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# New Millennium London Fireworks

Fireworks barges set off every second from Greenwich to Vauxhall up the Thames as midnight passed them to usher in the new millennium

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### New Millennium London Fireworks

1. 1. Simple Geo DIY Calculate the distance along a latitude and derive travel time & intervals
2. 2. Premise • “Saw in” the new millennium 20 years ago on the south bank of the Thames by the London Waterloo Bridge • Barges were set mid-river at regular intervals to set off as midnight passed those exact locations from Greenwich Millennium Dome to the east, to Vauxhall Bridge to the (south)west Q: how far were barges spaced to set off a second apart each, and how long did it take to fire them off from beginning to end?
3. 3. Distance • London lies at roughly 51° N lat. • Let’s simplify to a straight E-W line • reasonable from Greenwich to Windsor • though river does wind, ergo simplification • What distance does Earth rotate per second? • calculate the circumference along that latitude • divide by 24 hr. x 60 min. x 60 sec. = 86,400 sec. [picture c/o Dr. Anna Kristalli]
4. 4. 51° N lat. • Measure along parallel at that latitude • Go to Computing distances between latitude and longitude in one step • Enter 51° lat. twice, and 0° then 180° long. as at right • Read distances, and double them to get the full circumference • Divide by the number in the prev. slide • 17,398 km. / 86,400 s. = 201 m. in 1 s.
5. 5. Note on distances • Along-latitude from Greenwich Millennium Dome to Vauxhall Bridge 3.7 km. on Google Maps (right top) • Along the river that becomes 11 km. (right bottom) • The 200 m barge separation is along the latitude (straight black line at right) not the river (crooked black line) • So barges were aligned according to EW measures projected along the river
6. 6. How many barges, and how long did it take? • That distance divided by the interval between barges is the number of barges used • 3,700 m. / 200 m. = 18 barges • And at 1 sec. interval between barges launching the fireworks, that is approximately 18 sec. for the entire procession up the River Thames: • 18 barges / (1 barge / sec.) = 18 sec. • The Independent predicted in July 1999 that it would last 10.8 sec., although little other info is available on that went dubbed “River of Fireworks” headlined by none other than Bob Geldof
7. 7. ITEM INFO Latitude 51° N Longitudinal circumference 17,398 km. Per second Earth rotation 201 m. Distance as-the-crow- flies 3.7 km. Number of barges 18 Duration 18 sec. (10.8 in the press) Fireworks barges set off every second from Greenwich to Vauxhall up the Thames as midnight passed them to usher in the new millennium
8. 8. More DIY map-making here: https://blog.zolnai.ca Background Thames Path East