What Can You Actually See From Space?

Although most people have never been there, I continue to hear friends and eavesdrop on other people say what they believe can and can’t be seen from space. From the Great Wall of China, to the Pyramids of Giza, to random streets in a desert. It kind of grinds my gears when people debate and get all hot and bothered about things that they honestly don’t know much about themselves. So that is why I did a little research to lighten up the load for some of you.

Let’s start with what this person actually means when they say from ‘space’. Space is an infinitely enormous place. Or as far as we know to this day. People on the Space Station may be able to see significant features on the surface, but someone on the moon’s surface can hardly tell you where North America is. So in this case we are going to consider space as, approximately 160 to 350 miles above sea level, a low Earth orbit such as one traveled on by the Space Station.

Well obviously you can see city lights from the space station. Everyone has seen one of those. You can even see some desert highways, bridges that cross over bays and straights, dams, and airports. Astronauts have proven that you can see the Great Pyramids if your squinting during the right time of day. But if we run the Great Wall of China by the Space Station test, it fails from both distances. Even from nearly 50 miles under the station and under the best solar and weather conditions, this landmark is virtually indistinguishable from neighboring rivers and mountains. Therefore, most space-travelers miss the Wall entirely due to the fact that the Great Wall seems to be made largely of materials that have the same color as the surrounding soil.

Does anybody else want to go to space really bad??



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