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I can't see reflected sunlight beams when I cover the sunspot with my hand

 
 
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 02:25 pm
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I'm 37 years old and I am hoping for some technical answers to this question: I'm standing 20ft away from my car on a sunny day. The sun reflects off the car window, making a bright spot ("sunspot") on the window, with light beams (or rays) shooting off to the sides. If I cover the "sunspot" with my thumb, THE RAYS DISAPPEAR!
Why?
End of question
Remember, I am not touching the car. I am 20ft+ away from the car.
This happens with or without sunglasses.
My ideas:
At night, the house is dark. I turn on a light bulb. The room is lit up. I stand 20ft away from the bulb, and cover the bulb with my hand. The room does not go dark. However, with the "sunspot" on the car, the rays disappear. These situations seem to contradict each other.
I figure that the "car sunspot rays" are a distortion of the human eye, or brain. So, I would try to find a "light sensor" that does not have this distortion. I hypothesize that this "light sensor" would show that the "car sunspot rays" are not actually there.
What do you think?
Your advice, books, pdfs, ect are very appreciated.
I'll try to not go blind looking at the sun. (joke)
Have a nice day.

 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 03:19 pm
@mtforeal,
I offer no help, but that's a darn interesting observation. I'll see if I can duplicate it.
0 Replies
 
mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 07:51 pm
@mtforeal,
Hi Roger,
Yeah, "interesting observation"
Thanks for your interest. I wonder what the x,y,z locations are of those "car sunspot rays" .
It would be neat to make a 3d model of it. Spin it.
Fun stuff.
mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 09:16 pm
@mtforeal,
I am not getting much luck on google. My dad and friends think nothing, or it's and illusion. Here are my searches/urls/keywords so far:

sun glare
https://www.google.com/#q=sun+glare

what are sharp thin fingers of light called from sun glare

what is it called when light beam hits glass and scatters creating rays and various angles

http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Light-and-Sight/Science-Ideas-and-Concepts/Reflection-of-light

http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_books/7cp/ch07/ch07.html

what are shiny sharp light beams called sunlight reflection beams
off mirrors are an illusion of the human eye

shiny fingers of light glare

light beams

blinding shiny fingers of light glare off car windows

what do you call blinding shiny fingers of light that glare off car windows

the physics of sun glare while driving

english for blinding sunlight beams that glare off car windows

Crepuscular rays

https://www.google.com/#q=what+are+shiny+sharp+light+beams+called

Specular Reflection
Bozeman Science

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cFvJkc4pQk

Maybe I need to set up my own experiment with the sun, mirrors, ect...
Because no one in the whole world has ever done that before, or even noticed this phenomenon. Please tell me I'm wrong, and all my google searches are just bad luck. It's like no one speaks my language. I can't even figure out a proper scientific term to call this in english (online):

english for blinding sunlight beams that glare off car windows

I mean, what do scientists call it? What book do I need to read? And first I need to sift through all the info that I am not currently focusing on. What a mess.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still happy. But this is SLOW. Slow is good. Chop the problem in to smaller simpler parts, and eventually answer the question never. OK. I think I will go make some techno and take some more medicine.
Anyway, I have 50,000+ unanswerable questions, so, what makes this one so special? Ha ha. There is no answers...(psycho government techno)
cheers.


mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 09:22 pm
@mtforeal,
maybe it is an illusion:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astigmatism
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 09:32 pm
@mtforeal,
If it's a quirk of the human eye/mind, you wouldn't be able to photograph it, would you? Maybe give that a try.
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Jul, 2016 11:57 pm
@roger,
That's a good idea. Set up a camera and see if you can photograph the sunrays. Then block them with a piece of cardboard taped to the car window and take another picture...?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 05:35 am
@mtforeal,
I found this

http://resources.mpi-inf.mpg.de/lensflareRendering/pdf/flare.pdf

I don't have the time to read through the physics just yet.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 05:39 am
@maxdancona,
I am also thinking that the glass in a car window is polarized... which might have something to do with it. I haven't had the chance to experiment to see if I can reproduce it with my car.

