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Perspective and Illusion

24 25 mIrages anD projecTIons nature working on a larger scale Shadows and reflections occasionally reappear in nature in remarkable, almost magical circumstances. Tempting reflections known as mirages have long been known to haunt the thirsty desert explorer, and a hot road surface likewise takes on a mirror like appearance from low angles on a dry day, with illusory puddles perfectly reflecting the sky and overhead bridges. Stratified layers of air function as an overhead mirror not only in deserts but sometimes show a city its own reflection in the sky see Paris opposite top left, or reveal a hidden navy fleet to its enemy lower opposite. Standing on a hilltop at sunset under special conditions can give rise to a huge shadow cast on to the clouds, an effect known as the Shadow of the Brokken opposite top right, and below. A related effect is the aura or glow which can appear centred on the head of ones shadow when cast by moonlight on a misty or dewy night opposite centre left. And what of those strange miragelike orbs which can appear on digital camera photographsare they reflections, or shadows
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