We Can See Way Too Far! Where's the Curve?
Scientist will tell you that the radius of the earth is 3963 miles and its circumference is 29,401. Many will even state that the earth is not a perfect sphere but an oblate spheroid; meaning it is slightly flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. Most scientists will agree that the curvature of the earth can be measure with a little assist from the Pythagorean Theorem.
The simple formula to measure the curvature of the earth states: for every mile in any direction, the earth curves 8 inches per mile, squared. Here's how that plays out:
Mile 1: 1 x 1 = 1; 1 x 8 (inches) = 8 inches of curvature
Mile 2: 2 x 2 = 4; 4 x 8 = 32 (or 2.67 feet of curvature)
Mile 3: 3 x 3 = 9; 9 x 8 = 72 (or 6 feet of curvature)
Here's the simplified math calculation for miles 1 through 5:
Mile | Curvature Drop in Feet |
1 | .67 |
2 | 2.67 |
3 | 6.0 |
4 | 10.67 |
5 | 16.67 |
Globe experts would say that a 6 foot tall person, (or a person who is 72 inches tall), can only see three miles across the horizon before the earth curves out of view. (See Mile 3 above).
Question: How is it possible to see Chicago from Michigan City, Indiana, which is 40 miles away, despite the fact that Chicago should be hidden by the earth's curvature at a height exceeding 1,066 feet?
Here's the math: (40 x 40 = 1600; 1600 x 8 = 12,800 inches (or 1,066.66 feet)
There are thousands of examples like this all over the face of the earth just like these:
You should not be able to see Chicago from Michigan City, Indian; but you can.
You should not be able to see Santa Clemente Island from Laguna Beach; but you can.
You should not be able to see the State of Liberty from 60 miles away; but you can.
Below is a powerful but short video illustration showcasing the lack of curvature across vast distances:
Breaking news, folks! Earth is up to some unexpected shenanigans! The numbers are throwing a wild party, totally not following the rules, and our line of sight vision is smashing all records!
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