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Earth Science January 2012 Answer Key

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Is Earth Actually Flat

Hey, Vsauce. Michael here.In 2003, researchers did the measurements and found that Kansas is in fact literallyflatter than a pancake. Of course, the Earth is not flat, the Earthis round. Otherwise travellers would be falling offthe edge all the time. Righté Wrong. If the Earth was not a ball shaped, but wasinstead a flat disk, like this plate, well with the weight, density and thickness, livingin the middle could feel pretty normal.

But as you move toward the edge, gravity on a disk Earth would slightly skew, pushing at a greater and greater angle back toward the centre. My friend Nick from 'yeti dynamics' put togetherthis great simulation. The person and buildings obviously aren'tto scale but check out how such increasingly diagonal gravity would work.Although this is a flat disk, it would feel to a runner headed toward the edge, like they were fighting to climb up a steeper and steeper hill. The building foundations behind the runner

reflect how you would have to build structures, closer and closer to the edge, so that people living in them always felt like down was atright angles to the floor the way we feel it on our big, round Earth.As you approach the edge, things would get scary. Remember, this is a flat Earth, but it would feel like a sheer drop off. What's really cool is that contrary to the quot;don't fall off the edgequot; fear, on a flatworld because of gravity, the scary risk would

actually be falling away from the edge androlling all the way back to the centre. Once you stepped over the edge, instead offalling off into space, you'd be able to relax. It would be a nice level place. This model, of course, neglects the fact that such a planet shape would be impossible. Anything as massive as the Earth, shaped like a flat disc, would, under its own gravity,naturally collapse back into a ball. This is why in outer space everything morethan few hundred miles in diameter is round.

Or so we've been told.What if gravity isn't realé What if the Earth is, in fact, flat and sciencehas been wrong all alongé It's a misconception that Christopher Columbusdiscovered that the Earth is round. Virtually every scholar and major religionin the West accepted Earth's rotundity, since at least the time of the Ancient Greeks, who,for instance, had noticed that boats disappear bottom first when sailing away.And, as you walk north and south, stars pop in and out of the view. The misconception that only a few hundred

years ago lots and lots of people believedthe Earth was flat likely began in the modern era, as a sort of insult.Well, your people recently thought the Earth was flat, so why should we believe you nowéThe smear was repeated and published so often it became accepted as historical fact.quot;FlatEartherquot; became synonymous with quot;Antisciencequot;. It might seem flat over short distances, butover longer ones, well the Earth is pretty darn curvy. The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge, connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn, had to be designedwith Earth's roundness in mind.


ASTRONAUT:Accessing disconnect. Enable on. MISSION CONTROL: Copy that E.L. Com. All systems are 'go' for entry, decent and landing. Stand by. Stand by. ASTRONAUT:We are looking fine, flight. Data is good. NARRATOR:At the dawn of the 21st Century, space agencies in Europe and America began making plans to land the first humans on Mars.

But manned missions to the red planet have been proposed before. For some, Mars holds the answers to mankind's future in space. Others say Mars is too far, too dangerous, and too expensive for humans to explore. And in a world torn by troubles, some saythere is no need, or will, for mankind to reach into space anymore.

More than 30 years after the last Apollo astronaut walked on the moon, the Americanmanned space program seems to have lost its way, unable to reach beyond even lowearth orbit. ZUBRIN: We've got a problem, NASA has been literally going around in circles with the space program for the past 30 years. NARRATOR:Astronautically engineer, Robert Zubrin, has been arguing for years that sending humans to Mars is the mission the space program needs.

ZUBRIN:It's time that we set goals for NASA that were worthy of the risks of the human space flight. Mars is the next logical step in our space program. It's the challenge that's been staring us in the face for the past 30 years. It's the planet that's most like the Earth, it's the planet that has on it the resources needed to support life and therefore some day technological civilization. It's the planet that will provide us with the answer

as to whether life is prevalent inthe universe or exclusive to the Earth. And it's the planet that will give usthe critical tests as to whether humanity, can breakout out of the planet of our birth and become a spacefaring species. In the early 1990s, Zubrin was the head of the'Mars Direct' program at Martin Marietta Astronautics. His team developed a mission to Mars that could be done at the fraction of Nasa's projected costs. Using only existing technology, Zubrin argues that the first steps on Martian soil

could be made within 10 years. ZUBRIN:There is absolutely nothing in this that is beyond our technology. DR. EDWARD WEILER: We are not ready to send humans to Mars right now. We don't know how to keep them alive. There are people out there, right now, that say we can go to Mars tomorrow. One of my requirements, one of NASA's requirements, is that if we send humans to Mars we bring them back alive. For the past 15 years, Zubrin and his colleagueshave waged a campaign

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