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Thread: Sunbeams

  1. #1 Sunbeams 
    Forum Freshman nexus6's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if this should be posted in another section or not

    This is a question that I cannot seem to get an answer to.

    Imagine the scene, a sunny yet partially cloudy day and sunbeams are streaming through the clouds

    but as you can see, some beams are going in the right direction and some to the left. How is this possible? does that mean an object or person that are seperated by only a few miles would have shadows going in opposite directions?


    Paul C

    Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly.
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  3. #2  
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    It's called the vanishing point. The rays you see are effectively parallel, like standing on a long straight flat road, the edges of the road seem to converge in the far distance. Imagane these lines lifted into the air and you have what you see.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman nexus6's Avatar
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    Thanks Billco, sometimes its easy to overlook the obvious, i think i was hoping that the answer was a bit more complicated.
    Paul C

    Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly.
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  5. #4  
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    It's a great picture, and easy to see why some in the past speculated the sun to be only a few miles above the earth's surface.
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  6. #5  
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    I would hazard a guess that it's got more to do with refraction of the rays. Such an effect can be achieved by a convexed pocket of humid air (that slows the rays down and causes them to fan out). I doubt that the vanishing point of the sun's rays would appear so close without the cloud cover.
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  7. #6  
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    The vanishing point in the picture will simply appear where the sun is.
    All the lines will converge there.
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