Does the Great Wall of China Really Visible from Space? Separating Fact from Fiction
If you are interested in world wonders, you might have heard that the Great Wall of China is visible from space. This claim has been circulating for a long time, but is it true? Let us dive deep into the facts to separate the myth from reality.
Firstly, let us define what we mean by ‘space.’ According to NASA, space starts at an altitude of 100 kilometers or 62 miles above sea level. At this height, the human eye cannot see any specific object on Earth’s surface. Therefore, technically, the Great Wall of China is not visible from space.
However, this does not mean that the Great Wall of China is not visible from other high-altitude vantage points. Pilots, astronauts, and cosmonauts have reported seeing the Wall from their respective viewpoints, which are not technically in space.
So, why is there confusion about the visibility of the Great Wall of China from space? The myth might have roots in a Chinese idiom that goes, “Until you reach the Great Wall, you’re no hero.” This idiom suggests that the Wall is so massive that it can be seen from anywhere. However, this is a figure of speech, not a scientific fact.
Another possibility is that the myth originates from a 1932 book called “Ride to the Great Wall” by William Edgar Geil. In this book, Geil claimed that the Great Wall of China was visible from the moon. However, this was an exaggeration, and Geil himself later admitted that he made the claim without any evidence.
Despite these misconceptions, the Great Wall of China is still an impressive and massive structure. The Wall extends over 13,000 miles and has a history dating back more than 2,000 years. It is the longest wall in the world and is a testament to the ancient Chinese civilization’s engineering and military prowess.
In conclusion, the Great Wall of China is not visible from space. However, it can be seen from high-altitude vantage points such as airplanes, helicopters, and low Earth orbit spacecraft. The myth that the Wall is visible from space originates from misunderstandings and exaggerations. Nonetheless, the Great Wall of China remains a fascinating and awe-inspiring wonder of the world.