Distorted Sun at Alexandria Egypt

April 18, 2008


Referred by: Aymen Ibrahem
Summary authors & editors: Aymen Ibrahem, Jim Foster 

The photo above shows a misshapen Sun sinking beneath the horizon over Alexandria, Egypt, on August 19, 2007. This distorted solar disk is a consequence of atmospheric refraction. In essence, the atmosphere acts as a lens and "pushes up" objects that are near the horizon. The closer to the horizon, the greater the effect thus, the lower portion of the Sun is pushed upwards more than the upper portion, causing the disk to appear flattened or oval in shape. Here, however, clouds and haze obscure the lower part of the Sun. The body of water in the foreground is the Mediterranean Sea.