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Trig Problem

  1. Oct 31, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Matt spies a woodpecker on the branch of a tree in a park. From the ground, the angle of elevation along his line of sight to the bird is 26 degrees. He walks 20 ft towards the tree, and in the same plane as before, now sees the bird at an angle of elevation of 40 degrees. How high in the tree is the bird?

    2. Relevant equations
    tanx = opp/adj

    3. The attempt at a solution
    tan26=h/20+x and tan40=h/x
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2011 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    You have two equations in two unknowns. Solve for one variable in one of the equations, and substitute into the other equation. That will give you an equation with just one unknown, which you can solve for that unknown.
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