Stephan is standing on the ground by a mesa in the Painted Desert. Stephan is 1.8 meters tall and sights the top of the mesa at 29 degrees. Stephan steps back 100 meters and sights the top at 25 degrees. How tall is the mesa?


I have looked it up online but... I don't really understand how they go their equation to start off from this problem... Please help me...

 Apr 16, 2019

Let the height of the Mesa =x

Let the distance to the base of the Mesa = y


x / y = tan(29),,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,(1)

x / (y+100) = tan(25)........(2)

Now, can you solve the above 2 simultaneous equations? Try it.

 Apr 16, 2019

Solving these equations gives us: x=y*tan(29), and x=(y+100)(tan25).


Use a unit circle to find the appropriate values. y should be approximately 529.9. Then, solve for x by plugging the value of y back in.

azsun  Apr 16, 2019

tan 29 = o/x      o= opposite the height of the mesa (less stephan's 1.8 ht)

tan 25 = o/(100+x)      solve both of these equations for 'o' and set them equal to each other


(100+x) tan 25 = x tan 29    solve for    x = 529.87 m from the mesa

so now we know

tan 29 = o/529.87       o = 293.71....

   add Stephan's height     1.8 + 293.71 m = 295.51 m = height of mesa





BUT.....    don't forget to add the 1.8m height of Stephan once you find your answer !!

ElectricPavlov  Apr 16, 2019

You must start the problem by drawing the diagram.

Have you done that?


Take a photo of it using you phone and upload it to the forum if you can. 

We can see if you have drawn it correctly.,

 Apr 16, 2019

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