is caused by atmospheric fluctuations distorting
before it reaches your eyes
. Stars which appear lower
in the sky
, seem to twinkle more, since the thickness
of atmosphere through which you are viewing them is much greater than those appearing high in the sky.
Although stars are huge fiery balls
; they are many, many light years
away, and therefore appear as a point
of light. The position of this point darts
about with the atmospheric distortion, and never appears in the same place for long. It can also appear to disappear
briefly, and change colour
rapidly. This gives the twinkling effect.
, on the other hand, are smaller than stars. They are also much closer
. If you view a planet through even low powered binoculars
, you will resolve
rather than a point of light. So, the atmospheric turbulence
effect on the disc will be much smaller, as it will be averaged
out across the face of the disc. You may see the edges or details shimmer
slightly, but most of the disc will be fixed. To the naked eye
, the edge effects are invisible.
No matter how much you magnify
a star (within the capabilities of current optical
systems), you will always
see a point of light.