March - cumulus You are here: Home Photo gallery Atmospheric optics Atmospheric refraction Distortion of sun & moon


If the sun (or moon) is low above the horizon, the optical path of the light through the atmosphere is very long, and the atmosphere usually has a layered structure: different temperature gradients and pressure. Refraction of the light by these layers can cause the sun's disk to be deformed, flattened or distorted. Inferior and superior mirages are responsible for the distortions.

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