Air is not clear.

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Air is not clear.
« on: May 04, 2010, 02:25:58 PM »
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.


looks clear to me. Can anyone here see air?
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.
see
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/air

Ignoring the FE/RE argument here:
Air is not clear.

Air scatters light.
Air contains water vapor.
Air contains dust/etc.
Look outside a far distance on an average day.  You will like see things "fade" out.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 02:35:28 PM »
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.


looks clear to me. Can anyone here see air?
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.
see
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/air

Ignoring the FE/RE argument here:
Air is not clear.

Air scatters light.
Air contains water vapor.
Air contains dust/etc.
Look outside a far distance on an average day.  You will like see things "fade" out.


That isn't what is meant by clear. Clear means that the medium is transparent.
Not  being clear would mean that the air is opaque... which is certainly not the case.

Air without particulates, is pretty damned clear! Even with dust, it's still very clear! I can even see the sun from my window, which happens to be visible through tens of kilometers of atmosphere! Even dense air, despite heavy diffraction, can still be penetrated with a sufficiently bright source.

Fadeout is caused by diffraction... which is a property of every transparent medium. Which is a function of [air] density... which is why you can see much more clearly on top of a mountain versus at sea level.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 02:41:13 PM by Deceiver »

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 02:39:52 PM »
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.


looks clear to me. Can anyone here see air?
how about you own eyes every second of every day confirming that the thing your walking on is in fact flat?

My eyes tell me it's not flat. If it were flat I'd be able to see the coast of France over the English Channel from my house. And I can't. Therefore, for whatever reason, it doesn't look flat. Next.
Air isn't clear.
see
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/air

Ignoring the FE/RE argument here:
Air is not clear.

Air scatters light.
Air contains water vapor.
Air contains dust/etc.
Look outside a far distance on an average day.  You will like see things "fade" out.


That isn't what is meant by clear. Clear means that the medium is transparent.
Not  being clear would mean that the air is opaque... which is certainly not the case.

Air without particulates, is pretty damned clear! Even with dust, it's still very clear! I can even see the sun from my window, which happens to be visible through tens of kilometers of atmosphere! Even dense air, despite heavy diffraction, can still be penetrated with a sufficiently bright source.
It is what I meant by clear.  Air cannot be seen through indefinitely.  I cannot see through to the mountains not even at the supposed "true horizon" that REers talk of.  It is obstructed by rayleigh scattering, water, dust, etc.  All I see is it fade out slowly until no longer visible.

And thats not even over water.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 02:42:59 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance... it's ratio of diffracted light versus undeffracted increases over distance... but it is still clear... so what's mystery?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 03:09:01 PM by Deceiver »

Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 04:10:45 PM »
I cannot see through to the mountains not even at the supposed "true horizon" that REers talk of.  It is obstructed by rayleigh scattering, water, dust, etc.  All I see is it fade out slowly until no longer visible.

According to this, objects can approach an apparent horizon without actually reaching it, right?  The "horizon" we view is actually the distance at which light becomes so scattered that objects blur and fade.  Is this correct?

Why, then, wouldn't objects simply blur or fade with distance?  Why do they appear to drop off over the horizon?  And why would elevation, (even GREATER distance between the observer and the object being viewed) allow us to see more?

Edit with quote from site:
"...taken a few minutes apart on a clear day using a 12x optical zoom. The top photo was taken on the beach with the camera about two metres above sea level...The next photo was taken from the top of a twelve-metre high cliff behind the beach..."

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 04:14:21 PM »

Ignoring this post, the pictures illustrate my point perfectly that air is not clear.  You can clearly see the blue and white haze over those boats.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.


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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 04:20:40 PM »
Ignoring this post...

That explains a few things.
It was ignored for two reasons.  The second is that it deals with RE/FE which is not what is at discussion.  What is being discussed is whether air is clear.  The only worthwhile, to that end, portion of your post was contained within the picture.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 04:23:28 PM »
You can see better at higher elevations because the density of air is less, therefore scattering is not as severe as it is at sea level. The difference in air density between 2 meters and 12 meters elevation isn't substantial enough to get any sort of significant visual distance differences.

Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 04:25:07 PM »
If you're saying my refutation of the statement...

Quote from: John Davis
I cannot see through to the mountains not even at the supposed "true horizon" that REers talk of.  It is obstructed by rayleigh scattering, water, dust, etc.  All I see is it fade out slowly until no longer visible.

...was unimportant, then how was the statement itself not unimportant as well?


Also, Deceiver, I didn't say we could see "better" at higher elevations.  I pointed out how we can see farther, which according to JD shouldn't be possible.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 04:27:21 PM »
If you're saying my refutation of the statement...

Quote from: John Davis
I cannot see through to the mountains not even at the supposed "true horizon" that REers talk of.  It is obstructed by rayleigh scattering, water, dust, etc.  All I see is it fade out slowly until no longer visible.

