Disance to the Moon challenge

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Disance to the Moon challenge

Postby zetreque on January 5th, 2018, 5:12 pm 

When traveling the Canadian Rockies I took a video of the moon moving across some mountains. When I got home I realized that this may have been a method in ancient times to determine the distance to the moon.

I don't recall the exact speed we were traveling but lets say we were traveling 60mph.
The following images were video captures exactly 1 minute (60 seconds apart).
Would the only missing piece of information to calculate the distance to the moon be the distance it traveled along the mountain tops? I could probably use google earth to estimate that.
I don't have a strong interest in spending time to figure this out but I thought it was neat.

moon1.jpg

moon2.jpg
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Re: Disance to the Moon challenge

Postby wolfhnd on January 5th, 2018, 5:32 pm 

The easiest way is to have people at a known distant from each other measure the angle from the base line at a predetermined time.
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Re: Disance to the Moon challenge

Postby zetreque on January 5th, 2018, 5:33 pm 

The distance from the car to the mountain is roughly 6.56 miles.
Distance moon traveled across mountain top is about 1.21 miles.
Distance observer traveled can be determined by speed and time given above.
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Re: Disance to the Moon challenge

Postby wolfhnd on January 5th, 2018, 6:02 pm 

Yes that would probably work but the distances involved between points of measurement will result in small angles.

For accuracy you need measurements as far apart as possible and the circumference of the earth.
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Re: Disance to the Moon challenge

Postby zetreque on January 5th, 2018, 6:05 pm 

True, I was just thinking if someone wanted a word problem challenge, they could figure it out off of that to see how accurate it is. :)

My thinking was back to some cowboy riding a horse looking over at the moon realizing for the first time how it moves. If someone had no knowledge of the sky or shape of the Earth, that observation might peak some interest.
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