You are here:

# Geography/Curvature of the Earth

Question
On a straight line, on a level highway (or at sea) how far can one see because of the curvature of the earth?

Hi there,

On a very large pure sphere a small creature can only see a distance a few times its height! Height in comparison to diameter or radius of the sphere is what determines how much of the sphere is visible. Example, an eyeball or ant floating on calm waters of a lake will only see a distance of a few metres and a person standing above a soccerball will see HALF of it but only about a foot of circumference.

There is a basic calculation for the distance to the horizon: d = squareroot of (13000 x height) ....so, looking straight on a calm sea from a height of about two meters, like standing on the beach, one will see about 5 kilometers.

Regards
RRG

Geography

Volunteer

#### Rangutan

##### Expertise

Any question about the Earth and space too! Facts, statistics, mapping, naming, finding places and opinions about the global matters, nature, people, cities, countries, rivers, mountains, deserts, environment, ecology, travel etc. Anything that bothers or confuses you about how our earth works and why?

##### Experience

Traveled through 52 countries worldwide, researching and planning the next 50!

Organizations
www.globosapiens.net/rangutan

Education/Credentials
BSc