Lake Lover Blog

Information and Insights on Lake Michigan 

A Lake Mirage…

Happy August!

Strata.jpg

Lake Michigan is about 90 miles across in most places, so you can never actually see the other side — but it can seem like it. For example, from the Michigan side, you can sometimes make out the Chicago skyline.
 
This effect is known as a “superior mirage” and happens when the other side of the lake is refracted through cool air trapped beneath warmer air. The cool air acts like a lens, inverting the image and bending it over the curve of the earth. So when you see the skyline from Michigan, it's actually upside down.
 
This month’s image, “Strata,” was taken from a Winnetka park. The far Michigan shore seems to be peeking over the horizon, but it’s just a mirage.
 
Learning new facts about the lake always makes me appreciate it even more.