Optical distortion from a bonfire.

Optical distortion from a bonfire.

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Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Optical distortion from a bonfire. Light from the trees and fence in the background passes through turbulent air caused by heat from the fire. The distortion thus produced is similar to that in a mirage, an optical phenomenon where light rays are actually refracted by waves of heat to form a false image at the observer's location. The lower parts of the image are undisturbed because the air through which light passes is still.

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Keywords: blaze, blazing, bonfire, burning, charcoal, distortion, false image, field, fire, firewood, flames, heat, heat waves, landscape, light, light rays, mirage, optical, optical distortion, optical phenomenon, optics, phenomenon, refraction, ripples, rippling, smoke, southern england, still air, trees, turbulence, turbulent air, waves, wood, wood burning

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