Weird bubble

I'm gradually eliminating some questions which have puzzled me since I was old enough to ask my dad (a science teacher), "How come?"

Q:Why is the sky blue?
A:Preferential Raleigh scattering of blue light.

Q:Why does an old neon night light only light up when another light illuminates it?
A:The photoelectric effect.

Q:How many volts are produced when road-salt induces corrosion of a 1969 rambler?
A:0.5 Volts. (I haven't yet found a practical use for this energy.)

Q:Why do some of my Northern light photos have rings in the center of the frame similar to the ones in this photo.
A:???

Here is a new one.
Q:When we purchased new bubble solution for my daughter's birthday party, why did this approximately 4 centimeter bubble last so long? (Her other bubble solution couldn't make a bubble that lasted long enough to leave the wand.)

Sometime during the following afternoon this bubble did eventually pop but who would have guessed it would last nearly 24 hours? Of course some people were predicting that this bubble would deflate nearly a decade ago.
Comments:

Hmm, no idea - my first thoughts when seeing that circle were of the Moire effect and then I thought a bit about Brocken spectres but I'm not sure, to be honest.

Posted by Tim Foster on September 21, 2005 at 03:50 AM GMT+00:00 #

It does look like Brochken spectre doesn't it? It see,s that Moire patterns should be more common with digital cameras, my Aurora photo was on mid 1980s Fujifilm.

My first thought was some sort of diffraction effect or swirling ions around the north magnetic pole. But now I think it's most likely to be Newton's rings, between lens elements made more obvious by long coherence length and nearly monochromatic light of some aurora bands.

One of my physics professors offered an "A" on our next quiz if we could align his dodgey Michelson-Morely interferometer precisely enough to see white light interference. We did it. These days anyone can see it with a pocket laser and a couple of chunks of window glass.

Posted by bnitz on September 21, 2005 at 04:32 AM GMT+00:00 #

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