Pic de Finestrelles – Pic Gaspard (Ecrins) | 443 km.

Current world record of distance landscape photography

Barre des Ecrins at 440 Km from Finestrelles peakThe silhouette of Barre des Ecrins (4102 m) in the middle left of the image, from Pic de Finestrelles (2820 m)  at 440 Km, before the sunrise.  In other pictures, more left other summits a little more far away.
By Marc Bret (Beyond Horizons team)
Camera Panasonic Lumix FZ72 @ ISO100 – 1/250
Lens zoom integrated 1200 mm – f./2.8
Date July 16th 2016
Portraying the silhouette of the Barre des Ecrins from the most distant possible summit of the Pyrenees and get a new world distance record has been for us the last most recent target. The result is counted in the image.

Want to try yourself? Don’t forget to check our reccommended cameras!

 A brief review:

Since we managed to do for the first time a picture of the Alps from the Pyrenees, we try to want to do portraits to other peaks, something more remote.

View the Ecrins in the broad daylight in mid-February thanks to exceptional weather conditions, with help also of a polarizing filter was a huge satisfaction after previous attempts, sometimes collectively as well as individually. I had already portrayed in January of 2015 the Ecrins mountains but with a very faint result.

Last July, from a more distant peak than on previous occasions (in April there was also success) and good weather forecast, it made a great success of visibility. The Barre des Ecrins relatively clearly manifested backlight of a sun in close position below the horizon.

To his left, other peaks of the Alps also were to be seen. Refractive favorable circumstances allowed to view some other peaks, even that more distant than the Barre des Ecrins. Pic Gaspard, 443 Km, is what has given us this time the brand new a new world record distance of photograph landscapes of our planet.

Some pictures and ilustrations:

The picture of the current world record, illustrated.

Currently Word Record of distant photography to landscapes ground to ground.


Map of sight illustrating the overwhelming distances of this World Record
BP1410099 bPicture with wide angle BP1410115Missing silhouettes few minuts before sunrise
BP1410155After sunrise BP1410175A friend who accompanied me

Ulrich Deuschle has a simulation of this view here:

mapecrins.jpgAll credits go to http://www.udeuschle.selfhost.pro/panoramas/makepanoramas_en.htm

You can also have a look at an interactive view of this simulation here


We are sure that other records will come soon. From the Pyrenees the options are almost finished but any attempt to increase the distance is still possible if atmospheric conditions are especially favorable refractive exceptional transparency. We’re on that. By the other hand, also, maybe next arises from another continent, from another mountain range of our planet. We think it’s really probably.

We will inform you.


25 thoughts on “Pic de Finestrelles – Pic Gaspard (Ecrins) | 443 km.

  1. It would be a fun project for a physical geographer to figure out where in the world this could be expanded even further. There are additional atmospheric effects like thermal inversions that create a “mirage” (or Fata Morgana) that could even possibly extend this beyond the normal “light bending beyond the horizon” effect.


  2. How is this possible on a globe Earth? At 443 km, the curvature of the Earth would be 15,367 meters. How can you possibly see the subject if it’s that far below the curvature of the Earth?


      1. So are you saying that if this shot is taken during midday for instance we won’t be able to see the opposite land?! I doubt!


      2. It’s a lot of more difficult during the day because It is much more improbable to see silhouettes very far away in full daylight than in backlight conditions before sunrise or after sunset, a much more transparent air is necessary but even with very clear air, the “atmospheric extinction” (technical name) it’s produced. The cause of the difficulty is the dispersion of light by the atmosphere, both due to the atmospheric molecules themselves (Raleigh scattering) and due to aerosols (Mie scattering); The dispersion in the intermediate sector between the observer and the distant mountains is so intense that it prevents the distinction of the silhouettes. It happens as if in a show, the lights are not oriented towards the stage, but towards the whole of the room.

        If there is snow, the intense reflectivity that produces compensates a little the negative effects commented above.


      3. Mark you really like giving answers just for the sake of it? Youre talking about +15km that refraction is accountable for…. Mareta asked a legit question and you answer it bluntly with a belief based reason, nothing exact nor scientific. Shes asking why does -2x-3= 6 and you explain it by “math”. What a joke. At least say the reason is a superior mirage. Then prove it because the picture clearly doesnt depict such a thing.
        Regardless of this insulting answer I’ll try to explain why you can see so far, curved or flat earth.

        Mareta, I dont think you can calculate what the drop in height at that distance is simply because we dont have any info about what height the photo has been taken from. if we accept the height as being 2820m the drop at 443km would be 5km with visible horizon at 190km. so even at this height the highest peak would still be hidden by 900m at least.
        Now Mark Bret said “atmospheric refraction” is the reason you can see the peaks. So just do the math to see what variables you need for more than 1km of mirage. Its probably even more since you dont see just the upmost part of the peak,


      4. Hello. In the image there was no superior mirage. The refraction was high but there was no inversion of temperature that made the curve of light of one part bend more than the other and produce a mirror.
        To be able to observe hundreds of meters more of mountain than what would be logical in a rectilinear vision has no mystery above all for long distances. The sun itself, for example, due to refraction, most of it is always displayed higher than what is on the horizon when sunrises or sets. If we think about the measurements of the sun …How many? Thousands of tens of thousands of kilometers of the sun are the ones that are higher than their position on the horizon, much more than a few meters from the Alps.. It’s a matter of angular degrees, not vertical kilometers.


