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281 votes
Accepted

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

It is a common misconception that something in (Low Earth) orbit (like the ISS) is far away. This is not the case -- orbit is more about going sideways really fast than it is about "being up". (xkcd --...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 19.1k
44 votes

Is "Earth Overshoot Day" a useful or reliable metric of humanity's effect on the world?

Yes, the 'ecological footprint' can be useful in suggesting areas where humanity has unsustainable practices which need to be improved. However, the footprint is usually presented in a very ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 11.6k
40 votes

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

A picture gives a sense of proportion. To the Earth, a rock diameter 13000km, clings a wisp of atmosphere. The troposphere, where everyone has ever breathed, is thinner than 20km. Above, space. The ...
Colonel Panic's user avatar
24 votes
Accepted

Why did the value for "average surface temperature of Earth" change from 15°C to 14°C in some scientific literature concerning climate change?

The article quotes a scientific paper as saying: Hansen and colleagues have estimated that Earth's actual average surface air temperature between 1951 and 1980 was approximately 287 K (14 degrees ...
Avery's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

Is the Yellowstone volcano due to explode?

To restate your question, How can we statistically describe the intervals between mega-volcano eruptions? Do they follow a particular probability distribution with known parameters? Can we use this to ...
BobTheAverage's user avatar
14 votes

Did the Indian Mathematician Aryabhata state that the earth was round and calculate diameter of earth

What the text says There is an English translation of The Aryabhatiya with notes is available online. Regarding the spherical Earth, the text says (page 64 of the book) The sphere of he Earth, ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 1,103
11 votes

Will China's Three-Gorges Dam slow down Earth's rotation?

Yes, based on modelling, the rotation of the Earth was slowed down by 0.06 microseconds per "day". That is, a day would be made about one seventeen millionth of second longer than it ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
10 votes

Must the surface of all standing water have a certain degree of convexity (every part must be an arc of a circle)?

The calculations leave out important factors as to why you can still see things lower than 300 feet. This is a replication of the Bedford Level experiment It's a well known, classic experiment done ...
Murphy's user avatar
  • 9,492
6 votes

Did Earth collide with a planet in its early days of formation?

As Oddthinking said, this is a well-studied theory and the current consensus of the astronomical community regarding how the Moon formed. We have various bits of experimental evidence to support the ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 11.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Did every signer of the Declaration of independence (US) said they believed that men and women were created?

Yes. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights The Declaration of Independence
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
4 votes

Will China's Three-Gorges Dam slow down Earth's rotation?

The Business Insider article referenced in the opening post was published over nine years ago, and this was in turn based on a then five year old press release from NASA. The Business Insider article ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 15.2k
4 votes

Did America change size in NASA photos over the last 50 years?

The 2012 photo makes Mexico and the US look big because the photo is from the Suomi NPP satellite which is only 518 miles above the surface of the Earth. So it is only 518 miles from Mexico, but ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 108k
3 votes

Will Earth drift outside of the Goldilocks zone in the next half-billion years?

Ignoring debates about what constitutes the "Goldilocks zone", the issue of the Earth-Sun (AU) distance change is not terribly settled either. Howard appears to be using data from a somewhat ...
got trolled too much this week's user avatar
2 votes

Did the Indian Mathematician Aryabhata state that the earth was round and calculate diameter of earth

The roundness of the Earth was well-known in Greek Antiquity. For example, Aristotle gives three different arguments, circa 350 BCE. Besides the three in that article, he is apparently also ...
Andrew Lazarus's user avatar
1 vote

Why did the value for "average surface temperature of Earth" change from 15°C to 14°C in some scientific literature concerning climate change?

To add to Avery's excellent answer, I'd like to note that the absolute surface temperature of Earth isn't actually used to measure changes in climate, and that estimates of it changing over a few ...
James Picone's user avatar
1 vote

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

No, this is just wrong. Look for example at this picture in this link where they mapped some the ships which sent some AISat (Automatic Identification) signal (and these are not all ships, airplanes, ...
smallworld's user avatar

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