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Do you know the evidence that proves the sphericity of the Earth? UPSC physical geography

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

#physicalgeography #upsc #ias

Following are different reasons that prove that earth is a sphere!

  • The shape of the Earth: The shape of the earth in a technical sense is Geoid, it's not a complete sphere ie. It is spherical everywhere else and flat at the poles.

  • Eclipses:

During a lunar eclipse, the earth is between the sun and the moon. The shadow of the earth cast by the sun rays on the moon is an arc. The shadow can be an arc only when the earth is spherical. The shadow of a sphere is an Arc.

  • Circum-Navigation of the Earth :

When we start to move from a point on earth and keep moving we would return to the same point after some time. This proves the earth is a sphere. If the earth would have been flat, we would have fallen from the edge after some time but that does not happen instead we return to the same point.

  • Aerial Photographs:

Photos of the earth taken from space prove that the earth is a sphere.

  • Ship's Visibility:

If you see a ship coming from a far point you will notice that the ship appears gradually. ie The top of the mast is seen first then gradually the hull is seen. The same is applicable when the ship is moving farther away. The ship disappears gradually. If the earth would have been flat the visibility would have been sudden. The ship would have fallen from the edge while moving farther away and would have disappeared almost suddenly. This proves the earth is spherical.

  • Driving poles on the ground: When poles of the same height were driven at a particular distance, the level of the middle pole was higher than the surrounding ones. This could happen only when poles were driven on a curved surface. If the earth would have been flat the poles would have been on the same level.

  • Rising Sun: The sun appears gradually when it rises above the horizon. Also different parts of the world experience daylight at different times. For Eg If there is a day in India, it might be possible it is night in the US. This is possible only when the earth is spherical. If the earth would have been flat all countries would have experienced sunrise and sunset at the same time and that too it would have been sudden.

  • Circular Horizon:

If we see far away standing on a beach we see the horizon is of curved shape. If we move forward then the horizon gets wider and this never ends proving that the horizon is circular and the earth is spherical.


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