Can you see Morocco from Teide?

They asked me whether from the top of the Teide volcano on the island of Tenerife in Spain you can see Morocco and its coasts. The answer is definitely no. In this article I will explain why and how to calculate it. As well as some curiosities about what you can really observe from Teide.

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The maximum visibility

Whenever they ask me such a question, I first clarify the maximum visibility a man can have even considering atmospheric refraction. To calculate the maximum visibility, mathematics will help us. Standing on a mountain, we must first know how high the point where we rest our feet is and then add the height above the ground to our eyes. Therefore, considering that I am 1.70 meters tall and my eyes are 1.66 meters above the ground, if I were standing on the Teide, the maximum height of 3715 meters above sea level, my eyes would be at 3716.66 meters above sea level.

Maximum observable horizon

With a simple mathematical formula, we can then calculate the maximum observable horizon for a tall person like me. If you are taller or less tall than me, you simply need to modify the data to obtain the maximum horizon observable by a person.

d(km) \approx 3,86\sqrt{\mathstrut 3716,66}
235,32 (km) \approx 3,86\sqrt{\mathstrut 3716,66}

Using the parameter 3.86 which contemplates the atmospheric refraction instead of 3.57, we can say that from the top of the Teide volcano we have 235.32 kilometers of maximum horizon, beyond we cannot see due to the Earth’s curvature.

So is it possible to see the coast of Morocco?

No! I’m sorry, the answer is no! It is not possible to see in any way the coasts of Morocco or Western Sahara from the top of Teide. What you will certainly see is Pico de las Nieves on the island of Gran Canaria, you will be able to see some parts of the island of Fuertevenura, which together with the island of Gran Canaria would cover the view of the coasts of Morocco, coasts that in any way do not exist. they can absolutely see. The first observable coast of Morocco would be 363 kilometers near Tarfaya. We said earlier that the most distant observable object on the horizon from the height of 3716 meters would be 235.23 kilometers which is much less than 363 kilometers.

View visible from the top of Teide, if you click on the image you can go to the site https://www.heywhatsthat.com where you will see more details.

The hotel staff and the guide told me yes

The guides lied to you, whether they knew it or not. It’s irrefutable: the coasts of Morocco are physically impossible to be seen from the top of Tenerife’s Teide volcano.

What can you see at the most?

You can see the Savage islands, yes … they are 222 km towards 20 ° obviously without fog and with perfectly favorable weather conditions, which could be a problem at 3700 meters…

Links

https://www.heywhatsthat.com

Stephen A. Kleckner

I am a computer systems engineer and I have traveled extensively in the sky, on land and by sea. I love nature, the sea and skiing. I am very curious and I am passionate about physics. I have a Mini Morris 850 and I am passionate about LEGO. I love Star Trek.

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