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Why do stars twinkle?

The light from stars travels towards an observer on the earth, it has to pass through the earth's atmosphere which consists of many layers of air at different temperatures. Moreover, the air layers are also in constant and turbulent motion. Hence the light rays from the distant stars passing through the atmosphere gets distorted and from the observer's point of view the stars appear to flicker. Seen with the naked eye they seem to twinkle, while through a telescope they appear blurred. The effect is same as when the air above a hot road surface in summer seems to shimmer (vibrating).

When stars are observed from space or moon when there is no atmosphere, they do not twinkle from where we cannot recite the poem.

''Twinkle, Twinkle Little star
How I wonder what you are !''

Laxmi... Emani
Published date : 14 Nov 2012 04:36PM

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