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I See No Ships (Posted on 2005-01-23) Difficulty: 3 of 5
You are standing on a beach looking out into the ocean. Assuming your view is unobstructed, how far can you see?

No Solution Yet Submitted by Juggler    
Rating: 2.7500 (4 votes)

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Solution Solution | Comment 2 of 15 |
Let R be the radius of the earth, and let h be the distance from the ground to my eyes.  The center of the earth, my eyes, and the furthest point I can see form a right triangle with hypotenuse (R+h) and with one leg R.  The distance I can see is the length of the other leg, which is sqrt((R+h)^2 - R^2) = sqrt(2Rh+h^2). 
  Posted by David Shin on 2005-01-23 16:18:00
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