Spherical geometry and great circles

Geometric formulae, word problems, theorems and proofs, etc.
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Spherical geometry and great circles

Postby kjwhitcomb » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:59 pm

I'm trying to find the point along a path at which I can see a given location at a fixed angle relative to my bearing. For example:
Imagine I'm flying in a plane from point A to point B and want to take a picture of something but my camera only looks straight out to the side. I can calculate the great circle between A and B, and if I calculate the bearing from the vector describing the great circle to the target and travel 90 degrees, I believe that would get the point I'm looking for, intersecting the great circle perpendicular to it.

But what if I can't look straight out the side? What if my "camera" is looking out at 80 degrees instead of 90 degrees relative to the direction of travel? If I choose a point on the great circle containing A and B I can find the bearing to B and the bearing to the target and just subtract. But is there a way to do it without iterating through points on the circle? I need a vector geometry wiz to make my Euclidean approximation more accurate.

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