Have you heard of the mirage effect on the sea?

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In summary, there is a phenomenon known as mirage, which is caused by refraction of light in the atmosphere. This can allow for the sight of a city across a sea, even though it would normally be blocked by Earth's curvature. Temperature gradients can increase the effect, allowing for even further visibility. Additionally, the timing of the sun's set can also contribute to this phenomenon.
  • #1
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
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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It might be of interest that the sun is already geometrically set, just about the time when it appears to start to set.
 
  • #4
The word for what the otters described is mirage. Read more here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirage

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What is "Bent light across the sea"?

"Bent light across the sea" is a phenomenon that occurs when light passing through a medium with varying densities is refracted or bent, causing the light rays to appear curved when viewed from a distance.

How does bent light across the sea occur?

When light travels from one medium to another, such as from air to water, it changes speed and direction due to the difference in density. This change in direction is known as refraction and causes the light to appear bent when viewed from a distance.

What causes the varying densities in the medium?

The varying densities in the medium can be caused by factors such as differences in temperature or salinity. For example, warm water is less dense than cold water, causing light to bend as it passes through.

Where can I see bent light across the sea?

Bent light across the sea can be observed in any location where there is a change in density between two mediums, such as a beach or a pier overlooking the ocean. It can also be seen in lakes or rivers where there are temperature or salinity differences.

Is bent light across the sea a common occurrence?

Yes, bent light across the sea is a common occurrence and can be seen in various locations around the world. However, the intensity and visibility of the bent light can vary depending on the conditions of the medium and the angle at which it is being viewed.

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