Mirage Shimmer

Dry bare ground can become extremely hot in the tropical afternoon when the sky is clear (Section 3.5), creating a superadiabatic layer of air against the ground. The turbulence of the rising air within that layer causes a shimmer in the view of a 'mirage', a false impression of a lake just below the horizon, some distance ahead on a straight roadway. The apparent lake is really a view of the near-horizon sky, turned by the higher speed of light through the hot air at the surface in the same way that sound waves are turned by a vertical temperature gradient (Section 7.6).

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