Terrestrial Scintillation

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Terrestrial Scintillation

Generic term for scintillation phenomena observed in light that reaches the eye from sources lying within the earth's atmosphere; to be differentiated from astronomical scintillation which is observed in light from extraterrestrial sources such as stars. Also called atmospheric boil, atmospheric shimmer, shimmer, optical haze. Terrestrial scintillation is produced by irregular refraction effects due to passage, across the line of sight, of air parcels (schlieren) whose densities differ slightly from that of their surroundings. Density irregularities with dimensions of the order of centimeters, or at most decimeters, are responsible for most such scintillatory effects. [[/a>|/a> ]]


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use