“It’s flat! If it were round, the Sun would not hide on the horizon. This is how some who recognize themselves as Flat Earthers exclaim it and who in bravado on Social Networks express what for them is an irrefutable truth… how flat the third planet of the Solar System would be. With this idea going around, a scientific group will seek to summon students, teachers and citizens to carry out an experiment that promises not only to make it clear that the Earth is indeed spherical, but that those who dare to do so will be competing for popular books, a State-of-the-art Xbox console and as a top prize a keynote talk by Professor Maza (at the winning school or place).
Inspired by the knowledge of ancient Greece
“From astronomy we want to say: Stop, the answer is very simple and we can obtain it by working together. Just as the Greek mathematician and astronomer Eratosthenes did thousands of years ago, simply with a pencil and paper -the same ones we use to elect a President or a new Constitution-, and by measuring the shadow of the sun, we can show that the Earth is curved and also measure its radius”, indicates Rodrigo Herrera Camus, researcher at the CATA Astrophysics Center
“We know that there are still many people who find it counterintuitive, since if they walk or take a car and travel long distances they simply do not perceive any type of curvature in the ground, but the reality is that even the smallest children can prove it. We want them to try it and see it with their own eyes”, comments the also astronomer from the University of Concepción.
Quick, easy and beautiful
“Whoever wants to join this experience will have three opportunities. 12:00 noon on Monday 21st, 12:00 noon on Tuesday 22nd or 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 23rd. They only have to go to one place where the sunlight comessuch as a schoolyard or a square, and with a stick and a measuring tape They should record the length of the shadow cast by the Sun.
Finally, they must upload the data to our web form (available at www.curvaoplana.cl) and you will be competing”, explains the also Doctor in Astrophysics from the University of Maryland in the United States.
“This beautiful project is financed by the Joint Committee ESO – Government of Chile and for ESO it has a very special importance. We can bring science to homes and schools throughout Chile, and transform our observatories into an extension of the classroom thanks to these experiments. In addition, it allows us to practice collaboration. Science does not work by itself, we must collaborate with others to work and reach consensus results. This experience will unite schoolchildren from different cities in the country, and the more people who participate, the better results we will have!” explains Luis Chavarría, ESO representative in Chile.
The work of many in pursuit of a result
“Science and technology have never been so deeply interconnected, working for us. Advances in connectivity, collaboration platforms and data-driven innovation enable new scientific discoveries which, in turn, drive progress and catalyze new developments.” that allow us to solve some of the most relevant challenges that we have as a society In line with our Mission of empowering each person and organization in Chile to achieve more, it is an honor for us to be part of the CATA initiative that promotes boys and girls from all over the country to carry out experiments, learn, discover the potential of science and technology in their lives”, comments Sergio Rademacher, general manager of Microsoft Chile.” explains Sergio Rademacher, CEO of Microsoft in Chile.