Astronomy Misconceptions

Sources of Wisdom

1. The Sun is not a star.
2. The Sun disappears at night.
3. The Sun will never burn out.
4. The surface of the Sun is without visible features.
5. The Sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west every day.
6. The Sun is always directly south at 12:00 noon.
7. The tip of a shadow always moves along an east-west line.
8. The amount of daylight increases each day of summer.
9. We experience seasons because of Earth’s changing distance from the Sun–––closer in summer, farther in winter.
10. The Earth is the largest object in the solar system. It is larger than the Sun.
11. The Earth is the center of the solar system. The planets, Sun and Moon revolve around the Earth.
12. The Earth is sitting on something.
13. The Earth is round like a pancake.
14. We live on the flat middle of a sphere.
15. The Moon can only be seen during the night.
16. The Moon does not rotate on its axis as it revolves around the Earth.
17. The phases of the Moon are caused by shadows cast on its surface by other objects in the solar system.
18. The phases of the Moon are caused by the shadow of the Earth on the Moon.
19. The phases of the Moon are caused by the Moon moving into the Sun’s shadow.
20. Different countries see different phases of the Moon on the same day.
21. The shape of the Moon always appears the same.
22. The solar system is very crowded.
23. The solar system contains only the sun, planets and the moon.
24. Meteors are falling stars.
25. Comets and meteors are out in space and do not reach the ground.
26. All the stars in a constellation are near each other.
27. All the stars are the same distance from the Earth.
28. The galaxy is very crowded.
29. Stars are evenly distributed throughout the galaxy.
30. All stars are the same size.
31. The brightness of a star depends only on its distance from the Earth.
32. Stars and constellations appear in the same place in the sky every night.
33. The constellations form patterns clearly resembling people, animals or objects.
34. There is a definite up and down in space.
35. Planets cannot be seen with the naked eye.
36. Planets appear in the sky in the same place every night.
37. Gravity is selective; it acts differently or not at all on some matter.
38. Gravity increases with height.
39. Gravity requires a medium to act through.
40. Rockets in space require a constant force.
41. The Earth is sitting on something
42. The Earth is larger than the sun
43. The Sun disappears at night
44. The Earth is round like a pancake
45. We see because light brightens things
46. We do not live on Earth; it is in the sky.
47. We live on the flat middle of a sphere.
48. There is a definite up and down in space.
49. Seasons are caused by the Earth's distance from the Sun.
50. Phases of the Moon are caused by a shadow from the Earth
51. Different countries see different phases of the Moon on the same day.
52. The Moon goes around the earth in a single day.
53. The Moon makes light the same way the Sun does.
54. The Sun is directly overhead at noon.
55. The amount of daylight increases each day of summer.
56. The Earth’s revolution around the sun causes night and day
57. Day and night are caused by the Sun going around the Earth
58. Planets cannot be seen with the naked eye
59. Planets appear in the sky in the same place every night.
60. Astrology is able to predict the future.
61. Gravity is selective; it acts differently or not at all on some matter.
62. Gravity increases with height.
63. Gravity cannot exist without air.
64. Gravity requires a medium to act through.
65. Rockets in space require a constant force
66. The Sun goes around the Earth.
67. The Sun goes around the Earth in less than a year
68. The Sun will never burn out
69. The Universe is a static, not expanding
70. The Universe contains only the planets in our solar system