Superior mirage known as a Fata Morgana over sea

Superior mirage known as a Fata Morgana over sea

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Credit: PEKKA PARVIAINEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fata Morgana mirage. Image of a superior mirage known as a Fata Morgana created by an island. A double image of the island is seen above it. This type of mirage transforms a fairly uniform horizon into one of vertical walls and columns with spires. According to legend, Fata Morgana (Italian for "fairy Morgan") was the half sister of King Arthur. Morgan, who was said to live in a crystal palace beneath the water, could build fantastic castles out of thin air across the straits of Messina. Mirages are optical phenomenon occurring when layers of air with different temperatures and refractivities lie close to the ground or water, and are seen when these layers are not mixed.

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Keywords: atmospheric effect, climate, effects, fata morgana, light, light refraction, meteorology, mirage, optical effect, refraction, superior, weather

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