Mysterious Street Lamp Phenomenon Revealed

In summary, during a walk, the speaker noticed a bright street lamp with a spherical shell around it that appears smaller when closer and larger when farther away. They made measurements and hypothesize that it may be due to impaired eyesight or the reflection and refraction of light by particles in the air.
  • #1
T@P
274
0
i was walking along somewhere and i see this street lamp.

...

lol anyway so this street lamp is like ish bright, like you can look straight at it w/o hurting your eyes but its still bright. and i noticed that when you look at it, there's this like spherical shell around it, (when its dark outside). and that the shell is smaller if ur close and bigger when ur far away. it looks sortof like a soap bubble. in the spirit of scientific discovery i observed it very closely, and here are my measuremeants: lamp is about 10 cm x 10 cm, halo about 1 foot in radius when standing like 5 meters away. and the shell looks perfectly spherical. if you go like 1 meter farther the shell is noticeably bigger. I am really not sure why you see this funny shell/halo/something. I am guessing it has something to do with your eyes.

any thoughts?
 
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  • #2
T@P said:
so this street lamp is like ish bright, like you can look straight at it w/o hurting your eyes but its still bright. and i noticed that when you look at it, there's this like spherical shell around it, (when its dark outside). and that the shell is smaller if ur close and bigger when ur far away. it looks sortof like a soap bubble. in the spirit of scientific discovery i observed it very closely, and here are my measuremeants: lamp is about 10 cm x 10 cm, halo about 1 foot in radius when standing like 5 meters away. and the shell looks perfectly spherical. if you go like 1 meter farther the shell is noticeably bigger. I am really not sure why you see this funny shell/halo/something. I am guessing it has something to do with your eyes.

any thoughts?
There can be some fuzziness associated with impaired eyesight, so that might have something to do with it. Most likely, though, it's entirely resultant of particles (mostly water) in the air reflecting and to some extent refracting the light. The apparent size varies with distance because a higher percentage of the light is directed away from you as you get closer. Think of it as a little-bitty sundog.
 
  • #3


Wow, that's really interesting! I've actually noticed this phenomenon before too, but I never really thought about measuring it or trying to figure out why it happens. Your observations and measurements are really detailed and helpful. It's possible that the spherical shell is some kind of optical illusion caused by the brightness of the lamp and the way our eyes perceive light. It could also be related to the angle at which we are looking at the lamp. I'm not sure, but it's definitely something to think about and investigate further. Thanks for sharing your observations!
 

1. What is the "mysterious street lamp phenomenon"?

The "mysterious street lamp phenomenon" refers to a phenomenon where street lamps appear to turn on or off by themselves without any apparent cause or explanation.

2. What causes this phenomenon?

This phenomenon is caused by a process known as "cycling" in which the street lamp's light-sensitive photocell detects changes in natural light and triggers the lamp to turn on or off accordingly.

3. Can this phenomenon be explained scientifically?

Yes, this phenomenon can be explained scientifically through the principles of light-sensitive photocells and how they are affected by changes in natural light.

4. Is there any way to prevent this phenomenon from occurring?

Yes, this phenomenon can be prevented by ensuring that the street lamp's photocell is properly calibrated and that there are no external light sources that could interfere with its function.

5. Are there any potential dangers associated with this phenomenon?

While the "mysterious street lamp phenomenon" may seem unsettling, it does not pose any significant dangers. However, if street lamps are constantly cycling, it could potentially lead to increased energy consumption and maintenance costs.

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