Ask a Question | Browse Questions

ANSWERED on Fri 22 Sep 2017 - 10:44 pm UTC by Daniel Kniffler

Question: Seeing France from a distance

Please carefully read the Disclaimer and Terms & conditionsT&Cs.
Priced at $2.00

Actions: Add Comment

ribuck 

Customer

 21 Sep 2017 16:14 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 4:14 pm UTC 

Hello,

On a clear day, is it possible to see France from anywhere in Devon or Cornwall?

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 21 Sep 2017 18:23 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 6:23 pm UTC 

ribuck...

Yes, of course. On a clear day...

https://tinyurl.com/UKtoFrance

 

ribuck 

Customer

 21 Sep 2017 18:44 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 6:44 pm UTC 

Um, are you sure you're not probo, resurrected?

Let me rephrase my question: Assuming that the earth is roughly spherical, and that we can ignore protestations from the Flat Earth Society; on a clear day is it possible to see France from some high point in Devon or Cornwall?

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 21 Sep 2017 18:49 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 6:49 pm UTC 

Well, technically speaking, this is France:

https://www.embassypages.com/missions/embassy4456/

 

ribuck 

Customer

 21 Sep 2017 18:57 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 6:57 pm UTC 

Nice try David, but still no twinklies!

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 21 Sep 2017 19:05 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 7:05 pm UTC 

Dang! I want those twinklies!!!

How about this, then:

http://www.table-references.info/earth-table-distances.php#hor-miles
Distance to Horizon


Closest spot in France looks to be about 70 miles away, so if you can get up 3,000 feet or so, you have a shot at it (on a *really* clear day, of course). And if something big and very tall like Mt Everest happens to relocate to France, you won't need nearly as much altitude on your end.

So ribuck, just how high are you allowed to be in the UK?


P.S. And tell us about your interesting user name. What's the back story on ribuck?

 

Daniel Kniffler 

Researcher

 21 Sep 2017 22:06 UTCThu 21 Sep 2017 - 10:06 pm UTC 

I was briefly very excited by the radio masts at Beacon Hill and Stockland Hill, but even from the top of those, you'd need there to be an even taller radio mast on the Normandy clifftops to have a chance of seeing all the way across the Channel.

This site lets you play with the three numbers
http://www.cactus2000.de/uk/unit/masshor.shtml

What we need is a Celtic solidarity project: twin lighthouses the size of the Shanghai Tower on Ushant and one of the Scillys.

 

ribuck 

Customer

 22 Sep 2017 06:50 UTCFri 22 Sep 2017 - 6:50 am UTC 

Thanks Daniel, that's the definitive answer. Please post.

The highest place in Cornwall is 621 metres, and the highest place in Normandy is 417 metres, which gives a sight distance of 161 km (100 miles). Unfortunately, those high points are both inland, over 200 km from each other. So my next project needs to be to build twin lighthouses the size of the Shanghai Tower.


David, as for the meaning of ribuck, see:

Ribuck - Definition (Merriam-Webster)
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ribuck

Merriam-Webster says it's often used interjectionally, so I guess I'd better sign off with

Ribuck!

 

Daniel Kniffler 

Answer

 22 Sep 2017 22:44 UTCFri 22 Sep 2017 - 10:44 pm UTC 

Thanks Ribuck.

As for getting high in the UK, there's always http://www.ballooning.co.uk/

 

ribuck 

Customer

 23 Sep 2017 06:11 UTCSat 23 Sep 2017 - 6:11 am UTC 

Thank you!

 

myoarin 

User

 25 Sep 2017 10:12 UTCMon 25 Sep 2017 - 10:12 am UTC 

Ah, but what about atmospheric refraction? 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_refraction

Of course, I don't know it that would help enough, and even if so, only under optimal conditions, which seem very unlikely across the Channel.

 

ribuck 

Customer

 25 Sep 2017 15:09 UTCMon 25 Sep 2017 - 3:09 pm UTC 

Thanks myo. I assume atmospheric refraction would result in a shimmering "mirage-like" image, which this was not.

When I saw this distant landform, it was dim and hazy in the distance, but sharp in outline. Furthermore, it seemed to be causing some clouds to bank up above it, on an otherwise clear day.

I asked some locals, who couldn't identify it. When I zoomed out the map on my phone, France seemed to be the only possibility. And yet physics argues strongly against this.

I'm starting to wonder whether the mystery landform wasn't actually much closer than it seemed, in which case I can account for it being a part of England.

Unfortunately I didn't consider that at the time, because it seemed "obviously" so distant. And there hasn't been a clear day since then. And now I'm not there anymore.

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 25 Sep 2017 15:35 UTCMon 25 Sep 2017 - 3:35 pm UTC 

ribuck,

I'm quite sure this is what you were seeing:

https://tinyurl.com/offthecoastoffrance

 

ribuck 

Customer

 25 Sep 2017 18:52 UTCMon 25 Sep 2017 - 6:52 pm UTC 

Thanks, David. That explains everything. I'm pretty sure sure I could see the cannibal rats too.

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 25 Sep 2017 18:59 UTCMon 25 Sep 2017 - 6:59 pm UTC 

Heh! They certainly should be large enough, by now...

 

Actions: Add Comment

 

Frequently Asked Questions | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Spread the word!

Thu 19 Oct 2017 - 9:09 am UTC - © 2017 Uclue Ltd