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Heat Reflection

  1. Apr 19, 2008 #1
    Why is it that on a hot day, you can see a cars reflection on the road. What is this called?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2008 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It is called a mirage. IIRC, it happens because the hot air next to the ground is less dense than the cooler air above, and so light gets refracted upwards.
  4. Apr 19, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Those inversion layers are also responsible for a high percentage of UFO reports. The image can turn up anywhere within reason, such as a hundred feet off of the ground.
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