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# What is the farthest distance anyone on the earth can be away from another person before they begin getting closer again?

Question #70957. Asked by Jubal. (Sep 24 06 9:27 AM)

detgolf

i would say at the bottom of the ocean.

 Sep 24 06, 10:32 AM
sancho_p

if you ignore the other scientists, I would guess the SOuth Pole is pretty remote; mid-Sahara or mid-Tibetan plateau also seem likely.

 Sep 24 06, 11:15 AM
Jubal

No--that's not what I mean. What I mean is, if someone is standing at one point on the globe, how far is it possible (in miles) to be away from that person, while still on the planet? And not at an uninhabitable place like the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Let's say I'm in Honolulu, Hawaii. What is the farthest place on the earth away from that point?

 Sep 24 06, 11:52 AM
skypilot024

I'm going to take a stab at this using distance measurement.....20,039km or 12,451mi. Past these points, you would begin to get closer.
http://www.lyberty.com/encyc/articles/earth.html

 Sep 24 06, 11:54 AM
Brainyblonde

12,450.775 miles

The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles (40,075.16 kilometers).

 Sep 24 06, 11:57 AM
PaleBlueDot1

Using skypilot's site, I'd say that it would be 12,451 miles or 20,038 km. I got that from dividing the circumference in half, which would give you the distance to the antipode (the place on earth directly opposite to where you are)

 Sep 24 06, 11:58 AM
Jubal

Yes, that's what I wanted. Thank you. Now, here's a really tough calculation. Where is the furthest point from the peak of Mt. Everest to it's antipode. Or another high point to its antipode that's below sea level and add the distance variation from sea level into the equation. What now is the furthest distance one of those kinds of points could be?

 Sep 24 06, 12:17 PM
Brainyblonde

How to find an antipode or point on the opposite side of the earth
Take the latitude of the place you want to find the antipode of and convert it to the opposite hemisphere. For example, we'll use Memphis. Memphis is located at approximately 35° North latitude. The antipode of Memphis will be at 35° South latitude.
Then, take the longitude of the place you want to find the antipode of and subtract the longitude from 180. Antipodes are always 180° of longitude away. Memphis is located at approximately 90° West longitude so we take 180-90=90. This new 90° we convert to degrees East and we have our location of Memphis' antipode - 35°S 90°E - in the Indian Ocean far to the west of Australia.

This puts the antipode of Mount Everest in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii.

 Sep 24 06, 12:55 PM
davejacobs

Surely the answer must be the greatest diameter of the earth, assuming the guy who said a straight line is the shortest distance beteen two points was right.
This is about 12756.3 kilometers, using the equatorial diameter.

 Sep 24 06, 4:39 PM
What-A-Mess

If a person was at the foot of Everest and a person was at
its antipode they would be at X distance. But....If a person was at the summit of Everest and a person was at its antipode, the distance would be greater by quite a few feet. This could be calculated using the Pythagorean Theory to horizon plus remaining the distance. So......This is a greater distance as Jubal made light of.

 Sep 24 06, 6:23 PM
davejacobs

The argument by WA-M fails if the antipode to the summit of Everest is below sea level, and the depth of ocean there is greater than the height of Everest, which seems quite possible.

 Sep 25 06, 1:30 AM
What-A-Mess

Why yes Dave, you are correct if you were to calculate in linear terms. But since persons can not pass through solid matter, your statement does not hold true (man MUST pass over all terrain to get from point A to B). If it did then the farthest a person could be is around 8000 miles (through the core of the planet). :-)

 Sep 25 06, 1:43 AM
davejacobs

The question didn't talk about one person travelling to another, but simply asked what the distance was - as I read it anyway.

 Sep 25 06, 5:32 AM
Jubal

Hmm, yes that is true. It would have to be a place that is a mountain peak, and another high point that happens to be its antipode that would be the furthest distance, unless the person were travelling overland to get there, and then it would be from a high point on one part of the planet to a low point on the opposite side. Which is what I was really getting at, but considering there would not be a smooth surface other than the two points, low and high, it's not really a good calculation at all that I'm asking for.

 Sep 25 06, 6:18 AM
phoenixx_1965

In my mind, a third dimension pops up, making this question a real challenge. Earth has an elliptoidal shape(flattened polar areas and equatorial bulge). So if a person would have to travel over terrain to measure the distance to his exact antipodal position, each direction toward it would result in a different distance reading, unless he would keep his route EXACTLY on the VERY longitude where his trip starts. That way he'll be forced to pass one of the poles, than follow the converted, antipodal longitude to his destination.
This way, every direction from the departure point to the destination will only slightly differ. There will be still a difference, since he will have to pass mountains and valleys; on the longitudes passing through the himalayas for example the distance will be noticable longer than a trip alongside the 180/0 longitude, which remains mostly over water.
The easiest solution to this question is indeed the linear one. Diameter of earth plus/minus two counts of elevation either above or beneath sea level(if one of the points happens to be in a depression like the Dead Sea).
C'mon guys, let's re-ignite the fire on this interesting matter!

 Feb 06 07, 10:35 PM

Skypilot024 is right, you would have to travel 12,541 miles before you get closer again. But seeing the earths circumference is longer round the equator than throungh to two poles, it would be logical to start at the city that lies on the equator, Quito in Equador. The furthest point from here using Google Earth is 12,453.8 miles and lies 21 miles south of Pekenbaru in Sumatra Indonisia. There may be some where slightly further but I haven't found it yet.

 Jun 10 13, 3:16 PM