Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mary of Minersville revisited

Well, better late than never. Phil Plait has finally done a post on the Mary of Minersville apparition on his Bad Astronomy website.

Interestingly, I still get the occasional hit for my August 30 post on this topic, even though I think it's safe to assume that this reflection wandered off several weeks ago. The changing elevation of the sun in its daily path across the sky causes the location of any shadows and reflections cast to vary from day to day and week to week throughout the seasons. A particular reflection will only appear in the same general location for a few weeks at the most.

(For an excellent and beautiful discussion of reflections off of windows, see M.G.J. Minnaert's masterpiece Light and Color in the Outdoors, section 12, "Freak reflections".)

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