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Are ‘Flat Earthers' Actually Right? New Research Shows There May Be Some Truth in Conspiracy Theorists' Claims

New Research Suggests the Earth Was Flat at One Time
Source: MEGA

Some people believe the Earth is flat.

Feb. 19 2024, Published 3:02 p.m. ET

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"Flat earthers" are often called conspiracy theorists, yet a recent study suggests their unconventional views might hold a hint of truth.

According to astrophysicists at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), young planets initially resemble the candy Smarties before gradually assuming spherical shapes.

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The study, conducted by researchers from UCLan's Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy, utilized computer simulations to explore the formation of planets, focusing on a phenomenon known as disc-instability.

This theory claims that planets emerge from flattened structures called oblate spheroids, evolving from protoplanets into massive gas giants like Jupiter.

Dr. Adam Fenton, the lead researcher and a recently graduated PhD student, highlighted the significance of their findings, particularly in understanding exoplanet formation.

He explained in a press release that while two prevailing theories, core accretion and disc-instability, vie for dominance, the latter offers a compelling explanation for the rapid formation of large planets observed in distant solar systems.

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The computational demands of the project were immense, requiring extensive resources and approximately half a million CPU hours.

Yet, the team's perseverance yielded remarkable insights into planetary formation, challenging conventional assumptions about their shape.

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Dr. Dimitris Stamatellos, a co-investigator on the project, emphasized the groundbreaking nature of their research, noting their surprise at discovering the oblate spheroidal shape of young planets.

This unexpected revelation, similar to Smarties candies, underscores the complexity of planetary dynamics and the need to reassess existing models.

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Additionally, the study revealed that planets predominantly accrue mass from their poles rather than equatorial regions, further reshaping our understanding of planetary growth.

The team's findings are poised for publication in the peer-reviewed Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters journal, signaling a significant contribution to our understanding of planetary evolution.

Their future research endeavors aim to dive deeper into the intricacies of planet formation, building upon the foundation laid by this pioneering study.


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