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Distorted Solar Disk by Smokestack Exhausts


The Hungarian observers Attila Kovács and György Répás witnessed an unusual kind of refraction. The temperatures in the exhausts of smokestacks differ widely within a small space, which causes very bizarre distortions of the sun.

Attila reports that such strangely distorted solar disks can be seen almost every day in the exhausts of smokestacks. So it is worth while trying it by yourself to get a live impressions of physics.

   Attila Kovács at the hospital of Eger, November 11, 2014:
   György Répás, smokestack in Budapest, March 29, 2014:

Light refraction in a sunshine recorder

Only at very rare occasions, light refraction can be seen as impressive as in this example. The photo was taken by Hermann Scheer at the Meteorological Observatory on Mt. Hoher Sonnblick (3105m) in the Hohe Tauern mountains in Austria. A layer of ice and rime had formed on the glass sphere of the Campbell Stokes sunshine recorder. This layer split the sunlight up into its spectral colours. That is how impressive physics can be.