Bent light across the sea

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,495
1,232
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.
 
  • #3
Charles Link
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
4,539
1,934
It might be of interest that the sun is already geometrically set, just about the time when it appears to start to set.
 

Related Threads on Bent light across the sea

Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
738
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
991
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
11K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
Top