  3. La terre e plat, the earth is flat, a terra e plana… 🍐💫🌎 how can we see a mountain of 9500 feet when it should be hidden under 50000 feet of curve on a 25000 mile ball?


    1. I can’t believe I’m actually responding but anyway. I drew a 6371km (too bad using metric) radius circle (approximation of the Earth) in a CAD program. Then I put a point at either end, 440km apart. Next I went up 2.82km from the curved surface on the left end and 4.1km up on the right. Drawing a line between the two peaks does indeed cut through the surface (0.34km deep), appearing to show that one peak should not be visible from the other.

      HOWEVER, a line of sight through the atmosphere is not straight! Refraction makes it curved and the apparent difference in height = 1.1 * 10^-8 * d^2. At 440km, this means the terrain appears 2.13km higher than it is. Therefore, I went up 2.13km above the peak on the right and the LOS now passes 0.72km ABOVE the surface, meaning it IS visible. This method is not 100% accurate because the actual LOS is curved. Actually, because the LOS curves downwards (from the vantage point on the left), more than the top 1450m of the mountain (on my diagram) would be visible.


      1. Earth is flat. Refraction is always constant.
        Such an experiment does not exist:
        – Experiment with 0% refraction: object not visible geometrically and not in the field of view
        – Experiment with> 0% Refraction: Object not visible geometrically, but in the field of view

        And here an other unbelievable picture. You can see Feldberg in 402 km in direction 252°:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wonderful picture of Alps Engel Benjamin! and good definition. We would like to make an article about this photo if we can conctact with the autor.
        But I don’t get to see the detail that you refer at 402 kms. With simulator it seems that the most distant silhouette can not more of 293 Kms, even with high refraction..


      3. Beautiful Picture! On a planet we are not able to see this Mountains, according http://earthcurvature.com/ the mountains should be with a distance 446 km, 15 km lower behind the curve…..research it 🙂 Im wondering if we can brake this record 🙂


      4. Some information for the Feldberg-picture:

        The horizontal shows that the four peaks must be farther away than the 266 km and 3016 m high Sulzkogel in the picture:

        The summit on 252° looks very enlarged like the Feldberg:

        And here the height profile from recording location to Feldberg:

        (There is nothing else)

        So I think:
        on about 252°: Seebuck and Feldberg;
        on about 251°: Spießhorn, Herzogenhorn, Grafenmatt;
        on about 250°: Ober Habsberg, Botzberg, Schnepfhalde;
        on about 249°: Staufenkopf

        But maybe you have/get some more detailed information.


      5. Hello Ben Trier. Interessant your suggest with these details. Anyway I’ve seen simulations and for to see Feldberg it would be necessary a super big refraction value (in concret 7’4 decimals more in relation to standar value of simulator of Ulrich) that it seems are not present for the rest of silhouettes of panorama, moreover in case of that big refraction we hope that we could see superior mirages in the scene and there aren’t presents in the picture. Anyway this arguments this if we consider that refraction (with the curved Earth) is necessary, of course. If we think that the Earth is flat, then obviously there are more possibilities for it, but also in that case I think we should see other silhouettes also more distant in the other sectors of the azimuths ..that are not presents. It’s difficult to know if that the silhouetts may be smokes (like a electric power station at left) or silhouetts of closer moutains. Problem is the mist in low levels for compare with other forms. For me is difficult to believe that are very far like Feldberg, although I don’t totally rule out the possibility. Thanks.


    1. Hello Elias. Yes but it was wrong it. Here is a letter that I sent in response to Roberto, who defended a whole series of previous things, in a forum. It’s in spanish: https://beyondhorizons.eu/2016/08/03/pic-de-finestrelles-pic-gaspard-ecrins-443-km/hola-roberto/ You can ckick in the tittle for to open the PDF.

      In short, he confused the Pico Mercedario, with another mountain closer. This can be seen unmistakably in the panoramic simulations generated from the point from which he made the photographs.


  4. What happened to this? How could it be possible to see 443km away when the horizon would block it? is it light making a mirage? Why isn’t this used as a main citation for flat earthers in their arguments? How come no one has debunked this? How do they know that’s the right mountain?
    These seem like stupid questions but I haven’t heard them addressed under this “world record”
    Where can I find this record besides on this website? Guiness book?
    Am I restarted to be asking these questions? I feel all of them should be answered by way of accreditations already displayed on this site, maybe a picture of ya’ll with a plaque?


    1. Hello Gumbo. Atmospheric refraction allows in a curved earth, reliefs beyond the horizon can be seen above. I think it has no mystery and is something we do not usually explain because we give it as obvious. In any case there are several entries on the web in which we explain some examples with diagrams. Anyway thanks for your interest and opinion.


  5. Très belle visibilité, de distance bien supérieure au Mont Blanc vu du Puy de Dôme (302km) ou du Plomb du Cantal (332km)


  6. Well, I want to say, thank you for sharing this picture, second, I want to say that I am very impressed that you climbed a mountain, reached so high and were able to take such beautiful pictures. I currently believe the earth is flat, however, a commenter said that these pictures were due to refraction. I want to read and learn as much about refraction as I can, and your pictures and argument for refraction means more to me than anything I have seen in the “media’ or whatever space agency has shown to us.

    Thank you again and I hope mountain climbing like this makes you happy! And perhaps I will look in to doing a similar hobby myself!


    1. Taking away nothing from the person who shot this nice image, reading about the so called “…refraction ” is the same as seeking “science” from NASA. The more you consume their info the more you are isolated from reality. Arguably, atmospheric refraction was invented to hide the flat earth fact


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