Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guest Blogging

I'm the guest blogger right now on the Chronicle Books blog.

I did a little self-cannibalizing of my own blog and works, and I also took the opportunity to dispel the myth of seeing the Great Wall from space.

Think about it. How ridiculous is that? The Great Wall is, what, ten feet across? Sometimes it crumbles and almost disappears into the landscape. It's not even as wide as your house, unless you live in a NYC railroad, in which case your 8-foot-wide apartment is probably in a large building that is way wider than the Great Wall but duh, cannot be seen from space.

Okay, sure, bring a telescope with lots of power and you can see anything. We're talking naked eye here.

I personally have not been to space to confirm all of this, and I think in China it's a "fact" that the Wall can be seen from space, but I went to a lot of trouble to look it up and NASA astronauts agree—nope, can't see it.


Ed Ward said...

Still, I bet if there *were* cheaper consumer space travel, especially to the moon or another planet, you'd be itching to do it.

Just to confirm the Great Wall thing, right?

Marie Javins said...

Anything for the sake of precision, of course.

David said...

They meant to say: "You can see space from the Great Wall with your naked eye." Which, of course, isn't nearly as impressive.