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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mysterious Island

A U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler conducts electronic air defense over Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson / AFCENT
Afghanistan? That doesn't look anything like the Afghanistan I know and love. An inquiry provided an answer.

Qarnayn Island

Qarnayn Island in the Persian Gulf, near the UAE. It's a small island, about a mile and half long and half a mile wide, so you have to zoom way in to see it. An oil company has a private airport there.

Blue Roofed Compound
 There are a few buildings adjacent to the airstrip, and then there is this fancy looking, blue roofed compound at the north end of the island. I suppose that's where the mad scientist performs his dangerous experiments.

Now I'm wondering if it is possible to gauge the size of the island just from the photograph. Pretend we don't know how big the island really is. If we assume the plane is in level flight, we should be able to get a pretty good idea of the angle of elevation. And since there is a limit to how high the plane can fly, we should be able to put some bounds on this island's size. It's certainly not 1,000 miles long, and probably not 100, but could it be 10 or 20? How about in the other direction? How small could it be? Could it be a mere 100 yards long? We could assume that the square harbor is artificial and built to accommodate good size barges if not actual ships, so the island is probably  several hundred yards long at least. Maybe one of you will have an idea. Stu, I'm looking at you.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

In both photos you can see an airstrip.
The aspect ratio (length/breadth) of the airstrip indicate it is 800-1200 yards long. Scale everything else from there.