How Big is the Earth?

  • John D. Clark
Part of the Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)

Ways to Measure the Earth's Size

The Flat Earth Society prospered in Britain in my youth. People traveled a lot less in those days. Since the whole country has about the land area of Colorado, and the populated part is smaller still, we never had to deal with time zones or climate zones. Hence you never had to face up to the Earth's roundness. Since we live on an island, we never drove into other countries before the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994.

On my first intercontinental journey, at the age of 22, it never occurred to me to reset my watch as the air stewardesses suggested; and to see broad daylight in Toronto at midnight jolted me into experiencing the roundness of the Earth. The effect was reinforced by the fact that Toronto is so much further South than England. It is at the same latitude as the South coast of France, a good thousand miles from here. The Sun was higher in the sky than I had ever seen it; and it got really dark early in the August evening.

Two years later I went...


Total Solar Eclipse Sunset Time Finder Scope Evening Rush Satellite Navigator 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s Lynn, NorfolkUnited KingdomEngland

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