How many stars? Twinkling?
Name: Kathleen N Mecham
How many stars are there?
Why do some stars look like they are flashing?
The variations in the light intensity are due to disturbances in the
atmosphere between your eye and the star. If these disturbances are as big
as the star, the star will appear to twinkle. The size of the moon and
planets is larger than these disturbances and they do not twinkle. If the
size of the fluctuations were smaller in the atmosphere were smaller the
stars would not appear to twinkle. If we were to get above the atmosphere,
there should be no twinkling.
Samuel P Bowen
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Update: June 2012