When you’re flying in an airplane, why does it seem like it’s moving so slow

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When you’re flying in an airplane, why does it seem like it’s moving so slow

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The problem is that you don’t really have any visual references to judge speed based on. At cruise your a few miles above ground, so it’s really hard to judge distance because you see so much of the ground at once and can’t really tell exactly what’s immediately under you at any given time

It’s called parallax. You’ve seen this before as a passenger on ground transports too. You’re going 70+ miles per hour and the world near you zooms by, but those mountains or that radio tower in the distance just crawl on by. Now imagine you’re not just a few miles away from the mountains but the entire surface of the earth with nothing really nearby to zoom past. All you have are the slowly crawling landscapes beneath you. It makes it seem like you’re not moving very fast. But if you were to see a plane passing within a few hundred feet of you going the opposite direction, you’d notice you’re going blazingly fast.

The same reason that while driving on the highway mountains in the distance don’t look like they’re moving fast but you’re still moving at highway speeds.

They’re far away.

Commercial aircraft can fly at 40,000 feet. The ground is about 7 1/2 miles away.