Can you answer a couple of questions... how many "fingers" do you see when you aren't blocking the reflections.

Do you wear glasses/contacts normally?
Is the reflection you see off the front windshield or the side window? Does it matter?
Does whether or not you are wearing glasses/contacts matter to seeing the beams?

I am curious.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 07:47 am
@maxdancona,
I tested it this morning. I see exactly what you are talking about. I can get it to happen with the sun off the metal of the car.

My hypothesis is that the effect happens in your eye.
0 Replies
 
mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 02:10 pm
@maxdancona,
"how many "fingers" do you see when you aren't blocking the reflections"
about 10 fingers. (1ft long)
and about 50 short fingers (<5 inches long)

"Do you wear glasses/contacts normally?"
no.

"Is the reflection you see off the front windshield or the side window?"
Rear window.

"Does it matter?"
No. Similar thing happens with a portable mirror.

"Does whether or not you are wearing glasses/contacts matter to seeing the beams?"
No.
With sunglasses, No. (polarized or non polarized)
I can't see far very well. I have prescription glasses for that, but I never wear them. (They are not necessary).
These glasses make no difference with the "fingers".
I consider my vision to be good. Especially up close. I can read the tiny writing on electronics like Op-amps and capacitors without glasses. Many other old people can't.

"I am curious."
Yep, me too.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 03:08 pm
@mtforeal,
I experimented with my own eyes, and I have convinced myself (with similar experiments that you have done) that the effect is inside the eye. Since the "beams" disappear as soon as you cover the reflection, there is no scientific explanation I can think of other than what happens in the eye.

In photography the term is "lens flare". You can read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_flare. I believe it involves the interaction of the light with the lens of your eye. I can get it to happen with reflections off of the metal of the car (not just the windshield).

I am curious if everyone sees the same thing, or if this is something about some eyes that doesn't apply to others.. I have never thought about it before.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 03:39 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I experimented with my own eyes, and I have convinced myself (with similar experiments that you have done) that the effect is inside the eye. Since the "beams" disappear as soon as you cover the reflection, there is no scientific explanation I can think of other than what happens in the eye.

Me likewise.

This article might have some bearing

Quote:
When we look at a bright light, the image we see is created from light that gets transmitted directly, plus a lot of extra light that bounces around in the eye. The end result is a point spread function that is quite broad. We don’t notice this broadness unless the light source is very bright, where indirect illumination can wash out surrounding parts of the visual image.


http://simonwinder.com/projects/simulation-of-lens-flare-in-the-human-eye/

mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jul, 2016 09:11 pm
@contrex,
Thanks for your help.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Wed 13 Jul, 2016 09:37 am
@mtforeal,
I just tried this a few minutes ago. I find that if I open my eyes really wide (to get my eyelashes out of the way), that the "rays" vanish. So I think what you are seeing is a diffraction effect of bright light passing through your eyelashes.

Give it a try. Smile
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jul, 2016 11:58 am
@rosborne979,
I am going to try that. It was only yesterday that I confirmed the effect did occur in the eye; not the sunbeam.
mtforeal
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jul, 2016 02:35 pm
@roger,
Here are some pictures using the lens flare as a visual effect:
http://creationeffects.com/creation-lens-flares.html

So there are lots of different types of lens flare:
"Lens flare can show up as yellow-orange streaks, geometrically shaped spots, or an overall haze which reduces contrast and saturation and masks subject detail. Lens flare, also called veiling glare, is caused by light reflecting inside the lens, either from lens surfaces or from internal components in the lens."
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Jul, 2016 02:37 pm
@mtforeal,
chemtrails?
Chaiyah? Is that you?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Jul, 2016 02:52 pm
@Ragman,
That's worth a smile. I haven't heard from, or of Chaiyah in a decade.
0 Replies
 
 

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