Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Flashing Stars
Name: kathleen n mecham
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
How come some stars look like they are flashing?


Replies:
The variations in the light intensity are due to disturbances in the atmosphere between your eye and the star. If these disturbances are as big as the star, the star will appear to twinkle. The size of the moon and planets is larger than these disturbances and they do not twinkle. If the size of the fluctuations were smaller in the atmosphere were smaller the stars would not appear to twinkle. If we were to get above the atmosphere , there should be no twinkling.

Samuel P Bowen



Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory