Last evening the view from R2L, a restaurant high atop Two Liberty Place was clear to the horizon. The horizon was about thirty miles away and small objects could be seen at the horizon. Looking both East and West was about 60 miles, a total of about two thousand eight hundred square miles and the air was spectacularly clear all over Philadelphia despite all of the operations that were going in and around Philly on the first might of summer.
Philadelphia has lots of parks, trees and green lawns but high above Center City they are less noticeable.
Philadelphia has a massive amount of stone, concrete, macadam, and roofing materials that can be seen in great detail from R2L which is on the 37th floor of Two Liberty.
The view from a low flying airplane flying at pattern altitude, 800 feet above the airport increases the distance to the horizon to about 35 miles, that’s 35 miles in every direction, a total of almost 4,000 square miles. and to a pilot the clear air is a pleasure to look through.
Before the push to clean up the air the horizon had a reddish cloud visible over it. the air below was more than clear enough to fly through but the horizon was far more restricted by particles, car and truck exhaust and the smoke from burning coal.
All of that is gone. It’s been gone since the mid seventies when catalytic mufflers began to be used in cars and light trucks.