How high would a man have to be to see the edge?

distance and heightI recently saw a jeranism video entitled “$100,00 Flat Earth Challenge Response to Alien Fossil Project”, where he was arguing with some guy that called him a shill or something.  But the facinating part of the video is the calculation of how far a man can see based on his altitude.  I didn’t know this formula existed.  But now that I do I can deduce some interesting results.  So the formula is pretty simple: (7) (Heigh in feet) = √Result/4.  This yields your distance in miles that you would be able to see given a certain height.  If you are working the formula for yourself, be sure to divide the “result” by 4 before you square root it.

The example in the video shows a man in an airplane at 35,000 feet.  Plugging that into the formula and working it out tells us that this man, at this height, can see a distance of 247.48 miles.

The question is…How high would you have to be to see the edge of the Flat Earth?  Let’s assume the Earth has a diameter of 20,699 miles.  See my post How Big Is The Earth? for details on how I derived that number.  If a man stands in the center of the Earth (read North Pole), any edge lies 10,350 miles from him.  Starting with this number as the known distance that can be seen, applying a bit of algebra we derive a height needed of 11,593 miles!  So the man in the center would have to be 11,593 miles high to see any edge!  And if that man, at that height, were to look down, he could see the entire Flat Earth at one time.

Hmmm, but there is a problem with that.  If the dome is a perfect sphere and we assume the plane lies roughly in the center of the sphere; you would hit the ceiling of the dome at 10,350 miles!  That means that it is physically impossible to take a picture of the entire Earth plane from inside the dome.  BUT…you could see a huge portion of the outer edge if you achieved an altitude anywhere over 10,000 miles AND were some distance away from the center of the plane in any direction.

I feel like we are getting somewhere.  Let’s take this one step further.  Let’s suppose we want to send up a private rocket with cameras on it and bring back photographic evidence of the edge of the Earth plane.  We are going to want to get as close to the edge as we can so the altitude we have to achieve to get an actual picture of the edge is as low as possible.  To my knowledge, only recently did a private person shoot a rocket up and attain an altitude of 74 miles or so.  If we go with the presumed width of 800 miles for the outer ice ring we can work the formula again.  If we are trying to see the outer ring of the Earth plane, over a distance of 800 miles, we only need to achieve a height of 69 miles!  We got it!!!  We just need to take a boat as close to the Antarctic ice sheet as possible and shot up the same sized rocket that the rocket man did and we got proof!

 

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