Why do sunbeams appear to spread out?

25 October 2011


Distance of sun from Earth.

I was out, walking my dog this morning, just as the sun came up. There was a thin cloud cover, but the sun's rays were coming through. I noticed that the light rays came in a fanned pattern. If I trace the rays back to a point of origination, I determine that the sun is maybe a mile up in the sky.

Either they've been lying to us all these years as to how far away the sun is, or something else is going on here.

Why are the light rays fanned out? Shouldn't they be more parallel if the sun is 93,000,000 miles away?

Ken Silva
Phoenix, AZ

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