Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Emma:

A is 6km due north of turbine B
C is 4.5km due west of turbine B
Calculate the distance AC

Then calculate the bearing of C from A
Give your answer correct to the nearest degree

Hi Emma,

I drew a diagram and marked north and west.


The triangle $ABC$ is a right triangle so Pythagoras Theorem will give you the distance from $A$ to $C.$

In my second diagram I drew a line segment from $C$ pointing north. The bearing of $C$ to $A$ is the measure of the angle from north to $CA,$ measured clockwise from north. What trig function will help you determine the measure of this angle?

diagram 2



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