Monday, 13 August 2012

Sunrise from a Neolithic barrow

Sunrise from a Neolithic barrow near Beachy Head, East Sussex

Just became the expert on Simon Mayo's Drivetime with the question 'Can the naked eye see the curvature of the Earth?' Photo above is of the experiment I described on the Neolithic mound near Beachy Head (which happens to be one of the few places you can do the experiment).

Simon also asked if you could see the curvature of the earth somewhere like Cornwall. I said no, not directly, but didn't explain why: The reason is that the only time you can see a far horizon is at sunset and sunrise (possibly moon-set & rise also). The rest of the time, the real far horizon blends in with the sky. This optical illusion (of a low horizon) is generated by haze within the atmosphere.

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