# Thread: Measring distance of a point on earth surface to...

1. ...a distant star.

Basically I would like to be able to calculate the distance between a point on the earth's surface to any other given point in the near universe - say proxima centauri or Proxima AB - as accurately as possible. This is for an art project and what I want to acheive is a number that changes in real time as the earth moves through space.

I want to show the difference in distance as the point on the earth's surface rotates around the earths center which in turn rotates around the sun. How do I work that out?

Actually it would be neater if the distant object was in the plane of the earths orbit to maximise the effect of the orbit. So question 2 is what is the nearest star in that plane?

2.

3. the answer to your second question may be alpha centauri. Your 1st question is a series of questions which are as formidable as they are interesting. Good luck. Sir. ('Art project', is it, then?)

4. Originally Posted by gruff
...a distant star.

Basically I would like to be able to calculate the distance between a point on the earth's surface to any other given point in the near universe - say proxima centauri or Proxima AB - as accurately as possible. This is for an art project and what I want to acheive is a number that changes in real time as the earth moves through space.

I want to show the difference in distance as the point on the earth's surface rotates around the earths center which in turn rotates around the sun. How do I work that out?

Actually it would be neater if the distant object was in the plane of the earths orbit to maximise the effect of the orbit. So question 2 is what is the nearest star in that plane?
You aren't going to do it! The most accurate current method we have for measuring the distance to the stars is parallax and that only gives a rather crude estimation hence 4.2 light years(or what ever it is) to centauri is always given, never 4.28689597096956609758790 blardy blarrdy blar. The sun is only about 7ish light MINUTES from the earth, you are never going to get a measurment within a tolerance of a few light minutes, no way!

5. Originally Posted by gruff
...a distant star.

Basically I would like to be able to calculate the distance between a point on the earth's surface to any other given point in the near universe - say proxima centauri or Proxima AB - as accurately as possible.

I want to show the difference in distance as the point on the earth's surface rotates around the earths center which in turn rotates around the sun. How do I work that out?
You could get part of what you want by triangulation. Measure the angle of the star from the ground, and then measure the angle 6 months later. Compensate for the earth's tilt. If you studied geometry, you have angle side angle. You can calculate the entire triangle, which will approximate both distances.

You did say that you were looking for as accurate as you can. This is not extremely accurate, but it is somewhat accurate.

You cannot, I believe, do anything with the earth's rotation, as it shifts too quickly.

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