Determination of Elevation Angles

This web page discusses how one can determine the elevation angles of distant peaks that are beyond one's horizon. The elevation angle is defined as the apparent angle a peak appears above the sea level horizon from an observer some distance away. The elevation angle, as we will see, also depends on the height of the peak and the height of the observer above sea level.

This problem became of interest to me when viewing distant mountains on other Hawaiian islands from the island of Oahu. Since the observed horizon in these cases is the ocean (sea level) the elevation angle formulas prove to work very well. Some actual observations from Oahu are also shown.

1. Elevation Angle Formula

2. **Observations** made from Oahu: Click on mountain view to the right.