Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Calling for Researchers - Measure your Earth the Oldschool Way

This is a call for people to get out there and try some science the way it was done in the olden days before Columbus screwed us all up (BTW: Side note - Columbus thought he was in India because he had the size of the Earth wrong by about half even though someone calculated it out long before he was born). In my previous post (My failures in science part 3 - Measuring the Earth) I gave an in depth review of my attempts at measuring the Earth last Summer Solstice as well as the history of Eratosthenes who actually did calculate it out. Well the time has come around again for the next Summer Solstice (June 21st) and I will be trying it again (more like on the 20th and the 22nd).

 And I call on you all to try it too. 

I will reiterate the story a little here.~2200 years ago a man named Eratosthenes measured the size of the Earth by using shadows in Egypt. It turns out he was only off by less than 10%. I tried the same thing and was off by 60%. I feel I have to do better than someone 2,200 years ago, so I am trying it again.

It doesn't matter if you are wrong or don't have fancy equipment all you need is a stick and a ruler to measure the length of a shadow and a car to get some distance between your measurements. You can use Google Earth to measure the distance between the points as well. The more accurate you are the closer you can come to an actual value (theoretically).

If you have a blog, post about your attempts and link to it in the comments section. If you don't have a blog feel free to write about your attempt in the comments.

This is fun (I swear) and it is calling back to the basics of science.

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