What Causes a Mirage in The Desert


Talking about a mirage, it is a false image of something. While walking in deserts sometimes, it appears that the source of water is close, but when we look again, the source of water is much far than our expectations. A mirage can be taken as a false image of something that we see at some place, but actually is situated at some other place. In order to understand what a mirage is, you will need to understand how the light travels through air and in order to understand the same; we will need to get much deeper and to make it easy we have bought here some information regarding the same.

what causes a mirage in the desert

1. The variation of path of light with temperature:-

If the temperature is same, let it be cold or hot, the light will travel in a straight line through it. Cooled air has a high refractive index than warm air and if a steady temperature gradient exists, the light will follow a curved path toward the cooler air.

2. The Way Light Travels:-

The photons of light have the capability to travel faster through the hot air than they can do through the hot air and the reason for it being that hot air is less dense. The mirages are likely to be observed more on a hot dry day and high ranges of temperature.

3. Formation of Mirages In The Deserts:-

One thing we should keep in consideration that the sand in deserts can be carried with the wind and thus the sand dunes or the heap of sand also keep on moving from one place to another because of the winds and thus it is quite easy to see a mirage in a desert with one fact being the same while other fact being that the desert sand gets easily heated because of the sun’s rays and thus the temperature gets quiet enough to make mirages because of the temperature.

4. The Nature of Air:-

It is the nature of air that it gets lifted up when heated, but in case when mirages are formed, the air closest to the surface is the hottest and least dense while the air density gradually increases with the height. The angle that is made with the incident rays to the refracted rays creates a mirage what our eyes may seem to occur somewhere but is actually occurring somewhere else.

5. In Summers Even The Roads Show Mirage:-

In summers, the vehicles that are running on a road that has got a long way ahead may also experience mirage because of the road getting heated because of temperature and thus the temperature change making the surrounding air be heated resulting in the formation of mirages.