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Where would the Sun and Moon be on a flat Earth? Imagine a world similar to the flat domed depiction of the Earth with a Biblical Firmament all around it.

If you don't know what that is, let me explain:

A sphere is cut in half with the entire flat world in the middle of this globe. Straight above the people of this world is the Garden of the Sky Gods, while below the globe is the Great Deep. The sphere itself is supported by four pillars. The upper part of the sphere is the dome (atmosphere) and slightly above that is the firmament with the sun, moon, and stars. Underneath the flat ground is the rest of this half-sphere, the underground caverns.

There's one thing I can't quite get down though. I want my world to have a regular night and day system like ours, but is that possible? How would the sun and moon rotate around the globe to cause light and darkness to change?

  • Option 1: Do the Sun and Moon always stay above the land while they spin around its circle like a clock?
  • Option 2: Do the Sun and Moon go around the land-globe like a planet to cause night and day like our own solar system?

In the very center of this world is a place called Naval City, it is the capital of this economy because it was where all life began. I want this city to have night and day as well, every place on this world has to change, right?

Here's the way I see it, if the Sun and Moon were just rotating around the land while above it, the center city wouldn't have a changing time system to begin with. Am I wrong or am I right?

How would the sun and moon orbit around a flat world to begin with? Should the center city be a pole?

Please share your answers to this question.

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    $\begingroup$ Check out Flat Earth resource (this is Option 1) $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jul 27 '17 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Check this $\endgroup$ – Ender Look Jul 27 '17 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ Reminder to close-voters: The problem cannot be fixed if the OP is not made aware of it. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jul 28 '17 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ Navel City, surely? $\endgroup$ – James K Jul 28 '17 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ Or Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The sun and moon basically orbited around both sides (one of the elephants must raise a leg to let them pass). Creativity +1. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 28 '17 at 9:25
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I think with a flat world you need to be a little more creative with your sun and moon.
I would say there are a few different options;

  1. The flat world still exists in a larger space (ie. it has an edge you could fall off, like Discworld), in this case your sun and moon just orbit around the flat plane and night is when the sun is underneath the flat world (of course in this instance your moon probably has to glow too as there would be no way for it to reflect the sun's light as the real moon does)
  2. Your sun and moon disappear when they reach the edge of the world. Either they sink into the sea, are consumed by some kind of divine beast or just become extinguished and disappear by some kind of magic. Look up sun myths from around the world for inspiration. A new one is then created each morning to replace it.
  3. Your sun and moon are actually something else. The glowing wheels of the sun gods chariot, the glowing eye of a mighty dragon or beast hiding in the heavens.
  4. The sun turns on and off like a light to create a day and night cycle. It's fixed at a point in the sky and never moves, but maybe dims and brightens to create morning and evening.
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  • $\begingroup$ Turning on and off reminded me of A Deepness in the Sky which had a sun that actually did that albeit in standard orbital configuration and on a 200 year cycle (so it lead to regular ice ages and all animal life would find "deepnesses" underground where they could hibernate). $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jul 28 '17 at 15:24
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What's wrong with Ptolemaic system? (beside the fact it's wrong in our universe, of course)

Just replace the spherical Earth with a flat one and You're done.

Other systems are possible (to invent), but this will give you the closest approximation to our sky.

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The ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving written story. In it, Gilgamesh travels to the entrance of the tunnel where the sun goes to cross underground from west to east. It is guarded by scorpion people.

From Gilgamesh, A New English Version (Stephen Mitchell trans.)

The scorpion man said, “No one is able
to cross the Twin Peaks, nor has anyone ever
entered the tunnel into which the sun
plunges when it sets and moves through the earth.
Inside the tunnel there is total darkness:
Deep is the darkness, with no light at all.”

The scorpion woman said, “This brave man,
driven by despair, his body frost chilled,
exhausted, and burnt by the desert sun-
Show him the way to Utnapishtim.

The scorpion man said, “Ever downward
through the deep darkness the tunnel leads.
All will be pitch black before and behind you,
all will be pitch black to either side.
You must run through the tunnel faster than the wind.
You have just 12 hours. If you don’t emerge
from the tunnel before the sun sets and enters,
you will find no refuge from its deadly fire.
Penetrate into the mountain steps,
may the Twin Peaks lead you safely to your goal,
may they safely take you to the edge of the world.

The gate to the tunnel lies here before you.
Go now in peace, and return in peace.”

enter image description here source

the tunnel would, of course, be at ground level. But otherwise pretty close?

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, superb picture. Wait, Gilgamesh lived on a colony ship?! It certainly looks like a colony ship... $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 28 '17 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking the same thing, @Empischon That or a dyson sphere, which really, isn't much different except for scale. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jul 28 '17 at 15:26
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Depending on the level of fantasy and seriousness you are going for the sun be a great furnace that the dwarves(gods, etc) ignite every day to continue their work maintaining the dome. It doesn't have to be a ball of gas at all. If the sky is a dome then maybe someone has to maintain it and the sun is a furnace and the moon the workshops or something that hides the workers from the world below. The gods do not want to show their hand at work after all.

The dome doesn't have to be made of glass. Unless someone can reach the edge of the world, which is probably guarded to prevent any humans from climbing up and disturbing the gods, no one would know.

Cleaning days they could pour water through the dome to clean the sun and cause clouds and rain. All those stars are the windows that gods use to watch their creation.

For such a world I would not use a ball of fire for the sun. It should be something created or carried so it doesn't have to follow the normal rules at all. Maybe they just move the sun around depending on where they are working so it seems to travel from horizon to horizon. Then they rotate the dome every night and start again in the morning. So the seasons are just that they are working closer to the ground on the dome so more of the world gets cold and experiences winter.

In such a world the rim would be deserts since the sun actually touches down there over the course of a year.

Actually, the moon could be the gods inspecting the dome every night to approve the work.

You will have to come up with a basic pantheon for who is doing all of this work and who takes care of it all. Even if you choose a different explanation for what the sun and the moon are knowing the gods involved will help a lot.

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