Explain why the planets do not twinkle.




Stars are very far away from us and appear point sized to us

  • So, it appears that light is coming from one point source
  • Due to refraction of light from this point source, stars appear to twinkle

The planets are much closer to us as compared to the stars.

  • Since the planets are closer to us, they appear much bigger and the light to come from more than one point.
  • The light coming from several points undergoes refraction also.
  • But this refracted light from several points cancels the twinkling effect .

Hence, planets do not twinkle, due to their relatively large size and close distance from Earth.


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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 14 years and a teacher from the past 18 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo