Measuring a mountain: new Mount Qomolangma height explained in 100 seconds

Source: Xinhua| 2020-12-09 16:42:45|Editor: huaxia

China and Nepal announced on Tuesday that the new height of Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak, is 8,848.86 meters. The height of Mount Qomolangma is the distance from the peak to the geoid, a model of global mean sea level that is used to measure precise surface elevations. However, the geoid cannot be measured directly. Scientists had to perform comprehensive calculations of gravity, leveling, terrain and satellite positioning data in the region. A Chinese survey team reached the summit of Mount Qomolangma on May 27 and remeasured the peak height. The team members remained at the summit for two and a half hours, a new record for Chinese climbers. Surveyors at six intersection points at the mountain's base measured the oblique distance and vertical angle from each of the points to the peak, before calculating an initial height. Meanwhile the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver on the peak received data mainly from the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). The data was later processed to obtain a peak position and geodetic height.