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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.

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