Copernicus needs to join the Boy Scouts

Copernicus needs to join the Boy Scouts

Copernicus needs to join the Boy Scouts

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
March 8 2007 11:13 AM

Copernicus needs to join the Boy Scouts

Hot on the heels of some Bad Astronomy on a 7th grade test sample comes this.

BABlogee Joe Borello bought a tin of popcorn from some Boy Scouts as part of a fund raising effort, and was amused to see this diagram of the solar system on it:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Why would you put astronomical educational material on the tin, and then include a geocentric diagram of the solar system? Maybe the Boy Scouts who made it want to be legislators in Texas or Georgia.

I suspect they put it on there as a historical diagram, but without labeling it, you get this impression that's just... weird.

Amusingly, another part of the tin says that "All the planets travel around the Sun in a counterclockwise direction." Oops. The planets all go around the Sun counterclockwise if you are looking "down" on the solar system from above the Earth's north pole. If you look down from above the south pole, they'll look like they're going clockwise.

Remember, I said it was amusing, not Earth-shattering. But I wonder if the people who designed that tin have their Astronomy badge from the Scouts. If so, maybe the Scouts should make it harder to get.