Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

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lemongrass
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Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby lemongrass » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:14 pm

Hi
Yesterday evening, while looking out at sea, we noticed blobs on the horizon, on checking them out with the binoculars, those blobs looked like mountains or land masses. We were pretty amazed and impressed. Wondered if anyone seen that as well?

Just as observation...

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby costakid » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:08 pm

Bloody hell, It must have been a clear night. I didn't think you see Africa from Nerja. I have sat on the beach at Rincon before and thought I could see Africa but then put it down to my eyes playing tricks on me.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby detourer » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:14 pm

That would be the Riff Mountains......Heading that way next week!

..
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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby lemongrass » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:15 pm

It was! We couldn't believe our eyes. We will see if tonight is going to be lucky for us again.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby chrissiehope » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:22 pm

I've seen them from Calahonda in the past :D
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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby El Cid » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:28 pm

Yes, it's fairly common at this time of year, especially just before sunset. Often it is clouds you are seeing, but occasionally you can see the land. It's actually the tops of the Rif mountains. They are about 180km away.

The higher you are above sea level the further the horizon will be and at dusk there can be a fair amount of refraction present, which curves the light to a certain extent which increases the distance.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby katy » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:34 pm

chrissiehope wrote:I've seen them from Calahonda in the past :D


Yes you could see the whole shape of Gibraltar at night too by the lights up the Rock.

We could see It all as the pillars of Hercules from Elviria but not in hot weather. The rest of the Moroccan mountains were like a black strip. Clearer at sunset when they would look as if they were rising out of the sea. I miss that view.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby Wicksey » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:29 pm

Yes it was particularly clear last night but we do regularly see them in the winter months. We can also see the pillars of Hercules too, they are often the clearest I guess because they are in the west where the sun is setting and it seems to light them up. I am not sure how high up we are ... perhaps 200m above sea level, but not that high.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:15 pm

Chrissiehope, years ago I rented for a while in Calahonda (la Siesta 2 just at the top of the strip) we had a south facing apartment and often saw the coast of Morocco, very nice !

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby Lyric » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:49 pm

Last night was an exceptionally good night. We see Africa quite regularly at dusk when it is clear but last night was worthy of comment.
The conversation went "Africa is clear tonight" "Oh yeah, draw the curtains"
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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby ashtondav » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:42 am

“Saw” them the other day but it is an optical illusion. Due to the curvature of the Earth you cannot see that far. If you google and calculate height and horizon it will become clear.

It is however an impressive illusion.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby El Cid » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:43 pm

It depends on your height and also the Rif mountains are up to 2000m high. There is also some refraction involved at that time of day, I suppose you could call that an illusion, but you can actually see them..

I have seen them clearly many times confirmed by using a high powered telescope.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:13 pm

So did we Sid when we had the town house at the top of Competa. Clear as a bell on many occasion. Again the telescope trick confirmed it 100%
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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby 1bassleft » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:47 pm

Very brief diagonal - but the mention of refraction, observer height and (the dreaded Nikon P900) magnification gave me the shivers. I've been called a 'globetard/Illuminatus' enough times elsewhere to develop a twitch.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby katy » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:31 pm

Oh so the frequent times I saw the Pillars and the coastline even on the beach at sunset was just a mirage :lol:

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby elusive » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:19 am

We saw them incredibly clearly on christmas day. The clearest we have ever seen. It was quite a sight.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby Wicksey » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:16 am

ashtondav wrote:“Saw” them the other day but it is an optical illusion. Due to the curvature of the Earth you cannot see that far. If you google and calculate height and horizon it will become clear.

It is however an impressive illusion.


No so, as the others have said. I have been seeing them for over twenty years, moreso in the winter months. We are probably 200m high and can see the tops of mountains and the pillars of Hercules. We used to be able to see Gib clearly from our house when we lived higher up which is also some distance away, but you can see that from the beach too. It is usually at sunset they are the clearest, but I have seen them during the day too. Whether refraction is helping I'm not sure but it is definitely land, not cloud.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby ashtondav » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:18 am

It’s an illusion - google visible horizon. In the unlikely/impossible event you could see anything it would be just the highest peaks but this is not the case as the illusion actually forms a mountain range. I too have photos of the illusion.

Take a look at lifescience.com

if you stood atop Mount Everest (which is 29,029 feet, or 8,848 meters tall), the horizon would be about 230 miles (370 km) away. Nerja is a lot less high. You cannot see the Riff mountains about 160km away.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby olive » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:19 am

A few years back we were delighted to see the mountains of Africa on a day with good visibility. We were descending from the Alpujarras towards the coast. I remember there being a thread on this forum at the time.

Doing a google and using the calculator on ringbell.co.uk ( the first one I found) and assuming I was at a height of 1000 metres at the time, then the horizon ( say a car) would be 113 km away. The mountains seen will be higher than 1000 metres so it would seem reasonable that distance would be at least doubled.

Refraction is an interesting spanner in the works.

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Re: Seeing Africa last evening from Nerja

Postby El Cid » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:27 am

ashtondav wrote: You cannot see the Riff mountains about 160km away.



That of course is your opinion. There seem to be a very large number of people who disagree with you.

It seems to me that you are not taking into account refraction effects (which you could argue is an optical illusion). Wiki says this about it.

Refraction is strongly affected by temperature gradients, which can vary considerably from day to day, especially over water. In extreme cases, usually in springtime, when warm air overlies cold water, refraction can allow light to follow the Earth's surface for hundreds of kilometres.

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