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
● 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.
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.