A mirage of Chicago

Reader Edward sent this breathtaking photo of a mirage of the Chicago Skyline, just featured as the Earth Science Photo of the Day.  It was taken in 2008 from the Indiana Dunes, a state park 37 miles from the city, and a place from which the city isn’t visible.  It is in fact an inferior mirage, formed only under special atmospheric conditions (see also here). Those distant “puddles of water” that you see far away on a hot highway, for instance, are inferior mirages of the sky. Read more at the first link, including details about the equipment and how the photo was taken.

13 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Very cool, indeed!

  2. Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    “It was taken in 2008 from the Indiana Dunes, a state park 37 miles from the city, and a place from where the city isn’t visible. It is in fact an inferior mirage, …”

    I’m puzzled, if the city is not visible from there, wouldn’t it have to be a superior mirage?

    • Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      No, not by the definition of inferior mirage that I see.

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      The photographer who took the photo cites it as an inferior image at the Earth Science Photo of the Day website.

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Doh – “mirage” not “image”! (I hate autocorrect.)

      • Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but he says: “I realized it was only visible because of special atmospheric conditions and was an illusion known as an inferior mirage.”

        The “special atmospheric conditions” links to a page explaining a superior mirage (so the mention of “inferior mirage” may be a mistake).

        The terminology seems to be that a “superior” mirage is when the image is *above* the real object (is it would be if Chicago is below the horizon).

        An “inferior” mirage has the image below the real object (as when a hot road produces an image of the sky).

    • GBJames
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      A superior image of an inferior mirage!

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        ^^^nailed it^^^^

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Oooooooo, Beautiful!

  4. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    If anyone is wondering:

    The photo was taken specifically – as some might guess – across the water. So, green flash enthusiasts will be familiar with the scene of the flat featureless thing (meaning, body of water) and then some interesting feature across that body ( the green flash).

    They went to a beach – Mount Baldy beach :

    https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/mt-baldy.htm

  5. Posted April 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    It looks almost like an illustration. Amazing.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Ooh and Aah! Chicago on fire.

  7. Raskos
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Saw one of these of the Cypress Hills in Alberta once. They were well below the horizon to the north. It was a bit eerie, watching it slowly break up.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] A mirage of Chicago — Why Evolution Is True […]

%d bloggers like this: