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Old 24th Jun 2008, 18:37   #1 (permalink)
 
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Why do things appear smaller the farther away they are?

"Why do things appear smaller the farther away they are?"

Any answers to this question? I have been thinking about it but cannot fathom an answer .

(I am also thinking on a Galactic scale)

Last edited by Tolan; 24th Jun 2008 at 18:46. Reason: thank you for pointing out my spelling error
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 18:40   #2 (permalink)
 
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so you can tell they are farther away.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 18:41   #3 (permalink)
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We didn't concentrate too hard when we did geometry in class with Mr. Higgins, did we? He would be weeping now. But you obviously preferred English much morer 'cos you's very good there.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 18:47   #4 (permalink)
 
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Spelling corrected
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 18:49   #5 (permalink)

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There's no secret to it. Things just get smaller when you get further away.

Or is it to do with the angle subtended on the retina of the eye by the image and the brain relating it to distance from it...
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:10   #6 (permalink)
 
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Yeh, the smaller sized image on the retina is part of it, but your minds expectations come into it also. Is it learnt, or is it instinct?

Simillar thing when you sit on a stationary train, and the train on the other track starts to move, you see them, and it feels like your moving-'cos your brain says it should.

Probably why inexperienced pilots crash when they go into cloud. Instinct overcoming learning.

I think
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:16   #7 (permalink)
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Actually, Tolan, it's much simpler than all that. Just ignore ShyTorque and all that mumbo-jumbo science stuff, and trains and so on. Think of looking at a Lion. Dangerous beast. Very large and very frightening up close. Now look at the same Lion from half a mile away. Nature lets you see it much smaller in your brain to let you know it is not dangerous any more. Simple, you see? By the same principle, an Ant looks small close up and is not THAT dangerous, is it? Good old Nature!
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:17   #8 (permalink)
 
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It all has to do with the angles objects subtend.
Seriously, I remember reading about a group of Amazonian tribesmen who had never been out of the Jungle being taken by aircraft to a small town where all the jungle had been cleared for miles around,they were reaching out trying to pick the tiny cows up quarter of a mile away, because in their entire lives they had been surrounded by trees and had never seen anything in the distance,so obviously the, near by = big, far away = small also has to do with the environment and the way the brain gets wired together because of same.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:19   #9 (permalink)
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Er I always thought it was a conspiracy by manufacturers of telescopes & binoculars so that we would buy their products
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:21   #10 (permalink)
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No, things actually do get smaller as they move away from observers, just as nobody hears you scream when you are too far away . . .

What I cannot understand is why things travel faster the closer they get to you - for example, an airliner at 30,000 ft travels very slowly and is visible for several minutes, whereas a jet fighter at 50 ft travels so fast that it has gone before you get a chance to get a proper look at it. Or is this because the Earth is round and therefore it takes longer to travel the outer diameters? Perhaps it's connected to the reduction in size and bigger aircraft have bigger engines?
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:40   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
an airliner at 30,000 ft travels very slowly and is visible for several minutes,
Gives em longer to lay chem trails
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:49   #12 (permalink)

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Perhaps_Father_Ted's_explanation_will_help!

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:51   #13 (permalink)
 
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All objects near or far, big or small exists purely inside yer noggin, they may indeed be real solid object you could walk up and touch, but in fact the objects you are examining at a distance are just electric potentials flickering betwixt synapses in the gooey stuff in yer napper.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:53   #14 (permalink)
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G-CPTN,

This is like looking up through a giant cone.
Your fighter is traveling the small diameter of it while your airliner will be at the open top.

Now this theory doesn't seems to apply with small d!cks who, according to women, remain small whatever the distance they are looking at it.

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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:56   #15 (permalink)
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I remember that tribe, Mr D.

They were pygmies living in a huge area of elephant grass and were named due to their habit of jumping up and down, shouting "Where the fukawi".
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:58   #16 (permalink)
 
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Dear oh dear Mister Rainboe. I would never have believed in a million years that a self proclaimed guardian of the language such as yourself would countenance such starchy sarcasm and still consider it acceptable to begin a sentence with a conjunction.

You may also wish to consider using a bracketing comma needlessly to mark a weak interruption in your writing too. However, no excuse for offence number one. Take him down.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 19:59   #17 (permalink)
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All objects near or far, big or small exists purely inside yer noggin, they may indeed be real solid object you could walk up and touch, but in fact the objects you are examining at a distance are just electric potentials flickering betwixt synapses in the gooey stuff in yer napper.
And what is more, said images are, in fact, upside down I've been told, yet the human brain inverts them so that we don't get confused and bump into things.
I wonder how lower life forms with lesser intelligence cope?
I think we should be told.
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 20:20   #18 (permalink)
 
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yet the human brain inverts them so that we don't get confused
I thought everything was upside down, it just looked the right way up. Is it only the Ozzies who are not confused now?

Just in case it might help, I'm off to get a drink. Now which way up does the bottle go?
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 20:55   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder how lower life forms with lesser intelligence cope?
Quote:
Is it only the Ozzies who are confused now?
That's unkind . . .
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Old 24th Jun 2008, 21:13   #20 (permalink)
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By the same principle, an Ant looks small close up and is not THAT dangerous, is it? Good old Nature!
That's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure how it might be applied to the Funnel Web Spider.
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