fata morgana


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fata morgana:

see miragemirage
, atmospheric optical illusion in which an observer sees in the distance a nonexistent body of water or an image, sometimes distorted, of some object or of a complete scene.
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Fata Morgana

 

a complex optical atmospheric phenomenon, consisting of several forms of mirage in which distant objects are seen in multiple and with various distortions. Fata morgana arises when several successive layers of air of varying density, capable of mirror reflections, form in the lower strata of the atmosphere. As a result of both reflection and the refraction of light rays, real objects produce images on the horizon or above it; each object produces several distorted images, partly overlapping and rapidly changing in time, creating the strange, fantastical picture of fata morgana.

Fata Morgana

[′fäd·ə ‚mȯr′gän·ə]
(optics)
A complex mirage characterized by multiple distortions of images, generally in the vertical, so that such objects as cliffs or cottages are distorted and magnified into fantastic castles.

Fata Morgana

lake-dwelling sorceress and personification of chance. [Ital. Lit.: Orlando Innamorato]
See: Chance

Fata Morgana

esp. in the Straits of Messina: named for Morgan le Fay. [Ital. Folklore: Espy, 14]
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The machine takes its name from Fata Morgana, also known as Morgan le Fay, a legendary fairy enchantress skilled in the art of changing shape.
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