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aamir shakeel Grade: 9

why do we are able to see water in deserts from a distance even though there is no availability of water? 

8 years ago

Answers : (1)

Ramesh V
70 Points


In desert, one may see images of distant trees during high temperature . Since in nature, images of trees are formed only in water, therefore one is tricked into believing that a tree is situated near some water body and its reflection is being seen.

However, on reaching spot , it is found that the water has vanished . This phenomenon is called mirage.

Mirage occurs due to total internal reflection of light. When the sun is high in the sky, the sand gets heated first and then the layers of air above it. The rays from the trees travel from an optically denser air layer to a rarer layer and hence bend away from the normal. This bending continues and a stage is reached where the angle of incidence becomes greater than the critical angle and total internal reflection takes place.

The totally reflected rays that reach the eyes appear to come from a point on the ground where the image of the tree is formed. Thus one sees an inverted image of the tree though there is no water around.




8 years ago
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