Fata Morganas

Skywarn Youth: Did You Know

“Fata Morganas”

by Caleb, KE0FOE

Essentially a mirage in the sky, a Fata Morgana is an Italian word that describes an atmospheric phenomenon, often seen over bodies of water, that allows objects to be seen even though they are beyond the horizon.

Fata Morganas occur because rays of light are bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures in a steep thermal inversion where an atmospheric duct has formed.

Think of it as Tropospheric Ducting for the Eyes!  If you see a Fata Morgana hovering over a body of water, get out on VHF and even UHF and call CQ. Those bands will probably be wide open!

More information about Fata Morganas can be found on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)