Doubts about the shape of the Earth? Citizen science will fight flat grounding

Doubts about the shape of the Earth?  Citizen science will fight flat grounding

Photography: available.

“It’s flat! If it were round, the sun wouldn’t hide in sight. This is how some people identify themselves Flat Earth And this in the bravado on social networks they express an irrefutable fact for them: the third planet of the solar system, the Earth, is flat. Unbelievable, but true at this point in human history and with so many people creating communities on different platforms Online To discuss their convictions and conspiracy theories that dominate the world.

With this disturbing attitude to thoughts, he led a scientific team of The Center of Excellence in Astrophysics and Related Technologies (Cata) of the University of Chile and the Department of Astronomy at the University of Concepcion (UdeC) Create a simple strategy for Convincingly proves that the Earth is spherical. It is an experiment based on a model Citizen science That is, citizens are the heroes of development, and students, teachers and society in general are invited to participate in it. Those who accept the invitation will compete for books on popular science, a next-generation video game console, and a keynote speech by Joseph Mazaand astronomer and the 1999 National Exact Sciences Prize, in the winning school or venue.

From ancient Greece

We know there are still a lot of people who find it illogical, because if they walk or take a car and travel long distances, they simply don’t see any kind of curvature on the ground, but the truth is that even young children can show it. We want them to try it and see it with their own eyes,” says the doctor Rodrigo Herrera, an astronomer and academic at UdeC and a researcher at Cata, about the easy experiment he hopes to make with the audience. He asserts that “just as the Greek mathematician and astronomer Eratosthenes did thousands of years ago, simply Using a pencil and paper – the same ones we use to elect a new president or constitution – and by measuring the sun’s shadow we can show that the Earth is curved and also measure its radius“.

Anyone from Chile, Of all ages and cities, who wish to join this experience will have three opportunities and very soon in March, next week: Monday 21, Tuesday 22 or Wednesday 23 noon (12 hours). To do this, it specifies that you must Go to a place where there is only lightr, as a yard, school or yard, and at that time the challenge begins Measure the length of the shadow cast by the sun. A stick, tape measure, pencil and paper are needed to make the measurements and recordings. “Finally, you must upload the data to our web form, available at, and you will competeHerrera confirms.

The initiative

This project is funded by Joint Commission ESO (European Southern Observatory) – Government of Chile Its development results in high expectations due to the impact it has: “We can bring science into homes and schools all over Chile, and turn our observatories into an extension of the classroom thanks to these experiencesstand out from one side Luis Chavarriathe representative of ESO in Chile, and also “allows us to practice cooperation. Science does not work by itself, we must collaborate with others to work and reach consensus results. This experiment will unite schoolchildren from different cities of the country and the more participants, the better the results.“.

Collaboration is made possible by personal motivation and also by technological development that allows communication from anywhere to meet somewhere, in addition to providing tools for storing and processing information to reach results faster and more accurately. “Science and technology have not been deeply interconnected, and they are working for us. Advances in connectivity, collaboration platforms, and data-driven innovation enable new scientific discoveries, which in turn drive progress and spur new developments that allow us to solve some of the most relevant challenges we face as a society,” he concludes Serge Rademacher Director general Microsoft Chile, An American company that is the technological counterpart of Cata, under the Transforma Chile #Digital Reactivation plan, is participating in this initiative.

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Key links: Explanatory text about the experience is available here Link A video is also available here.

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