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Gene asked in Science & MathematicsGeography · 3 months ago

If when standing 20 feet above the water on a ship in the ocean, how far away is the horizon? I've been told about 7 miles?

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  • Bill-M
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Height of Eye above the Water is 20 Feet then the Horizon is 5.9 Miles.

    There is a Formula:  distance = 1.317 times Square Root of H

    Square root of 20 = 4.4721  Times 1.317 = 5.8898 Statue Miles.

    if you want Nautical Miles then use 1.144.

    This formula comes from U.S. Navy H.O. Publication number 9.

    American Practical Navigator.

    • derfram
      Lv 7
      3 months agoReport

      I've seen the different constants listed different places.  Anywhere from 1.22 to 1.35. 

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  • 3 months ago

    Distance to horizon = 1.22 * √(eye height)

    Where Distance in in statute miles

    Eye height is in feet. 

    Assuming the 20 feet is eye height, then:

    Distance to horizon = 1.22 * √20 = 5.46 miles.

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    • derfram
      Lv 7
      3 months agoReport

      Depends on where you look.  I found 1.17√h = nautical miles and converting that to statue yields 1.35√h.  I believe I found the 1.22 in Wiki. 

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  • 3 months ago

    Depend on how high your eyes are above the water

    . 3.1 miles for some one whose eye height 5 feet 7/9r 8 inches. 7 miles sounds correct for 20 feet..

    • Bill-M
      Lv 7
      3 months agoReport

      There is a Formula:  distance = 1.317 times Square Root of H


      Square root of 20 = 4.4721  Times 1.317 = 5.8898 Statue Miles.


      if you want Nautical Miles then use 1.144.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
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