Why do City lights Twinkle?
Twinkling city lights especially in Paris is a great and romantic view, kids love it as much as grown-ups do. But, why do city lights twinkle? Well I don’t really want to disappoint anyone of you but city lights doesn’t really twinkle at all, same as the stars in the sky. If you get near to these lights, you will see that they are actually constant.
City lights only twinkle from a distance because the light passes through the earth’s atmosphere. The farther the city lights are the more you will see twinkling effect or scintillation, as it passes through different layers of the earth’s atmosphere. Then, that creates different angles of the lights. The twinkling city lights are the result of all those accumulated refractions that changes the size and position of the lights. The city lights are distorted depending on the temperature, densities and moisture substance on that area. Some city lights don’t twinkle in places that have very low atmospheric disturbances.
Other theories claim that our eyesight also contributes to the scintillation of lights, because the light will eventually reach the pupils of our eyes and go through the corneas. At the back of our eyes, the retinas are stirred to create electrical signals that pass through along our optic nerves to our brain, and then we see the light with its twinkling effect. Well, this is just another principle about lights but regardless if it’s our vision or the earth’s atmosphere that causes lights to twinkle, it’s still beautiful to perceive the city lights the way we see it.
Let us not be a big frustration for kids, don’t tell them that the city lights especially the stars don’t twinkle at all. At one point, we all want the kids to believe that twinkling lights are like magic. Only tell the truth to them if they specifically asked for it.
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