It has been established that the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the planet itself, gives a thick shadow.

It has been established that the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the planet itself, gives a thick shadow. How can transparent layers of gases give shadow?

The reason is the decrease in refraction with height. A ray of light passing through the upper atmosphere is deflected less than a ray passing through the lower, denser layers of the atmosphere. The atmosphere acts on the transmitted rays as a diffusing lens, which also gives a shadow from the parallel beam of light.

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