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Why do the moon and planets not twinkle like stars?

  1. Kevin Peter profile image71
    Kevin Peterposted 4 years ago

    Why do the moon and planets not twinkle like stars?

    Does twinkling have any connection with their distance from the earth?

  2. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 4 years ago

    Remember that just like a computer screen, your eye is composed of a certain number of "pixels," each represented by a single light-receptor cell in your retina. If two (or more) points of light are close enough such that they are focused on the same receptor cell in your eye, you will experience them as a single point of light. This is referred to as the "resolution" of your eye, or any telescope for that matter.

    Now, a star on the sky is in a true sense a single point of light. All the light comes through the atmosphere in exactly the same direction, through exactly the same atmospheric turbulence, and thus is bent in exactly the same way. So when it gets to your eye, the amount of light you see coherently varies. It also strikes (primarily) only a single receptor in your eye.

  3. taburkett profile image61
    taburkettposted 4 years ago

    simply put - the moon and plants do twinkle.
    but your eyes do not detect their twinkling.
    the stars appear to twinkle due to a phenomenon called refraction
    for more information go to - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refraction

  4. lone77star profile image84
    lone77starposted 4 years ago

    The Moon and planets do twinkle, but they have many points that twinkle brighter and dimmer at the same time, effectively cancelling out the overall "twinkle."

    Stars are so distant that they present to us a single point. That one point is at the mercy of the turbulence in the atmosphere and will go up or down in brightness as a whole.

    (This has nothing to do with the cells in the eye.)

  5. mintinfo profile image76
    mintinfoposted 4 years ago

    Twinkling is an illusion. Stars appear to twinkle because they are billions of miles away. The light that you see(take in) is constantly interupted by objects that pass through the light beam. That is why it appears to twinkle. The moon does not twinkle because nothing big unough to interupt its light (which is simply light reflected from the Sun) ever passes through it. Correction; Lunar eclipse when the Earth passes between the Moon and sun. It is quite a long twinkle.

  6. joanveronica profile image84
    joanveronicaposted 4 years ago

    Basically, a star is like a sun, with light of its own. The moon and the planets are opaque bodies that shine because they reflect the light of our sun. So they don't twinkle.