Is the Great Wall of China Visible from Space

It’s a quiz-master’s favourite: which is the only manmade object visible from orbit/space/the moon? To which we all know the answer: the Great Wall of China. That makes sense too, because it’s huge, right?


The dull reality is that whether the Great Wall of China is visible or not depends on the distance you’re viewing from, the atmospheric conditions, whether you’re viewing with the naked eye and, of course, if you’re orbiting the right part of the world at the time!

Wall of ChinaIt’s actually only visible with the naked eye in clear daylight, from a maximum low Earth orbit of around 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles). And as the wall is crumbling in parts and is a similar colour to the land, it’s quite hard to pick out.

It’s certainly not visible with the naked eye from the moon, as confirmed by Neil Armstrong, who could see continents and lakes during his 1969 lunar walk but no manmade structures.

The great wall of China

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