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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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