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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 3 of 15 |
(In reply to First Thoughts by Sandeep)

Well, if you are looking at the sun, you can see 93 million miles, and if you are looking past the sun, you can see even further.   Let's answer the more interest question of how far away is the horizon. 

The Distance D to the horizon is one leg of a right triangle, whose other leg is R (the radius of the earth) and whose hypoteneuse is R + h, where h is the height of your eyes above sea level.

R^2 + D^2 = (R + h)^2

D^2 = h^2 + 2hR

For all practical purposes, D = sqrt(2hR).

Would anybody care to substitute in some reasonable values?





  Posted by Steve Herman on 2005-01-23 16:23:03

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