Could the Earth be flat? Why science says no
In fact, in order for the planet to have a flat shape, gravity would likely not have any effect at all. This is because if gravity did exist, it would act to pull the planet back into a spheroid shape.
Additionally, the Moon itself could not exist as we know it, in orbit around the Earth, as every explanation of its existence near our planet involves gravity. Gravitational attraction provides the centripetal force which keeps the moon in orbit around the Earth. Because a flat Earth would have no gravity, there would be no moon in orbit around it, as it would just float away into space.
Satellites would also not be possible, as they could not orbit and would somehow need to shuffle back and forth over the flat plane of the planet.
Of course, without gravity, the Earth would also shoot off into space, instead of orbiting around the Sun.
How might a flat Earth impact the atmosphere?
The atmosphere is crucial in maintaining a hospitable environment for life on Earth. It protects us from harmful radiation, regulates temperature, and helps distribute water and nutrients (to name a few). However, if the Earth were flat, the atmosphere would be affected in a number of ways.
One way is that the flat surface would not be able to support the same amount of atmosphere as a round Earth, which could lead to a much thinner atmosphere. Air could be pulled towards the center, leading to bizarre weather patterns and temperature changes.
Additionally, the rotation on a flat Earth would not produce the same Coriolis Effect we know on a round Earth. This effect is crucial for forming weather patterns; it causes air and water to move in rotating patterns.
This creates large-scale weather patterns like cyclones, hurricanes, and jet streams. A different Coriolis Effect, or the replacement of it altogether, could lead to less predictable and possibly more extreme weather.
How might a flat Earth impact what lies beneath our feet?
The Earth’s magnetic field, which holds back the deadly solar radiation, is generated by the rotation of the planet’s core. A flat earth would have no core, though, and something else would have to take its place.
Without the magnetic field we know today, the planet would be fried by charged particles from the sun. As hinted above, this would also strip away the atmosphere, which occurred when Mars’ magnetic field collapsed, causing its air and oceans to escape into space.