Ice Mirage - Fata Morgana
 - Antarctic Weather Phenomena

Antarctic Mountains

Mirages are commonly seen on the horizon in the winter or as in this case at the end of winter when the sea-ice has just broken up. They are a result of temperature differences in the bottom few metres just above the ice or sea surface. Air of different temperatures refracts light in different ways, the same phenomena is responsible for "heat haze" as seen above a road on a very hot day. It is the difference in temperature that is important and in this case it is causing a reflection downwards just above the level of the horizon so that objects on the horizon appear to be floating above the sea or ice rather than resting on it.

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Photo credit - Paul Ward /