Posted by Doc on November 06, 2003
In Reply to: The view from above posted by Shae on November 06, 2003
: : : : : : Hi folks! I got into a discussion with a colleague of mine on whether the Great Wall of China was visible from the moon or not.
: : : : : : can someone please confirm if I am right or not
: : : : : : Ans while we are at it Shakespear said "To be or not to be"
: : : : : : "be" what???? and is this phrase from "As you like it"?
: : : : : a) It's *not* visible to the naked eye from the surface of the moon - not by a long chalk.
: : : : : b) "To be" in this case means "to exist". That is, whether to live or not.
: : : : : c) It's from Hamlet, not As You Like It.
: : : : Astronauts *can* see the Great Wall with the naked eye when they are orbiting the earth. I have occasionally heard it said that the wall is the only human achievement visitble from space. Perhaps that's where your friend got the idea it was visible from the moon.
: : : Here's a fun site -- http://terraserver-usa.com/ I was able to find an aerial view of my current home and my old homeplace on White Oak Mountain.
: : Hmmm. That address isn't working. Trying new one.
: : http://www.terraserver.com/
: According to astronauts, the Great Wall is not visible to the unaided eye at heights greater than 180 miles above the surface.
There is a math/trig way to figure out how far away anything is theoritically visable. It is not too difficult to understand if you have a bit of serious math. From the moon? No! But there is some significant distance, like perhaps the 180 miles mentioned above, where the wall is visable if the weather permits.