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IPFS News Link • Conspiracies

Plane Earth claim falls flat: Radar technology accounts for Earth's curve | Fact check

•, by Isabella Fertel

"You think radar works on a ball?" reads the text in the post. "Think again." 

The post garnered more than 1,000 likes in four days. 

Our rating: False

Scientists say the post's logic is flawed and that radar technologies account for the Earth's curvature. Furthermore, the curvature of the Earth plays into some of the limitations of radar technology. An abundance of evidence demonstrates the Earth is spherical in shape – including images of the planet taken from outer space.

Scientists say radar technology accounts for Earth's curvature 

Radar technology utilizes radio waves to detect and track objects in the atmosphere. Radar technology has a broad range of uses, including tracking weather and precipitation, monitoring airspace for aircraft and airborne weapons, tracking ships at sea and calculating the speed of moving objects. 

Radars are made up of an antenna and a large rotating dish. As the dish turns, the antenna sends out beams of energy, called radio waves, into the atmosphere. The antenna can send out beams of energy at slightly different angles as it rotates, ranging a few degrees above and below the horizon line. 

When the wave hits an object, like a water droplet or airplane, the beam of energy is scattered and reflects some of that energy back toward the radar dish. The radar is able to calculate the size of the object and how far away it is by analyzing the strength of the reflected signal.

Radar technology factors in the beam's angle and the Earth's curvature in its calculations to determine the location of the objects it detects, according to Jessica Schultz, deputy director of the National Weather Service Radar Operations Center.