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Atmospheric Optical Illusion

 
 
RoDaSm
 
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 03:07 am
What is the word for the viual illusion of an object shimmering that is caused by hot air? It's normally seen close to the ground on hot days?
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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 1,112 • Replies: 11

 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 04:54 am
@RoDaSm,
its a type of mirage called a Fata Morgana when it contains an objct that seems to float in water at a horizon
RoDaSm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 05:14 am
@farmerman,
No, it isn't. A fata morgana is a kind of mirage. I asking about a shimmering effect caused by hot air where you are looking at an image that appears to be wobbling, but it isn't. It's also similar to the effect you sometimes see when hot air is blowing from a vent, creating a visual distortion of movement.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 05:51 am
@RoDaSm,
refraction
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 06:33 am
@RoDaSm,
What do you call a person who lacks manners?
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 07:03 am
@Lordyaswas,
RoDaSm?
0 Replies
 
RoDaSm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 07:11 am
@Ragman,
Unfortunately refraction is not the word I am looking for. If you can imagine lying on a field on a hot day, you would see this effect, and there is a specific word for it. It is the shimmering effect that separates it from refraction. It seems incredible to me that that this word seems to have completely vanished without trace as I have researched all kinds of avenues to try and find it, and I didn't know that words could do that.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 09:35 am
@RoDaSm,
Varying convection currents over hot surfaces cause variation in the refractive index of the air, hence the shimmering of objects viewed through such convection. I know of no special term for this other than optical distortion. Light rays from a nebulous object such as the sky can undergo sufficient refraction by those currents to give the mirage of "water on the ground" at some distance from an observer.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 09:54 am
@RoDaSm,
It's sometimes called heat haze.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heat%20haze
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RoDaSm
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:35 am
@farmerman,
Hi, Farmerman,

My apologies. I think my reply was a bit rude. Thank you for taking the trouble to answer.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:42 am
I've heard the term "heat shimmer" which sounds good.
Also it can be a very simple "mirage"
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 06:48 pm
@RoDaSm,
RoDaSm wrote:

What is the word for the viual illusion of an object shimmering that is caused by hot air? It's normally seen close to the ground on hot days?
Are you thinking of the word "chimera"?
0 Replies
 
 

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