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Distance to the horizon

Submitted by johng on 16 March, 2012 - 17:29

Have you ever wondered how far can you see to the horizon from an elevated position ? Using simple trigonometry the distance to the horizon along the Earth's surface can be easily determined. Two cases are considered: (i) light travels in a straight line and (ii) light travels along a curved path as a result of atmospheric refraction. In both cases it will be assumed that the Earth is a sphere resulting in a circular cross section when examining the problem in two dimensions.