Horizon Geometery

University of Alberta observatory domes


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Updated October 17, 2011

This figure shows the geometry involved in determining the distance to the horizon. The dimensions of the illustration are exaggerated to demonstrate the principles involved. Since the horizon is always at a tangent to the surface of the Earth, the geometry of right angles applies, and hence Pythagoras' theorum concerning right triangles.

This diagram illustrates the basic structure of forward scatter radio meteor reflection. Note that, once again right angle triangle geometry applies. With the distances involved in forward scatter the surface of the Earth can be treated for our purposes as a flat surface since the amount of curvature is not significant for the kinds of measurements we are making with this project. This illustration indicates the idea of elevation angle of the antenna above the horizon.

This example is not drawn to scale.


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