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Trigonometry Angle of elevation: Which expression represents the eagle's height above the ground? (answer involves tan)


New member
Jul 30, 2019
We know the answer, but don't know how it makes sense given trigonometric principles.

Eagles height prob.jpg

Borrowed from HiSet free practice test


Well-known member
Aug 6, 2015
Hint: Tan = height/base


Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Jan 29, 2012
As monoxdifly said, "tangent" is "opposite side over near side". Looking at the right triangle in tne picture, the "opposite side" to the 20 degree angle has length "x" and the "near side" has length 25 feet. tan(20)= x/25 so x= 25 tan(20). But x is the height of the eagle above the person's eye level, not the height of the eagle above the ground. We have to add the 5 feet from the ground 5o the person's eye level.