How atmospheric tunelling and refraction really look like in real life.

Stefan Leahu

New Member
A few days ago i witnessed a real life example of atmospheric tunnelling. Due to warm air over cold waters, the skyline of La Rochelle was faintly visible over 50 km away, despite it being normally below the horizon.
I've seen this kind of optical phenomenon precisely twice. The air is usually close to the dewpoint and fog either has just dissipated, or is close to forming. Normally you don't see anything of La Rochelle, even on very clear days. The only thing that is visible is light during night long exposures, but it's always coming from below the horizon. No point light sources are visible. I'll add a few other photos to illustrate the look of it and I'll upload a video when I have time.

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And a few other photos just to see how it looked like out to sea. Those were taken a bit further north than the La Rochelle photo and looking roughly west, where the effect was even more visible On one side, it blended so well with the horzon that it looked as if the sea had white areas, not that there is an inversion layer on top of the normal horizon. On the other side, it seemed like the horizon faded and gave way to a lower horizon.

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