Friday, Sep 17, 2021
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Mixed Shots

Passing through: A chuckle here, a teardrop there

Mixed Shots
Photograph by PTI
Mixed Shots
outlookindia.com
2021-07-02T16:00:49+05:30

Peaks In ‘Plains’ Sight

Our planet is spherical—not flat, unfortunately. And so, the laws of physics don’t agree with claims of Himalayan peaks becoming visible from cities in north India hundreds of miles away. When reports of such mountain sightings from Jalandhar in Punjab and Sitamadhi and Purnia in Bihar appeared as the air became pristine clean during the 2020 Covid lockdown, retired physics professor Vijay Singh and his teenaged apprentice Arnav Singh decided to catch the curveball headlong. They got deep. With empirical evidence, they challenged a piece of history—orientalist Sir William Jones claimed in 1785 of seeing Mt Jomolhari from Bhagalpur in Bihar, 366 km away. Henry Colebrooke, another Briton, is said to have seen the peak from Purnia, 80 km from Bhagalpur. Given the Earth’s curvature, the farthest point from which Jomolhari can be seen is 300 km. But it is possible...

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