Bent light across the sea

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I remember reading about how a city could be seen across a sea at certain times. But normally would not be seen because of earth's curvature. At certain times however, it could be seen because of light bending. I can't remember what the cause was though.

Anyone know about this and what caused it?
 

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  • #2
Janus
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There is always some refraction due to the atmosphere that causes light to bend in its path and allows you to see a bit beyond the physical horizon. This effect can be increased when there is a temperature gradient in the air, such as when warm air is sitting over a cool body of water. In these cases the distance you can see past the horizon becomes further than it would under normal conditions.
 
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Charles Link
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It might be of interest that the sun is already geometrically set, just about the time when it appears to start to set.
 
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anorlunda
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The word for what the otters described is mirage. Read more here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirage

2946-mirage15-jpg.jpg
 

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