Image Credit: Joshua Nowicki (@StartVisiting)
There are many images that have been taken from great distances, over water, showing skylines and other landmarks, which should not be visible from the viewer’s perspective – if we live on a sphere 24,901 miles (or 40,075 km) in circumference. Below is a break-down of the image shown, in terms of earth’s expected curvature. We have used the Earth Curve Calculator, which shows us the expected distance to the horizon, as well as the height at which distant objects would need to be, in order to be visible by the observer.
We do not know the exact height of the camera/observer, so we have been very conservative and simply placed a value of 100 feet.
Distance from the shore of Lake Michigan at the observer’s position to the Chicago Skyline = 59 miles (confirmed by the news story that ran it, as well as the photographer).
This would yield an expected horizon at 12.24 miles, beyond which we could not see past at sea level. Further, any object lower than 1,457 feet above sea level, at a distance of 59 miles, would be fully obstructed by the expected curvature of the earth.
A quick search of the tallest structures in the Chicago Skyline yields the following:
Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, is home to 1,264 completed high-rises, 107 of which stand taller than 500 feet (152 m). The tallest building in the city is the 108–story Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), which rises 1,451 feet (442 m) in the Chicago Loop and was completed in 1974.
This, then, tells us that EVERY SINGLE building in the skyline should be obstructed by the supposed curvature of the earth, even if the camera/observer in the image is 100 feet above sea level.
Here is the video put together by Jordon Rains of the weather man who tries to get us to believe that this image is only possible due to a “Superior Mirage”.