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Visibility of Lights, Continued - 14220_107
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How to Compute the Visibility of a Light - 14220_109
Visibility of Lights, Continued Terms The  following  is  a  list  of  terms  associated  with  light  visibility computations: Horizon  distance  -  This  is  the  distance  expressed  in  nautical  miles  from the  position  above  the  surface  of  Earth  along  a  line  of  sight  to  the horizon;  the  line  along  which  Earth  and  sky  appear  to  meet.  The  higher the  position,  the  farther  the  horizon  distance  will  be.  Figure  4-3  shows the  relationship  of  height  of  eye  to  horizon  distance. Meteorological  visibility  -  Meteorological  visibility  results  primarily from  the  amount  of  particulate  matter  and  water  vapor  present  in  the atmosphere  at  the  location  of  an  observer.  It  denotes  the  range  at  which the  unaided  human  eye  can  see  an  unlighted  object  by  day  in  a  given  set of  meteorological  conditions. Luminous  range  -  Luminous  range  is  the  maximum  distance  at  which  a light  may  be  seen  under  the  existing  meteorological  visibility  conditions. Luminous  range  does  not  take  into  account  the  height  of  the  light,  the observer’s  height  of  eye,  or  the  curvature  of  Earth.  It  depends  only  on the  intensity  of  the  light  itself. Nominal  range  -  Nominal  range  is  the  maximum  distance  a  light  can  be seen  in  clear  weather  (meteorological  visibility  of  10  nautical  miles). Nominal  range  is  similar  to  luminous  range  in  that  it  does  not  take  into account  elevation,  height  of  eye,  or  curvature  of  Earth,  but  it  depends  on the  intensity  of  the  light.  Nominal  range  is  listed  in  column  6  of  the Light  List  for  all  lighted  aids  to  navigation  except  range  lights, directional  lights,  and  private  aids  to  navigation. Geographic  range  -  Geographic  range  is  the  maximum  distance  at which  a  light  may  be  seen  in  perfect  visibility  by  an  observer  whose  eye is at sea level. Computed  range  -  Computed  range  is  the  geographic  range  plus  the observer’s  distance  to  the  horizon  based  on  the  observer’s  height  of  eye. Computed  visibility  -  Computed  visibility  is  the  visibility  determined for  a  light  using  the  light’s  height,  nominal  range,  and  height  of  eye  of the observer. 4-10

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