Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Twinkling stars
Name: Helen M Vonderheide
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Why do stars twinkle?



Replies:
Earth's atmosphere is turbulent. When light from stars passes through the atmosphere, it gets refracted from the straight line path. As a result of this, the light reaches us from different points in the sky. These direc- tions are actually very close to each other but not the same. This shifting of the image results in what we call twinkling. Twinkling can effect objects with size smaller than the shift caused by atmosphere, therefore, only stars twinkle and not the Sun, Moon or the Planets.

Jasjeet S Bagla


Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory