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Why Do Stars Disappear?

22 Jun 2014, 15:44 UTC
Why Do Stars Disappear?
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Question: Around 10:39 pm June 17th 2014 I was watching Arcturus and it disappeared for about a minute or so and then reappeared. I am asking why this happens? I have never seen it before or even heard of it happening. – Hilligus

Answer: In the vast majority of cases when stars are observed to “disappear”, the culprit is our own Earth’s atmosphere. Depending upon how “thick” the atmosphere is between an observer and the star, one can find that the star can simply “dance around” when the atmosphere is not very thick, to just plain disappearing when the atmosphere is quite thick (i.e. cloudy).
Jeff Mangum

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