Physics

Explain the process of twinkling of stars ? 


SOLUTION
The phenomenon that causes stars to twinkle is atmospheric refraction. That is, the air above us is a big ocean of not very dense fluid that has a small bending effect on light that passes through it. If it were perfectly still, the light from a star would follow a path that stays put, and the star's image would appear stable.
But the atmosphere is always moving; winds in every level of it cause slight density differences to move around, and different densities bend light by different amounts. And so the light rays from a star zig and zag as they head toward your eyes. That makes them appear to twinkle. The reason this happens for stars and not planets or other larger, "extended" objects, though, is that a star's apparent (angular) size is so very, very tiny. It is what is called in optics, a "point source."
When there's a little bit more of an apparent disk (these are measured in angle, and we're talking in the arc-second range and smaller), then it takes a lot more bending of the incoming light for the rays coming from all the parts of that disk to get bent away from your direction so that the (extended) object would appear to "blink" momentarily, and so, appear to twinkle. And it doesn't take much of an apparent disk to prevent twinkling.
But it also depends on what's happening in the air above you at any particular time, too. On some clear nights, there will be a lot of roiling in the atmosphere, and stars will twinkle more. Other clear nights, when the upper air is calm, twinkling will all but stop.
The whole effect is sometimes likened to what you see on the bottom of a swimming pool in bright sunlight. If the surface of the water is pretty wavy, there will be a lot of moving light and dark patterns on that pool floor. If nobody's been in the water for a while, and there's no wind, the surface gets smooth, and the moving patterns disappear.
View Answers

You're just one step away

Create your Digital Resume For FREE on your name's sub domain "yourname.wcard.io". Register Here!


Subjective Medium Published on 18th 08, 2020
Next Question
Questions 244531
Subjects 8
Chapters 125
Enrolled Students 197
Enroll Now For FREE

Realted Questions

Q1 Single Correct Medium
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is situated in which city? 
  • A. Chennai
  • B. Delhi
  • C. Kolkata
  • D. Mumbai

Asked in: Physics - Physical World


1 Verified Answer | Published on 18th 08, 2020

View Answer
Q2 Subjective Medium
Search and you will find.
There are about _______ stars in our galaxy.

Asked in: Physics - Physical World


1 Verified Answer | Published on 18th 08, 2020

View Answer
Q3 Subjective Medium
No physicist has ever "seen" an electron. Yet, all physicists believe in the existence of electrons. An intelligent but superstitious man advances this analogy to argue that 'ghosts' exist even though no one has 'seen' one. How will you refute his argument ?

Asked in: Physics - Physical World


1 Verified Answer | Published on 18th 08, 2020

View Answer
Q4 Subjective Medium
Which scientist firstly knew about planet?

Asked in: Physics - Physical World


1 Verified Answer | Published on 18th 08, 2020

View Answer
Q5 TRUE/FALSE Medium
State whether given statement is True or False.
Aryabhata is the first Indian satellite.
  • A. True
  • B. False

Asked in: Physics - Physical World


1 Verified Answer | Published on 18th 08, 2020

View Answer