Why do stars twinkle?

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Offline Exodus

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Why do stars twinkle?
« on: 06/09/2003 12:15:43 »
Anyone know why stars appear to twinkle?

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Offline bezoar

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Re: Why do stars twinkle?
« Reply #1 on: 06/09/2003 19:24:51 »
Because the turbulence in the earth's atmosphere scatters the light and makes it appear to twinkle.

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Offline tweener

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Re: Why do stars twinkle?
« Reply #2 on: 06/01/2004 22:03:59 »
Bezoar gets the prize!  She is the only one with the right answer so far!

The main advantage the Hubble space telescope has over ground based scopes that are much larger is that there is no atmosphere in the way.  Space is so empty that light can literally travel billions of years (light-years in length) without finding any obstructions.


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Offline Gneiss

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Re: Why do stars twinkle?
« Reply #3 on: 10/02/2004 23:01:32 »
Stars 'twinkle,' in the traditional sense of the word ie. Rapidly flicker and change colour, due to turbulence in the Earths atmosphere.

This can easily be demonstrated by going outside on a clear night and observing the stars. It will soon become evident that the stars highest in the sky 'twinkle' to a far lesser degree that those near the horizon, where you are looking through more of the atmosphere.

This is the main reason they stick observatories 8,000ft up mountains and where incidentally the stars hardly appear to 'twinkle' at all, on a good day [:)]
« Last Edit: 10/02/2004 23:02:18 by Gneiss »
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