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Can I see sea-level sunset if something lower than me is blocking my sight?

  1. May 16, 2012 #1
    This is my situation:
    I am on a roughly 250m hill and trying to see sea-level sunset, but there is another hill 4-5km away that is roughly 200m tall, which is probably in the way.

    Will I be able to see a sea-level sunset since I am higher than the hill blocking me?

    (Sorry if this is in the wrong section. This seems to be the most relevant)

    EDIT: By the way, if I wouldn't be able to see it, how high would the sun have to be for me to be able to see it?
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2012 #2


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    Can you see the sea horizon? if yes, then yes you will see it. And if no, then it is possible that you see sun which is on the tangent of earth at the sea(due to atmospheric refraction). But even if it is so you will see the sun at sea but not sea itself then i dont think it is a sea sunset. How far is the sea from you btw?

    But dont be sad you will get see a hill level sunset instead! YAY!
  4. May 16, 2012 #3


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    hi dalcde! :smile:

    the important issue is, at height h above sea level, what is the angle below the horizontal to the sea horizon? :wink:

    (use ordinary geometry)
  5. May 16, 2012 #4
    If the world is flat, it should be zero degrees, but it is round... Any more help would be appreciated.

    @sk9 It could make a huge difference when it comes to watching solar eclipses (it happens when the sun is at 5 degrees altitude, unfortunately).
  6. May 16, 2012 #5


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    just draw a circle with a tangent :wink:
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