...was unimportant, then how was the statement itself not unimportant as well?


Also, Deceiver, I didn't say we could see "better" at higher elevations.  I pointed out how we can see farther, which according to JD shouldn't be possible.
It says clearly conditions in which I could not see through the air and a few of the many reasons.  I made sure to explicitly state that this was not within the realm of RE/FE as it applies to distances less than that of the supposed "true horizon", which may be different in different FE theories.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 04:30:25 PM »
So what is the horizon governed mainly by: the curvature of the earth, or the scattering of light?  You seem to believe it's the scattering of light, and I offered a refutation which you openly ignored outright.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 04:30:54 PM »
If you're saying my refutation of the statement...

Quote from: John Davis
I cannot see through to the mountains not even at the supposed "true horizon" that REers talk of.  It is obstructed by rayleigh scattering, water, dust, etc.  All I see is it fade out slowly until no longer visible.

...was unimportant, then how was the statement itself not unimportant as well?


Also, Deceiver, I didn't say we could see "better" at higher elevations.  I pointed out how we can see farther, which according to JD shouldn't be possible.

I was unclear  :'(

By better I meant farther and more clearly, etc.

Also, I have no idea what JD is trying to get at by clear. Air is clear to a certain distance, until the diffraction takes over and you can no longer see the beyond x distance! Apparently something must be clear to infinite distances to be classified as clear?

Space is about as clear as you can get... but being that it is a near vacuum, it doesn't fall under the clear category, as light isn't passing through a medium.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 04:33:38 PM by Deceiver »

Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 04:32:52 PM »
Air is clear to a certain distance, until the diffraction takes over and you can no longer see the beyond x distance!

I was under the impression he was claiming that distance was the horizon.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 04:35:14 PM »
Air is clear to a certain distance, until the diffraction takes over and you can no longer see the beyond x distance!

I was under the impression he was claiming that distance was the horizon.

I was under the impression that he meant that air is not clear because a visibility horizon exists. Also, because by having any sort of detectable diffraction, a medium cannot be considered 'clear'. Which means that only a vacuum can be clear/transparent... that is... outright bogus.
<shrug>
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 05:12:53 PM by Deceiver »

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010, 06:30:21 PM »
Air is not clear; things such as elevation, atmospheric density, atmospheric distortion, as well as the vanishing point due to perspective, will limit your view no matter what shape the Earth is.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2010, 07:00:49 PM »
Air is not clear; things such as elevation, atmospheric density, atmospheric distortion, as well as the vanishing point due to perspective, will limit your view no matter what shape the Earth is.

Stick your hand 5 inches in front of you. Can you see your hand? Unless you're in some type of hellish fog, then yes, you can see it. Now grab a camera... take a picture of something reasonably far away. You can still make out fine details, better if you can increase the resolution. It might not be AS clear as a hand in front of you, but by any definition, the air is still clearly transparent, clear, NOT opaque.

Dictionary.com
Clear
–adjective
1.free from darkness, obscurity, or cloudiness; light: a clear day.
2.transparent; pellucid: clear water.

Air is clear. Atmosphere with little dust or suspended matter or pure gases with low diffraction potential is even clearer. Your claim has zero merit.

Here is a brush up on material properties. To understand it though, you have to know what 'clear' means in the first place though... good luck!
http://science.howstuffworks.com/question404.htm
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 07:16:00 PM by Deceiver »

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2010, 09:03:55 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2010, 09:30:18 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

My apologies, again, I was unclear.
I meant mediums that are common on Earth, that is, a physical medium. Since we're discussing air and all... that seems appropriate.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2010, 09:51:14 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

My apologies, again, I was unclear.
I meant mediums that are common on Earth, that is, a physical medium. Since we're discussing air and all... that seems appropriate.
So air is not 100% clear.  Thats the point.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2010, 09:58:23 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

My apologies, again, I was unclear.
I meant mediums that are common on Earth, that is, a physical medium. Since we're discussing air and all... that seems appropriate.
So air is not 100% clear.  Thats the point.


Let's backtrack. Your original argument was that Air is not clear.
Air, that is not one hundred percent clear is still partially clear. Just like a murky pane of glass, you can still see through it, it is still clear. If your definition of clear is contrary to any known definition of the word, as you have shown to be the case, then there is nothing except a vacuum that has the property of 'clearness'. I'm done here.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2010, 10:02:22 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

My apologies, again, I was unclear.
I meant mediums that are common on Earth, that is, a physical medium. Since we're discussing air and all... that seems appropriate.
So air is not 100% clear.  Thats the point.


