How Far Can Perfect Eyes See? An Ideal Earthly Scenario

Logic, Mathematics
[caption id="attachment_26540" align="alignright" width="480"] Image by Meg Learner[/caption]I once met a fellow in Virginia who said, 'The human eye is an amazing thing. Why, if there were no mountains in-between, we could see California!' Of course, he was referring to perfect eyes... Of course, that is just plain nuts. Nevertheless, it raised the question, "Just how far away could a person see an object if nothing interfered? Let's consider the answer to that question. Conditions First, we need to set conditions or ground rules. Earth is sufficiently round to call it a sphere, so we treat it as such. In fact, we assume it is perfectly smooth even to an ant. Further, we assume the atmosphere is perfectly clear, and the observer has perfect eyes. When we look out toward…
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