|Miraged Ships ~
Robert Meldrum looked from Victoria, B.C. across the Strait of Juan de Fuca towards Washington State.
The large ship is a bulk carrier. Its inverted form sails above it. Above that is a third image, this time the right way up. All mirages in their purest form have alternate inverted and erect images.
At left is the Black Ball Line MV Coho, a vehicle ferry on its way from Victoria B.C. to Port Angeles, WA. It too has inverted and erect images sailing above it.
The Strait of Juan de Fuca is famous for its mirages. The ingredients are cold water flowing in from the Pacific Ocean topped by warmer continental air. The lower layer of ocean cooled air forms a temperature inversion. Rays refracted across it form the mirages.
©Robert Meldrum, shown with permission
Another of Robert Meldrum's mirages. It's not easy to separate the images but it looks as though the central one(s) disobey the rule that the sequence must always be erect, inverted, erect...
What happens is that the sequence is always there but sometimes the temperature profile causes individual components to be compressed almost into a line (extreme stooping). Equally, others can be vertically stretched (towering).
Rays across an inversion layer - Superior mirages
Rubber Spheres & Mirages - Some Topology
The real object creating the mirage is imagined pasted onto a larger diameter 'object sphere'.
We make a copy of the inner sphere called a transfer surface. Then we Inflate it so that it expands towards the outer object sphere. The game is to somehow make the mirage images pasted on the transfer sphere exactly match the single object sphere image. Stretching and folding is allowed, cutting or snipping are not.