Let's backtrack. Your original argument was that Air is not clear.
Air, that is not one hundred percent clear is still partially clear. Just like a murky pane of glass, you can still see through it, it is still clear. If your definition of clear is contrary to any known definition of the word, as you have shown to be the case, then there is nothing except a vacuum that has the property of 'clearness'. I'm done here.
Of course.  The only point I was making is that air is not clear enough to see through at long distances in normal conditions, which is what was what was being discussed. It is not uncommon to use it in that fashion and I suppose I should have clarified for those who lack the ability to contextually judge a statement.

Again, I'm sorry and you are right.  Next time I will revert to the previously used phrase common to the forums of "perfectly clear" as I suppose some may misunderstand me.

One question, would you consider all ice clear despite it being partially opaque?  What line would you prefer us to draw?  50%?  25?  75?  99%?  99.9%?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 10:04:19 PM by John Davis »
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2010, 10:30:22 PM »
No medium is 100pct clear over any amount of distance...
Hard vacuum.

My apologies, again, I was unclear.
I meant mediums that are common on Earth, that is, a physical medium. Since we're discussing air and all... that seems appropriate.
So air is not 100% clear.  Thats the point.


Let's backtrack. Your original argument was that Air is not clear.
Air, that is not one hundred percent clear is still partially clear. Just like a murky pane of glass, you can still see through it, it is still clear. If your definition of clear is contrary to any known definition of the word, as you have shown to be the case, then there is nothing except a vacuum that has the property of 'clearness'. I'm done here.
Of course.  The only point I was making is that air is not clear enough to see through at long distances in normal conditions, which is what was what was being discussed. It is not uncommon to use it in that fashion and I suppose I should have clarified for those who lack the ability to contextually judge a statement.

Again, I'm sorry and you are right.  Next time I will revert to the previously used phrase common to the forums of "perfectly clear" as I suppose some may misunderstand me.

One question, would you consider all ice clear despite it being partially opaque?  What line would you prefer us to draw?  50%?  25?  75?  99%?  99.9%?

An insignificant portion of the population even gets to work with a vacuum, let alone comment on it's clearness, so using it in such a context seems inappropriate, if not misguided. A perfect, flawless pane of glass 20km thick would not have the slightest fraction of clearness that air exhibits at sea level. Again, clearness is a function of how much light isn't scattered, absorbed, etc, and depends especially on the thickness of the medium. Most people consider non-tinted windows to be clear, right? Could be wrong though, in the States that I've lived in anyway, that's how we use it.

***

It depends on the properties of the ice, as you can well imagine. If there are air pockets, particles, or any other sort of nonuniform characteristic of the ice, then it will be significantly less clear than pure water with pristine uninterrupted crystal growth. For a while I did work studying the rings of Saturn, which are can be described as being somewhat clear; they definitely exhibit a very measurable level of transparency, thus clearness.

Quite frankly, I do not use the word clear because there is no objective line that can be drawn. I sometimes use transparency, which does not have any sort of questionable denotation. Unfortunately transparency, despite having a similar meaning to just about everyone, is still not adequate. I use optical depth, which actually has a value associated with it, since that's how we measure the quality of clearness.

If you're interested, here is a link. Very concise, easy read.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_depth
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 10:35:19 PM by Deceiver »

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2010, 10:37:45 PM »
Glad we are in agreement then.  I'll use your suggestion to talk of transparency in the future.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2010, 09:43:24 AM »
It might not be AS clear as a hand in front of you, but by any definition, the air is still clearly transparent, clear, NOT opaque.

I never said it was opaque. Secondly, the atmosphere is a gradient, which should be a apparent in and of itself. This is where the effects I spoke of come into play.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2010, 11:08:22 AM »
Air seems pretty clear to me. I can the moon and stars and sun, all through THE ATMOSPHERE.

You know, pretty much as much as it's possible to look through.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2010, 12:06:28 PM »
Air seems pretty clear to me. I can the moon and stars and sun, all through THE ATMOSPHERE.

You know, pretty much as much as it's possible to look through.
You have less to look through when you stare up rather than sideways.
The illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes.

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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2010, 12:30:04 PM »
Air seems pretty clear to me. I can the moon and stars and sun, all through THE ATMOSPHERE.

You know, pretty much as much as it's possible to look through.
You have less to look through when you stare up rather than sideways.
I've seen the sun rise over the horizon. I've seen stars at the horizon, too.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2010, 01:48:18 PM »
I've seen the sun rise over the horizon. I've seen stars at the horizon, too.
Almost always in this instance though, you're still looking diagonally, rather than purely horizontal. I can't recall a personal or photographic experience of stars along the actual horizon, taking into account elevation.
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Re: Air is not clear.
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2010, 02:28:45 PM »
Result of this thread: Davis reveals how he would rather argue semantics than science, and increases the forum's perception of his pedantry by approximately 43%.
Overall conclusion: Davis taken less seriously by almost everyone.
Nice one, centurion.
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