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UERJ 2020


1Organizers of an annual conference that brings together 2people who believe that our planet is not round are planning a cruise to the supposed edge of the Earth. They’re looking for the ice wall that holds back the oceans. 

The journey will take place in 2020, the Flat Earth International Conference (FEIC) recently announced on its website. The goal? To test so-called flat-Earthers’ assertion that the Earth is a flattened disk surrounded at its edge by a towering wall of ice. 

Details about the event, including the dates, are forthcoming, according to the FEIC, which calls the cruise “3the biggest, boldest adventure yet”. However, it’s worth noting that nautical maps and navigation technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS) work as they do because the Earth is … a globe. 

Believers in a flat Earth argue that images showing a curved horizon are fake and that photos of a round Earth from space are part of a vast conspiracy perpetrated by NASA and other space agencies to hide Earth’s flatness. “4This likely began during the cold war”, the Flat Earth Society (FES) says. “The U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. were obsessed with beating each other into space to the point that each faked their accomplishments in an attempt to keep pace with the other’s supposed achievements.” 5These and other flat-Earth assertions appear on the website of the FES, allegedly the world’s oldest official flat Earth organization, dating to the early 1800s. 

However, 6the ancient Greeks demonstrated that Earth was a sphere more than 2.000 years ago, and the gravity that keeps everything on the planet from flying off into space could exist only on a spherical world. 

But in diagrams shared on the FES website, the planet appears as a pancake-like disk with the North Pole smacked in the center and an edge “7surrounded on all sides by an ice wall that holds the oceans back”. This ice wall – thought by some 8flat-Earthers to be Antarctica – is the destination of the promised FEIC cruise. 

There’s just one catch: navigational charts and systems that guide cruise ships and other vessels around the Earth’s oceans are all based on the principle of a round Earth, says Henk Keijer, a former cruise ship captain with 23 years of experience. 

GPS relies on a network of dozens of satellites orbiting thousands of miles above Earth; signals from the satellites beam down to the receiver inside of a GPS device, and at least three satellites are required to pinpoint a precise position because of Earth’s curvature, Keijer explained. “9Had the Earth been flat, a total of three satellites would have been enough to provide this information to 10everyone on Earth”. He adds: “11But it is not enough, because the Earth is round”. 

Whether or not, the FEIC cruise will rely on GPS or deploy an entirely new flat-Earth-based navigation system for finding the end of the world remains to be seen. 

Adaptado de livescience.com, 30/05/2017.

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