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Author Topic: July 4th Weekend On Ocracoke Island, NC  (Read 2779 times)
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Paul Hamilton
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« on: 10-Jul-10, 10:58:15 pm »


We had another great weekend on Ocracoke Island.  Unfortunately, I can't show you the most amazing part, which was the night sky -- utterly dark, with stars that were almost painfully bright, and the entire Milky Way meandering like a huge river.  I taught Catherine several new constellations, carrying on a tradition as old as humanity of star lore being passed from parent to child.  From Ocracoke, the sky is as dark and splendid as it was 10,000 years ago.

I also saw something for the first time.  It was a type of mirage called a Fata Morgana, named for Morgan Le Fay, to whom it was attributed.  It is the result of layers of warm and cold air forming a huge distorting lens.  Distant objects, often too far away to normally see, appear to be close, but twisted into strange shapes. 

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Enjoy,

Paul
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Annette
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« Reply #1 on: 11-Jul-10, 01:07:21 am »

These photos are wonderful! Thank you very much for sharing.
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dale
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« Reply #2 on: 11-Jul-10, 11:43:42 am »

super cool about the fata morgana, Paul. I am fascinated. Wikipedia:

A Fata Morgana is an unusual and very complex form of mirage, a form of superior mirage, which, like many other kinds of superior mirages, is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon...
Fata Morgana mirages tremendously distort the object or objects which they are based on, such that the object often appears to be very unusual, and may even be transformed in such a way that it is completely unrecognizable. ... This kind of mirage can involve almost any kind of distant object, including such things as boats, islands, and coastline...Fata Morgana is not only complex, but also rapidly changing. The mirage comprises several inverted (upside down) and erect (right side up) images that are stacked on top of one another. Fata Morgana mirages also show alternating compressed and stretched zones....This optical phenomenon occurs because rays of light are strongly bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures in a steep thermal inversion where an atmospheric duct has formed.

too much!!! thanks!!! your photo of it is a good one!! I am especially interested in the facts that things appear rapidly changing and a combination of right-side-up and inverted, stacked up, etc...

dale
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Donna
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« Reply #3 on: 11-Jul-10, 11:56:55 am »

http://rfalconcam.com/forum/index.php?topic=621.120

When my friend Jeff was in Antarctica, he sent me a pic o a Fata Morgana...see it here
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dale
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« Reply #4 on: 11-Jul-10, 12:38:54 pm »

YOU MEAN THOSE CLIFFS ARE NOT THERE???

that is totally insane.
I like.
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valhalla
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« Reply #5 on: 12-Jul-10, 05:50:28 am »

Thanks for sharing, Paul!  I've begun to look forward to these annual pictures - so many things change, while others stay the same.   clap
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