The Sun doesn’t really rise nor does it set. It moves in a circle over and around the flat earth with a constant altitude (approximately 3,000 miles high).
As objects move away from you, your eyes play subjective, personal tricks on your mind so that you can tell the difference between objects near and far.
- The first trick is called size consistency and says as objects move away from you they get smaller. For example, a car in the distance appears to be smaller than a car close to you. In reality they are the same size but size consistency plays this trick to let you perceive distance.
- The second trick is called perspective and says as objects move away from you they converge towards your straight-line-of-sight. For example, imagine that you stood between a pair of railroad tracks that were 50 feet apart – for better illustration. As you look at them in the distance they will seem to get closer together or converge at your straight-line-of-sight. The distant tracks are no closer to each other than the ones close to you but they look closer to let you know that they are further away due to the perspective trick.
The sky and the ground dimension converge at your straight-line-of-sight in the distance as well as the vertical dimension. The ground moves up to your straight-line-of-sight and the sky moves down to your straight-line-of-sight. So, as the Sun moves away from you it looks like it is descending but it is not. The Sun is the same height in the sky but your perspective tricks you into seeing the Sun set.
At a certain distance the size of an object gets so small that it can’t be seen. Similarly, at a certain distance the sky meets the ground and you can’t see past that point of convergence. If you could see past the point of convergence you would see the ground continue to move up past your straight-line-of-sight and past the sky and the sky would continue to move down past your straight-line-of-sight and past the ground. This is known as divergence and is why the Sun appears to ‘go down below the horizon.’ Interestingly, at this point, if you look at the sun through a pair of binoculars it will appear to come back up from the horizon a little because you have increased the distance of your vision and perspective.