Other Telescopes

Is it possible to see buildings etc in France from England with binoculars/telescopes?

I have just fount out that it's possible to see lights in France from England and I am just wondering if it's possible to actually see buildings and things through a telescope or binoculars? If it is possible then what about doing the same thing for other countries such as Holland?

It is 21 miles from England to France at closest distance.

To see an object at sea level from that distance, my calculations show you would need to be 293.9 feet above sea level. There may be areas that high in England near the shore to get your view.

To see the top of a 100 foot building or hill in France you would only need to be 193.9 feet above sea level in England. For every foot of height that an object is in France, you may lower the required height in England by that same amount.

As far as being able to see that far, there are places in the American west where one can see objects (hills or mountains) over 100 miles away with the naked eye, depending on atmospheric conditions. But these are large objects. To see a one-story home across the channel, you will need some lens help (but at night, you could see a far smaller light source, depending on brightness).

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