above the surface of the Earth (According to Flat Earth Society: https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=The+Sun).
    If you do the same coin experiment with the correct measurements, the results will be very different.
    If you “can see” a boat below the horizon with a very powerful zoom, why you can’t never be able to see the sun at night with an extreme zoom?

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