What is Mirage?

  • Post by Weather & Climate
  • Jun 08, 2022

What is a mirage and where does it come from?

Mirage is undoubtedly one of the most mysterious atmospheric phenomena that has always been associated with secrets and legends. But in reality, the mirage is easily explained from a scientific point of view.

It appears when the air near a highly heated surface (about 60-70 °C) also heats up and becomes inhomogeneous. The optical density of the air changes drastically, and the light rays become curved. This is how fantastic images appear at the horizon.

There are several types of mirages, but the most unusual of them is Fata Morgana (from the Italian fata Morgana - the fairy Morgana who lived on the seabed and lured travelers with the help of mirages). Fata Morgana happens when the rays of light are refracted in both the upper and lower layers of the air, and a double mirage appears with fantastic pictures.

So have you ever seen mirages?

This post is also available in: Spanish, Russian, Ukranian, Belarusian.