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written by David Stern
This web page describes observations that show the earth is a sphere and the history of these observations. The round shape of the Earth may be inferred from the existence of a horizon at sea.  Ancient Greeks deduced it from the shape of the Earth's shadow when the Moon is eclipsed and from stars visible only in southern countries. Eratosthenes accurately estimated the size of the Earth, but Columbus based his plans on an incorrect value, by which India would be much closer to Spain. This is part of a large web site, "From Stargazers to Starships" the presents physics concepts using space science and an historical perspective. Spanish, French, and Italian translations are available, as well as links to lesson plans for teachers.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Historical Astronomy
- Solar System
= Earth
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
- Reference Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- New teachers
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 David P. Stern
Earth view, astronomy, history of the spherical conception of the Earth
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 6, 2004 by David Stern
Record Updated:
February 16, 2009 by Cathy Ezrailson
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 12, 2004
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
D. Stern, (2004), WWW Document, (http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm).
D. Stern, The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus, (2004), <http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm>.
APA Format
Stern, D. (2004, December 12). The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus. Retrieved November 28, 2020, from http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm
Chicago Format
Stern, David. The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus. December 12, 2004. http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm (accessed 28 November 2020).
MLA Format
Stern, David. The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus. 2004. 12 Dec. 2004. 28 Nov. 2020 <http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "David Stern", Title = {The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {28 November 2020}, Month = {December 12, 2004}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A David Stern
%T The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
%D December 12, 2004
%U http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Stern, David
%D December 12, 2004
%T The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
%V 2020
%N 28 November 2020
%8 December 12, 2004
%9 text/html
%U http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Scolumb.htm

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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