Two suns appear on camera in China: Mystery or mirage?
In China, weeks after a bogus story circulated the Web about the appearance of a second sun following the explosion of a nearby star, two suns have been caught on camera.
They appear in the video indicated below, one slightly higher than the other. There are two different colors; one of the suns is fuzzy orange while the other is an almost neon yellow.
“The double sun image is an effect of optical refraction, but it’s a pretty darn rare one, and one not fully explained by science… I doubt it’s been computer modeled. There must have been some blob of atmosphere somewhere that caused this truly spectacular phenomenon, which in a sense is a mirage,” said Jim Kaler, University of Illinois astronomer.
Mirages are the result of a refraction (bending) of light particles in the atmosphere. Due to the fact that air is often denser near the horizon, more often they appear there.
If these two suns are merely strange objects in the sky or a mirage, they are unlike other of their ilk as usually mirages are aligned vertically above or below the original source of light and not beside the light as these two images appear to be.
The famous Flemish astronomer, Marcel Minnaert, published a book recording previous sightings of horizontally affixed double images called Light and Color in the Outdoors. Published in 1993, this book remains the most accurate reference on the appearance of double suns.
Many atmospheric optical effects such as sun dogs, sunset mirages, sun pillars and sun halos, can be explained away by science, but not this one.
Not this one.
Check out this amazing video below. Although it is not in English, the visual is astounding and trumps language.
By MDeeDubroff on 10-03-2011
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