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I Wonder Why – Why Moon And Planets Don’t Twinkle?

Shining

Why do the Moon and planets not twinkle like the stars?

● The first thing to understand is that even stars do not twinkle they just 

appear to do so!

● Stars  twinkle  when  we  see  them  from  the  Earth’s  surface  because  we  are 

viewing  them  through  thick  layers  of  turbulent  (moving)  air  in  the  Earth’s 

atmosphere. 

● As the light of the stars moves through the earth’s atmosphere, the light bends 

around. For a split second, it may bend slightly to one place, and quickly go back 

to how it was. This gives the star a twinkling appearance.

● The reason planets, the moon, and the sun don’t do this is because of their size. 

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Even  if  the  light  bends  slightly,  all  these  objects  are  large  enough  that  it  isn’t 

noticeable. Thus, they don’t twinkle.

● If  you  look  through  a  telescope,  however,  the  effects  of  the  turbulence  can  be 

seen as quivering around the edge of the disc of the moon and Planets.